Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Mince and Palm Toffee. Stornoway's Delights.

I always looked forward to going over to Stornoway with Shonnie on the motorbike. Let me rephrase that. I loved arriving in the town, grateful that I had once more survived Shonnie's manic motorcycle manoeuvres. As hair raising as his driving could be, I don't think Shonnie ever had an accident,which was just as well,since he only ever drove on a provisional licence. He never ever passed a test for a bike (to my knowledge),and complied with the law (he thought !) by having a very small homemade letter "L" attached to the bottom of the rear mud guard.Painted a very dark red,you would not know it was there unless it was pointed out to you. Of course,that was the whole idea. (Shonnie's pride would not allow otherwise),but he felt that the wee cardboard "L" kept him this side of the law. I'm sure the police knew,and turned a blind eye to this little"peacadh"(peccadillo).After all, there were serious criminals about,poaching his lordship's salmon.
Shonnie would have some errands in town,perhaps at Newall's mill or buying goods at Charles Morrison's in Point Street.Lunch was invariably at the "Seamans' Mission" (or was it the Sailors Society?)in North Beach Street. Being fed in Dalmore on mainly fish, mince and potatoes dominated our thinking,and that's what we ordered.With a nice sweet pudding and a mug of tea,we were now fit for a stroll about the town,often going our separate way,to meet up later. I found the harbour area fascinating,as in these days,there were many fishing boats,not just local boats,but boats from Mallaig,Wick,Buckie,boats of all sorts and all sizes. The smell of fish and tar, the cry of the gulls,nets being repaired,children getting a free bucket of small herring and the lilt of the Gaelic playing along the quays are forever imprinted on my memory. Shonnie and I would meet up, and head for the Rendezvous Cafe in Cromwell Street,a beautifully appointed Italian shop. Shonnie had a sweet tooth,so he bought chocolates and "candies" to fill the sweet drawer in Dalmore. A large ice cream cone each, and the piece de resistance would now be ordered at the counter. Palm Toffee.Does anyone else recall this mouth watering delectation. These were large bars of toffee in a three layer sandwich,in flavours of banana and strawberry( two of which come to mind). Outwith this one cafe,I never came across this delicious toffee anywhere else. Palm Toffee - a Prince among toffees!
Returning home,we didn't talk much,as our jaws were sore masticating. The ride back seemed so much the better, with panniers full of goodies.

P.S. If you google "palm toffee",you will see that I'm not alone in wondering what happened to this wonderful toffee.

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