“WHAT'S the rush Tec?”

“No hurry, my dear, I just can’t wait to treat you to a little dash down the coast to one of the finest eateries on the Clyde.”

The tall, droll, Moll lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain.

She knew she was in for a treat. As was I, at the inspiring Cattle & Creel on the seafront of Helensburgh.

This handsome diner makes a meal of meat and seafood. Nestled, almost hidden, amid a row of shops, the underplayed exterior defies an entertaining and refined indoors.

Mine hostess welcomed us warmly and gave us a choice of tables. We took a booth by the window, giving me a clear view of all around us and looking off towards the open kitchen.

We ordered a couple of glasses of prosecco to accompany the fine fresh air of the Clyde.

“Divine,” said Toots.

The menus are inviting here and offer exceptional value. We chose to go for the lunch or early evening option and ordered two courses for £12.95.

“Last of the Big Spenders, Tec?!”

“I think you will find the servings are very generous. Now drink up, as I have something extra special for you as an added aperitif.”

Two pre-ordered gins swiftly arrived.

For madame, a sweet, vibrantly flavoured Strathearn Rose served with raspberries and for me, Rock Rose, from one of Scotland’s most northerly ginneries.

“How could I resist?” giggled Toots.

As starters, we ordered crab cakes with a lime and saffron aioli. The lime was subtle, but captivating. Alongside, we shared chicken in tempura batter and a fine chilli jam. The batter simply melted away to release a tender chicken, just perfect for that sweet dip.

“Ready for your main?” I inquired.

“I'm in a wild mood," Toots enthused. "I want to go dance in the foam. I hear the banshees calling.”

“That’s no sound of banshees, that’s the paddles of the Waverley going by,” I said.

Our main courses landed. Fine Peterhead haddock in a beer batter with mushy peas and very satisfying, beefy chips.

Madame elected for a home-made burger served in a warm brioche bun with Arran cheddar, relish and slender fries.

The doll’s smile said it all. She loved the tenderness of the burger and relished the side serving of slaw.

My Peterhead haddock was as fresh as could be. In fact, it could have swum up the Clyde only moments before landing on my plate.

“Cheers, my dear!” I proposed as we clinked together a glass of the finest Romanian Pinot Grigio.

Cattle & Creel

73 -74 West Clyde Street

Helensburgh, G84 8AX

01436 269 278


Prosecco Divici £6.95 (each)

Strathearn Heather Rose £3.45

Rock Rose £.3.45

Pinot Grigio Cosmina £17.95


Two courses for £12.95 each (£1 supplement crab cakes)

Crab cakes

Chicken tempura

Peterhead haddock

Burger on brioche




Food: 4/4

Atmosphere: 4/4

Service: 4/4

Value: 4/4