Cafe Calluna

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Vibrancy, passion and excellence at the heart of this cafe in Pitlochry.


Arguably one of the warm welcoming hubs of Pitlochry High street, Café Calluna ( Calluna is wild heather) serves up both copious amounts of both cakes and community care. Owner Tracy Hall was perched on her chair at the end of the café, busying herself while the staff danced around, confident, friendly smiley and clearly LOVING working there. And the reason Tracy was so pre-occupied, there was just one hour to go before Café Calluna was transforming itself into a wine bar, and this was the very first night. We didn’t of course realise this as we popped in, complete with dog, dripping clothes and a thirst for a warm cuppa.

Innovation as a result of Covid lockdown, she remarked.If there is one thing Café Calluna does, aside from homemade cakes aplenty, umpteen varieties of tea, coffee – more on that later- and a huge welcome for dogs, it is glowing with community spirit. Tracy invites a knitting group to come each week and stay as long as they wish. She trains her staff , explaining how she gives kids the opportunity to acquire employment skills. She reckons by 16 most are fully trained baristas, hence the coffee machine being expertly handled behind the bar . She believes in welcoming locals as well as the multitudes of tourists who visit Pitlochry. She believes in supporting local enterprises to the extent that the brand new shelves, freshly lined with bottles for the evening bar customers, was made locally in Dunkeld by Brodies Timber,, who have turned their expertise in many directions, including numerous bespoke commissions for the glorious 5 star Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar.

Tracy started up in 2014 having helped at the gift shop which occupied the site, and used every imaginative scheme for creating her café. The tables were rescued from a local leisure centre, transformed with wooden tops; the chairs were painted in many different colours; the scones occupy a three tier vintage cake stand. Later we hear how the cheese scones were worth travelling across Scotland for… ‘next time, Tracy.’ Only the odd crumb was left by our late afternoon visit. All the decoration reflects Tracy’s interests in life, from the drop handled racing cycle propped up on an old sideboard which looks straight out of an Agatha Christie tearoom, and Tracy, in her organising perch is just to one side of the back door and toilet, above which hangs a sign, ‘the man who never made a mistake never made anything…. And underneath – Toilets…..this way….’ A giant photo collage has just appeared, reflecting a life of wide interests, from Steve MacQueen, Sophia Loren, Formula One racing, Sean Connery and many a vintage film scene. A very personal and vibrant approach.

Glancing round the café which was brimming with all ages, including holidaying families and regulars, Tracy revealed her recipe for a happy café ‘look after customers and smile’. Sure the same applies to the rescue chickens she re homes as a hobby. Not sure when she sleeps?

Walking Off the Foody Indulgences

With thanks to Walkhighlands
Black Spout and Edradour, Pitlochry
Varied walk starting from the town centre, passing through woodland to view Black Spout waterfall and Edradour Distillery. From the higher section of the walk good views over the River Tummel and surrounding hills can be seen.Easy woodland walk on good paths and minor roads, can get overgrown in places in summer.

Secret & Hidden Places | Nearby Garden

Secret to ponder! Tread softly! Giant oxen beneath your feet?

While dredging the small loch of the Cuilc close to the modern day Pitlochry Golf course in the 1770s, farmers scooped out deposits of lime and were surprised to find the skulls of four giant oxen, Uri (Bos primigenius). Quite something to contemplate when chasing a small white golf ball round Pitlochry Golf Course.