The Wee Bear,

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The Wee Bear Café, Lochside at Bridgend of Lintrathen
We followed the Yellow Brick Road from Perthshire towards the Angus Glens on the lookout for a rainbow’s end — a unique independent tearoom to share with you. We are searching for places that feel like home, but without the washing up.
After a couple of false starts, we found ourselves transported to the Land of Oz in the form of the Wee Bear Café, situated on the Lochside at Bridgend of Lintrathen. There to welcome us was the café’s very own Toto, ‘The Wee Bear’, after whom this lovely place is named.
Gareth and Anne opened the Wee Bear in 2015. Since then, they have enjoyed a loyal following of both customers and staff, including their university-age children who come back year after year to help out during summer holidays.
Our own Toto, Nessie, quickly settled into a cosy dog basket by the fire as Ann and I turned ourselves into munchkins, demolishing the delicious home-made cake and coffee in the most extraordinary roundhouse with a wide opening onto a covered terrace.
The old round room – presumably an old grinding mill or similar – has a nautical feel with its wooden boarded floors and furniture, rope and glass. The large open doorway is naturally ‘covid friendly’ and the café experienced a boom during the pandemic. Indeed some changes resulting from the pandemic, such as moving the cash till outside, have worked so well that Gareth and Anne have made them permanent.
Making lemonade from lemons is a theme of the Wee Bear. Just as the family met the covid tornado with resilience and creativity, the leading of the stained glass window in the bar comes from the wreckage of storm Arwen. Recycled iron, half-cut whisky barrels and old wooden pallets have found new and upcycled uses as part of the bar, tables or flooring.
Above all, though, is the feeling of a warm welcome. A place to come to and flop by the fire or against the bar. Whether like the Scarecrow you feel in need of a bit of headspace, the Tin Man in needing heartening or the Cowardly Lion wanting to feel a bit more courageous, you may just find what you are looking for at this lovely rainbow’s end.

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