BBC Home > BBC News > Scotland

Canna have a tea? Couple to run island cafe

12 January 10 15:49 GMT

A couple have arrived on Canna to run the small Scottish island's cafe.

Caterers Amanda McFadden and Aart Lastdrager were selected by the island's owners, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), to run the business.

The cafe has been closed for a number of months but the couple hope to have it reopened by Easter.

The trust previously picked two families from applications submitted from all over the world to bolster Canna's small population.

At the time the number of residents on the Hebridean island had fallen to just 15.

Canna, off Skye, is 4.5 miles long by a mile wide and is one of Scotland's most important seabird colonies.

Ms McFadden, 38, was born in Glasgow and has cooked in restaurants across Scotland and Europe. Dutch-born Mr Lastdrager is a gardener and chef.

The couple previously worked in a restaurant on Scotland's west coast.

Ms McFadden said: "We have always wanted to run our own business and were looking for a place to put down some roots.

"This opportunity looked perfect for us, as we crave space and there is certainly plenty of that on offer on Canna. We're also looking forward to mucking in and playing an important part in a community."

'Realistic attitude'

In 2007, a landscape gardener and his family from Wales were selected by NTS to move to Canna following a worldwide search for new residents.

Neil and Deborah Baker and their two daughters moved from Llannon, Carmarthenshire.

Couple Sheila Gunn and John Clare, from Scotland, were also picked to live on the island.

Mrs Baker said islanders were very pleased by the arrival of the newest residents.

She said: "They impressed us not only with their catering skills and experience but also with their positive and realistic attitude towards living in a small community such as this.

"We are sure that their ideas and enthusiasm will help make the business a success and that the cafe will prove to be a draw for visitors to the island."

Related BBC sites