A sociable weekend

The weekend before last was a busy one for me which involved trying out two new venues!

On Friday evening I met my sister and our old neighbour for drinks and nibbles at Cognito Deli. One of four Cognito ventures in Aberdeen (Cafe, on the Corner and at the Cross being the others) and one I had been hoping to visit for a while.

We had booked a table which I would advise as they are all busy venues and we saw people turned away that evening. Don’t want to risk it really!

Settling in to our table, we got to the important things first and ordered drinks.

I went for a gin flight comprising, from left to right, Martin Miller, Whitley Neill Quince and then something which involved sea spray or ocean salt or something…I had ordered Caorunn (a favourite of mine) but someone had pinched their last bottle so I was upgraded – I’ll be honest I wasn’t very taken with it but you don’t know if you don’t try.

Of course splitting one bottle of tonic between three measures of gin meant that we were going to need something to soak it all up. Thankfully Vikki is a lot like Leanne and I and was happy to order sharing dishes.

Meat and cheese board
Hummus with roquito peppers (a nice little kick)
Cheese fondue!

The food was all lovely and exactly what we were after for a casual evening. There was a good selection of meats on the sharing board and the hummus was delicious. Supermarket hummus just isn’t the same! The cheese fondue had a nice strength about it which was great – I cannot stand bland cheese! All in all a success.

We were moved from our table to make room for their next booking but they were happy to seat us at the bar which was good. It’s not a huge venue so it’s nice that we didn’t feel we were being ushered out as soon as we finished eating.

After another gin and a spot of dessert, it was Friday after all, we said our goodbyes and headed home.

Thankfully it wasn’t too late as I had a big day ahead on Saturday. Me and the girls were heading to the Banchory Beer Festival. Running for the fifth year this was my first visit and I had heard great things.

We headed out to Banchory for half 3 and collected our festival cups before making a beeline for the bar. As someone who doesn’t drink much beer, I was glad to see that Thistly Cross Cider was an option.

I was also really impressed with the set up for payment. The festival organisers had partnered up with TicketCo so we could use their cashless app. I just linked my bank card, topped it up and then the staff scanned a unique QR code from your app and it deducted the money. It worked really well and saved foutering about with tokens like I’ve had to do at other events.

This also meant I had more free time to explore my food options. My first choice was an easy one – Pizza Geeks were in attendance and offering a pizza called “the Braveheart”.

Salami, haggis and black pudding on a proper wood fired pizza. It was delicious! More pizza should involve haggis if you ask me. I also indulged in some lovely chicken pakora from Shri Bheema’s later in the day (as a sidebar I would highly recommend Shri Bheema’s if you’re in Aberdeen and want an Indian – their food is always so so good).

The day wore on and we all got steadily more drunk, eventually moving from cider to gin (with only a minor overlap)

If I remember correctly (which I may not) I was drinking Arbikie gin with raspberry lemonade. I wouldn’t ordinarily go for gin and lemonade but it was going down a treat.

Stowing away our numerous cups we had gathered in our bags, we made our way for a bus around half 10. Not a bad shift!

A busy but thoroughly enjoyable weekend spent with some of my favourite people meant I didn’t feel so guilty for having a quieter one this weekend just past.

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