Utopia…but where?

We live near the distributor road and have never found anywhere nearby to have coffee that we really liked. Having resigned ourselves to go further afield into town, Simpsons or somewhere in the outskirts, I was surprised to hear of a new coffee shop down the road from us in nearby Hilton. AND it was supposedly good! After a bit of googling I realised that it had taken the old unit where A&I Butchers were (next to the Post Office) and I was glad because I had a bit of a childish hissy fit (to myself, not to the staff!) when A&I shut their doors so some good had to come of the closure.

In full disclosure, this was the second time I went to Utopia with the first being a disaster because it was so busy and I had a grumpy child needing fed so we couldn’t wait. I wasn’t forgetting about it though and even came equipped with toys, paper and crayons for the child to ensure success.

The menu is bijou but I’d eat most of it so I was happy. The sandwich menu is all mix and match so Mr S decided to make up a chicken and halloumi sandwich. The staff were very understanding of his nut allergy and made him a different side salad as the usual one has nuts. The side salads are inventive and I was impressed with the effort- I find the usual undressed side salad a chore but this was tasty. The sourdough was lovely and it was a nice sandwich but it would be nice to see chutney or mayo or something as an option to go in the sandwiches.

I chose the spiked avocado and halloumi on sourdough… heaven! All three ingredients are at the top of my list so together they were very pleasing. I loved the slight chilli heat but that I could push the flakes away if I didn’t want them. Not one negative thing to say about this dish. Perfect.

My initial concern was that Utopia is not very child friendly because there is no kids menu/option mentioned. It puts me on edge when they aren’t thought of because I wonder if the place wants us there. But we asked the owner and he got something specially for my little girl. Top marks.

We finished the lunch with a Highland Patissier tart. I rave about these tarts all of the time so I won’t bore you with anymore…bloody delicious things.

Finally the coffee. The coffee…what it is all about. It was a good cup of flat white – it wasn’t bitter from the beans being ground too long ago, it was strong but milky, definitely worth coming back for. Finally somewhere within walking distance to get a solid cup of coffee.

Side note – A&I are still in Culloden for the carnivores missing them.

Have you been anywhere worth visiting recently? I love recommendations so get in touch.

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