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Ayscoughfee Cafe team take over the South Holland Centre restaurant

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Theatre goers and shoppers now have a new spot to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in Spalding with a much-loved team at the helm.

The team behind the hugely popular Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe has taken on the first floor of the South Holland Centre, opening the latest venue earlier this week.

Ellie Clay who, along with business partner Sarah Hall, owns the cafe at the hall said taking on the second location, this time with her mum, also named Sarah, was an easy decision.

Cafe on the Square team on opening day. From left, Ellie and Sarah Clay, Olivia Thompson and Bailey Boulding (58396015)
Cafe on the Square team on opening day. From left, Ellie and Sarah Clay, Olivia Thompson and Bailey Boulding (58396015)

“We were approached by the council a little while ago and I must admit it was a pretty easy decision,” she said.

“We just said ‘yes’!

“Of course, in the run up to opening I’ve been really worried and stressed and I did start to wonder if we had made the right decision but now I feel a lot better and excited about it.

“Everyone here is from the Ayscoughfee Cafe so there’s plenty of familiar faces, plus we have our head chef Paul here too.

“This is the team at the moment but there’s every chance we could grow it in the future.”

The Café on the Square is open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

As with the Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe, Ellie is dedicated to continuing to produce delicious food made with locally sourced, fresh seasonal produce.

There will be breakfast options, including porridge, granola and breakfast brioche buns, plus lunches and snacks including scrumptious sandwiches, sausage rolls and scotch eggs.

Although there are no current plans to open the first floor venue in the evenings, Ellie has something else up her sleeve for later in the year.

She said: “I’m in my comfort zone with what I’m doing here and I’m really, really excited to start doing the bar and events, weddings and sit down dinners as that will be something new.

“That has always been a bit of Ayscoughfee that I’ve really loved - the evening events will be something a bit different and something we can all get into.

“Around Christmas I’m going to look at opening upstairs as a restaurant.

“I want it to be in a casual fine dining style in there.”

South Holland District Councillor Gary Taylor is very pleased with the move for the centre after Moninna’s Ristorante and Pizzeria and the Platter and Pour cafe/cocktail bar, which took the top and first floor, both closed in March.

Coun Taylor, portfolio holder for communities and facilities, said: “This is excellent news and deals with the uncertainty of what is happening at the South Holland Centre.

“I am very pleased that we have got an established local firm in there who have a good reputation.”

Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe, which was recently refurbished, remains open seven days a week. It was officially opened by Louis Smith.

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