A very long time ago, in Edinburgh, I met and fell in love with a young man named Herve Tabourel. We married, opened a small restaurant called Jaques Bistro, had our son Max and 2 years later our daughter Roxanne arrived to complete our family.
We worked our buttocks off to make Jacques a success, with two little children and the unsociable hours that come with running a restaurant, this was no small feat. Many customers from Jacques that now visit us in Perth, can still recall a little Max and Roxanne sitting in the restaurant with myself or Herve helping with homework. But I’m proud to say our hard work paid off and Jacques Bistro became one of Edinburgh’s institutions.
During this time, we realised that life had to change for us as a family, we wanted to give our children the best opportunities we could offer and so in 2002 we made the move to Perthshire and with it, opened our first restaurant in Perth city centre, Bianco’s. This quickly transformed into Café Tabou, which led to Café Breizh, Sante and Pig Halle.
I can still vividly remember discussing our plans for opening Pig Halle with people, people that genuinely cared for us and had our best interests at heart.
“Nothing seems to last very long at that site” or “it’s jinxed” seemed to feature in many discussions we had when we talked about our move to 38 South Street.
So against all odds, we took on, what would be one of the hardest tasks of our life. We opened Pighalle. With the help of our amazing, loyal staff, that believed in us, saw our vision and to you, our very loyal cutomers, that always believed and encouraged us, we all worked damn hard to get Piggies to another level. With that said, we landed with 1 rosette star awarded by AA and of course our name got quietly featured in the Michelin guide book.
It was the greatest feeling of all, being rewarded for hard work and passion, but as you all know my dear Husband gets itchy feet. So of course after 6 years, we knew that he needed to test himself yet again and so our next journey began.
Herve loves Scotland as his own home, even the bloody weather, the man is weird.
But there is something to be said for the beauty, peace and tranquillity we are lucky enough to have, literally on our doorstep. As I’m sitting here writing this at 6.30am, Herve is long gone, out shooting with our 2 Labs. And I know when he walks back in the front door in the next hour, he won’t mind if he’s come home empty handed, freezing and soaking wet. Because, as he’s told me many times, he’s just watched our little part of the world wake up, seen the sunrise, the animals and birds come to life in the most serene, beautiful part of the world that we get to call “home”.
He often reminds our children how lucky they are to have been brought up in Perthshire and he is right of course. We are ever so proud and happy to call this country home and are so grateful that you took us in, as your own.
With all that said, it came easy to Herve to change the name of Piggies to CARDO, the word in Latin that means thistle. An homage to Scotland and Perthshire , to everything that this country and its wonderful people allowed us to achieve. The place that allowed us to follow our dreams, accepted us as their own and for the wonderful life and opportunities it enabled us to give our two children Max and Roxanne.
So long live Cardo and thank you Scotland; it was pretty easy to fall in love with you.
Herve & Paula xx