The Black Penny came to my attention when they advertised a January offer – buy a coffee and get a shot of Speyside single malt for just 1p! How can you turn down an offer like that? Alas, with most things, it turns out a bit too good to be true – yes, you can get some whisky with your coffee but it’s more like a splash in the coffee rather than a shot on the side. Still, I’d been meaning to try it out for brunch and I hadn’t seen my friend Sharon in ages so it worked out.
What you need to know
- You have to get the whisky mixed in your coffee
- The name comes from an old tradition where everyone was welcome to relax in the tavern provided they could come up with 1p
- The place is quite popular on weekends with a long line building up by noon
- Brunch here is delicious with the BP serving up classics with a twist
Food: ★★★★☆ Service: ★★★★☆ Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆ Value: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
Not a great place to try and camp out while waiting for friends on the weekend so you are better off looking for another coffee shop to relax in. However, when not in peak brunch times the BP looks fairly comfortable to sit in, have a coffee, and chill.
What to eat?
While the sandwiches and other regular food looked interesting, I was here for brunch. The dish that immediately caught my eye was the French Toast with bacon (I rarely can pass on French toast for brunch) but there was also a confit duck with sweet potato hash that tempted me. I asked our waitress but sadly she hadn’t tried anything on the menu – however she did alert me to the fact the French toast was the most popular dish so that tipped it over for me.
The French toast was visually stunning and just as good to eat. The bacon was crispy but still chewy with lots of beautiful bacon-y flavour and the toast thick, soft, and saturated with sweetness. The caramelised pecans were nice but too hard to really bite into which meant most of them were left on the plate – it was a nice attempt but I didn’t get much value out of it.
Sharon opted for the Turkish eggs with halloumi – what can I say, she’s always been a bit more sensible when it comes to food (although her cake addiction is almost intervention worthy) despite the fact she trains about 10x more than I do. The eggs looked appetising (even to my anti-egg palate) so I think BP is on to another winner there.
How about a drink?
I tried to order an espresso with a side shot of Speyside but since that wasn’t on the cards I opted for a whisky latte. The coffee was pretty decent and actually enhanced by the slightly smoky flavour of the whisky. Definitely enjoyable but I don’t think I’ll start spiking my morning espresso any time soon.
Worth the dosh?
Yes, the brunch was quite satisfying, the prices were reasonable (coffee and food for £15) and the service was cheerful – plus the venue is well located for your future going out plans.