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Food Review: Time To Take A GUILT TRIP?

August 31, 2017 Amy Pollock 0 Comments

In case you haven’t heard of Guilt Trip – first of all, where have you been?! And secondly, let me introduce you.

They’re a coffee and doughnut shop located on Orangefield Lane in east Belfast and to be fair, they have only been open since April 2017 – but in these past four months of trading, their success story is already one to be envied by young businesses.

I know what some of you are thinking: ‘not another coffee shop’ most likely accompanied by an eye roll. It’s true, coffee shops are nothing new, but although the coffee culture in Northern Ireland is soaring – to the point where a Belfast Coffee Map has now been published – there must be a reason, right? The search people embark on for a decent cup of coffee in a relaxing atmosphere to kick back and natter on has fast become a hobby to many, surpassing people’s thirsts for an indie IPA and quirky bar to check-in to on Facebook.

So, if there’s any time to start-up a specialty coffee shop, then now is the prime time to jump at the chance – just like Guilt Trip has.

Like I said, these past four months have been something of a whirlwind for the up-and-coming coffee game-changers, with an impressive 7,500+ Instagram following and mouth-watering pictures aplenty – they sure know how to self-promote. So, I took it upon myself to see whether their picture-perfect doughnuts and distinctly rich-looking coffees were all they were cracked up to be.

All thrills

All photos: Amy Pollock (@amyjp1994)

When I visited, I was lucky enough to speak to Ulster rugby star and owner of half of Guilt Trip, Callum Black. It was a brief chat, but he told me how they initially thought success would be a long-shot, saying that in Guilt Trip’s earlier days they would only make 150 doughnuts per day – and now, to keep up with growing demand – they make roughly 500 and still sell out shortly after lunchtime.

And I can confirm this too. I arrived at Guilt Trip at precisely 10:08 am, just eight minutes after the shop opened – and already a tray of their traditional vanilla glaze was cleared.

Lean InGuilt trip

To avoid making any tough decisions, me and my two friends ordered one of each doughnut available. We had a box of six (£12.00) and an additional one on its own (£2.50). Be warned: the doughnuts are on the pricey side – but I can assure you, between the three of us, we shared five in the shop and were all full, and we had no breakfast prior. So they don’t feel like a waste of money as you cannot physically chow them all down in half an hour. They are almost like ‘gourmet’ doughnuts and are clearly made with indulgent ingredients, so they should be savoured – not scoffed.


Chocolate filled with a flake.

We started off with the chocolate filled doughnut topped with a flake. Normally I’m not a fan of chocolate-based desserts as I find them too rich and a bit boring, but this was so light it was almost like a mousse-y chocolate buttercream, rather than your usual poke-it-and-it-will-pour-Nutella kind of doughnut.

BoxMixed Donuts


Top (L-R): Boston cream; coffee glaze with dark chocolate and orange crumb; raspberry jam filled.             Bottom (L-R): Bacon & maple; peanut butter & blueberry; lemon curd & poppy seed.

The second we tried was the bacon and maple – the best (and closest) excuse for having a doughnut for breakfast. Although we were initially hesitant on this weird-and-whacky flavour, upon tasting it, we were very pleasantly surprised. It struck the right balance between smoky and sweet, making you forget that bacon bagels ever existed because you’re too busy wondering: ‘why no one has invented this before?’

We then tried the coffee glaze with dark chocolate and orange crumb. If you’re a coffee lover, teaming this with an espresso will be your idea of heaven. The zingy orange crumb shines through and the bitterness of the dark chocolate ties all these intense flavours together.

One that I was not overly excited to try which ended up being my all-time favourite was the blueberry glaze with peanut butter filling. I am not a fan of either of these flavours, but I have now been converted. The two complement each other beautifully, and are so light yet creamy it was difficult to share between three people, personally.

The lemon and poppy seed glaze with lemon curd filling was a firm favourite for my friend. The homemade curd was so silky and tangy it made your taste buds literally sing.

The final two, which we had to leave until hours after we were so full – leaned on the more traditional side. The Boston cream was by far the most indulgent, with a crème-pat filling and a chocolate ganache glaze to balance both the creaminess and bitterness. The raspberry jam was beautifully sharp yet leveled by the sweet sugar coating.

Flat white

Flat white.

As my friends and I only tried the flat white, this is all I can give my opinion on. In a nutshell: it was the wakeup call we were needing all morning. It was on the slightly stronger side to give the caffeine drive needed, yet provided the right amount of mellowness to make you crave another cup.

All in all, I’d say Guilt Trip is certainly worth the hype. From their dedication to quality over quantity to genuinely wanting to bring the people of east Belfast together for a chill out time – they are worth the money and deserve ongoing success. As they say, ‘we’re all on a trip somewhere’ – so make a stop at Guilt Trip. You won’t regret it.

#Coffee#Donuts#East Belfast#Guilt Trip

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