The Ginger Breadman, Helensburgh, Scotland

Residents of Helensburgh are spoiled for choice when it comes to sweet places to grab a bite to eat.

The cute coastal town in Argyll & Bute is kind of like Glasgow’s West End – one of the few places in Scotland where independent bookshops are still financially viable. What makes it better than the West End though, is a noticeably lower concentration of wanker.

Sure, there might be the odd bawbag floating about the gaff, but generally the folk are decent types.

And with so many excellent cafes and restaurants on their doorstep, it’s little wonder most Helensburgh people look happy.

One of the finer spots for lunch is The Ginger Breadman* on East Clyde Street. Pretty much anyone I’ve asked where’s good for a sandwich and soup in Helensburgh immediately mentions this joint.

The small, independent bakery bakes all its own bread on site and makes a remarkable selection of cakes too.

I went for the soup and sandwich deal, which at £5.50 isn’t particularly cheap. But spank my ass, it’s worth every penny.

My choice was the roast pulled chicken with honey mustard mayo and rocket on wholemeal sourdough. The bread (baked on site, of course) is incredible. Fuck it, it’s the best sourdough I’ve ever tasted.

The chicken works perfectly with the mayo and there’s no way you’ll be hungry after this sandwich.

But there was still the soup. I chose the Green Demon – a fragrant, mildly spicy green Thai effort that is 100% homemade and packed with flavour. With chicken packed in with the veg, it’s like another meal in itself. And another slice of bread that comes with the soup meant I smashed my weekly carb allowance inside 20 minutes.

Excellent, friendly service just makes the whole experience even more memorable and pretty much guarantees a return visit is on the cards.

Seating room is limited, so bear that in mind if you’re looking for somewhere to sit in. But if you work or live nearby, or it’s a nice enough day to sit at the shore while you eat, this is not to be missed.

*The sign outside reads ‘The Ginger Breadman,’ but everything online (including the Facebook page) refers to The Ginger-Bread Man…so fuck knows what the actual name is.

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