Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, Cameron House

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Situated on the beautiful Loch Lomond, this restaurant is only 30 minutes drive from Glasgow. From your table you can have great views out onto Loch Lomond and the distinctive yellow sea plane.

Loch Lomond

Just8 dined on a 5pm deal which consisted of a 3 course lunch with champagne. We loved the extra courses of Amuse Bouche. Also a special mention must go to the fabulous cheese board. My particular favourite cheese was ‘Blue Murder’, a cheese made by Blur’s bassist, Alex James. There are also 6 and 8 course tasting menus which we would definitely love to try sometime.

It holds one Michelin Star. Martin trained under such renowned chefs as Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Marco Pierre White, Nick Nairn, and John Burton-Race. The restaurant was designed by Ian Smith. It felt comfy and we all liked the contemporary design. At the time of visiting the restaurant felt busy but not frenetic. We had friendly, attentive service and which did not feel stuffy at all. We felt well looked after in a relaxed setting.



This restaurant is great for a treat or a special occasion. It is not just a restaurant and I would describe it as more of a restaurant experience.

Just8 rates Martin Wishard at Loch Lomond 9.5/10. We will definitely be back! Maybe we’ll try the tasting menu next time.

Martin Wishart Homepage

Martin Wishart Facebook page

Martin Wishart Twitter page

Just8 Popular Recipe! Wholesome Lemony Dhal.

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DHAL is simply the Indian word for lentils and is eaten in many Asian countries as a staple meal. It normally has quite a spicy kick to it and is often accompanied by rice. However, rather than having a kick, my version here has a lemony zing.

I like this dish because it is healthy and easy to make (even though it takes an hour, you just chop and fry for 10 mins and then let it simmer for another 50 minutes). Most importantly, I think lemony dhal is delicious! Also, it is really cheap to make.

I use spinach in this recipe to add nourishment. It is considered by many to be the ultimate superfood, rich in antioxidants, iron and vitamins and has even been linked to a array of health benefits. So, I reckon it is worth using as much as possible until someone says otherwise. However, you could easily leave it out or use up another vegetable that you happen to have in your fridge e.g. mushrooms, peppers, green beans, broccoli etc.


  • 1 small onion, chopped quite thinly
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 250g red lentils
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Broccoli, rice or flat bread to serve with the dhal


1. Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil* in a large saucepan. Add the onion, cumin seeds and Madras curry powder and fry for 3 minutes until the onions are soft.

*It is assumed you have some sort of cooking oil (e.g. olive oil, 1 cal spray, sunflower oil, vegetable oil or butter) in your store cupboard.

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2. Add the red lentils, then vegetable stock and gently stir.

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3. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every-so-often, making sure there is enough liquid in the pan. If you ever think it looks like drying out then add some more water.

4. Near to the end of the 45-minute simmer, begin cooking your accompaniment – rice, broccoli or warming your flat bread.

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5. After 45 minutes, once the mixture has a more creamy consistency, add the spinach and the juice of two lemons. Stir in and simmer for another couple of minutes.

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6. Serve with cooked rice, cooked broccoli or even flat bread. Personally I prefer healthy broccoli with this, though rice is the more traditional accompaniment in Asia.

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I normally have some dhal leftover as this is quite a generous recipe. I love eating it the next day or using it as an accompaniment for something else instead of rice or pasta. It tastes even better a day later!

Restaurant Review! Browns, Glasgow City Centre – Always Delivers!

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THIS IS THE THIRD TIME I HAVE BEEN TO BROWNS AND IT NEVER FAILS TO PLEASE. From the attentive but never overbearing service to the classy ambience, it is always a hit. The city centre restaurant is a stylish, sophisticated venue which skillfully caters to all manner of clients – post-work diners/drinkers, families with small children/babies, respectful hen parties and birthdays. All were in evidence on the busy Saturday night I visited. I would definitely advise booking a table.


From the live piano – Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings – to the elegant surroundings (the building is the restored General Post Office headquarters), and the lobster night on a Thursday, Browns is the perfect place to enjoy a little down-to-earth glamour. It is also a fantastic location, on George Square.

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The prices were reasonable for the quality of food served. The spring/summer menu has plenty of gems to choose from (see below for our picks). If you visit on Monday to Friday from 12-6pm, an offer of two courses for £11.95 (valid as of June 2015) represents even more value for money.

Special mention to Gary, our waiter, who was attentive even at busy points in the evening. His recommendations were also spot on, with helpful guidance on beer, wine and dessert choices.

