But Lis, I hear you cry, haven’t you already exhausted Cup as a potential cake date destination? To which I plead mitigating circumstances, because although a review of one of my many trips to the Byers Road Cup exists somewhere in the archives it’s only been this month that the restaurant’s new, larger, city centre location has begun late night opening as Scotland’s first dedicated dessert restaurant.
As some of you will know this is The Dream, and would in fact have been the subject of a half-hearted application to compete on The Apprentice this year had I ever gotten around to it. It’s certainly something that Bobby is aware of, as together we have often lamented the lack of suitable places to meet in Glasgow after work if you don’t want dinner or a crowded bar. And so, when I passed on the half-price dessert voucher I had received as a member of the place’s mailing list, she was only happy to accompany me for the purposes of Research.
Beautifully kitted out, in the building across from the old Odeon on Renfield Street, the Tea Lounge is instantly welcoming (especially on nights like the one we visited, when you innocently left the house for work in open-toed shoes little suspecting it would be bucketing down by noon). A small counter decked out with Cup’s signature cupcake range greets you as you enter; and passing under the archway there’s a well-stocked bar on your left.
While the cupcakes are of course still available after dark, if you’re visiting in the evening the cocktail and dessert menu will ultimately be of most interest. We both selected a pepperberry crush: ice, rum, mint and fresh strawberries, with black pepper lending the drink an interesting, sophisticated warmth. I was just as sophisticated in my choice of a KnickerCUPerglory dessert – less ice cream than I would have hoped for the price, but plenty of cake and fresh fruit – while Bobby was very pleased with her white chocolate, praline and banana dessert. The “palate cleanser” we were served before the food appeared from the kitchen – a syrupy strawberry drink, perhaps a liquor – was a delightful and delicious touch.
There are some exciting combinations on the menu based on tea, coffee and traditional desserts, as well as the more obvious fruity and chocolatey concoctions. While you’ll see from the menu that neither the drinks or desserts are cheap they’re made with such care and – from the taste of it – premium ingredients that it would be churlish to complain; and if they were chucking out ice cream sundaes for a couple of quid the sophisticated “treat” element to your evening at Cup would be gone. As would your waist.
I suspect this is likely to become my new favourite after-work hangout, and will spell the end of me struggling to meet up with friends because there is nowhere for us to go.
LOCATION: 71 Renfield Street, G2 1LP
OPEN: Mon 7:30am – 7pm; Tues/Wed 7:30am – 10pm; Thurs 7:30am – 11pm; Fri 7:30am – midnight; Sat 9am – midnight; Sun 12 noon – 7pm