Calling All Dog Owners – Doggy Barkfast is Back!

Mercat Grill Whitecraig

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The award-winning, dog-friendly and family-owned bar & restaurant, The Mercat Grill in East Lothian has its first charity doggy event for 2024 happening on Saturday 2nd March and has released dates for the upcoming events for owners and their four-legged friends throughout this year. All proceeds will go to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home charity.

The Doggy Barkfast takes place on Saturday 2 March, 9:30am to 11am and for only £7.50 includes a tea or coffee, hot filled roll and a treat for the dog.

The dog-friendly venue will then run Doggy Barkfast on the first Saturday of every month. Future dates are; 6 April, 4 May, 1 June, 6 July, 3 August, 7 September, 5 October and 2 November.

Then in December – the hugely popular festive doggy event – Santa Paws will take place (date/time to be confirmed nearer the time).

Graham Blaikie, owner of the Mercat Grill in the village of Whitecraig, near Musselburgh said:

“Our charity doggy events give people the chance to catch up with fellow fido owners, whether they meet up with old friends or come and meet new people.

“Everyone is welcome and it’s a great opportunity for the dogs and people to socialise! And gives us a great opportunity to raise vital funds for the Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home.”

To book a place, simply call 0800 124 4112 or email

Free event gives parents tools to talk about apprenticeships


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Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A free online event for parents and carers will explain apprenticeship options for their young person and how to find local opportunities.

Scottish Apprenticeships from a Parent’s Point of View on Wednesday 6th March will also feature parents of apprentices sharing how their child has been supported to achieve and succeed on an apprenticeship.

The one hour webinar is being held during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (4th to 8th March) and organised by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Attendees can find out about Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships, where to get more information, the help provided while taking an apprenticeship and how to find one.

An employer will be on hand to talk about the support a young person receives on an apprenticeship, what they look for when recruiting and why apprenticeships are vital in developing individuals and their workforce.

There will also be more examples of how young people have benefited through their apprenticeships.

The session will be supported by a British Sign Language interpreter.

To attend the webinar, which takes place on Microsoft Teams at 6.30pm on Wednesday 6th March REGISTER HERE.

Details of this event and other local activities taking place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week to support pupils, individuals, parents and carers and employers can also be found by visiting

The latest local apprenticeship vacancies can also be found on

Business Awards finalists revealed

Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner

The Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner 2023 at Eskmills, Musselburgh. Photograph by Lee Live.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce have revealed the shortlisted finalists for the Business Awards 2024 with 35 businesses making it to the final.

The Midlothian & East Lothian Business Awards is a highlight of the business calendar and offer East Lothian and Midlothian businesses the opportunity to promote major achievements and celebrate success.

The countdown is now on until the winners of each category are announced at the awards dinner ceremony on Thursday 7th March at Eskmills Venue, Musselburgh. Attendees can look forward to an evening of celebration, networking and inspiration as we celebrate our finalists and winners across the various categories.

Keith Barbour, Chamber President said,

“I am thrilled to announce this year’s finalists for the Midlothian & East Lothian Business Awards 2024.

“The Chamber team would like to say a huge thank you to every business who entered. The calibre of entries and finalists has been phenomenal and shows just how resilient, innovative and adaptable the East Lothian and Midlothian businesses are. I would also like to thank our Headline Sponsor Hargreaves Land, our Award sponsors and our Events Sponsors for their continued support.”

Local business, Pigeon Penguin, has been nominated for two awards, Best Commitment to Youth Development and Best Community Impact for Midlothian View. Owner Phil Bowen said:

“We are delighted to have been nominated twice by the Chamber of Commerce. Getting the recognition of your peers in business is really wonderful. The Youth Development category nomination recognises the great work of our two Graduate Apprentices over the last 18 months. They are both studying for a BSc in Software Development at Napier University whilst working for Pigeon Penguin and what they have learnt and contributed to the business is phenomenal. Also with Midlothian View celebrating its 10th birthday this year it really is great to see its contribution to the community recognised.

“We are all looking forward to going to the awards dinner, as every year it is a great event and opportunity to meet sone really interesting people. We wish everyone who has been nominated the best of luck and we have our fingers and toes crossed that we win.”

Tickets for the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber Business Awards Ceremony and Dinner are now available to purchase. To book your tickets please email or book HERE

The finalists for the 2024 Midlothian & East Lothian Business Awards are:

High Growth Business of the Year
The Aerial Man
Flowcopter Ltd
Ingenza Ltd

Best Innovation in Business
The Aerial Man
Alive Photos Ltd
Brand Satellite
Melville Golf Centre

Best Environmental Impact
NSD Labels
Saltire Hospitality
Stewart Brewing

Best Commitment to Youth Development
CSY Architects
Ingenza Ltd
Pigeon Penguin
Wild Cairns

Best Community Impact
Midlothian View
Penicuik Storehouse
Teapot Trust SCIO
WanderWomen Scotland

Best Tourism Business
Dalkeith Country Park
Rosslyn Chapel
Scottish Seabird Centre
WanderWomen Scotland

Food & Drink Producer of the Year
Belhaven Smokehouse
The Crumbleologist
Stewart Brewing
Winton Brewery

Best Eatery Award
Parrilla Argentinian Grill
The Radhuni
Rosslyn Chapel Café (Saltire Hospitality)
Secret Herb Garden Café Bistro

Family Business of the Year
The Brand Family
Macmac Cleaning Services Ltd
Saltire Hospitality
True Potential Wealth Management

New Business of the Year
Fidra Scaffolding Ltd
Healthcraft Herbs Ltd
Table Sense Technologies Ltd

Micro Business of the Year
Beyond Green
Edinburgh Cider Co
Learn to Grow Ltd
Macmac Cleaning Services Ltd
Station House Bakery

SME of the Year
Audio Light Systems Ltd
CSY Architects
MNB Networks Ltd
Saltire Hospitality