Monday, 9 April 2012
Bank Holiday Monday, Largs & Nardini's
For as long as I can remember, bank holiday weekends would, more often than not, involve a trip to Largs. As a kid I remember standing in the Asda Car Park in Coatbridge with my parents, waiting to climb on board one of the many coaches heading off to various destinations across Scotland. Largs, Ayr, Irvine, Saltcoats, Portabello and Helensburgh were just a few of the far away places that we could end up. (all of these seaside are within approx 50miles of Coatbridge but seemed so much further when I was a child)
The town of Largs sits on the Firth of Clyde about 33 miles from Glasgow. Visitors have a collection of gift shops, cafes and amusement arcades to keep them busy. There is a ferry link to the Isle of Cumbrae, while the paddle steamer Waverley stops at the pier during cruises, and there is a regular rail link to Glasgow.
Of course, when I think of Largs, I find myself thinking of Nardini's Ice Cream Parlour. The name Nardini has been synonymous with Largs since 1935, serving up old fashioned Italian ice-cream from the art-deco building on the seafront. Sadly, the restaurant closed in 2004 amid rumours of family bickering and mismanagement. However in 2009 Nardini's re-opened under the new ownership of Lanarkshire ice-cream mogul, David Equi. Having purchased the Nardini name, trademark, and recipes, as well as investing over £2 million into the revamping of the B-listed building, David was hoping to put the name Nardini back on the Largs map. Judging by the almost constant flow of people through the doors, I think the rescue mission has been a huge success.
Nicola and myself had set of today with Largs and Nardini's set fully in our sights. We had previously been to Culzean Castle for some sightseeing and a picnic, before working our way across Ayrshire to get an ice-cream. Arriving at Nardini's just before 3pm, we were seated just before a wave of tourist turned up resulting in a short queue out of the door. After a quick look at the menu, we each placed our order with our efficient waitress before sitting back to enjoy the art-deco surroundings.
My sundae consisted of 2 scoops of creamy vanilla ice-cream, a scoop of toffee ice-cream, hot caramel fudge sauce, fudge pieces, fresh whipped cream, topped with wafers and more fudge pieces. Nicola's sundae was similar but was scattered with sweet tablet (and fudge) and drizzled with a toffee sauce. The presentation of both sundaes was excellent, and although the restaurant was busy, the service was very good. The cost of the two sundaes was just over £14, which may seem a little steep compared to the cost of a couple of 99's, but as a one-off or special treat, a visit to Nardini's is an experience that you and the kids will remember for a while. (or at least until the next bank holiday weekend)