Competition keeps Edzell buzzing
A thriving food scene shines in a village described as the jewel in Angus Crown
It is testament to the quality of food and produce on offer, that the village of Edzell can boast three cafés and two hotels all situated along the main street and all doing a roaring trade.
Sharon Greasley, owner of No.63 – a café, florist and gift shop – takes great pride in the three independent coffee shops happily co-existing. 'The Edzell Tweed Warehouse, known as The Tweedie, The Tuck Inn and ourselves all offer something similar but with enough variances that we can retain customers without treading on each others toes,' she explains. 'We all offer gluten-free options, even dairy-free, and we all make soup using local ingredients. But we all do it differently.'
Bel Forbes, proprietor of Bel's Butchers who supply all the establishments, appreciates their divergences: ‘No.63’s customers are often after a cup of coffee and cake or a light lunch – it’s a great place to meet friends for a catch-up, while the Tuck Inn caters for those looking for a more substantial hot lunch or meal. I often take my family there for high tea or, if I am feeling lazy, we take-out their fantastic fish and chips. The Tweedie offers regulars somewhere a little less conspicuous to savour their wholesome lunch – and the sticky toffee pudding there is something to behold.’ The hotels in town also play their part, Forbes says: ‘They cater superbly for their guests or locals looking for an after-work drink or dinner out.’
A flourishing primary school, a golf club and a strong sense of community have helped create regular customers from Edzell residents themselves. Tourists also greatly benefit from the thriving scene as the village is a perfect pit stop for cyclists and visitors to Glens Lethnot and Esk. Other attractions luring people to the town are the ruins of Edzell Castle and the walks by the river where salmon leap to reach the Rocks of Solitude.
Yet the overriding sense is that the surge of popularity and trade of these eateries is due to both their individual and cumulative reputations. They offer good, home-made, local food at reasonable prices and a warm welcome to customers from near or afar.