It’s Laura‘s first visit to Glasgow, and with our combined interest in coffee and cameras, I had to take her on a tour of the independent espresso bars we have on offer. What followed was an afternoon of sampling coffee, photographing coffee, eating cake with our coffee, and tasting yet more coffee… I can’t think of anything more perfect, can you?
The photos are in chronological order.
Riverhill Coffee Bar
Riverhill is new on my radar. I’m disappointed it’s taken me this long to sample their delicious coffee, and equally delicious food. I had a tuna and fennel sandwich alongside a cappuccino, both of which got our tour off to a perfect start. Free WIFI, gourmet sandwiches and great coffee, the only downside is the sheer busyness of the place. Because it’s so small, I felt pressured to leave before I was ready, simply to free my seat for somebody else. It’s definitely not the kind of place you could sit in all day with a laptop and crank out some work, but—with its central location—it’s perfect for a quick caffeine boost and bite to eat.
This is my go-to haunt for city centre coffee. I love the industrial, minimalist decor. Laboratorio Espresso is definitely quieter and slower paced than Riverhill, which might initially mean it feels lacking in ambience. However, a coffee shop without a mad rush is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon sampling different blends. Oh, and the floor-to-ceiling windows letting in an abundance of natural light makes for great photographs of your lunch. The staff also generously gave us recommendations, not only of what different blends we should try, but what other coffee shops are worth a visit.
After three cups of coffee in quick succession, we were fed up of caffeine and feeling twitchy. Recommended to us by the staff at Laboratorio Espresso, we decided we had one more coffee in us and headed to Pena. Tucked down a lane in the West End is an understated coffee shop coated in artificial grass. Inside is equally… unique, with the cheap, colourful chairs and tables reminiscent of a primary school cafeteria. I like my luxuries, so I wasn’t overly impressed with this set-up—it felt more like a pop-up shop than an espresso bar, but it seems to be a hit with the locals. We sat outside in the Autumn air and ordered a vegetarian toastie to share (very tasty) and a Bulletproof coffee (made with coconut oil and grass-fed cows milk butter). Personally, I won’t be rushing back to Pena. With Artisan Roast just a few steps from here, I’ll save my West End hit for that.
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