This historic former Post Office always delivers!


The meal

Starters – Asparagus and prosciutto ham; Pulled ham hock & piccalilli terrine; Pearl barley stuffed tomato; Mushrooms.

All starters were delicious and would be ordered again by each diner. Really hard to choose a winner here as everyone felt that they had chosen well. However, we decided the asparagus and prosciutto ham not only looked aesthetically pleasing but tasted fabulous – lovely, sharp hollandaise sauce and a nice size for a starter. But the other three come highly, highly recommended.

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Mains – Pan-fried seabass fillets; Browns house salad; Smoked haddock, spring onion & chive fishcakes; Slow cooked salted pork belly.

Again everyone was very happy with their main courses. The Browns House Salad deserves a mention as a properly filling main course set off with a tasty rhubarb dressing. Also the slow-cooked salted pork belly was cooked to perfection and accompanied by a fabulous apple brandy & Pink Lady jus! Both the House Salad and Pork were the winners here, and offer ideal alternatives to diners who want either something lighter, or more meaty.

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Desserts – Great British Mess; Vanilla Panna Cotta; Salted Caramel Profiteroles (recommended by Gary).

All three desserts looked amazing. The Vanilla Panna Cotta was a fabulously creative idea, with Pimm’s, mint jelly and candied cucumber. However, we were 50:50 on whether it would be ordered again. The panna cotta could have done with being a little sweeter to balance out the candied cucumber. However, it did seem like it was the lighter of the three options, so it really just depends on your taste buds. The Great British Mess was a good size and full of strawberry fruitiness. The Salted Caramel Profiteroles prompted a feeding frenzy, as our group jabbed their spoons into the dish! Caramel and salt –  a killer combination and a novel way to improve a popular dessert dish. We couldn’t choose an overall winner, so both the Great British Mess and Salted Caramel Profiteroles were equal favourites in the dessert category!

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Just8 gives Browns 9/10. Classy ambience and imaginative, tasty food at reasonable prices; good location on George Square.


Just8 and companions dined at Browns courtesy of Browns



Browns, Glasgow Homepage

Browns Facebook Page

Browns Twitter Page




Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – New Recipe! Mags’ Amazing Couscous

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I LOVED THE TASTE OF THIS DISH the first time my cousin Mags cooked it for me. In fact, it wasn’t just me, everyone around the table loved it. That’s why I wanted to blog about it – with the permission of Mags – and share it with as many people as possible. What makes it special is the combination of pomegranate seeds (something I honestly haven’t used before), fresh mint leaves and lemon juice. It is such a deliciously novel flavour combination. I also love the way the deep pink pomegranate juice bleeds through the couscous and contrasts with the bright green colour of the mint leaves, making it an aesthetically pleasing dish.

It’s pretty easy to make. I did, however, make one misstep by using a whole pomegranate and scraping out the seeds. It was fine but a little messy. If you can find a packet of pomegranate seeds then I would use these instead – it saves hassle and mess. If you can’t find a packet, then wear an apron whist scraping out the seeds!

Overall, the dish felt pretty healthy, with the use of chicken and absence of anything overly sweet which may contain unrefined sugars or fats. Also small-scale studies have indicated that pomegranate juice may lower cholesterol levels. So on all fronts, it would appear to be a winner.


Just8 – Glasgow Based Food Blog Recipe for Mags’ Amazing Couscous


  • 1 x 110g sachet of  couscous (coriander and lemon flavoured, if possible)
  • 2 x chicken breast
  • 1 x pomegranate (or pack of pomegranate seeds – if you can buy the seeds I would recommend this)
  • 20g fresh mint leaves
  • 1 x juice of a lemon
  • 60ml low fat greek style yogurt
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 2 x flatbread

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1. Add 1 tsp of cooking oil (I used olive oil) to the foil and spread it around. This is so that the chicken does not stick to it. Add the chicken to roughly the centre and fold the foil around it, so the chicken is enclosed in the parcel.

Put the chicken parcel on a tray and put in a fan-assisted oven at 180C for 25 mins (or until it is cooked right the way through without any sign of pink bits in the middle). Chicken cannot be undercooked!

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2. Whilst the chicken is cooking prepare the other ingredients:

(i) Add the couscous to a pan and follow instructions on the packet. For this particular couscous I had to add 200ml of boiling water to the pan and leave it for 5 mins. (No need to switch the gas/electric on underneath the pan). In this time, it absorbed all the  water. I then left the pan alone until near to the end of the recipe.

