Sunday, 29 May 2011

Nooks And Crannies

'Secret' stairs
Gran’s house, as I say, is amazing… I love the original pantry with its beautiful wooden doors, soon to be home to Jessie’s Kitchen plates, utensils and delicious(!) cooking ingredients; but my favourite, favourite thing is the ‘secret’ room!
Many moons ago, when Broomhall was one big house, this hidden-away room was where the housekeeper slept and was accessed by a trapdoor in the ceiling. Bearing in mind she was probably an older lady (okay, I’m basing this on Upstairs Downstairs!), going up the rickety ladder to bed must have been fun...! Now there’s a (still rickety!) ‘secret’ staircase going up to the room, which is going to be our new staffroom. Once we manage to get the wardrobes and other furniture stashed up there down the secret, rickety staircase (any volunteers?!).

As if a secret room isn’t exciting enough, Gran’s cellar has yielded so much interesting stuff… these rent books are in immaculate condition and contain so may weel-kent Dundee place names, as well as beautiful stamps featuring King George VI of The King’s Speech/Colin Firth fame! You might have seen them featured in the Evening Tele (thanks to our good friend Graeme), the City Archivists are keen to get their hands on them and we plan to see if the McManus Galleries would be interested.

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Hole # 1!
Poor John, our builder, ‘bit’ off more than he was expecting when he tried to drill through a wall in the new disabled-access toilet to fit an extractor… several industrial-strength drill bits (apparently you pay for them by the mm – yikes!) later, you can see how thick the walls are – Ross can fit his arm through the hole!
Hole # 2!                                
How on earth did Great Gran manage not to disappear under the floor every time she took a bath?? Turns out only three of the legs of the bath in Gran’s original bathroom (now Jessie’s Kitchen’s Disabled Access and Baby Change bathroom) were actually supported by floorboards... the fourth one was dangling in space above a very large hole over the cellar...
We did consider offering a free bath with every coffee for a while, but then we decided you’d probably prefer a biscuit (please let us know, though – customer feedback is very important to us!!).

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Bit parquet…
It has to be said that, for two inexperienced DIY-ers with three children rampaging around in the background, lifting the old parquet piece by tiny piece was NOT the easiest morning’s work (although, still more fun than Ross’s next job; hauling out/hammering in the zillion miniscule nails left behind, which would otherwise have wrecked the floor sander). If anyone’s horrified that we ripped it up, so are we, but it was very old (from before even Gran and Grandad’s time), very worn, and most importantly, only ran around the very edge of the living room floor – leaving the middle to be filled in with carpet! There was no saving it, but the original floorboards underneath are beautiful. Or we hoped they would be, after the next job… sanding!

Ross sanded the floors himself – took a week of evenings after hard days at work, with Turriff’s busy with the start of the bedding plant season. As anyone who’s ever done it will know, it was a hot, dusty, booooooring job! Made better by his amusing ‘Outbreak’ outfit – which amused Stewart, our sparky and cousin-in-law and I hugely... better safe than sorry, Ross!! Made worse because the hired sander didn’t work properly the first time we got it and had to go back to the shop. Grrrr! But so worth it when we saw the floorboards revealed – and now they’ve been stained, what a difference; it’s really opened up the rooms, shows off the fireplaces and suddenly, it’s started to look a wee bit like a cafe...!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Ross’s Gran’s house is amazing. We’re so lucky to have such a beautiful old building, full of wonderful original features to start our café in, but every picture, photo or ornament we have moved, bit of wallpaper we’ve stripped or carpet we’ve lifted has reminded us of Gran and Grandad and that this was once their home.
At times it’s been especially emotional – like having to tear out the original Jessie’s kitchen, where Gran always made friends and family so very welcome (and would rustle up home-made scones to go with your cup of tea faster than I personally could open a packet of Hob Nobs!) So yes, it’s been emotional, but we’ve reminded ourselves that Ross’s Gran was a practical lady who wasn’t at all precious about her house. It was family first, then the business, that mattered to Gran and we think she would have supported the café all the way.
Find us HERE

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I’ve always been a sucker for flicking through ‘housey’ magazines (preferably with a glass of Pinot in hand and a large dream bubble above my head picturing exactly how I’d have that big house up the road which looks like something out of Gone With The Wind and now belongs to Lorraine Kelly... but anyway...) and watching home makeover shows (Colin and Justin are my not-so-guilty pleasure – if that doesn’t sound too wrong?!). So, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in choosing wallpaper, lighting, flooring and the works for Jessie’s Kitchen. The fun stuff! Couldn’t wait,  until it dawned on me… you decorate your house, and it’s going to be mainly friends and family who see it and say how lovely it is…or pretend not to notice if the place is a a tip! But you decorate a café and you run the risk of hundreds of customers (we hope!!) checking out your choice of wallpaper then turning away with raised eyebrows to ask each other ‘What was she thinking??’!   

