Cafe Canna is located on the isle of Canna, one of the Small Isles in the Inner Hebrides. It is about 30 miles from the Scottish mainland. The Cafe is situated on the shoreline of Canna Harbour. Chris and his team opened their doors to the public a couple of years ago, so to get a flavour of this newest of ventures, Chris has agreed to answer 10 questions on the Cafe and life on Canna.
1. Where is the Café located on Canna and how can I get to it?
Café Canna is a small bistro on the Isle of Canna, located on the shores of Canna harbour, a natural sea anchorage perfect for visiting boats and yachts. The easiest way to get to the Isle of Canna is by Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry from Mallaig on the Scottish mainland or Armadale pier on the Isle of Skye. Mallaig can be reached by train or road from Glasgow. There are also charter day trips offered by AquaXplorer and Bella Jane on the Isle of Skye too, leaving from Elgol.
2. Will you be using locally sourced ingredients in your recipes?
Yes! We’re hoping to have venison from Rum, Lobster from Canna, Mussels from Arisaig or Skye and Haddock from Mallaig. Everything will be freshly prepared. We’re right next to the sea so there’ll be a good dose of seafood on the menu. We’re also going to try and get our refreshments from some of the neighbouring islands; beer and whisky from Skye and gin from Islay.
3. What is your favourite or signature dish at Café Canna?
Moules-Frites. A classic French bistro dish that really has to be on our menu. The coast of Scotland is abundant with mussels. They are so fresh and a treat to eat. Perfect for sharing a meal with a friend at the edge of the sea.
4. Will you be hosting any special events?
We’re a small, 16 seater café, so we’ll always do our best to cater for any events that happen on the island.
5. How will Café Canna integrate into the local community?
We hope to establish Café Canna as a great place to go as part of a visit to the Island. We’d like everyone to enjoy their time on Canna, and Café Canna could be a part of that experience.
6. How did you come to lease/run Café Canna?
Anna and I lived on the Isle of Skye for a number of years before heading south so that Anna could go to college and study design. We’d always planned to return to the west coast after graduation. We’d visited Canna before so when an advert appeared for the lease of the Café we though it was a really good opportunity and perfect time to go for it. I had some experience of the catering trade and enjoyed that working environment. The fact that it was on Canna was an amazing bonus – it’s a beautiful island. There were a few applications to make, meetings to attend and a robust business plan to devise before anything was agreed but in the end we were fortunate to offered the lease.
7. What is the best thing about living on a small Hebridean island?
There are so many good things it’s hard to pick just one. If we had to choose we’d say it’s the good nature of everyone in the community that make the place special. That’s what makes Canna especially great.
8. What are the main attractions on Canna? What is your favourite place on the island?
The island itself is an attraction. As it’s a small island, you’re always near the sea and close to the wildlife. You’ll see such a variety of bird life here that you wouldn’t see in places like Skye without having to drive for miles or be extra vigilant. Canna house is a great place to visit for anyone on the Island, hosting the collections of John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw. A new community shop is opening this year, and that will definitely be worth a visit.
9. Where do you see yourself and your business in the next 5-10 years?
We’d hope that Café Canna becomes a well-respected destination for people visiting the west coast of Scotland and looking for somewhere to relax and get a fresh and tasty bite to eat right next to the sea.
10. Where can I find more information on Café Canna?
More information can be found at www.cafecanna.co.uk or by emailing [email protected]