Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Thursday 13 June 2024
 8.8°C   E Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Business / Plans for new cafe and accommodation in Whalsay

An image of what the dining area could look like. Credit: Malcolmson Architects

A NEW cafe is set to open in Whalsay this summer as part of a project to revamp a historic manse on the island.

Sister duo Julie Williamson and Andrea Huntley are also making three self-catering rooms, complete with mini kitchens, upstairs.

Work is already well underway on the property in Marrister.

Also in the plans is a function room, which could be hired out for events like parties or workshops.

Williamson said the idea has been in the pipeline for a few years.

“There is currently nowhere in the island to come and meet up with friends and family to have a cup of coffee,” she said.

“We often get asked by people who come in to visit the island for the day where they can go and get a meal. It’s something that the island is been lacking for quite a long time.”

The menu is not set in stone yet, but the team are hoping to use a much local produce and seafood as possible, with coffee and cake also likely to feature too.

In addition to a lack of catering Williamson said there is also not much accommodation available in Whalsay for people visiting the isle.

What the exterior of the building currently looks like.

The sisters are not fully clued-up about the history of the building – they would “love to hear” if anyone knows more about its origins.

“It was probably a merchant’s house and we think it may have existed since the 17th century,” Williamson added.

“Originally three stories high, the top floor was taken down and built out into the front in a L-shape.

“Possibly this was done much later when it became a manse for the minister.

“After the new manse was built up the road in the early 1900s the auld manse become a private dwelling house sometimes with folk renting individual rooms. Most recently it was a family home with dog boarding kennels at the back.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“It stood empty for several years before our family bought it with a seed of an idea that it had potential to be something fine. The walls are thick built stone, but the windows are fairly big for an old building so it’s both cosy and bright.

“Sadly there weren’t any original interior features like fireplaces or woodwork left and the floorboards and stairs we had hoped to save were too rotten.

“When it was stripped back we thought some of the stonework should be left visible as an original feature.”

The family has worked with Malcolmson Architects on the plans.

There will also be craft cabinets to display their own work and pieces from local makers too.

Williamson said McKay & Sinclair are doing a “lovely job of the building work” ahead of finishing up in early summer.

“There’s a lot still to do,” Williamson said. “It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes but we’ll get there in the end.

“It’s encouraging to be getting an enthusiastic response from the local folk.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.