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Review: Johnston’s of Elgin Coffee Shop


Moray, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

Excellent food in very nice surroundings

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2344 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Sep 2013
  • British
  • Casual
  • Elgin, Moray, Scotland

53 people found this review helpful

We headed here for lunch having been recommended it by a visitor at Spynie Palace earlier that morning. It is signed off the A96, the main road through Elgin and is easy to find. The coffee shop is through the large gift shop which sells ladies, gents and childrens clothes, cashmere sweaters, scarves and gloves as well as preserves and biscuits.

The first sight on entering is a display counter with a double row of home made cakes, scones and tray bakes. This is old fashioned waitress service and you wait to be seated at a table. It is a large and pleasant room but does get busy. We opted to sit outside in the courtyard under the shade of big trees.

There is an extensive menu and we were spoilt for choice, eventually deciding on soup and a sandwich with a pot of tea each.

Our order was taken quickly and we didn’t have to wait long before two big bowls of steaming homemade soup appeared with a huge hunk of wholemeal bread. Michael had mushroom soup which was thick with plenty of pulverised mushrooms. It had been made with a cream base so was rich, and he assured me it was very good.

I had the chicken noodle soup. I’m not a great one for packet chicken noodle soup, but this was completely different. It was full of thick flat noodles with strips of carrot and leak and plenty of chicken in a chicken stock. It was delicious and filling. We didn’t really need the sandwich.

Sandwiches came with a choice of white or brown bread and were served with turmeric rice and a salad of dressed leaves with baby tomatoes and thin slices of courgettes. Bread was thickly sliced and fillings were generous. Michael chose ham and mustard; thick slices of hand carved ham with grain mustard. I had chosen the ploughmans which had a thick filling of grated red and white cheddar cheese with a red onion pickle. The cheese was mature with plenty of flavour and the pickle good and tangy. It made a nice combination.

By then we were very full and tempting though the cakes looked, we couldn’t manage any. They sell cakes to take out but we were even too full to be tempted by this.

At just under £21 we felt this represented value for money for what was an excellent meal.

The club sandwiches were even larger and we were glad we hadn’t ordered one of those. Mains looked generous too.

They serve breakfast between 10-11.45. As well as scrambled eggs and beans on toast they serve a full Scottish breakfast, as well as smoked haddock and poached egg. There is even a gluten free choice.

Lunches are served 12-3 with four choices of mans plus specials. They also serve salads, jacket potatoes crepes and bagettes.

Afternoon tea is served between 2.30-4 with a choice of cream tea or full afternoon tea Menus are marked to indicate vegetarian and gluten free options.

A copy of the menu can be found here.

Food is freshly prepared and attractively presented. Helpings are generous and staff are good. The cafe is popular with locals, visitors and staff. It is definitely worth searching out.

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