‘We wanted to bring something new into Annan, to stop people from going out of town for something to eat,” says Stephen Montgomery, who opened Our Place in Annan two years ago.

Drawing on his industry insights for inspiration - as director of The Scottish Hospitality Group Stephen represents more than 840 restaurants and bars – he and his wife Sharon wanted to create something with a “city feel,” and completely transformed the High Street restaurant during a four-month renovation project.

“We wanted to make a statement,” he says. Our Place’s quirky features, twinkling lights, flowers and greenery, not to mention he dramatic bubble-gum pink ladies’ toilet (complete with Audrey Hepburn mural) that was Sharon’s passion project, all make for an Instagrammers’ dream. And the bold blue frontage, with large windows, and striking floral displays, make Our Place a focal point of the town.

Looking good – and offering a stylish place to see and be seen in – is one thing, but the proof of the pudding for any restaurant is the quality of its food. Stephen brought in Lynzee McKee, who had previously worked with him in Lockerbie, at The Crown Hotel and The Townhead (winner of Channel 4’s Four in a Bed in 2017), as head chef.

“I love it. I love the chance to be creative when it comes to food and I’m excited about the new menu,” says Lynzee, 34. “I like bringing good food, a mix of home comfort, indulgence and a city vibe into a small town.”

Working as catering assistant in a nursing home in Gatehouse of Fleet when she was just 13 set her on her career in hospitality: “Much to my mother’s disapproval, I decided I wanted to be a chef.”

After leaving Kirkcudbright Academy, she went to train at Dumfries & Galloway College in Stranraer, where here lecturers were Frank Mortimer and Douglas Lisi. After college she landed a job as a commis chef at The Murray Arms in Gatehouse.

She joined The Crown Hotel in Lockerbie in 2010, becoming head chef and manager, and later moved to The Town Head as its head chef. She has worked for Stephen for the last six years and says she was delighted to be asked to head up the kitchen of his new venture.

“My favourite dishes are desserts. I love the creativity and being able to show off divine desserts. I also enjoy our supper clubs, which bring a fine dining element to Our Place. We do wine pairings, working with our wine suppliers, and I enjoy experimenting with different courses, pairing the wines with the food.

“Our small plates are our own version of tapas; another dynamic of Our place, and they are available at all times. And our cocktails are a must, too, all made from scratch.”

Rolo Cheesecake by Lynzee McKee, Our Place, Annan

400g digestive biscuits

150g salted butter

6 packets of Rolos

397g condensed milk

560g soft cheese

600ml double cream

180g white chocolate, melted

12 inch lined cheesecake tin or individual 3inch rounds

[makes 14/16 portions]


1.Blitz your digestives in a food processor, then add in 150g of melted butter and continue to blitz until it resembles wet sand (not too wet as your bases will be too hard and not wet enough they will just crumble).

2. Place your crushed biscuit mixture in a cheesecake tin of your choice, firmly but gently pressing down with a spoon to make sure the bases are compact and to the edges using a spoon.

3. Place in fridge for half an hour.

4. For the filling: on a medium speed, whisk the soft cheese and condensed milk together until smooth, add the cream and continue whisking until completely combined into a thick, creamy consistency.

5. Smash three packets of Rolos and add into your creamy mixture, along with your melted white chocolate, and continue to mix slowly, ensuring you don’t over whisk.

6. Take your chilled cheesecake base from the fridge and place your filling on top, ensuring it’s covered evenly. I like to leave mine a little rough on top, not totally smooth.

7. Place any remaining Rolos on the top, anyway you like. Then put your masterpieces in the fridge to set for 2-4 hours.

8. Once set, serve your cheesecake – I suggest with a good chocolate and caramel sauce and some seasonal fruit.

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