Ice cream at the beach

One warm, sunny day last week the delightful assistants agreed to let their chauffeur take them on a magical mystery tour.

After driving for an hour in a southwesterly direction they stopped for refreshments at the Buttercup Cafe in Doune. It was such a beautiful morning they chose to sit outside.

buttercup cafef

After having a look at the cake counter, delightful assistant no.2 opted for a fruit scone with butter and jam, their chauffeur a plain scone with the same, and delightful assistant no.1 said she wasn’t hungry. She settled for a cup of coffee, while her spouse had a Darjeeling tea and their chauffeur a Lady Grey.

scones and tea
Left to right: Lady Grey, plain scone, Darjeeling, fruit scone.

The scones were delicious and, with a little help from delightful assistant no.1, they vanished completely.

Nicely refreshed, the sunkissed threesome hopped back into the car and continued their journey. An hour and a half later they pulled up at Ardardan Estate, a garden centre, farm shop and cafe near Cardross in Argyll and Bute.

The cafe was busy and they had a 20 minute wait for a table, but when it came it was nicely situated outside under a parasol. They ordered cold drinks and admired a fountain incorporating five dolphins while they waited for their food.

They enjoyed their sandwiches and toastie, but rather than hang around for tea and cakes they decided to toddle off further up the coast to see what they could find.

As they drove up the west coast they passed a very long, high fence topped with razor wire. Behind the fence lay Faslane Naval Base, home to Britain’s nuclear submarines. Part of the way along the fence, on the opposite side of the road, they noticed Faslane Peace Camp, a residential site set up 34 years ago for campaigners against nuclear weapons. The camp made an interesting contrast to the naval base, being colourful and rather informal in appearance. Unfortunately it wasn’t easy to stop and take a photograph but a friendly sign declared that visitors were welcome.

They drove on for a while before turning round and driving back past the fence, and in to the popular seaside resort of Helensburgh. There were lots of people milling around, enjoying the fine weather and eating ice creams on the sea front. This occupation seemed a tremendously good idea and, finding a handy parking spot right outside Dino’s ice cream parlour, they stopped and jumped out in search of the cold stuff.

Dino’s was doing a roaring trade and they had to join a queue, but they soon left the shop with a ’99’ apiece (a wafery cone topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a chocolate flake). Due to the heat of the day the ice creams started melting quickly. It was a race against time to consume them before the ice cream dribbled down the cone, stickied the fingers and pooled on the pavement. They found a place to sit and set about their task.

eating ice creams

When they had finished their refreshing treats, they took a promenade along the pier to get some exercise and admire the seaside views.

Near the end of the pier a handy mooring bollard provided rest for weary legs. Delightful assistant no.2 reached it first.

Come on wife, there’s a grand seat along here.

When delightful assistant no.1 arrived, he chivalrously gave up his seat and the two posed for a seaside portrait.

Two octogenarians on Helensburgh pier.

Back in the car they made their way back to Perthshire through beautiful sunlit countryside, well pleased with their little outing.


16 thoughts on “Ice cream at the beach

  1. I love these reports Lorna. How fortunate the Delightful Assistants are to have a chauffeur with such encyclopaedic knowledge of decent cafes and coffee shops. Just one quibble : since when has not being hungry been an excuse for not sampling fresh scones?


    1. Thank you, David. I agree with you on the scone front, all this business about not wanting one doesn’t wash with me. I have my suspicions that she believes when you eat bits of other people’s scones you don’t take in any calories.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for explaining a 99 to your readers as some may not have known what it was. I was privy to that knowledge, being married to a Britsh bloke! What a wonderful outing. Your mom looks very lovely in her summer skirt and top. Of course, your dad looks very handsome too. Ice cream is perfect for a day like this. We had the ice cream truck drive up our street today, and like two children we ran out and bought cornettos. You are never too old!


    1. Thank you, Darlene, my mum loves the chance to wear summery clothes. An ice cream truck is a splendid thing, and I’m delighted to hear you had one drive up your street and supply you with refreshments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How lovely, Lorna, and I don’t know any of these places so it was very interesting to see them. You picked a beautiful day for an outing. It has got rather too hot today – just waiting for a thunderstorm now! 🙂 I don’t remember saying that last summer!


    1. Thank you, Jo, I don’t know that area either so it was interesting to explore it a bit. The thunder has been rumbling here for a while and we’ve just had a downpour. I hope you get your share soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That looks like the perfect outing. I am very fond of Ardarden. A friend from Helensburgh introduced it to us not long after we moved to Glasgow. Twice we have bought Christmas trees from them, and they have a lovely walled garden you can walk around in the summertime.


    1. How lovely to have Ardarden on your doorstep. I had been planning a walk round their garden but in the end a drive up the coast won out. If we’d had more time we would have done both. Another time, perhaps.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Send her over and I’ll squeeze her in. 🙂 There was indeed the option of sauce with the 99s. I didn’t have any but I saw some red stuff on someone else’s and it looked like raspberry.


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