Christmas shopping and a cosy dinner

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.

Delightful assistants admiring their purchases outside J A Braithwaite Ltd.

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.

happy strollers

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.

mushroom soup

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.

veggie burger

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.

A fine selection of teapots in the window of J A Braithwaite, Dundee.
A fine selection of teapots in the window of J A Braithwaite, Dundee.

20 thoughts on “Christmas shopping and a cosy dinner

  1. What a wonderful Christmas outing. I love Braithwaites and would have had a terrible time making a choice. The lunch choices all look fabulous too. Have a wonderful Christmas delightful assistants and chauffeur!! ❤


  2. How lovely! I have never been shopping in Dundee, but Braithwaites looks worth a visit next time I’m there. What a lovely lunch you had, and I also love that window display of teapots. A very happy Christmas to you all, Lorna!


  3. Thank you, as always, for inviting us along on your outings. 🙂 Merry Christmas from Canada to the hardworking delightful assistants, and to their tireless chauffeur! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in the new year–all good things to you,



  4. What a fabulous place. I am much enjoying the style of your new blog. We have an amazing tea and coffee stall in Cambridge market which feel like the outdoor version of Braithwaite’s. I like to go just to watch … (I’ve forgotten his name) moving swiftly between giant bags and bottles of beans and leaves as he blends or grinds or skilfully fills packages.


    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Hilary. That market stall sounds wonderful. You’ve reminded me that the lady who served us in Braithwaite’s weighed out and filled the gunpowder tea bag with great dexterity. It was a joy to watch.


  5. Well, I just love those assistants and that they take us along on their merry jaunts. Enjoyed very much Braithwaite’s and seeing some of the lovely wares offered. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a new year that brings health and happiness!


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