Hi, my name is Sonia and I like cake…
Most cakes, however, don’t like me! I can’t eat dairy. And so, I continually find myself ‘sniffing out’ the alternative food options of an area. Although I cannot claim to have visited all of the cafes that might offer alternative foods in the Inverness area, I have had a very good look!
So if you are in the Highlands of Scotland and you need a guide to alternative cakes then this is the article for you.
As a side note, the UK is (generally) very much on board when it comes to gluten intolerance. I think it is safe to say that just about every café will have at least something ‘gluten free’ to offer. Even if it is a non-appetising, generic cake in a plastic wrapper. However, this doesn’t help me with my dairy woes.
Nourish on alternative food
Nourish is a small and cosy café on Church street. It is next to “The Old High Church” and is slightly outside of the hustle and bustle of town. It is also a couple shops up from “Leaky’s bookshop”, which I absolutely recommend for anyone to visit. It is a second hand book store that contains floors and rows of ancient to modern books. For those of you that watch Game of Thrones…I definitely had a Sam Tulley moment in there.
The café offers a wide variety for various alternative food needs. It also has a black board on the outside (I’m not sure how the chalk doesn’t get washed away with all the rain) that lists the various holistic treatments on offer that day. As for the cakes, there is a nice variety and they change up the options every now and again. I wouldn’t say I ate anything particularly amazing there…but nothing was bad either!
My only complaint would be that the staff always seemed to be rushed or flustered. This led to an unwelcoming atmosphere. I also felt that the price of their food was too high in comparison to the other cafés.
Velocity café on alternative food
Velocity cafe was one of the first cafes I went to when I arrived in Inverness. It is a very quaint shop. The one side is a bike-repairs workshop and the other side is a cafe and haven for cyclists. The decor is fresh and modern and the seating arrangements are communal. A friendly feeling of community is often lost within the Western culture. So I enjoy the communal seating because it forces you to engage with others. I also enjoyed that they hosted a number of workshops, such as learning sign language. They also hold a brilliant program for children and teenagers. Here they can strip a bike a learn how to mantle it together again. They then receive the bike at the end as a reward for all their hard work.
The prices were reasonable but definitely what you’d expect to pay for alternative food and not a ‘cheap bite to eat’. My only complaint is that they have their cakes delivered to them on a Tuesday. Consequently, if you went in for tea and something to eat later on in the week they weren’t always guaranteed to have a vegan option.
Blend on alternative food
Blend cafe is situated slightly more in town, on Drummond street. This is handy on the days that you have errands to run. It has a large front window that allows plenty of light into the cafe (a necessity with the constant cloud coverage).
Blend was my favourite cafe. Not because it was aesthetically the best (velocity wins that one in my books), but just because the staff were so great! I was travelling alone (cue violins) so I really appreciated when someone would strike up a conversation or just be generally helpful and positive. Their prices were also the most reasonable of the three cafes I have mentioned. Furthermore, the cakes were hands down the yummiest!
My only complaint would be that the seating situation is less cosy that the other cafes. The tables and chairs (currently, this is obviously subject to change without me knowing about it) are the stiff, upright sort. But this is really a minor issue.
All of the above mentioned cafes have wifi.