My husband once bought a Gustav Klimt tie. He picked it up in a specialist tie and handkerchief shop in Belfast in the mid-1990s.
He told me this over breakfast at Blether in Cults after his memory was jogged by Van Morrison singing Brown Eyed Girl in the background.
We marvelled at the memory of all those little shops high streets used to have, each with their own niche, making a decent living, and we talked about the impact of chains and the internet on the urban landscape.
We felt highly delighted to have discovered Blether, a traditional, neighbourhood coffee shop serving delicious homemade food in pleasant surroundings on North Deeside Road.
It serves breakfast all day, which we were pleased about because it was almost noon when we rolled up after a hectic Sunday morning of grocery shopping and running mum and dad’s taxi service.
Since when were Sunday mornings allowed to be hectic? Weren’t they supposed to be about reading the Sunday papers in bed and long, leisurely brunches?
Thankfully, the pace started to slow after we were seated and took in the cute and quirky surroundings while perusing the menu.
It looked like an easy Sunday morning for the other customers too, who appeared to be savouring the food and relaxing ambience with not a laptop or mobile phone in sight.
There was a steady stream of people arriving for takeaway orders and meeting pals, happily clasping their lattes, warm croissants, paninis and fine pieces.
I petted two well-behaved dogs sitting under nearby tables and all was right with the world.
Man’s best friend is welcome and nicely catered for at Blether, with treats, a water bowl and Doggie Ice Cream at £2 a scoop.
But back to the hungry humans.
Blether’s breakfasts include a Big Een of two rashes of bacon, two sausages, black pudding, haggis, egg, tomato, beans on toast (£10.95); a Sma Een which is, as it sounds, an edited version of this (£7.50); porridge with honey or maple syrup (£3.95); a BLT croissant or brioche roll (£6) and more.
Their lunches include the Club Sandwich which is a triple decker with bacon, lettuce, tomato and chicken mayo (£10.95); fresh dressed salads with crusty bread and baked tatties with dressed salad.
The Weekend Special was chilli cheese nachos with salad and soured cream. My husband considered returning later in the day for that and it wouldn’t be the first time he’s changed his plans when someone’s mentioned chilli.
Back to the matter in hand, he ordered the Big Een (without the black pudding because he’s not a fan), coffee and orange juice.
I went for two warm pancakes with bacon and maple syrup (£6.85), orange juice and a decaf cappuccino with vanilla syrup. Blether has sugar-free versions of syrups which I thought was a clever touch.
Two steaming mugs of coffee soon arrived and I was especially pleased with mine – I’m really getting into this syrup malarkey.
My husband is notoriously fussy about coffee and so there’s always a moment where you never know which way breakfast out is going to go – it’s either a resounding success or a shambles and it invariably comes down to the coffee.
Drum roll please… his Americano exceeded expectations so everyone can relax.
He thoroughly enjoyed the Big Een, giving special mention to the sausages.
My pancakes and bacon were yummy, with no scrimping on the maple syrup. So yummy in fact, that they came and went in a flash and so for review purposes I ordered something else.
Now, if I say I’ve never met a more attractive lightly-toasted brioche, I hope that does my sausage sandwich the justice it deserves.
I could see what my husband meant about the sausages, they were excellent.
We toyed with the idea of ordering a dessert but we were too stuffed to attempt it, and so instead ordered two strawberry tarts to take home.
This was not as straightforward as it sounds because Blether is known for its home baking and so there were several very tempting choices.
The scones were quite spectacular so we had to try them along with a Cotswold ham and mature cheddar panini (£6.95) from the takeaway menu.
The tarts were packed carefully into little brown boxes and they transported perfectly, even though they were piled high with fresh cream and fresh strawberries.
The cheese scones lived up to the headline in a framed review on the wall – Best Baking Ever – while the panini was packed with flavour and still lovely and fresh several hours later when it was enjoyed in the garden with a cuppa.
All that was left to do was pop back out to the shops to pick up the ingredients for a homemade chilli.
Address: 371 North Deeside Road, Cults, AB15 9SX
T: 01224 501607
Price: £46.25 for three breakfast dishes, two orange juices, two coffees, two strawberry tarts, two scones, one panini.