There is something about being on holiday that makes sitting in a coffee shop very appealing… Maybe it’s easier to banish the feeling of guilt when you look at that huge slice of chocolate fudge cake with an ‘oh well, I AM on holiday… or maybe it’s just the feeling of time when you get away from the pressures of your everyday life. Anyway, here is a list, in no particular order, of my favourites, and they are concentrated around Sandend, being the nearest to home (but it’s all been in the interests of research, you do understand…)


The Rockpool in Cullen: Tel 01542 841397. Please do book at this one, even in the winter, if you want to table at lunchtime as I am not the only person to like this place! It is rated number 1 on TripAdvisor and won their Certificate of Excellence for the last 2 years (it would have won one the year before too, had it been open long enough!) You get the gist, this is a place not to be missed! And if you are lucky enough to be around for one of their bistro evenings, grab it!

The Ice Cream Shop in Portsoy.
Now this place has a whole award winning range of reasons to visit and the challenge is to make your choice quickly before the people in the queue behind you start getting impatient. It also has a coffee corner, where you can enjoy your coffee in peace, knowing that the children will not complain for a while… PS Try their bubble waffles too!

The Galley in Whitehills, waterfront café and fish restaurant. This doesn’t really look much from the outside, but it has a fabulous view of the marina and a strap line ‘from the pier to the pan… as fast as we can’. Fish doesn’t get much more local than this. And the ‘fancy pieces’ are right fine too!

The Willows Tea Shop at Deskford Garden Galleries.  On the back road from Cullen to Keith, browse around their antiques, art and plant shop before enjoying your traditional afternoon tea!

Portsoy Coffee Shop and Bistro. Another TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner (this means they get a high number of excellent reviews…), this is a wee gem, tucked away behind the chemist in Portsoy. Super friendly service.

Bijoux by the Sea – another great place to sit down and watch the waves from a warm and dry place, whilst eating homebakes to your heart’s content!

Now I think that is probably enough, especially if you are only visiting the area for a week, but it will be continued…