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Auld Alliance brings a piece of France to Morningside

charge of a family-run crêpiere before making the decision to branch out on her own.

“I did my specialist training in crepes because they are the flagship dish of Brittany. This is how I discovered Brittany and I loved it,” explains Marie.

“But I’ve never wanted to settle in France as I’ve always wanted to let people discover a piece of France somewhere else.

“I’ve always liked the UK, so the idea came naturally. After living in Brittany, I wanted to find a Celtic country – authentic, with character, beautiful coasts, nature, the sea, and on top of that old stones and castles as I’m passionate about medieval cities. Edinburgh seemed to be the perfect 
compromise.”

Her decision was made before she had even stepped foot in the city and so Marie set about organising her move here. Last May she came over to make sure it was all she had dreamed of before leaving her family, boyfriend and job.

“I knew that my new home would be here. I completely fell in love with the city,” she says.

“I decided to quit everything in France, my job, my boyfriend, my family, to come here on my own, and live my life here and realise my dream.

“Sometimes in life you just feel that there is a turning point. I thought I should go for it or I would regret it all my life. I’m so happy now to have done it, it’s the best decision I’ve ever taken.”

She decided on Comiston Road and then set about transporting the furniture and decorative items from France.

The café is decorated with a classic French feel, temporarily whisking customers to the shores of another windy city.

Her freshly baked goodies are served on her grandparents’ wedding crockery, Limoges China, and the cups, plates, milk jugs, sugar pots are special edition porcelaine de Quimper, all handmade in Brittany with the traditional costumes of the region painted on them.

The buckwheat flour comes from a small mill in Pont Labbe in Brittany, which has been run by the same family for three generations.

As an added bonus, the café is licenced, which means the chance to try out some traditional Breton artisanal cider too, again from a family company.

“Quality is important so it is great to know where the ingredients are coming from,” Marie says.

“You have to have cider with crepes, it is the traditional thing to have with them and it is delicious, but if you don’t want that there’s nice coffee too.”

The restaurant has already hosted French brunch for children at a school where Marie teaches English and anyone wishing to brush up their skills should visit on the first Sunday of every month for “French food and conversation”.

Though still in its infancy, Marie is confident the city will continue to embrace her.

“This is a huge project for me, it is really the project of my life. I had a dream of opening my own restaurant since I was 20 and this is it,” she says.

“I hope people enjoy what I am trying to do. I already have customers coming back saying they really like it.

“I’m delighted now to make people discover a little piece of France every day, and especially of Brittany, here in 
Scotland.”

 

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