Dorothy Nowak Solinska

Dorothy was born in Poznań, Poland in 1954. Her father Witold had been an officer of the Polish army and after spending most of the war in a Prisoner of War Camp, he was brought to Scotland by a Polish friend, already stationed in Scotland and who helped him escape from the camp. He met Margaret while studying at St Andrews University, but when he completed his degree he returned to his beloved Poland. Margaret followed a year later and they were married in Poznań, where they settled and where Margaret was very happy. In 1957 life became too uncomfortable for Witold, with a Scottish wife and links to the west he was not completely accepted. The family returned to Scotland and settled in St Andrews.

Dorothy attended Madras College and went on to become a primary school teacher, later becoming a professional fundraiser. At the age of 50 she grasped the opportunity to follow her dream and opened Polish restaurant ‘Pani Solińska’ in Edinburgh in 2007. It was the hardest thing that she was ever to do, but also the most enjoyable, interesting and exciting. Not only was it an opportunity to explore Polish cuisine, it was also a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with her Polish heritage. The restaurant was doing well for 4 years, with excellent reviews and people travelling from London to eat there. Sadly the recession hit and ‘Pani Solińska’ was not to survive. But Dorothy did! She is now a Humanist celebrant conducting weddings, funerals and baby naming ceremonies for the Humanist Society Scotland – and loving every moment!