Falkirk’s Finnegan’s is serving up a new venture thanks to afternoon teas

A Falkirk town centre cafe found the perfect recipe to get through lockdown – delivering afternoon teas.

By Kirsty Paterson
Friday, 31st July 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd August 2020, 2:22 pm

Finnegans’ owner and chef Giles Nichol turned to them in the early days of lockdown while his staff were on furlough and things seemed bleak for the business which was not even two years old.

Giles could never have 
imagined that the demand for his afternoon tea deliveries would be so high that eventually all of his staff were brought back from furlough early.

“There’s no doubt they kept the business going and meant we came back from lockdown much stronger,” said Giles.

At first Giles made and delivered all of teas himself but, before too long, he knew he couldn’t keep up with demand on his own.

Customers couldn’t get enough of the elegant finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and beautiful rose cupcakes with eclairs, meringues and empire biscuits all served on a three-tiered stand.

“It was a great way for people to celebrate something like a special birthday, an anniversary or a baby shower,” he said.

In fact, their success has led to Finnegans – located in The Hub in Vicar Street – expanding.

Giles has now taken over the premises previously occupied by Mother Murphy’s tearoom in Ladysmill, Falkirk,  which will open later this year as a takeaway and deli.

He explained: “I had to find more space – every inch of this place was covered in plates – and I happened to see Mother Murphy’s, so it happened very quickly.”

He believes in keeping things simple but using quality ingredients the new venture will stay true to that philosophy, using local suppliers such as Oliphants’ bakery, butchers R Brown and Son and Falleninch Farm.

Cakes will continued to be supplied by Wendy Devlin.

Like other cafes and restaurants, Giles and the team are now welcoming customers back indoors with appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures.

“You can see the confidence is coming back and people are returning,” he said.

And, yes – afternoon teas now feature on Finnegans’ menu using traditional fine china to make it a visual treat too.

“I couldn’t not serve them after lockdown – people kept asking for them!” said Giles.

One of the first to return to Finnegans to enjoy an afternoon tea was Falkirk Delivers manager Elaine Grant, who was giving her mum a birthday treat.

Elaine later left a review on TripAdvisor to say that they had enjoyed afternoon tea all over Scotland and that “the quality of treats outshone even Gleneagles”.

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