On 1st April 2015 my life-long dream came true and I opened my very own tearoom with my fabulous husband Jim. It’s been everything I hoped for and more. Over the last 5 years we’ve had wonderful customers coming and going. Some came once and never came back. Some came a few times. Some became regular customers, often visiting the tearoom 3, 4 or 5 times a week. Every single customer has been important to us and I am still amazed that people have been willing to hand over their hard-earned cash in our tearoom. Our customers have really become like our very own tearoom family – The Magical Tearoom on the Hill Family. We love you all.
I think one of the magical things for me about running our tearoom has been that we never really knew who would be coming through the door or what would happen that day. We’ve had so much laughter, tears, chat, gossip and hugs, hopefully all mixed with our good food and drink. You may have arrived at the tearoom as a stranger, but we hope that by the time you left, you had become a friend.
Over the years, our Craft, Chat and Cake has grown and we have loved being able to see people blossom finding new skills they never thought they had. Crafting, chatting and eating cake really are the best things in life.
Customers (or rather friends now) have supported us during our own problems and worries. When I needed support during Chloe’s pregnancy with Minnie, you were there. When I was a little unwell after my helicopter ride you were there for both me and Mr M.
Then in March 2020 along came this little virus, Covid 19. Who knew what this would do to the world. Eventually the government ordered everyone to stay at home and our tearoom was forced to close.
During this lockdown we’ve been trying to have almost daily live chats to help us feel that we are still in contact with our tearoom family and that you are able to still see us.
Every week we watch the news updates, hoping that this virus will vanish as quickly as it appeared. But it keeps growing and the death toll has been just devastating.
We have been lucky to receive one of the government small business grants, which has been a godsend in allowing us to continue to pay the tearoom rent and other bills that are still appearing, despite us having no customers and no income.
Government reports and timings of the lockdown are starting to become a little clearer (or as clear as mud). As a tearoom, we will most definitely fall in the latter stages of the lifting of restrictions. Even then, given the size of our magical tearoom we will probably be limited to the number of people we could allow in the tearoom at any one time, perhaps as few as four people.
Over the last 5 years, the size of our tearoom has allowed us to create a cosy, comfortable, safe place for our customers to come to have a relaxing time, to chat to us, to chat to others, to craft and to while away the hours. That very thing that was our strength and allowed us to build and create that special place for everyone is the very thing that is now our biggest threat.
Over the last few weeks we have been trying to plan a new chapter for Mother Murphy’s. When we first created Mother Murphy’s we were doing home baking and selling at farmer’s markets, Highland games and other such events. Our initial plan was to provide a service where we would deliver Afternoon Teas to peoples’ homes, providing everything for you to enjoy a splendid afternoon tea at your home or work.
We feel the time has come for us to re-visit that side of the business again and build up an on-line business for our cakes, bakes, biscuits and afternoon teas. This way we feel that the government funding we have received will be utilised in a productive way to allow Mother Murphy’s to continue to trade rather than simply using the whole grant to pay rent and bills on an empty tearoom. Hopefully over the next few weeks this will become a reality and you will be able to order your favourite cakes and bakes from us.
It is, therefore, with an unbearably heavy heart we are announcing tonight that Mother Murphy’s Tearoom, the Magical Tearoom on the Hill, will not be re-opening. Never say never though. Who knows - another year or two down the line when this virus has been well and truly destroyed and the world is back to normal, there may be another Mother Murphy’s Tearoom pops back up again.
Meanwhile, both me and Mr M and want to express our thanks and our love to every one of you. My heart is truly broken, but I am trying to see this as a new chapter for Mother Murphy’s rather than an end. A new chapter allows for new adventures, which hopefully you will want be part of and we can still somehow keep our Magical Tearoom Family.
Hopefully by the time you are reading this blog, we are a step closer to having our on-line Mother Murphy’s Home Baking and Afternoon Teas available. Who knows – if you are reading this a few years down the line, maybe there is another Mother Murphy’s Tearoom somewhere serving the same magic, love, laughter, chat and, of course, tea and cakes.