Updated: Nov 8, 2022
In this article we combine two of life’s great pleasures. Coffee and Shopping! But the following businesses are much, much more than one dimensional cafes and shops.
Each of these favourite places beautifully combine several unique and delicious ingredients. From cafes and delis that are also bookshops, to an upstairs downstairs Italian café and antiques store, the famous producer of some of the world’s finest cashmere to a garden centre like no other and a destination that is dedicated to the beer, gin, food and crafts which were born here!
All of these venues are totally unique and if you are planning a morning or afternoon out about, we recommend each and every one of them. Have fun!
Damascus Drum, Hawick
Known for tribal rugs and textiles, second-hand bookshop and Mediterranean dishes.
“We wish this little café to be a fun and friendly place where you can come for a chat, have a quiet read, fall in love or just relax……
Known for their wide range of freshly cooked dishes and home-baked cakes. Including Mediterranean salads and mezes, home-made soups, filled bagels and toasties and a daily changing ‘special’, such as courgette fritters, or spinach and cheese pastries. Most, but by no means all of what they serve is vegetarian and Damascus Drum always have a good choice of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes, including cakes and sweet things.
To the rear of the cafe one wall is taken up with a tall bookcase, made from the recycled floorboards of the old cobblers shop. Here can be found all manner of strange and mysterious tomes: modern novels and ancient texts, Arabic grammars and rock star memoirs, Chinese poetry and Greek tragedy, traveller's tales, and Scottish myths. Buchan and Kipling, Ambler and Conrad, Marquez and Kerouac, Vonnegut and Zappa, all are regulars on these shelves.
It all began in 1975, when a young couple visiting the grand bazaar in Istanbul were led 'backstage' to the in-house carpet auction room. among a few unsold lots, a small piece took their fancy. it was only a section, cut from what must have been a large, fine flat-weave rug, a 'kilim', but it was beautiful and affordable for a couple of young backpackers.
Over the years, with many trips throughout Turkey and the Middle East, the collection has grown. many small hand-knotted carpets and woven rugs, picked up during the proprietors' travels in Anatolia and all points East are on sale.
Johnstons of Elgin, Hawick
Known for Cashmere, Heritage Centre, Retail Store and Coffee Shop
Cashmere is a true luxury product - and one that is irrevocably associated with Johnstons of Elgin. Johnstons of Elgin are the only manufacturer in Scotland to have the capability to take natural fibres from a raw state through every stage of the process to perfectly finished products in cashmere, vicuna, lambswool and merino.
Alexander Johnston established the Elgin mill in 1797 and the Hawick mill started production in the 1970’s but Eastfield Mill has been at the centre of textile production in the town for more than 140 years.
The bright and spacious retail space in this 5-star Visitor Centre provides the opportunity to choose the perfect piece to take home from their men’s, women’s, children’s and home interiors collections. This quality experience extends to the Coffee Shop where all ingredients in their home baking and lunches are sourced locally from handpicked suppliers in or around Hawick.
Known for a unique take on a garden centre, Birdhouse Tearoom, Grocery Shop
Woodside is an award-winning plant centre and tearoom based in a lovely old walled garden, just north of Jedburgh.
Woodside is owned and managed by gardening duo Emma and Stephen Emmerson, with help from an enthusiastic and dedicated team of staff. Located within a Victorian Walled Garden, Woodside is home to a large and well-stocked plant centre, filled with plants sourced from Scottish and UK growers. In the summer of 2020 the team added a grocery shop and new for 2021 is their aquatics section.
Woodside offer personal shopping appointments. If you know you would like additional help in selecting plants for a particular project or need advice on which pump or size of liner you require, they are happy to take appointments.
Their cosy Birdhouse Tearoom overlooks a bird-feeding station, where you can enjoy up close views of the garden birds, whilst enjoying a cup of freshly made coffee and delicious home-baking, or a light lunch. The garden seating area is very popular with tearoom users as the south facing site makes it a sun trap! Dogs on leads are welcome in the garden seating area. Woodside now also offer a takeaway service.
Woodside is open every day, and offers visitors a delightful experience, with our their very own and unique take on a garden centre!
Main Street Trading Company, St Boswells
Known as being a destination in itself, award winning bookshop, great coffee and mouth watering cakes!
The Mainstreet Trading Company Ltd is an award-winning independent bookshop, café, deli & home shop located in the village of St Boswells.
This independent bookshop and cafe have won a raft of awards, including Best Bookshop 2012 at The Telegraph’s Best Small Shops Awards and Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year.
The bookshop has over 7,000 titles in stock with particular importance placed on its extensive children’s section which has its own devoted niche in the store. Readers of all ages, tastes, abilities and interests are catered for. The 'Book Burrows' are beautiful dens where children can sit and listen to audio books. The bookshop also hosts a lively programme of author events and has welcomed writers ranging from Michael Morpurgo and Clare Balding to Esther Freud and Alexander McCall Smith.
The Deli was opened by chef, Tom Kitchin in November 2012. It has a strong local focus, combined with international flavours from Spain and the middle east, plus showcasing West Country cheeses (owner, Bill, grew up in Somerset).
Bill and his team work closely with local suppliers such as Julia Bruce (who makes many of the cafe’s mouth-watering cakes), Peelham Farm and Hardiesmill, to create a broad range of specialist foods with a particular focus on cheeses, cured and smoked meats. Nationally, they source a delicious range of cheeses from suppliers such as Neal's Yard, Anthony Rowcliffe & Sons and I J Mellis.
Homeware at Mainstreet is sourced from as many independent artisan suppliers as possible, and stock ranges from kitchenware and stationery to children's slippers and wooden toys, plus some larger items along with Diana Muir Antiques, ranged alongside Homeware.