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(ii) Scrape the pomegranate seeds out of the pomegranate using a knife – to cut the pomegranate into a few pieces – and a metal spoon to do the scraping. Wear an apron for this! And don’t have anything within a metre that isn’t easy to clean.

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(iii) Cut a whole lemon into 4 pieces ready for squeezing. Roughly chop all the mint leaves.

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(iv) Mix the low fat greek yogurt with the mint sauce.

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3. When the chicken is cooked, chop it into medium-sized pieces (see below).

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4. Here comes the fun bit. Get a glass mixing bowl – add the couscous, then the squeezed juice of a lemon (I just squeeze it straight into the mixing bowl and pick out the pips if any fall in), the pomegranate seeds and then finally the mint leaves. Gently mix it together.

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5. Warm the flat bread in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the minty yogurt to the flat bread. And warm the couscous for 2 mins, stirring a bit so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.

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6. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture onto the warm flat bread. And serve.

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You will probably have about half the mixture left in the glass bowl. Keep this until the next day for lunch (you could have it in a wrap or as a side dish) or to have with dinner.


I reckon using half the couscous and chicken mixture and one flatbread you are looking at a calorie count of about 400cals per meal.


Just8 Tip : Optional extras could be roasted onion (cooked whilst roasting the chicken), green beans and feta cheese.



Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – Restaurant Review! Rediscovering Wagamama, Glasgow City Centre

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WE EAT OUT FAIRLY REGULARLY AND WITH THIS I FACE A PROBLEM. I’m trying to be good about what I eat and dining out is not easy to combine with calorie watching. So, at the moment, I am searching for the best healthy restaurants in Glasgow. Wagamama’s has been around for a long time but it isn’t a place I have frequented recently. However, I heard that their meals, particularly the Ramen dishes, are relatively healthy, so we decided to give it a revisit.

Ramens are a very popular meal in Japan.  The first Ramen shop opened in 1910 in Yokohama, Japan, and became incredibly popular with the local population. Almost every region in Japan has its own style of ramen. A ramen is basically a noodle broth topped with meat, fish or vegetables. Or all three.

Just8 had the Wagamama Ramen. It contains chicken, pork, prawns, ginger and mussels. The calorie count is 681 calories per meal. I thought this was not too bad for an eat-out dinner – particularly as the saturated fat content is 6.3g and sugar content, 7.1g.  I remember having a Ramen in the past and finding it a little bland, however this one was far from it. It had lots of seafood, so there was a good flavouring of salt and the noodles definitely satisfied my hunger.

My dining companion chose the delicious Chicken Raisukaree curry – a wonderfully creamy coconut curry with more than a hint of spicy Thai flavours in there. Lovely as a treat but probably not Ideal if you happen to be watching what you eat (at 1253 calories a pop).

Both dishes were beautifully presented, as you can see below.

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I was taken with the free green tea as a palate cleanser.

I loved the tasty, healthy meal and vibrant, busy atmosphere in Wagamama’s. I feel like I have rediscovered Wagamama’s and will visit again soon.

Just8 scores Wagamama’s – 8.5/10. I will definitely remember to come back here more often!

Wagamama Homepage

Wagamama, Glasgow

Wagamama Twitter




Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – Restaurant Review! Martha’s Fast Natural Food, Glasgow City Centre

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I think Martha’s is one of the best healthy food establishments in Glasgow for lunch. If you are fed up of eating processed food, try Martha’s. Hearty, healthy and fast! They use no artificial ingredients or additives.

I first heard about this place through word of mouth. Great if you work in the city centre or are looking for somewhere to eat whilst shopping. It is only about a three-minute walk from Buchanan Street and is situated on St Vincent Street (just past burger corner!). It was a lot bigger inside than I thought it would be and popular, too, with lots of savvy Glaswegians in the know about where to get a good healthy feed.

I love Martha’s because there is clear labelling on every item sold – calorie count, numbers of portions of 5-a-day in your meal, gluten free, low in sat fat, suitable for vegan/vegetarian and… importantly, if your choice has a ‘hero ingredient’. Hero ingredients are foods with lots of goodness that are in season (e.g. kale, apple and mackerel!) Also, Martha’s try to source local producers.

