It's not often that I'm able to travel home to Scotland or have the opportunity for just my Mum and I to go out for coffee and a blether together. This week I have been fortunate to enjoy both and it was 88 Degrees that was recommended. Leaving my Dad on Grandfather duty we hot footed it into Forfar's town centre.
88 Degrees wouldn't be out of place on any London cafe culture street. Big glass windows allow plenty of light in to an intimate cafe. Large blackboards highlight the specials and a counter proudly displays lots of tempting food. The only thing I would change is the condensation on the inside of the window, which needed a small heater to keep it clear.
There is a great selection of interesting cakes which are homemade on a daily basis. I couldn't resist the Guiness cake with a cream cheese icing. It was moist, full of flavour and the icing had just the right balance of sweet and sharp to complement beautifully. The range of cakes changes with the seasons but a few firm favourites are constants including the carrot cake and double chocolate brownies.
88 won't let you don't on your hot drink. In fact this is an area they excel at. The inspiration for the name 88 degrees comes from the perfect temperature for espresso. They have their own weekly roasted coffee amusingly named the mutt's nuts. It's specifically designed for the local Angus water. I really enjoyed my latte and even a small was a generous size. My Mum's coffee of choice is an Americano with hot milk on the side. The quirky dog milk jug was a fun touch. After reading through the menu I've decided I must try the hot chocolate next time. They describe "our hot chocolate is just that, pure chocolate whisked with hot milk until we have biceps like Popeye".
The passion for their hot chocolate is not the first indication of a chocolate love affair. You are greeted by a wide display of freshly made truffles in a chilled cabinet as you arrive. These are made by artisan chocolatier, Johanna Woodhead in her small chocolate workshop in nearby Kirriemuir. She uses single origin chocolate, fresh cream and butter. As well as truffles, you can also purchase chocolate bars, wrapped in brown paper and tied with a ribbon. These would make a lovely gift or just a secret indulgence.
Great coffee, delicious cakes and award winning local chocolate is complemented by the range of light bites for lunch. 88 Degrees offers freshly made options from a soup of the day to interesting salads and sandwiches. They only use free range eggs and their bacon is dry cured smoked.
88 Degrees is a lovely cafe and an ideal place to pop in for a hot drink and catch up with your friends. There is parking on the street nearby and it's just across the road from the Meffan Museum and Art Gallery if you fancy some culture after your coffee.