Cancer fight forces Loopy Lorna’s tea room closure

Gaynor Salisbury to close eaterie:Picture: Ian Georgeson
Gaynor Salisbury to close eaterie:Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The owner of one of Edinburgh’s most iconic tea rooms has been forced to close the business following a battle with cancer.

The award-winning Loopy Lorna’s tea house at the Churchill Theatre in Morningside will close for the last time on Sunday after Gaynor Salisbury’s fresh cancer scare.

Ms Salisbury – who named the tea room after her mother – said it was a very difficult decision, but it was one which her oncologist would be “pleased about”.

The tea house provided traditional home-baked afternoon teas served on china plates and with hand-knitted fun tea-cosies.

Ms Salisbury, 54, opened Loopy Lorna’s in Morningside Road in 2008 and within weeks it had become a focal point in the area.

She later opened a second tea room at the Churchill Theatre and in 2011 sold the Morningside Road shop.

She had been diagnosed with breast cancer just two months after opening the first tea room, but was determined to keep the business going and won a string of awards.

The tea room was famous for its eccentric range of mismatched crockery and giant slabs of sponge cake.

Ms Salisbury was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010, after her head chef Michelle Phillips won casual dining chef of the year at the Scottish Chef Awards the year before. Last year, the tea room was among the Capital’s top five aspiring businesses shortlisted in the Local Business Accelerator Awards, a Dragon’s Den-style competition organised by the Evening News and

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

It was named Best Independent Eatery in Scotland 2012 in the Scottish Independent Retail Awards. Ms Salisbury said at the time she believed it was the standard of service which might have clinched the award.

And earlier this year, Loopy Lorna’s was in the finals of the Scottish Home Baking Awards.

In a statement Ms Salisbury said: “I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to all our loyal customers who have made Loopy’s the success it is.

“My mum, Lorna, would have delighted in seeing the tea house brimming with happy customers, munching on our delicious cakes and sipping on our fine teas.

“As many of you will know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer two months after opening Loopy’s in October 2008 and then secondary breast cancer in 2012. As much as I cherish Loopy’s it is time to let it go. Loopy’s may yet reappear run by another company, though!

“Thank you all for five years of custom and for helping me achieve my dream of a fitting tribute to my mum.”