The Hideaway Cafe really does live up to its name. Tucked away behind Tesco Express in Bridge of Allan, it can be found down a narrow lane around the corner. But once you have discovered it, you will wish you had found it sooner.
Inside the cafe is like stepping into your granny’s living room, in the best possible way: it is cute and cosy, with patterned tablecloths and knickknacks adorning the walls. And it is surprisingly busy for a weekday. There is a gentle buzz from the contented customers, many of whom have delicious-looking plates in front of them which I check out as I walk past to my table.
We arrive too late for their breakfast menu, so we skip ahead to brunch, and I am so glad we have. It is almost too difficult to choose. After swithering between the options of avocado and bacon on toast and a stack of pancakes, I change tack and go for the vegetarian breakfast.
It is definitely a good choice: a plateful of scrambled eggs, wilted spinach, smoky baked beans, herby mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, a veggie sausage, a potato scone, and the thickest toast I have ever eaten. I was definitely getting my money’s worth! After some enquiring, we discover from staff that they get fresh bread from Tesco every day, and they slice it themselves to create their deliciously thick toast.
My brunch buddy enjoys The Hideaway Café’s scrambled eggs brunch. It is exactly how all scrambled eggs should be served: the eggs aren’t too runny, nor too dry. Add to that an incredible, thick slice of brown toasted bread, and a lovely dressed salad, and it is quite incredible.
Accompanying our brunches are two lovely cups of coffee. The Hideaway Café prides itself on offering a range of gluten-free and dairy-free options in both its food and drink, and its coffee is available decaf and with coconut, almond or hazelnut milk.
The café’s catering for intolerances also extends to their amazing array of home baking. On display are rows of tempting cakes and scones. I select their gluten-free chocolate and earl grey cake; a clear favourite judging by the plates around me. Its texture is perhaps a little more crumbly than an ordinary cake, but this does not diminish its taste nor my enjoyment of it.
If you fancy something else sweet, there are also a range of ice creams also on offer. However, on this dreary June day, we are more than happy with our brunch and cake.
Upon leaving I feel almost regret at the range of food I have not yet tried, and I am certain I will be back – I definitely need to have that avocado toast! If you fancy a substantial breakfast, some homemade cake, or even just a really good cup of coffee, then pay a visit to this lovely little café. If you can find it!
The Hideaway Café is located in Fountain Mews on Fountain Road, Bridge of Allan. It is open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Saturday.