THERE'S SOMETHING STRANGE GOING ON IN AYR. THE PLACE IS FESTOONED WITH
LITTLE CAFES AND COFFEE HOUSES, MANY OF WHICH SELL CHICKEN AND RICE
SOUP. I'VE NEVER COME UPON SUCH A THING. CHICKEN AND RICE? HEAVENS!
THERE MUST BE A CACHE OF FOLK IN THE TOWN WHO ARE GENETICALLY
PREDISPOSED TO THE SMELL AND TASTE OF THIS LIQUID VARIETY. WE MAY HAVE
INADVERTENTLY DISCOVERED THE CHICKEN AND RICE GENE.
THE WISHING WELL, COW WYND COURTYARD
A homely place in what purports to be, according to the faded courtyard
sign, an historic courtyard off Alloway Street. Em... so what's historic about it, then?
Please, let me know; I'm curious. I'm sure there must be cows involved,
but for the life of me I can't quite figure out how. Anyway, in here
you'll find the ubiquitous 'Chicken and Rice' soup, along with another
two varieties, like 'Lentil' or 'Cream of Broccoli'. A nice place away
from Ayr's busy narrow pavements.
HELEN'S COFFEE SHOP, 10 ALLOWAY STREET
A very cosy coffee house up a covered lane away from Ayr's hustle and bustle. They've
usually one soup per day, and it's... wait for it... 'Chicken and Rice'.
My favourite already. Although the entrance to the lane might not look
too appealing, once you're inside Helen's Coffee Shop it's
actually better than good.
THE DORRIS, NEWMARKET STREET
Used to be called Pumpernickel's, but now it's all changed and
called The Dorris. They offer an astonishing five homemade soups
each day, and they all sell well. On the day of my visit the
five were 'Tomato, Basil and Mascarpone', 'Carrot and
Coriander', 'Roasted Red Pepper', 'Mushroom and Tarragon', and
Ayr's favourite soup: 'Chicken and Rice'. Inside, it's nicely
laid out with lots of wood and soothing vibes. You can also sit
where you may slurp your 'Carrot and Coriander' while throwing glowers
and glares at occasional passing vehicles that seem to intrude all too
COFFEE CAFFE, NEWMARKET STREET
My impression of the Coffee Caffe is that it is clean and well run, and
whatever soup you choose to spoon into your tummy, like 'Cream of
Cauliflower' or 'Lentil' or whatever, will be better than good. They also have
seating on the pavement, and if you choose to eat your soup outside in
the rain you may find your bowl replenishing itself at such a rate that
you may never leave.
PANDORA COFFEE HOUSE, 32 NEW BRIDGE STREET
This was initially a recommendation from soup-slurper Lorna. She reckons it's 'always the highlight of my visit to
Ayr', and 'consistently good with fresh homemade soup every day, usually
a choice of a cream or broth type, and complemented by delicious home
baking.' Sounds good to me. I have now managed to check it out, and
Lorna's spot on. It's a great place. The interior is like a
palace compared with the other regular coffee houses and cafes
in Ayr, complete with chandeliers and dark wood panelling. A