Creating the Yurt Café

Written by on . Posted in: News, Precinct, Yurt Cafe

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt CaféArriving at St Katharine’s Precinct today, you find the Yurt Café, warm and welcoming. The wood stove is burning, food is piled high on the counters, and the coffee smells amazing.

This is the story of how we got to this point, and we will post one for each area within the precinct as we build towards the future.

We’re still experimenting with the menu, and will continue to do so as we see what people like and what they buy, all suggestions are welcomed!

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt CaféSt Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

In the very beginning, of course, this was simply a plot of land and a plan:

 

meanwhilemap Northern Site

 

We also needed a business and management plan. We have been fortunate as a conference and retreat centre to have many of these skills in house. Our chef, Sue, daily prepares much of the delicious food in the kitchen in St Katharine’s House, and Christian and Mantas who run our hospitality here have provided invaluable oversight and management of the cafe’s setup and running.

All this planning was running alongside the actual building and fit-out of the space. We began with a base:

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

 

Next The Yurt Shop arrived with the beautiful yurt itself:

 

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

 

and up it went in a day:

 

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

 

A number of us contributed ideas to what the general feel and design of the site might look like, using pinterest. Building on this, manager Gabby Gilmore put together the following mood board for the inside design, and plans for the main counter:

 

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café Mood Board

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

 

The furniture, too, where possible, was previously used and well loved. Where needed it was reclaimed with some paint, along with many of the decorations and tins holding flowers and herbs:

 

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The benches we built with some wonderful help and materials from Canning Town Caravanserai (a step by step blog of how we built them and what we learned there can be found here):

 

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Now look at them:

 

St Katharine's Precinct: Yurt Café

 

After a trial run for staff and some words from Master Mark Aitken, we opened last week, and look forward to welcoming you here soon!

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The Royal Foundation of St. Katharine event. Pictures by Daniel Leal-Olivas

The Royal Foundation of St. Katharine grand opening event. Pictures by Daniel Leal-Olivas