Readers of my other pages will know that I am not much for posting shopping tips. As far as I am concerned, shopping is something that happens to other people, presumably if they had been really bad in a previous life. However, I make one exception. I shop madly for food in places that are not home. Scotland is one of my favourite places to do this. Apart from the obvious and delicious haggis, there are so many things that I just cannot get in London. Lorne (square) sausage, decent black pudding (hard to come by), white pudding (nearly inpossible), Scotch pies (a classic dish), fruit (clootie) dumpling etc. etc.
In a previous life, I used to drive my ex-girlfriend mad by coming back from a gig in Scotland with enough food to entirely fill the large freezer we had. Times change and I now only have a very small freezer, so no opportunity to store lots of food. I wandered into A.D. Paton's and the man behind the counter could not have been more helpful, he was brilliant. I wanted various things but bagged up in small packages for use as a one man meal. He obviously looked at my luggage, heard my obviously not local accent and spent a considerable time individually packaging one piece of this, two bits of that etc. The service was exemplary. This place is obviously very popular (I had to queue briefly) and rightly so. Unfortunately, all the food is long gone but the memories linger on.
I did not buy any actual meat here but it appears it it all locally sourced and looked wonderful. In an age of homogenous supermarkets, this place is a complete joy, a proper butchers and a memory of a bygone age.
What to buy: Well, where to start? All the things I have mentoned in the main text.
What to pay: Just ordinary prices, and certainly less than London supermarket prices.
Like in the USA, Largs and every other city in Scotland boasts many of these shops. Very good source for things you may need but forgot to bring for backpacking or hiking. They really surprised me to have a good selection for souvenirs! Like the Dollar Stores in the USA, the Pound Stores really help on the budget!
What to buy: Of course there are the usual souvenirs with Largs or Scotland emblazened on them, but you can find good prices on Sporrans, crystal items and other typical Scottish items!!
What to pay: You can expect to spend anywhere from 1 pound up to how much you want to spend!