All work and no play makes you crave a catch up.
Each of our venues have always had a very different personality. We’ve always compared them to our children in that they all have the same parents but boy are they individual.
Contini George Street as the oldest child hasn’t taken any prisoners and has been a bit stubborn in it’s journey. Cannonball is our baby, and everyone loves the baby, it’s always been the party venue for our customers and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant (TSC) feels like the middle child indeed, always trying to please everyone. Like my family business and domestic family I’ve no favourites and love them all equally.
We’re relieved that we’re now open at TSC. With the Scottish Collection project on going and following our 8 month closure last year I know some of you think we’re still closed but we are thrilled to be here, delivering all your favourites.
As the service provider in the Scottish National Gallery our audience has felt a bit like we’ve had to please everyone and be all things to all men (and women). From the coffee and scone ladies in the morning to the business lunch crowd, fish and chip classics and afternoon tea, to the big showcase events in the evenings we really have catered for all shapes and sizes of tastes and scale.
September has always played a big part in TSC’s diary. It’s been a big events month. Historically with events of 200 at least 3 to 4 times a week. Sadly not this year.
These income generators have allowed us to support a wide family of different suppliers which has always been core to our brand. We’re sad that we’re not able to service this scale of business at present. Our purchasing clearly at TSC has reduced accordingly.
Guidelines on group events of more than 8 guests from no more than three households do not look set to be relaxed in the near future. I’m not sure if they will be relaxed in Scotland before Christmas with the R number increasing at such a fast rate. We live in hope but as a business we have made the decision not to take any large bookings until the guidelines are clear. Our social responsibility sits very clearly in this safe space.
The first two weeks of September is also Scotland Food & Drink Fortnight when we get to champion our Scottish heritage and celebrate all the wonderful artisan suppliers we buy from. Now more than ever we need to be able to support the whole of our food chain.
TSC was assessed last week by a city Covid officer. Yes I am very happy to confirm such a person exists. Our EHO officer has been tasked with signing off venues as Covid compliant. We’ve been asking for this from day one. You’ll be pleased to hear we passed with flying colours.
National Galleries of Scotland have enhanced our ventilation, we have 1m socially distanced the space and we have now added our new TSC classy glassy screens. All the same measures that we have successfully put in place, and what you have loved at George Street.
At George Street we have historically catered for the coffee community but Covid has placed restrictions on this venue, that make this service unsustainable. Businesses have to make difficult decisions and I suppose as the eldest in the family we have more confidence to be able to make this move. We hope you understand. Still open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but we’ve got a new location for your coffee.
Every challenge creates an opportunity. So we’ve relocated this service down to TSC where we’ve also added an At Table order app.
It’s being trialled this week but when it’s fully live from next Monday we’ll be the slickest venue in the city to meet in a “confident” environment for great Contini coffee, free WiFi and excellent home baking of course. Join us in the Coffee Lounge and book ahead to make your visit even smoother.
Working from home is going to be a choice many choose for years to come. Many have adapted easily to the challenge. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime will continue to serve their purposes but sometimes a face to face is just what the situation needs for those nuanced interpretations, refinements, connections that we just can’t have virtually. Face to face from time to time will inevitably enhance how teams and individuals work together.
Given the layout and floor print of TSC, it’s strategic position next to the train station, tram and bus stops on Princes Street it is the very best venue in town for you to meet, support many artisan suppliers, support NGS and our family business and catch up with friends and colleagues in the process. It’s a little positive for all of us.
We will continue to monitor the 2 hour maximum stay guidelines and please note you can only use the venue for multiple meetings with you leaving the venue and reentering with a different booking.
All work and no play will make you bored at home, so book a wee trip into town, the city needs you, our suppliers need you, our team appreciates you. We look forward to seeing you when you next arrange to meet for a catch up. TSC is here to serve. Or if you need to quality control our fish and chips or Cullen Skink we won’t question your favourites!