(This post follows on from the previous one, which is why I’m just diving in here expecting you to know what’s going on.)
Having worked up an appetite browsing round The Book Shop, my delightful assistants and I trotted across the road to find our lunch, in another of Wigtown’s bookshops.
Many of the town’s bookshops have specialised in certain genres, and this one is dedicated to the work of women’s literature (anything and everything written by, for, and about women, although they do also have a small section in one room labelled ‘male authors’, as a sort of token gesture to the gents). Apparently, it’s the only extant specialist women’s bookshop in the UK, and one of only 13 in the world (how they obtained this information, I have no idea, but it sounds impressive to me).
I failed to mention that prior to visiting The Book Shop, we did in fact call into the ladies’ bookshop (it has a clever name which I’m tempted to divulge, but that would break my vow of secrecy on the subject of tearoom names) for a snack first. In my last post I showed you a fruit scone, which was what I had by way of a morning nibble, along with a pot of tea. Delightful assistant no.1 also had a scone:
Delightful assistant no.2 had a coconut creation, which exceeded expectations on tasting. It was very moist and extremely coconuty:
The tea and coffee they serve here is Fairtrade, and the jams and chutneys are made by a local family-owned business. As mentioned in my previous post, the jam was plum and was exceptionally good.
The tearoom is very much a part of the bookshop, having lots of books within easy reach of the seats. This corner was where we sat:
Or we could have sat more in the body of the shop:
Or, indeed, in this lounge-type area:
Which has a wood burning stove and an interesting ceiling:
The menu contained a good number of interesting vegetarian and vegan options and I chose the vegan shepherdess pie, which was made with puy lentils, courgette and onion in a spiced tomato sauce, topped with mashed potato. It was served with steamed carrots, turnip and cabbage, and was absolutely delicious (according to the waitress it was cumin that gave it the excellent flavour):
I washed this down with a bottle of fragrant Rose Lemonade, a drink I came across last year and have become quite fond of:
I was so deeply involved with my own meal that I seem to have failed to record what my delightful assistants had, but I think one of them had the same as me and the other had cottage pie, which was similar but with meat in it.
Thankfully, because the portions weren’t too large, we had room for dessert. There were a number of tempting choices but delightful assistant no.1 and myself opted for the rice pudding, which came as a magnificently stodgy block:
Delightful assistant no.2 went for a chocolate brownie, but unfortunately my picture of it is blurred. The brownie came with a jug of cream, which delighted both assistants, and when the attentive waitress noticed that the jug had been emptied, she swiftly brought along another jugful. I don’t think the cream was meant for the rice pud, but when there’s cream on the table and the assistants are in attendance, it tends to get sloshed onto whatever’s available:
Feeling very happily filled, we took ourselves off for a poke around ‘The Hut’. The bookshop itself contains around 8,000 books for sale, but you can find another 17,000 to browse through in the Hut, a sort of little warehouse of several rooms attached to the back of the shop. Some of them were interestingly cramped and full of makeshift shelving:
And one of them was bright and full of boxes that we were invited to rummage through. I don’t know what the significance of all the portrait photos is, I admit to being perplexed by them:
On the way out, I was tempted by a piece of coconut sponge on the counter, but I was still too full of rice pudding to do it justice. A fine reason for a return visit, I think: