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Scone Spy: Our cafe critic checks out Humbles in Helensburgh

© SYSTEMWhat’s not to like? A cosy caff with great bakes
What’s not to like? A cosy caff with great bakes

The best things sometimes come in the most unassuming packages, and that’s the case with this cheap and cheerful cafe in Helensburgh.

Since discovering this delightful coastal town during lockdown I have come back to visit often, for a potter about the many charity shops, a Dino’s ice cream cone “down the front” or a stroll around the grounds of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s marvellous Hill House.

With so many eateries to choose from, this is the first time I’ve ventured into Humbles which is situated on the north-west corner of a smart square. Outside, there are a dozen tables set up for al fresco dining but as it’s a dreary afternoon we head straight inside.

It’s cosy and the decor is tastefully understated. We request a table next to the window and the waitress happily gives it a proper wipe down before we take our seats – always appreciated.

The menu is a traditional affair, offering toasties, mac cheese, burgers and baked potatoes.

I’m partial to a baked tattie but it’s always a gamble, isn’t it? Will it come straight from the microwave, or be baked properly in the oven? I take the risk and thank goodness it’s done right – fluffy in the inside, plenty of butter and tuna filling, with nicely browned skin. Terrific.

My friend has the sweet chilli chicken wrap which she finds fresh and tasty. Both dishes are presented well and come with a crunchy side salad and homemade purple coleslaw.

Onwards to dessert. We select a fruit scone to share from the cake cabinet which also included empire biscuits and doughnuts.

It appears with a side of packaged butter and jam which sadly means a point off for presentation. But the scone itself, made fresh the same morning, is a great bake. It’s golden on the outside and doesn’t disintegrate into a crumbly heap when I cut it in half (a pet peeve).

All in all, a lovely place to lunch and we are even more delighted when we receive our bill – how many places these days can you get a meal with drinks for under £20? Not many!

Scone score

Freshly baked, nice crunch without the crumble.