It was after a hard morning’s shopping that mum and I stopped off for a well earned rest at the West End Coffee Den.
Laden with bags we were desperate for a comfortable seat and a break before heading back into the crowds.
Owners Jo and Michael took over the premises last year, after previously running the Junction Cafe in Larbert. The cafe is open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. till 3 p.m., with breakfast served until 11.45 a.m. and lunches until 2.45 p.m.
The interior has been tastefully re-decorated and we felt very welcome from the moment we stepped in from the cold.
We also had my youngest son Fraser with us and normally lunchtime with him around is not a relaxing experience. At 16 months, his main aim in life is to find the next bit of mischief to get into.
All morning he had been resisting going for a nap in his pram, preferring to smile and charm everyone we passed instead. Finally just before we headed for lunch he fell sound asleep – and that’s how he stayed the whole time mum and I were eating! It was a miracle – and I was able to eat my lunch with two hands for once.
With the winter chill outside, we both opted for the homemade soup which was carrot and coriander. It was a huge bowl, and tasted fabulous. Piping hot, it was what we needed when it was so cold and miserable outside.
Alongside the soup, there was the choice of panini, wraps, toasties or sandwiches, while the menu also includes baked potatoes as well as a selection of breakfast items.
We both eventually opted for a panini – mine with the brie and cranberry filling, and mum’s with the Jamaican chicken.
Mine was delicious – the creamy brie and sweet cranberry were a perfect combination and the coleslaw accompaniment was peppery and delicious.
Mum’s Jamaican chicken was fiery and hot. Both paninis were a generous portion and we were both almost too full to manage a dessert.
I say almost, because the lure of a homemade mince pie was just too strong. We did ask for one to share but the cafe’s owner Michael insisted that we had one each.
And I’m glad we did – the pastry was perfect and the filling was rich and tasty.
Our Italian Aroma coffees too were fantastic and really added something special to the meal, and I will definitely be returning to try out some of the delicious cakes ... especially if the magical sleeping spell works on Fraser again and I can enjoy it in peace.