IT’S unusual for a family friendly venue to appeal to other demographics, but Craigie’s Farm – situated between South Queensferry and Edinburgh – is one of those rare gems.
I didn’t discover it until I had children but I wish I had – a working farm, farm shop, deli, butchery and café, it really does have something for everyone.
Visits are a chance to do a butchers shop, fit in a decent cup of coffee, a delicious home bake and ten minutes’ breathing space while Meghan and Sam clamber over the tractor and tyres outside, before coming in to pinch at least half of said home bake. If it’s wet the kids usually split their time between inside and out, while I hog a comfy sofa and watch them from the window.
At Craigie’s you can also pick your own fruit, follow one of the signed woodland walks or visit the pigs and chickens, the only proviso being that children must be supervised.
On our last visit, we were lucky to have an amazing autumn morning. We arrived about 10am and headed straight round to see the pigs and chickens. The free-range hens had wandered off and were nowhere to be seen, but we were thrilled by the sight of a large litter of piglets enjoying a snooze, and some horses we hadn’t seen previously. As we headed for the café the sun had just burned off the dew and frost from the grass. We ordered scones, coffee and caramel shortcake, grabbed a high chair for Sam and headed straight outside with our drinks and treats. You could see a few other customers thinking it was perhaps too cold not to be indoors, but the external café area is surprisingly sheltered and a real sun spot, and soon other customers were joining us. This is when I realised how wide the appeal of Craigie’s is. There were some ladies “doing coffee”, a granddad and granddaughter having a play, some cyclists enjoying a pit stop and a few OAPs in for a natter.
And dogs are welcome at Amber’s Canine Café, so if you want to enjoy a woodland walk with your four- legged friend, you can still partake of coffee and cake afterwards.
The other thing to note about Craigie’s is that for all it’s so well geared towards children, it feels very grown-up. The butchery and deli sell everything from steak pies to buffalo burgers and olives.
I’ve yet to manage the “pick your own” at Craigie’s as at the moment I think we’d either lose the walking one-year-old under a fruit bush or nothing would go in the basket as he’d have eaten it, but it is definitely on our to-do list. Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy Craigie’s charms as one of the few places I can feel like an adult rather than simply a mum, and where my children are safe, can have fun and get some fresh air.
Craigie’s Farm, Deli and Cafe, West Craigie Farm, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, tel: 0131-319 1048, www.craigies.co.uk