After months of being cooped up inside it feels good to explore again.
One of my favourite things to do is jump on a train and head to our coastline to take in the horizon and the fresh, sea air.
This week I’ve been to Helensburgh, a lovely town to the west of Glasgow, on the Clyde Estuary. It’s a beautiful burgh, steeped in history. The inventor of the television, John Logie Baird, and Hollywood star Deborah Kerr were born here.
Helensburgh is not lacking in cafes but I’m following a tip-off, so I turn right out of the station and head up the hill towards The Ginger Breadman cafe.
It is small but perfectly formed, with a lovely pared back decor of brick walls and real wood floors. I am greeted by a smiling waitress and seated opposite the counter where I watch the owner working the steaming coffee machine as a steady stream of customers come and go.
The kitchen is tiny but there’s nothing small about the menu, which is a fascinating mix of global cuisines, such as nasi goreng and tandoori roast cauliflower. There’s a selection of adventurous sandwiches too, including Jamaican jerk chicken, banana ketchup and herb mayo.
Having a taste
After much discussion with my waitress, who was happy to talk me through these exotic offerings, I opted for the green shakshuka. In this Middle Eastern dish, eggs are baked with leeks, spinach, chard and lemon, and topped with feta cheese and an Arabic herb called za’atar. Both creamy and zingy, it was incredibly moreish.
I was now ready for something a little more homespun and The Ginger Breadman’s freshly baked scones were just the ticket. There was a choice of fruit or plain. I chose the raisin-packed variety, still warm from the oven. Soft on the inside with a crunchy, crumbly outer layer, it was delicious slathered with butter.
I’ve missed foreign trips since Covid but as I walked by the shore later, I reflected on how lucky I am to be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of a tasty scone by the sea.
Hand-baked and super-scrumptious.
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