Just8 tried the Moroccan Sunbean Salad with an add-on of hot-smoked salmon, and the Tam Tam Chicken Wrap – both so tasty! And for dessert a Carrot Vegan cupcake. The Tam Tam Chicken Wrap comes highly recommended. What I love about Martha’s is that the food tastes delicious and it is guilt-free eating out – you don’t pile on the calories whilst eating. Martha’s is award winning and deservedly so. Very reasonably priced, too, for the good food they serve. Without a doubt, I will be back!

  • Open 7:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday
  • Open 11.00am to 4:00pm Saturday

Address: 142A St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5LQ

Just8 scores Martha’s 9.5/10.


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Martha’s Facebook Page

Martha’s Twitter Page


Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – New Recipe! Simple Quality Quorn Bolognese

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THIS FOOD BLOG takes a good look at the benefits of Quorn mince and gives an easy after-work recipe. We live in a time when we are all being encouraged to eat less fat and less sugar. It is hard to ignore the reduced fat content of Quorn mince versus lean beef mince and regular beef mince. Here are the stats for mince, lean mince and Quorn:

  • Energy per 100g, 209kcal (Mince) vs 124kcal (Lean mince) vs 105kcal (Quorn).
  • And Saturated fat per 100g, 6.5g (Mince) vs 2g (Lean mince) vs 0.4g (Quorn).

The average recommended saturated fat daily intake for an adult female is 20g and for an adult male is 30g.  The first time I tried Quorn mince I was surprised by its similarity to beef mince, especially the texture. I have heard of some people giving it to their other halves and only revealing after a few mouthfuls that they are actually eating Quorn and not beef mince. I do think you can tell the difference but it is not a big difference. I felt full afterwards but not too full, which I sometimes feel after eating meat. Additionally quorn mince is a bit cheaper. For a 500g pack, it is roughly £1.50 less.

So now you know the benefits of Quorn mince and want to give it a try, you can either follow my simple recipe or if you are already the king/queen of beef bolognese just substitute Quorn mince for beef mince. This way you can easily have a meat-free day – something all non-vegetarians are  being encouraged to do.

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Just 8 – Glasgow Based Food Blog Recipe for Simple Quality Quorn Bolognese


  • 500g Frozen Quorn Mince  ( I use the leftovers the next day).
  • 1 Onion – roughly chopped
  • 2 Carrots – roughly chopped – anyway you like!
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube plus 400ml of water (Instead you could use veg or chicken stock – doesn’t really matter)
  • 400g Carton of Chopped Tomatoes or 400g of Passata
  • Parmesan Cheese (couple of tsps for garnishing)
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (handful for garnishing)
  • 60g Pasta per person  (Instead of pasta could also use baked potato, sweet potato, bulghar wheat, rice, flat bread or fajita wrap,  to name but a few).


1. Add a couple of tsps of olive oil to the pan and then add  the chopped onion and carrots to large saucepan. Fry for 3 mins on a medium heat until both start to soften.

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2. Add frozen Quorn mince, stock and chopped tomatoes to frying pan. Mix around a little. Let this mixture simmer for 20 mins. This is really until the carrots soften.

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3. After the Quorn mixture has cooked for 5 minutes or so, put the pasta and a few mugfuls of water into a separate saucepan and boil for about 10 minutes (or however long the packaging tells you the pasta needs). If in doubt put in more water than you think you need, to stop it boiling dry.

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4. Once cooked, drain the pasta. Once the Quorn mixture has finished cooking, put pasta on plate followed by the Quorn mixture.

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5. Always looks and tastes great with grated parmesan over the top and a few basil leaves tucked into the Quorn mixture.

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N.B. Other ingredients which can be used include (but not limited to):  chopped mushrooms, chopped peppers, 2 crushed garlic cloves,1tsp oregano and 1tsp of marjoram. I would add these at the carrot and onion stage. Also 100ml red wine which I would add with the stock etc.

N.N.B…. There are enough leftovers that you can use them the next day with something different, like a baked potato or in a fajita!

Restaurant Review: Ed’s Easy Diner, Glasgow City Centre

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I first came across an Ed’s Easy Diner at Euston Station in London and was delighted to find that it had made its way up to Glasgow. The best way to describe Ed’s is that it feels like you have been transported back to the 1950s and are eating on the set of ‘Happy Days’ just awaiting the Fonz to make his entrance. It is a retro experience as well as restaurant.

