No matter how hard we try to resist the urge when shopping for food and drink or dining out, we are always on the lookout for a bargain.
Two for one deals, half-price drinks and student discount – these are just a few you’ll likely be looking out for. And, chances are it is one of the first things customers will spy on the menu or the supermarket shelf.
If there’s a bargain to be had, why ignore it? This is the first thing that sprung to mind when I spied a number of local towns participating in the latest Fiver Fest.
Running until this Saturday (October 23), Fiver Fest is a free-to-join campaign run by traders’ group Totally Locally and offers independent businesses the chance to encourage people back to their town centres.
It asks firms of all types, including those in hospitality, to give £5 offers to customers for a two-week period to show the diversity and value of what they sell.
In my mind, fewer things are better than a food and drink deal, so I decided to try out some of the specials.
1. The Larder Huntly
Situated on Gordon Street, The Larder has cemented itself as one of Huntly’s well-loved eateries.
Customers can choose from a range of fresh sandwiches and homemade pies and quiches, but what the business is best known for is its multitude of mouth-watering home bakes that change daily.
What’s the deal?
Their Fiver Fest deal allows you to choose a sandwich, a cup of soup and a ‘fancy piece’ – the best of the three deals I tried, in my opinion.
I opted for a cheese and ham sandwich with tomato soup – a reliable combination that can easily fail to hit the mark. But the hardest choice of all, of course, was deciding what treat to select.
There were truffles, brownies, blondies, cheesecakes, cookies, brookies (a brownie and chocolate chip bar), muffins.
In the end, it was the Biscoff millionaire’s slice that prevailed.
The soup, blended and thick, was delightfully fragrant and had warming hints of black pepper.
I pulled apart my sandwich, which was packed to the brim, and dipped a segment into the creamy soup. It was clear both had been lovingly homemade.
As for the home bake, I cut it in half and shared it with my mum, a fellow lover of Lotus Biscoff. It was perfectly gooey and comprised three generous layers – one a thick Biscoff spread, one caramel and one that boasted a brownie-like consistency.
It was mind-blowing – and definitely filling.
The deal is certainly worth the hype and offers great value for money.
2. Portsoy Coffee Shop and Bistro
Far too often when I’m out and about I find myself thinking, all I fancy is a fresh, homemade scone.
But not just any scone, no, one oozing with clotted cream and jam. A heavenly combination.
If you find yourself in Portsoy this week, then be sure to consider Portsoy Coffee Shop and Bistro’s Fiver Fest offer.
What’s the deal?
You can get your hands on a scone and a large hot drink for £5 at the eatery on the town’s South High Street. While it is not quite as impressive-sounding as some of the other deals, once you catch a glimpse of their scones, then you’ll understand why it’s a tempting one.
I opted for a fruit scone and a classic americano (with a dash of milk). It was a miserable afternoon when I headed out, so it was just what I needed to shake the autumnal blues.
After opening the box it came in I was met with what could only be described as one of the most inviting scones I’ve laid my eyes on as it was accompanied by a delicate arrangement of clotted cream, raspberry jam and seasonal berries.
Moist and crumbly, I tore apart the scone to apply a generous helping of both the cream and jam. The bake tasted sublime and had evidently been made fresh that day.
While some would debate whether a scone and coffee is a quality deal, I would happily argue its case.
3. The Galley Whitehills
Sticking to the scone theme, The Galley in Whitehills also shines a light on the bake in its latest Fiver Fest deal.
However, what makes this one different.
What’s the deal?
You are not only treated to one scone but two – as well as two hot drinks.
On arrival, my friend and I were able to choose from an array of different flavours – including classics and mixtures you could consider more unique – that had been baked fresh that day.
We decided to shake things up and requested one strawberry and coconut scone and a banana, dark chocolate and hazelnut one.
Starting out with the strawberry and coconut option, which we halved, it was aromatic and packed full of flavour.
I was apprehensive about the shredded coconut flakes, which there were plenty of, but they added a lovely texture, especially when consumed with a gooey chunk of strawberry.
There was a great balance of the three main ingredients in the other scone. The hazelnut added a delicious crunch while the banana, perfectly ripe, was velvety in texture.
Notes of vanilla were apparent, too, providing some sweetness that contrasted well with the creamy (and slightly bitter) chocolate.
The two hot drinks, a cappuccino with cinnamon and a flat white, were delightful, too. We washed down the remains of our treats with them.
What other deals are available?
- Portsoy Ice Cream – 24 Seafield Street, Portsoy, Banff, AB45 2QT – two Terry’s Chocolate Orange hot chocolates.
- Dean’s Bistro and Coffee Shop – Depot Road, Huntly, AB54 8JX – two hot drinks and two cakes/traybakes.
- The Market Cafe – The Ward, Huntly, AB54 4QU – two hot drinks and two scones or soup and a dessert.
- Huntly Herbs – Whitestone, Huntly, AB54 4SB – 800g jar of Strathbogie Sizzler plus free delivery in Huntly.
- The Merry Kettle Tea Shoppe – 25 Duke St, Huntly AB54 8DL – soup and a sweet.
- Rizza’s Ice Cream – 31 Steven Road, Huntly, AB54 8SX- two litres of classic ice cream and a box of cones.
- Huntly Chip Shop – 12 Bogie Street, Huntly, AB54 8DX – any burger supper and a can of juice.
- The Candy Box Banff – 15 High Street, Banff, AB45 1AN – two small tango ice blasts or two waffles on a stick with sauce.