CAFES AND COFFEE HOUSES RECOMMENDED BY YOU, THE PUBLIC
PLEASE NOTE - THESE CAFES AND COFFEE HOUSES HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED BY
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, AND NOT YET VISITED BY THE GOOD SOUP GUIDE.
DUNLOP - CONSERVATORY CAFE, VILLAGE HALL. Open Tuesdays
and Fridays and the first Saturday of the month. Good range of soups,
from traditionals like 'Vegetable', 'Leek and Potato', 'Onion', 'Lentil'
or 'Tomato' to the more adventurous, like 'Red Pepper and Chilli',
'Courgette and Carrot', 'Courgette and Cream Cheese', 'Cauliflower and
Stilton', 'Roasted Butternut Squash', 'Aromatic Parsnip', and 'Carrot
with Orange and Coriander.' Such an excellent range must surely mean
Dunlop is a good place to pass through on your way to, for example,
Irvine or Kilmarnock. There is a small story that goes with this
recommendation. Around five years ago, the council reckoned there was
not enough money to renovate the Victorian hall in the village. There was no wheelchair access, no toilet facilities
for the disabled, the kitchen needed completely modernising and
structural work was required. A small number of people formed a
committee, and with a lot of hard work and support from the local people
£500,000 was raised within two years. All modernisation as above was
completed and a substantial conservatory with modern kitchen was added.
This is completely run by volunteers, and soup and home baking is made
by people who have an interest in keeping the village hall open for the
many clubs, social events etc that take place. Thank you to Penny for
giving me this information. I think it is important to tell this
story, for amidst all the talk of social decline and fragmented
communities that lack spirit, there are people fighting back, fighting
to keep that spirit alive. It is a spirit that blossomed during the two
Great Wars, a spirit that infused each person in a community with pride
in their neighbourhood, and it is a spirit that, when linked with core
topics like the use of local produce or the caring for those around you,
will be the key to taking this country out of the doldrums and into a
new era of optimism. That's what I reckon. And if anyone wants to argue,
I'll set the elves on them.