Mainstreet is featured in Waitrose Kitchen magazine, Oct 2010
The nice people at Waitrose Kitchen have written an article about Mainstreet – complete with beautiful photos. Here’s an extract of the text…
…. At this family-run bookshop, the accounts are all in order, thanks to the magical combination of great reads and delicious feeds…. In 2003 [Bill and Ros de la Hey] moved to Scotland, Ros’s childhood home, from London, where Ros had worked for many years for publishers Bloomsbury; Bill was a photographer.
She continued to work for Bloomsbury, albeit more remotely, while Bill retrained as a chef, with a view to starting a catering company. Ros nursed a dream of opening her own shop, and serendipity presented an opportunity when an old auction house in the village came on the market. Together with her mother, Ros bought it and set about converting it to what it is today: a haven of calm, with 7,000 books spread out on tables and shelves, and a cafe counter and seating by the entrance.
“A lot of people, including the bank manager, said we were mad,” says Ros. But now the shop is at the heart of the community, and booming.
Bill serves a simple menu. “It’s the food I’d cook at home. I buy local ingredients and add foreign twists,” he says.
So there’s a Moorish touch to today’s tomato soup, with the addition of toasted cumin; it’s a recipe inspired by Sam and Sam Clark’s Moro East cookbook, and was the first soup they made for the shop. And the cakes, of course, are just delicious.
It’s all part of a cunning business plan, as Ros explains: “People come in for cake and coffee, and accidentally buy a book,” she says.