Antiques and collectables on the menu at café

After the death of her father, Nichola Lodge decided she needed to make the most of life.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 10:00 am
Nichola Lodge with one of Circa's vintage caravans in Amble. Picture by Jane Coltman

Having previously worked in insurance, she decided to leave her stressful job and start doing something she enjoyed.

After browsing for sale listings online and visiting numerous locations, she spotted an ad for the Circa Café in Amble and decided it was the one for her.

Using inheritance money left to her by her father, she decided it was time for a change of pace and scenery.

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She said: “After the death of my dad, I revaluated my life and decided I wanted to enjoy it as you never know how much time you have left.”

Located next to the Esso petrol station in Amble, the café and adjoining antique shop serve a wide variety of homemade food, drinks and sweet treats.

Nichola said: “I’m still getting to grips with the business side of things, having to do payroll and orders.”

Since taking over in November, the business has continued to flourish with the help of its full and part-time staff.

The café also employs Callum, a young man with autism who uses his job as a waiter to help encourage his development.

He started working there with the last owners and continues to do so under Nichola’s management.

The café also offers a private vintage caravan hire for guests.

Having previously only been available to rent for afternoon tea, Nichola is happy to allow guests to eat the café’s food in the caravans as long as they call ahead.

Although the café doesn’t currently use local suppliers or produce, that is Nichola’s dream for the future.

Next door to the café is a retail area stocking an eclectic mix of antique and vintage furniture, collectables and crafts..

The shop also sells a small selection of vintage clothing.

The café and shop were previously featured on an episode of BBC’s Antiques Road Trip under the previous owners.

The popularity of the show has meant that Nichola has had customers come from as far away as Norway just to sample her food and take a look around the shop.