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Upcycled cafe with beautiful views set to reopen in North Berwick

A popular coffee shop and cafe with beautiful sea views is set to reopen.

Published: July 9, 2020
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DRIFT Cafe, which is located on the clifftops of Quarrel Sands just outside of North Berwick, is preparing to reopen and the owners are urging visitors from across the nation to support local businesses as lockdown continues to ease.

Reopening its doors on Monday 20th July, DRIFT Café was first launched in June 2018 and has become known for its unique set up and unrivalled views, as well as for its quality food and drink.

DRIFT Café is a farm diversification project, developed from a love of food, and offers customers home baking, brunch and a small light lunch menu alongside unparalleled views of Scotland’s east coast.

Run by entrepreneurial couple Jo and Stuart McNicol, the agritourism business is located around half a mile from the couple’s family farm and is made up from a collection of upcycled shipping containers.

DRIFT welcomes a host of regular local visitors as well as those from further afield with customers coming from all over the UK, Europe and even New Zealand. In 2019 it welcomed more than 80,000 people through its doors.

Every cake, scone, traybake, savoury muffin and batch of soup is freshly made in the DRIFT kitchen using, where possible, local or Scottish produce. Last July alone the café served 786 pieces of its famous carrot cake – giving an indication of its unwavering popularity.

Alfresco eating

cafe reopen

In addition to the space offered inside, which will not be reopened straight away, DRIFT also offers an outside seating area, making the most of its coastal surroundings.

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Picnic tables surrounded by planted herbs or a collection of bespoke palette tables offer a comfortable area to take in the sea air.

There will also be a new addition - a horse trailer has been adapted to act as a serving area for customers eating outside.

Jo McNicol, a former teacher, who has had ambitions for this cliffside location for many years, said: “There is nowhere quite like DRIFT in relation to its offer, its location and its unique set up. It has been built out of love and something we are incredibly proud of.

“The café has become an integral part of the community and a fantastic visitor destination for those touring the East Coast so we are incredibly excited to be reopening and getting back to what we do best.

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“We have been inundated with people asking when we will be able to reopen and with lockdown limiting so many in towns and cities we expect to see a surge in visitors keen to enjoy open space and the great outdoors. DRIFT is perfectly placed to serve just that.

“We are very lucky to enjoy some of the best views on offer and the wildlife and sea life around here is remarkable. Just last week we witnessed a pod of dolphins playing not too far from the shore – it’s something we will never take for granted and are eager to share with our customers.

“In the last few months agritourism has taken a real blow and the pandemic has been brutally difficult for many small businesses. I am hopeful that as lockdown eases the nation will support small entrepreneurial businesses and keep places like DRIFT alive.”

The café will open in alignment with Visit Scotland’s new health and safety industry standard ‘We’re Good To Go’ which reassures customers that a Covid-19 risk assessment has been completed and the business is adhering to all respective government and public health guidance.

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The scheme has set the standard across the whole of the UK in conjunction with over 40 industry bodies.

Opening times

DRIFT will reopen via its outside space from 9.30am on Monday 20th July. For more information visit their Facebook page where you can get a glimpse of the stunning views, menu specials and all that’s on offer.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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