About Us

Who we are

We are the third generation of a family who have been involved with the hospitality business for almost 90 years. 

Our maternal grandmother, Gertrude Thomas, single-handedly ran a tea room in Huntington, Chester in the 1930s.

In the 1950s, her daughter, our mother, Kathleen, created The Red Umbrella Cafe and later, a guest house, both in Chester.   

The Red Umbrella Cafe, Chester.

Our Mother taught us both to bake, – starting with pastry rolling.  At the age of five, we were wielding her huge rolling pin.  As our mother controlled her electric mixer, we would add the beaten egg to her cake mixture, one trickle at a time.  Our tiny roles in this vast creative process were insignificant, but it didn’t seem that way to us at the time. 


Night Owl Cakery Three of us

By the age of twelve, we were making our own toffee and fudge. We spent hours constructing presentation boxes so that our hand-made sweets could be beautiful gifts for friends.

As young adults, we studied art and architecture, archaeology and literature and, between us, have had careers in teaching, journalism and script writing. However, whatever our main occupations, we each continued to help our mother in her guest house.