New Restaurant to Shine Rae’s of Light on Montrose High StreetNeil Hardie
When Helen Margaroli met her future husband Wouter while they were both working in Amsterdam, they dreamed of one day opening a restaurant in her native Scotland.
Now the couple are putting the finishing touches to Rae’s, which will open on Montrose High Street on March 2.
The building was formerly occupied by Madisons Cafe and the restaurant can sit 40, with plenty of space for some outdoor seating later in the year – Scottish weather permitting, of course.
Helen, 28t, is originally from Edzell but spent her childhood in the Netherlands and the USA. Wouter, 31, is a chef from Haarlem in the Netherlands.
The couple also have a daughter who will turn four just days before Rae’s opens.
Helen said: “Rae’s is about flavour. We believe that good flavours come from all around the world, so we’re not following any cuisine.
“We’re using almost all local produce and our menu will change with the seasons, ensuring the produce is at its best when it’s on your plate.
Angus and Aberdeenshire have such rich larders and we are excited to share that with our guests.”
It has been quite a journey for the couple, who signed the lease in September 2021 – the same week they got married.
Helen added: “When the first lockdown came, we lost our jobs in hospitality and decided life was too short to wait. We sold our home and moved to Scotland with the plan to open Rae’s.
“We’ve both been working in hospitality for a combined 25 years and have done a bit of everything.
“Wouter’s always been in the kitchen, and I’ve always been front of house, and we definitely work best together.”
The couple will serve up a local, seasonal produce and incorporate this into every dish served.
Customers will be welcome for coffee. lunch and dinner, with a whole range of “exciting dishes” available for diners to enjoy.
The menu is still being worked on, and the venue will be open five days a week – from 10am to 10pm Wednesday to Sunday.
There is a poignant story behind the restaurant’s name, as Rae was the maiden name of Helen’s late mother, Jane.
“When we first fantasised about opening a restaurant together, our ideas were to bring big flavours to the plate, showcase the local produce, treat the land and the community well, and most importantly, have fun, ” said Helen.
“These sort of mirrored my mum’s way of life. She was crazy about bold flavours and colours, loved Angus and she looked for the fun in everyday life.
“While we were working on opening Rae’s we sadly lost Wouter’s mum, Terri.
“Rae’s is a love letter to both of our mothers and their careless, fearless and fun attitude.”