Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Today we got our very first booking for Jessie’s – thanks Fiona and the lovely Letham Ladies, your table for eight will be waiting on Thursday! I’m such a sap, I felt a bit tearful – let’s hope I’m not like that every time we get a booking or the soup will be very salty...! Fi, we can’t wait to see you and the girls!
Soooooo much has been happening in the last week or so, life has been hectic but wonderful! Met some very talented and totally lovely crafty ladies at a craft fair in the Castle Green Halls in Broughty Ferry – some of them are coming in to discuss us featuring their beautiful work in our small-but-soon –to- be-packed-with-gorgeous-things gift shop. I knew I would love this part of the Jessie’s Kitchen experience (well, it does involve shopping...) but as well as loving looking through so many gorgeous   gifts  and calling it  work! How can that be?! ), we keep meeting the nicest people! Thanks to our friend Sharon (alias Farmer McLeod) who’s much too modest to say so herself, but who makes the most  beautiful bags, cards, gift boxes and much more. Wait till you see them, they’re perfect present material (if you can resist buying them for yourself!).
We’re also on the lookout for local artists who’d like to exhibit their work with us (we have a lot of walls with a lot of character, just crying out for ART!) and hopefully sell it. If anyone knows someone (professional or amateur) who has paintings or photographs which deserve some wall space, please let us know. The Degree Show has shown up some awesome young talent who we hope to have on board soon, plus we can’t believe we’re lucky enough to have some Fiona Haldane originals ready to display in time for opening. Fiona’s a talented and established Scottish artist and we’re so pleased and grateful to be able to showcase her work.

Monday, 20 June 2011


Sorry there hasn’t been much Blog activity recently...  we’ve been busy, busy, busy making Jessie’s Kitchen look fabulous! It’s less than a week until we open and life is very hectic, especially as we both have day jobs - and three poor, neglected children (so they keep telling us) who’ve been made to pick up paintbrushes or put up with endless visits to DIY stores... But it’s FUN too – and where our hearts now belong! The cafe is turning out exactly how we saw it in our dreams    worth all those late nights! Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves because we can’t believe that after all these years of talking about opening our very own cafe, we are now less than a week away! We totally appreciate how lucky we are to be doing what we’ve always, always dreamed of doing. And now we’re seeing it all come together, one painty chair at a time!
Because we have been painting. And painting. And painting some more! Mornings... evenings... weekends... changing tables... mirrors... tables... and chairs, of course. So many chairs! 48 , to be precise! And everything needs to be primed, then undercoated, before even starting on the  two coats of actual paint! Big (no, HUGE actually!) thanks to everyone who’s picked up a brush; Maz, Nick, Maya T (13 and not too fond of painting but has done her bit. For money, but still!), the Turriff’s florists, Nadia, Claire and Janine,  Adrian, our trainee garden-landscaper. Everyone has been amazing – thanks team!
Seeing the white, undercoated  chairs lined up, row upon row, like a Chinese pottery army was a bit daunting, but  we got there! Now they’re glorious shades of pink and make me happy when I look at them ( OK, I never claimed not to be a saddo, did I??) When you visit, look out for our special ‘chair of many colours’ –  a real designer item, created when all that painting finally drove some poor soul MAD and they cracked... we reckon it’s a lucky chair but we’re not planning to charge extra for sitting in it –                                                                            how’s that for good value?!

Thursday, 9 June 2011


We owe friends and colleagues big thanks for their help and advice on where to snap up second-hand furniture – and for keeping an eye out for bargains for us! City centre charity shops have been amazing, and Curr & Dewar Auction House has turned into the most fun you can have online on a Monday night (unless anyone can suggest anything ‘funner’ as Hope would say...??! I’m sure some of you can!!). Placing bids then phoning up on a Tuesday afternoon to see if we’ve been successful was exciting (go on, try it!) – and a solid oak table and four chairs for £20 can’t be bad, can it?! 
Tip we’ve learned: lot of stuff goes cheap, but if you really, really want an item be brave – definitely go in higher than Ross’s first attempts of a ‘sensible and reasonable amount within the suggested range’! That won’t get you that daisy tea set, as it turns out... Somewhere between that and my yelp of ‘We NEED that tea-for-two set, bid up, BID UP!!’ is probably a good idea... oh, and when you start wondering if you really actually need your middle child after all, it’s time to STEP AWAY FROM THE BIDDING...


Big thanks to my work buddy Eileen for introducing us to our new favourite place; Tayside Recycling. Situated just off Lochee Road - perhaps you all knew it was there, but I had no idea!
Part treasure trove, part massive skip, but if you like to rake and don’t mind ‘fixer-uppers’ and a bit of hard work, it’s worth a look!
It’s also good for a laugh and a wee bit fascinating, with stuff like hundreds of maps for £1 each (frame them – or paper a wall, cool!), a funny little shop where you can buy a china tea set for a fiver or fill a bin bag with ‘vintage’ (dahling!) clothes and fabrics for £6.
If you do visit, make sure you check out ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ upstairs (outside, up the wobbly fire escape and into a huge, crumbling warehouse stuffed with every sort of object in existence!). Things we found:
*A pristine dentist’s chair. Creepy! But I... er, want it?!
*Not one, but two doctors’ examination tables plus a pile of white doctors’ coats. Fun! (but not for the caff. That would be WRONG!! Right??).
*One of those amazing fitness machines from the 60s or 70s where you stand on a platform and wrap a vibrating belt around you. Useful!
Maya loves helping with the 'upcycling'!!
Unless you really don’t like old and not necessarily clean things, I’d recommend a visit. Go with a pal and you’ll have a laugh, if nothing else, but beware, you may become addicted!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

TAKE A SEAT (Well, not literally...boom, boom! Don’t worry, we promise jokes won’t be on the menu at Jessie’s)
Choosing chairs and tables sounded like the easy part – but nuh-uh. After a lot of searching online and in furniture shops and catalogues, we’ve finally decided to do a bit of ‘upcycling’. Partly because we have a budget to stick to; because we believe in doing our bit for the environment; because we just couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for; and as it turns out, because we genuinely love the beautiful old, solid wood furniture we’ve bought, blagged and bargained for all over Tayside. It needs TLC but it’s going to be gorgeous! Eventually! After a lot of hard work! For now, Ross’s future office (his Gran’s old spare room) is piled to the ceiling with all shapes and sizes of mis-matched chairs and tables, all ready to be sanded... primed... undercoated... and glossed. Blimey! When are we going to get all that done, then?!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Hole # 3

Holes are obviously a bit like buses... you go ages without seeing a single one then a ‘hole’ load (sorry!) come along at once... our lovely joiner, Mark, turned up thinking he’d nothing better to do than fit the stainless steel on the walls in Gran’s old kitchen... only to discover the floor has been riddled with woodworm at some stage and a huge chunk needs to be replaced. Unless we can somehow persuade Nick and Maz to just be very careful only to use half the floor and not fall in when they’re rustling up the soup... ok, maybe not. So this week has been all about the floor instead of our lovely shiny new kitchen but we can’t complain too much, since it’s our first real set-back; that’s got to be pretty lucky in such an old house?
Talking of which, it’s been strangely fascinating (honest!!) for Ross, watching Stewart our electrician pull wires from inside walls and somehow magically manage to invisibly thread them around the place. Somehow, he can make them reappear somewhere completely different, miles away, leaving only the tiniest, neatest hole in the wall (sorry to keep mentioning holes). Britain’s Got Talent has a place for you, Stewart, or if Derren Brown ever needs an assistant...!