Posted by: christinelaennec | December 4, 2013

Ardarden Farm Shop

I wanted to share with you a wee adventure I had:  a trip to Ardarden Farm Shop near Cardross, to buy our Christmas tree.  I’d been introduced to this lovely family-owned business last month by a friend who lives in nearby Helensburgh, which is west of Glasgow along the north bank of the River Clyde.  I decided to venture out there, in the car this time – it only took about half an hour to drive from Glasgow, along a very pretty road next to the widening Clyde.

I’m not sure what the statue over the entrance is made out of, but it’s very striking!  You can see the stand of farm produce inside.

Ardarden Farm Shop entrance, December 2013.

Ardarden Farm Shop entrance, Cardross, Scotland, December 2013.

As I’d arrived so quickly, I treated myself to a few minutes to have a coffee and mince pie, and work on some present-knitting:

Ardarden coffee shop, December 2013.

Ardarden coffee shop, December 2013.

The mince pie was delicious!  The friendly atmosphere of the coffee shop was a real treat, too.  It was full of “regulars” and there was a lot of laughing.  I particularly liked a notice inside the kitchen door, painted directly onto the whitewashed wall above a bread slicer:  “Could we please slice the entire loaf of bread.  Thank you.”  That’s what a lovely secretary I once worked with used to call a “Friendly Reminder”.

Latte, homemade mincemeat pie, and my knitting pattern!

Latte, homemade mincemeat pie, and my knitting pattern.  I always make a mess of my patterns!

In addition to a walled garden and garden centre, which I didn’t explore, there are several rooms of gifts and food.  All that I saw was prettily decorated for Christmas.  I thought the decorations were very homey, especially the little designs on the windows:

Ardarden Farm Shop coffee house:  Christmas decorations.  December 2013.

Ardarden Farm Shop coffee house: Christmas decorations. December 2013.

The food hall is a marvel.  You can get any kind of oatcake that exists, fresh eggs, zillions of locally-made chutneys and preserves – or get lovely hampers made up to send to friends.  You can’t quite see that there’s a banner over the doorway at the back:  “It’s a Boy!”  On my first visit, all the staff were waiting for a text announcing this baby’s arrival and the shop was buzzing with anticipation.  When I mentioned something about the baby having arrived since I was last there, a proud grandfather (?) gave me the boy’s weight – and was immediately corrected by three other staff members!

Ardarden Farm Shop, Cardross, Scotland.  December 2013.

Ardarden Farm Shop, Cardross, Scotland. December 2013.

Having bought just a few (considering) yummy things in the shop, I turned my attention to trees.  They had some beauties.  A very helpful man sawed a bit off the end of my chosen one, and told me that the trees are grown less than a mile away from the farm, by an “ace” guy that he’s known since childhood:

Locally-grown Christmas trees, Ardarden Farm Shop, December 2013.

Locally-grown Christmas trees, Ardarden Farm Shop, December 2013.

He helped me put the tree in the car, amazed I’d come for it “all the way from Glasgow”.  Before I headed home, I took a photo of Ki and Wi the pigs, with the shoreline of the very wide River Clyde behind.  The hills in the background are where Greenock is, I believe:

Ki and Wi the pigs, Ardarden Farm Shop, Cardross, Scotland.  December 2013.

Ki and Wi the pigs, Ardarden Farm Shop, Cardross, Scotland. December 2013.

The people in the shop told me that Santa will be coming to Ardarden this coming weekend.  They said he comes down the hill to the shop, pulled by the two Highland cattle, who have been well washed in preparation for their appearance:

Highland Cattle, Ardarden Farm Shop, Cardross, Scotland, December 2013.

Well-scrubbed Highland Cattle, Ardarden Farm Shop, Cardross, Scotland, December 2013.

It sounds like good fun!  I don’t know if I’ll make it back for that, but we will definitely be returning.



  1. That looks like a wonderful shop to me with many delicious things 😉 Love the pictures you made. i hope you pots a picture of your christmas tree as well… I just LOVE seeing decorated christmas trees hihihi ….

  2. Such a lovely outing, so glad you thought to bring us along. Now I may have to have some lunch as you made me hungry. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a wonderful place! Can’t wait to see your tree all decorated! xxx

  4. Beautiful country store and landscape — was it raining? Sure look green there.. Yummy eat too! The pigs on the other hand look like they needed a good washing too like the cows . ha..
    Excited to see your tree decorated…

  5. This looks like a lovely place to visit, I’ll need to drag hubby on a day trip soon. We usually get our tree at a garden centre – Cardwell near Gourock (the other side of the Clyde). If you like garden centres it is a lovely one to visit, with some little shops and a nice restaurant too.

  6. Thanks for telling us all about this adventure! Oh a latte and a mince pie sound delightful!!!! next best to having one myself is reading about them. 🙂 Can’t wait to see a picture of your decorated tree! It will look so beautiful in your front room!!!!

  7. I wonder how docile the cows were during their shampoo?

  8. Looks like you had a wonderful day out. This area is so familiar to me, it is almoast like reading about home …

  9. What a great looking coffee house and farm shop, a bit like Gloagburn perhaps? I love the idea of Santa being towed in by highland coos!

  10. What a charming wee shop! Looks like a lovely day out.

    Very impressed by all you organised Christmas-tree-purchasers… I am still convinced it’s the middle of November!

  11. Looks like a really neat place to visit.
    Wishing you a beautiful holiday season.

  12. What a delightful afternoon. So glad that the Dafter felt strong enough to have dinner with you all Thanksgiving.

    I hope it’s not your part of Scotland where it is so cold and windy right now. I know weather like that would be so hard on the Dafter- as I told you, I think, I have a Granddaughter age 15, who suffered a soft tissue injury a few years ago, playing football(our soccer).

    She suffers very badly with it, especially when the weather changes. Those chronic pain issues are tricky – have to be very careful with prescription medicines. Natalie misses a lot of school. I know a little how frustrated it must be for you with your child’s diagnosis- many people I have run into don’t believe that chronic pain is real “She is spoiled- uses that to get out of what she doesn’t want to do” ” “She just needs to be tough and grow up – why I—–and I just kept going because I had to.” Some people just need to be ignored- I have found out they will never understand or admit some conditions are real.

    Keep warm.


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