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Balerno's Waffle Queen

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

A new post-lockdown focus for Carlyle’s called for a new chef and baker. And Balerno resident Red, with an impressive hospitality CV that includes developing the bakery at Edinburgh Castle, is a perfect match for our local village cafe.

“Like many people, I realised during lockdown that I didn’t want to resume the daily commute into Edinburgh to work at the Castle. I knew Steve and Sharon Carlyle as neighbours in Balerno. Sharon spotted I’d got a new puppy, deduced that I was looking for a lifestyle change, and approached me about working for them!”

Red, Chef and Baker at Carlyle's, Balerno
Red, Chef and Baker at Carlyle's, Balerno

Red isn’t one to mess around with making decisions. She came to Edinburgh on a whim nine years ago, from the Lake District, after her youngest son left home. She packed what she could fit in her van, put the rest of her possessions on Ebay and drove up to Edinburgh looking to experience city life. “I loved it so much I stayed,” she says simply. Her CV and experience quickly landed her employment at Cuckoo’s Bakery, before being head-hunted by Historic Environment Scotland for the Castle’s cafe.

Moving to Balerno from the city centre two years ago, now, shortly after being approached by Sharon, Red has her sleeves rolled up at Carlyle’s and is the Balerno Waffle Queen, creating the most incredible sweet and savoury offerings for local residents, hill walkers and anyone else lucky enough to chance by.

Carlyle’s are focusing 100% on being a daytime cafe, specialising in a waffle and crepes menu, along with soups, salads, smoothies and hot drinks. Everything is handmade from scratch on site.

The waffle maker is accompanied by a new ice cream bar, an expanded range of cakes and biscuits, and a build-your-own waffle dessert. It’s all about being a fun and interesting cafe menu that is great for kids too.

“Balerno’s evening meal offering is well covered on the Main Street, so we are focusing on being a relaxing place to hang out during the day,” explains Sharon.

They are a quintessential village cafe and perfect for walkers coming to and from the hills, parents waiting for nursery pick-up times, for catching up after a dental or hairdressing appointment on the Main Street - or purely of course to experience the excellent food and drinks.

There is more to Red than bakery and deli. She has a degree in fine art, and a peep at her celebration cakes portfolio reveals an exquisite attention to detail that betrays her artistic background. Carlyles will soon be offering celebration cakes, watch this space…

For a warm friendly welcome, and food and coffee second-to-none, visit Carlyles between 10am and 4pm Tues to Fri, and from 9am -4pm Saturdays.

36 Main Street, Balerno


Published in Konect June 2021


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