Tuesday, 27 February 2018

JUST JULIA TRIES: Spider on a Bicycle: Review (Aberdeenshire)

Whilst out on my big Audi A5 adventure a few weeks ago, my other half (and my sat nav for the day) Calum had suggested that we make a wee stop to Spider on a Bicycle for lunch.

I hadn't heard of the eatery before and was quite shocked he knew of a foodie establishment that I didn't, so thought it was only manners to give him a chance in picking the place we ate. I'm so glad I did because I really, really enjoyed my time there.

We were both pretty hungry by the time we arrived at the eatery which is owned by two sisters whose aim was to create a home away from home, so we nose dived into the menu to see what was on offer.

Its small menu focuses on good ingredients and simplistic foods, and it also boasts produce from a number of small local businesses which they create delicious breakfasts, lunch and bakes with. Spider on a Bicycle is cosy and homely and provides the perfect sanctuary from the elements on a cold afternoon.

Not only is this place a great pit-stop in the winter, but I can guarantee it will be hugely popular in the summer with its outside seating area and stunning interiors. And the fact they welcome dogs into the venue too will be a huge bonus for those walking in Deeside too.

I was intrigued to try and find out where the name of it came from so once we'd placed our order I sat reading the menu which revealed all. A long story short, there was gin involved, and children's stories too, but I'll let you discover the story behind it for yourself when you visit...
I usually only ever order water at lunchtime (unless I'm drinking cocktails) but I decided to go for a bottle of the cloudy lemonade after seeing Calum's organic cola. The designs of the bottles were super quirky and both tasted very nice. Calum's cola was quite sweet, whereas my lemony lemonade had a slight bitterness to it. And looking back, I'm pretty sure I've tried both before.

For lunch I'd decided to order the Spider on a Bicycle platter. The platter was beautiful and boasted an array of colour to it which I adored. I don't think I've had a lunch this bright and bold in a long time! The platter came with avocado, pickle, hummus, chutney, salad, apple and red cabbage salad, oatcakes and handmade bread. Both the bread and the oatcakes were gluten free. 

I tucked in immediately and it was absolutely divine. The hummus was incredibly rich and smooth, and the chutney went extremely well with the avocado and pickle on the bread. I couldn't get enough of it. The avocado was so soft and melted in my mouth. I savoured it for as long as I could. The seeds also gave the dish a nice additional crunchy texture to it which I really enjoyed. 

There was a lot of it, so it took me a while to get through it. I couldn't finish all of the bread and oatcakes, but Calum soon swooped in to help polish it off.
A fan of a good ol' toastie, Calum opted for the Cheese Roastie. A toasted sandwich on white farmhouse bread with  salad and chutney on the side, this was his sort of lunch. After much deliberation, he tried out the Monarch camembert with free range bacon. The cheese was lovely and melted, and the bacon was cooked really well. I could tell by his face he was enjoying it, and the fact he cleaned his plate of the salad, chutney and boiled potatoes too told me everything.
Just popping in for a quick bite, I had been very tempted by the delicious looking cakes, but alas, decided against it seen as I was already full from the platter. Although there's a slice of pecan brownie and lemon drizzle with my name on it for next time I visit.
Located where the old Aboyne train station once operated, it's great to see that the owners of Spider on a Bicycle have kept all of the original features from the building. It's a cosy, warm, welcoming space and there's lots of shabby chic furniture inside too. Upcycling seems to be a big thing within the cafe, and they seem to be very conscious about recycling and sustainability too which is also a big thumbs up from me. I loved the way the eatery looked and I think the array of beautiful furniture really finishes it off perfectly.
Having visited just two weeks ago, I've already sent three of my friends out to visit the cafe who all reported how good it was. 

It's so refreshing to see eateries like this popping up across the City and Shire as this is exactly the types of places Aberdeen is screaming out for. Local people, supporting local producers by using local products and providing an incredible offering for local residents to enjoy. I love the ethos behind this place and I think it's going to continue to be a huge success as the space is just as gorgeous as the food.
  For Now...

Just Julia

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