An Update from Contini’s
Dear lovely people
How are you all doing? Is this getting any less confusing?
I was inspired listening to Nicholas Hytner, former artistic director of the National Theatre talking to our amazing Kirsty Wark on Newsnight. Why can you sit on a 4 hour flight to Greece but not go to a theatre?
What we love about you, our customers, is you think the same as us. Over the years, even with Brexit, there have been very few occasions when my own interpretation of common sense wasn’t reflected in the conversations I’ve had with our lovely guests.
Moving out of lockdown we’re all thinking the same way. Slow steady steps.
Last week’s blog had over 40,000 views on my Linkedin page alone. There has been an amazing response. Thank you all so very much. We want to get back to a form of normal, even if this means wearing a face mask, but we are not going to rush or be foolish.
With the two week delay in Scotland from England we were all curious to see the reaction to yesterday’s Super Saturday. It was great to see restaurants open again after such a long closure and it’s clear people want to get back to a form of normal but everyone (well us sensible humans, as I don’t think any of you were out on the town in Soho last night) wants to take it slowly and carefully as we should.
We’ve taken a lot of time to interpret the guidelines (and there are loads of guidelines) and we’ve focused on the key areas that will help us all feel confident that dining out is a good choice for you and for our team.
Alina and I have been working on your customer journey. We’ve considered each step of your dining experience from booking, arriving, dining, drinking to yes, even having to pay. Please feel relaxed and assured that we’re confident that we’re going to enhance your dining experience. Please know we have all your health and wellbeing at the heart of our choices and we hope you’ll feel it’s even more special than it was before.
Last week I hinted at “classy glassy”. Well we’ve just signed off on beautiful glass screens to alcove the booths (no perspex here!) with the same Neo Classical etching that we have on the windows at the back of the building. We’ll have tables of 2 to 8 (for two households meeting) in delicately screened areas. Family, business confidential or romantic dining the boxes will be ticked.
We’ve enhanced our ventilation system to improve the air circulation. With our 26ft high ceilings we’ve never been short of fresh air at Contini George Street.
Lots more exciting things to share but here’s one change we hope you’ll appreciate.
We’re introducing a cover charge at Contini George Street. It literally is a cover charge as we’re adding a lovely white table mat to each table, all part of the improved experience and we’ll be including some lovely marinated Italian olives with Carosello Barese and I’Ciacca EVOO for a token £1.00 per person
As a thank you for all the wonderful work the NHS has provided, for our July bookings, we will donate every cover charge to Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation, the NHS Lothian’s official charity. www.elhf.co.uk
Don’t forget our Contini to Go if you’re up town shopping or starting to go back to the office.
It’s pouring rain in Edinburgh today, great for the garden. With our new opening hours from 10am, and no school run, it’s been so much easier to harvest from our Kitchen Garden each morning. Beetroot, gooseberries, bronze fennel, sweet cicely, chocolate mint, broad bean shoots, red currants, nasturtium leaves are just a few of the crops that are at their best just now and all featuring on our Contini at Home menus. It really is incredible to think we harvest at 9am, it’s prepared in our kitchen and this is with you by 7pm the same evening. Truly it gives us great joy to be able to do it.
Don’t worry Contini at Home will be continuing, even once we’re open. The most popular dishes for this week’s menu have been the prosciutto di parma with sweet Italian melon and dried figs and the Merluzzo in cartoccio, cod ready to be baked in paper with Pachino tomatoes, taggiasche olives, Amalfi lemon. The baked Italian figs with Errington’s Goats curd and Victor’s honeycomb have also been delicious favourites.
We’ll also be adding some highlights from The Scottish Cafe and from Cannonball from the middle of July. Keep a close eye.
Please order as early in the week as possible as some of you weren’t able to get your delivery slots on Friday or Saturday but were able to collect.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your continued support and lovely messages. We so very much appreciate it.
Keep well and keep safe and outside tables and chairs will be on George Street from Wednesday let’s pray for a little sunshine!