Those who visited Craigie’s Farm during the summer to get their punnets of strawberries, might not recognise parts of the destination now. That’s because they’ve just unveiled a £200k makeover to their cafe, which opened back in 2007.
“The redesign and refit is part of our 10-year development plan and we are delighted to have now launched,” says John Sinclair, who owns the South Queensferry business with his wife Kirsteen Sinclair. “The new layout and design reflects our values and heritage while giving customers an improved modern café and shopping experience”.
The extended eating area seats 240 and is one of the farm’s attractions, which draw in around 300,000 visitors annually and include their Little Farmers play park and the food shop and deli, where they've also invested in a bigger counter and made a few other tweaks. Then there are all the Pick Your Own opportunities, as the poly-tunnel strawberries are still on the go and you can currently cut sunflowers. While, from the beginning of September, you’ll be able to harvest your own apples in their orchards and there will be pumpkins in October. Then you might have worked up an appetite for breakfast or lunch.
Before the refurbishment, the cafe’s eating area was rather nondescript and functional, with grey floors, white walls and wooden furniture. Now, it’s plush and colourful, with patterned chairs and striped banquettes, thanks to the designs of Tim Wickens of Arrange Spaces
“We wanted the design to work in harmony with the farm shop, creating a consistent, colourful and organic look. A space was needed that reflected the high-quality of the produce on offer in the café and wider farm. Tasteful rustic elements, such as barn doors and sliding window shutters, were incorporated. Normally associated with agricultural buildings, these features contrast nicely against bright and sophisticated fabrics,” says Wickens. “The main objective was to connect the café with the farm and its provenance to create a warm, attractive atmosphere. We reduced the light levels by using darker colours and adding lamp fittings that project warm, atmospheric lighting. We want customers to feel they are in a stylish space that is also homely and welcoming. Cosy corners were built in, and division screens used to create individual seating with added privacy. Soft wall panelling was specifically designed to lower noise levels whilst adding to the organic feel of the space.”
As far as the menu goes, they’ll continue to offer their favourites, like macaroni cheese, stovies, cakes and eggs Benedict, but there will soon be a few surprise additions.
“We’re currently working directly with our newly recruited food and beverage manager and other external and in house experts, to keep menu standards high and introduce some further seasonal dishes that will be finalised very soon,” says Sinclair. “We aim to keep some of our most popular and staple dishes but are certainly looking to refresh, as we transition into the cosier months. All will be revealed”.