There are jukeboxes in every booth. For 20p you can choose from a wide range of classic songs from Elvis, Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys to Johnny Cash. We chose a blast of ‘Johnny B Goode’ before the food turned up. All the money from the jukeboxes goes to charity.

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Just8 had the ‘Blues Burger’ and ‘Chicken Dippers’, both as an ‘Ed’s plate’. You could go ‘Solo’ and forget the chips, onion rings and coleslaw. Special mention goes to the burger which was very meaty and topped with delicious blue cheese. We also had a root beer plus an Ed’s Vanilla Shake. The Vanilla Shake is to die for – it tastes like slightly melted ice-cream which, as anyone knows, is the best way to have ice-cream.

The service was super friendly and quick. At the time of visiting – 5pm on a Friday – it was busy but with no queues. Very different from their opening month of November 2014, when we were told it was queued out the door. Maybe now is the time to visit.

So, if you are down the bottom of Buchanan Street, pop into the St Enoch’s Centre for a real 50’s experience at Ed’s Easy Diner.

Just8 gives Ed’s Easy Diner 8/10



Just8  dined as a guest of Ed’s Easy Diner.


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Address: St. Enoch Shopping Centre, 55 St. Enoch Square Glasgow, G1 4BW

Telephone Number: 0141 229 0664

Ed’s Easy Diner Webpage

Ed’s Easy Diner Facebook Page

Follow Ed’s Easy Diner on Twitter

Restaurant Review: Drummond’s, Pitlochry and Winter Words Festival

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The Winter Words Festival in Pitlochry runs until 21st February 2015, so there is still time to go if you are looking for an idea of what to do next weekend. Last weekend we enjoyed listening to Mark Beaumont, the young Scot, who cycled round the globe and broke the world record; Alan Rowan, whose hobby is to climb mountains in Scotland at night; and the amazing Banff Mountain Film Festival, a collection of short adventure fuelled videos. The Film Festival is touring round the UK and if you don’t get to see them in Pitlochry, I suggest you check them out if they ever tour near you.

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Drummond’s restaurant in Pitlochry is close to the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. It offers reasonably-priced traditional pub grub and does it well. It is a friendly, family-run establishment which is traditionally decorated. We were quite tight for time but the courses were served pretty quickly. Just8 had the baked potato and scampi. Both were as you would expect – simple and tasty!

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So Pitlochry Festival Theatre then onto Drummonds for some pub grub for a great weekend break.


Just8 gives Drummond’s Restaurant and Bar 7/10.

Link to restaurant:

Winter Words festival:


Restaurant Review: Fabulous combination – Ardardan Estate Tearoom, (Dog) Walk and Stunning Scenery


Highland scenery, a walk beside the sea and a fabulous tearoom. All within a 30-minute drive, north west of Glasgow. If you are in need of a new place to go and walk (with or without a dog), consider this combination which is placed between Cardross and Helensburgh, just off the A814. Take your dog for a scenic 45-minute walk around Ardmore Point  to earn your reward of sampling the delights of the nearby fabulous Ardardan Estate Tearoom.

Ardmore Point & Cardross Bay           Ardardan

Just8 sampled the Winter Warmer for £5.95, which consisted of a cup of Chunky Vegetable Soup followed by an extremely tasty Shepherd’s Pie. Both were a nice portion size. This was followed by carrot cake – again a good size and not too big! Other very tempting cakes were on display – it was a hard choice. The tearoom is reasonably priced and has a friendly but busy atmosphere.  As well as the tearooms, Ardardan has a well-stocked farm shop and garden centre. It is a real working farm and you can meet some of its residents like the two pigs, Ki and Wi. Ardardan also has walks around its estate. So, not just a tearoom – more of an experience! Ardmore Point itself is about a five-minute drive from Ardardan.

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Pippa (the dog, pictured below)’s favourite walk is Ardmore Point. She likes it because there are long flat stretches that she can run about in without cattle. She has the choice of land to her right or the sea shore to her left. Whether you have a dog or not, gaze with awe at the  sweeping views along the Clyde and Gareloch and north to the sometimes snow-capped hills . The walk itself is on a well-trodden path, which is popular with local residents.

So, Ardmore Point then, a 5-minute drive to Ardardan (back along A814 towards Cardross and then come to big red sign pointing to the right for Ardardan) for a cup of tea and a wee something to eat. Makes one happy dog and her walker!

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Just8 gives Ardmore Point walk plus Ardardan Estate Tearooms – 9/10

Ardardan Farm Estates –

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