A couple of weeks before Christmas, the delightful assistants nipped into Dundee for a bit of shopping. Their destination was one of the finest shops the city had to offer: J A Braithwaite Ltd.
Established in 1868, Braithwaite’s emporium offered a splendid selection of leaf teas and coffees as well as teapots, cafetieres and other essential items.
The shop was located down a quiet side street off the main shopping thoroughfare. Entering it, they felt as if they had stepped back in time.
A wonderful smell of freshly ground coffee filled the air. Exotic looking tins and caddies on shelves behind the counter intrigued them.
There were more than 30 varieties of coffee and 100 different teas on offer, a choice that was quite overwhelming.
The delightful assistants were keen to take home some of the merchant’s own house blend of black teas, but they were also shopping for a Christmas present. With a little guidance from their chauffeur they sniffed out some gunpowder green tea, and added a good sized bag of Mexican coffee beans to make up a happy trio of purchases.
They made their way back to the car full of joie de vivre, passing some fine Georgian architecture and old street cobbles on the way.
By this time tummies were rumbling, indicating the need for a spot of luncheon. Their chosen eatery was The Pine Cone Cafe, situated outside the city and run by the Forestry Commission. On arrival, however, the car park was hotching and there wasn’t a table to be had.
Remembering the existence of Piperdam golf and outdoor activities centre, which had a cosy restaurant and was on their route home, they sped off towards their second choice.
It was after 14:30 by the time they reached their destination. The main menu was no longer available but they were given a warm welcome and offered a selection of light bites and burgers. They settled down at a table in the lounge bar near a roaring log fire, ordered their food and felt delighted to be there.
The napkins were fittingly festive (delightful assistant no.1 was so taken with them that she kept hers clean during the meal and took it home with her).
One of the two soups on offer was cream of mushroom. The waitress informed them that this particular soup was always a popular choice, and delightful assistant no.1 was keen to try it. It was rich and creamy and came with a small white crusty roll and butter.
Delightful assistant no.2 opted for a Christmassy wrap, filled with turkey and cranberry, and served with root vegetable crisps and a side salad. The wrap was packed with filling.
Their chauffeur was tempted by the veggie burger in a brioche bun with chips and coleslaw.
As they enjoyed their food in a leisurely manner, it grew darker and stormier outside. Rain lashed against the windows and the warmth of the lounge bar made them feel soporific.
Encouraged by a gentleman at a neighbouring table who was fast asleep in his armchair, delightful assistant no.2 closed his eyes for a short nap.
Eventually, refreshed by good food and relaxation, the delightful assistants roused themselves and set off for the journey home.
It had been a most successful day out, and as enjoyable a Christmas shopping expedition as they could have hoped for.