Big ideas.

It’s been fun so far, though we hope you’ll like it (and will pretend not to notice if not!).

Which wallpaper.....?

Monday, 9 May 2011


We’ve been so lucky – we’ve got our dream team for Jessie’s Kitchen and some of you may recognise them!

Nick collecting The Rep's
third  'Restaurant of the
Year' award!!!

NICK WRIGHT is an experienced Chef Manager whom we thought we could only dream of working with. You might know Nick from the delicious food and his front of house charm at The Rep’s Het Café… or remember his best-in-the-whole-wide-world chilli from the original Westie (West Port bar) … or his world-famous steak sandwich from The Blue Mountains (for people of a certain age!). Of course, Nick has many more recipes than this up his sleeve (he popped round yesterday with some of his amazing scones to prove it – please pop round any time, Nick!!) as well as bringing fantastic ideas, experience and inspiration for every area of Jessie’s Kitchen. We’re proud to have him on board!
MARLYN JEFFERY took early retirement from DC Thomson at the end of last year and is sorely missed, not just for her not just for her fabulous organisational and people skills (she’ll kill me for putting that) but for making us laugh! Then laugh some more! People who know her well also know she’s also a great cook! Marlyn was the person everyone asked about everything and she never let us down – now, lucky for us, those skills have been transferred to Jessie’s Kitchen (and she’s been sending us delicious-looking pics of all the new recipes she’s been trying out!). Fantastic to have you on the team, Maz!

Friday, 6 May 2011

You can’t look to the future without looking back at the past and there wouldn’t be a Jessie’s Kitchen without Alec and Jessie Turriff. Many of you will have known them… parents of Ian and Sandy, in-laws to Irene, grandparents of Ross and Laura, great grandparents of Maya, Hope, Evan, Jayden and Nathan. They are where Turriff’s Broomfield Nurseries started and the reason we are lucky enough to be able to build on the business’s success today. It’s poignant, yet somehow it fits, that Jessie’s Kitchen will fill their house (and kitchen!) with friends and family once again. Gran and Grandad would have been proud, we think.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Hello and WELCOME… to the start of something big, hopefully!! (But something small, friendly and a bit warm and fuzzy, too, if all goes to plan...).
This Blog is about our (and by that I mean Ross, Jacquie and Turriff family’s) hopes, wishes, DIY/builder adventures(!) - and no doubt trials and tribulations - as the dream that we’ve had for a long, long time becomes Jessie’s Kitchen, (instead of ‘Turriff’s Caff’ as our long-suffering friends and family have known it for some time now...).
The PLAN… selfishly, to open a café which offers everything we know WE like in a café – but can’t always find. Although we’ll (hopefully!) be too busy to experience it for ourselves. Hang on a minute, we really haven’t thought this through properly, have we…???
Because let’s face it, when you find the ‘right’ café, it becomes a home-from-home (although Ross would say that was just me, while on maternity leave. Ahem). Somewhere to meet friends, bring the family… or just find a quiet table for one with a coffee, the paper and a sigh of relief...
You’ve also got to have good food, of course; whether it’s an indulgent treat or the healthy option. Which, in our opinion should still be a treat, too!
And if you care about where your food comes from, you can relax because so do we – we plan to offer fresh, local if possible, sometimes even home grown, ingredients. In summer, you’ll even be able to look out of the window and watch us picking the veg for JK salads (and have the last laugh as you relax and chat with friends!).
We also reckon atmosphere is just as important – great surroundings and a warm welcome for everyone, including families. Having three children ourselves, we’ve been there! We want to make Jessie’s Kitchen special for little ones, which will hopefully allow parents to relax and enjoy, too.
And finally, we’re planning a few of those special and memorable touches which are hard to put your finger on but we hope will lift us out of the ordinary and make us your favourite place to visit.  According to our girls, ‘fancy’ toilets are top of the list(!), but we have big plans for the rest of the place, too!!
So, right now, it’s all a bit scary…. but probably the most exciting thing (barring the arrivals of our Gang Of Three – although, it has to be said, this is close and may even be slightly scarier!!) we’ve ever done. Gulp.

We hope you’ll wish us luck – and come and see us sometime around June 20th, all going well!

Broomhall, where it all began.
 We hope you'll visit us to see how things have changed.