So why did we choose Queensferry Street for our shop? We answer a few of your questions in today's blog!
Why Edinburgh?First of all I love Edinburgh and when you are the boss you normally get your own way. Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness and all the other cities in between all have lots of fabulous traits and specialisms but for us Edinburgh seems to have that lovely mix of tourism, business, local population and community, all rolled into one and within walking distance. Established events such as the Tattoo and the Festival bring visitors in their thousands and we are very excited to become a part of their experience. This is why we needed to be in the city centre as we don't want to miss out on all the action!
Why Queensferry Street?10 Queensferry Street was the very first property I looked at when we decided "operation shop" was going ahead, however the building was in a pretty poor state and felt like too big a project. We then fell in love with an old bank in Stockbridge full of traditional features and situated on a wide, cobbled street full of charm and character. That wasn't to be so we explored many other options before I returned to Queensferry Street and had a closer look. As soon as I poked through the horrible false ceiling and spotted the beautiful cornice hidden away just waiting to be restored to it's former glory the vision for the future began to take shape. Our lovely shopfitter Hector, is very tired of hearing me say "well as long as that doesn't spoilt the cornice" as he works out how to fit lighting, air conditioning and other practicalities around it. Having removed the false ceiling part 2 of our renovation was to change it from charcoal grey to white so it was very exciting to receive the photo below from the shopfitters last night. Another coat and it will be perfect! The West End of Edinburgh is enjoying a bit of a resurgence and if you are hungry or thirsty you in the right place. L'Escargot Blanc are a few doors down from us and producing some delicious canapes for our guests to enjoy at the grand opening. They may be a French restaurant but like us they love to source locally and can always tell you exactly where their ingredients originated from. The street has a really busy feel to it with lots of offices in the vicinity, the retail hustle and bustle of Princes Street just around the corner and Edinburgh Castle in view from our front door so we are right in the heart of the city and never far from anywhere if you are in town for the day.
Parking and practicalitiesEdinburgh is famously bad for parking and as lots of our customers will travel from out of town we also wanted to be really accessible. Queensferry Street ticks all the boxes with a million buses past the door every day, loads of metered parking round the corner on Melville Street and Haymarket Station 5 minutes walk away. Not to mention the West End tram stop is only 20m away on Shandwick Place!
History lessonOur building is B Listed which means it is of special architectural or historical interest. This does mean we have had to have all our changes approved by the City of Edinburgh Council although since we are restoring old features instead of removing them they are delighted. 10 Queensferry Street is a classic Edinburgh 4-storey, sandstone tenement dating back to 1823, designed by James Gillespie Graham who is best known for designing Blythswood Castle and other country houses and churches. The cornice detailing that we so love was added mid 19th century.
If we are to open as planned on 1st August I must stop typing and pick up my paintbrush again. We can't wait to welcome you through the doors!