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