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Noted, shorter updates

No flights abroad but a day trip to Edinburgh will always give me many very happy memories. If we could guarantee the weather

Last week felt like the Glasgow Fair. (With Glasgow in Level 3, it was no surprise. I don’t understand the logic!).

Growing up in a seaside holiday village where your family sold ice cream, the summer season couldn’t come quick enough! Accents across the counter would change overnight and a sausage roll became something completely different to a puff pastry delicacy and a request for ginger left you asking even more questions. My father would smile with relief after Easter or the first May holiday (weather dependent) and say “that’s us back in the black”. The long winters were tough but it only took a little sunshine and he was happy. I wish it was the same quick fix for hospitality this year to clear the debts from Covid. Sunshine sure helps, especially if you have a terrace, which thankfully we have at Contini George Street and The Scottish Cafe but we will need many summers to level back to the summer of 2019 that’s for sure.

When the guaranteed sunny package holidays to the Costa Del Sol came along in the late 70’s, life, the weather and trade cooled off along with requests for salt and vinegar on a fish supper. All very fond memories of hard work and happy times. The hard work and simplicity of our childhood has without any doubt helped both Victor and I manage the last year.

It wasn’t just the Glasgow accents that we were hearing last weekend but with the budget airline flights that in recent years have whisked us all away for weekend breaks and swapped us for the visitors from the cities we flew to, leaving loads more locals along with visitors from England, Ireland and Wales. It did feel slightly nostalgic. Our May bank holiday trade hasn’t been as busy for many years. The good weather can not be underestimated but it’s clear that people who would have normally been on an aeroplane, if allowed, flocked to Edinburgh.

At times it felt as intense as August with the staffing levels of January. Trying to set the pace and keep the standards resulted in us having to slow down and sometimes stop. Considering we’ve been closed for so many months it seemed almost crazy. Times have changed. A complaint in the 70’s would be as rare as a Rolls Royce driving along the High Street in Cockenzie, it only happened once a year. Jimmy Scappaticci who owned the original Bar Italia was a great friend of my father. Jimmy had one beautiful daughter and a Rolls Royce. Daddy had 8 children and a VW van. Life was busy so visits were rare but these two fabulous characters had a very deep friendship and shared business challenges that has lasted more than one generation. Today, there is no room and far less tolerance for delays or mistakes so it’s vital that we don’t underdeliver for you the customer or as importantly push the team too far. Make hay while the sun shines didn’t fully apply. Reading that Le Gavroche will be closing for lunch for further notice is no surprise as recruitment due to Brexit and fatigue due to Covid is ever present.

We’re making a few changes to opening times at George Street to ease the shifts for the team and we continue to recruit. We need more team than we anticipated even last week.

With the sun out, it’s been wonderful to see people enjoying East Princes Street Gardens. The gorgeous green grass, trees in full bloom and loads of children enjoying the bankings took me down memory lane again. I can’t tell you how happy the team at The Scottish Cafe are when we’re busy. The kitchen team are all original and know what busy feels like.

Does anyone remember when there was a mini “pitch and putt” on the lower garden? In the days when the closest thing to an airport lunch was the self service counter in Woolworths, Afternoon Tea was at the NB, you didn’t go to Jenner’s without heading down the stairs where amazing cartoon and animal face masks (so very different to today’s) decked the walls and the ceiling above the entrance to the best toy shop and Forsyth’s food hall was the place to get a polystyrene cup of stuffed olives which left you feeling like you’d eaten at a Michelin star restaurant.

No flights abroad but a day trip to Edinburgh will always give me many very happy memories. If we could guarantee the weather, I’d happily stick to our capital for any weekend break. Far less hassle, lots to do and loads of great food.

Before I go, why is FM asking for an extension to Furlough? This can’t become like the Rolls Royce on the High Street. It should be like when Queen Elizabeth visited Cockenzie, once in a lifetime! Covid cases have risen to the highest level in four months, surely this was to be expected, two deaths (which must be tragic for the families) and eight people in intensive care (we hope they recover soon) due to Covid. Mass vaccination programme is progressing, we just need a life and living “fair” now.

Keep safe, keep well, keep smiling and thank you all



We’ve beenbusy at Cannonball House preparing for our grand reopening on Thursday 1st July. The restaurant has been painted and Covid cleaned and is looking fabulous.
We have also hosted a number of special private events already and it is so lovely to see the happy faces of our gorgeous wedding couples and families finally getting together in our private dining room.
This year is a once in a life time summer where we have full Castle view for the summer and the Royal Mile is looking gorgeous.Keep those bookings coming in for the restaurant, thank you, thank you. We really can’t wait to see you.


Please note our updated Contini George StreetOpening Hours for June

Monday to Friday
Breakfast 10am to 11.30am
Lunch 12noon to 3pm
Dinner 5.30 to 9pm

Breakfast 10am to 11.30am
Lunch 12noon to 3pm
Dinner 5pm to 9pm

Breakfast – closed
Lunch 12noon to 3pm
Dinner 5pm to 8pm

The Scottish Cafe is open Tuesday to Sunday
Breakfast 10am to 11.30am
All day brunch 10am to 4pm – you’ve got to try this!
Lunch 12noon to 4pm
Coffee Lounge 10am to 4.30pm



We are delighted to launch new menus and availability for the next few weeks with aFather’s Day specialavailable throughout as well ason the day itself, 20th June.

Order for Edinburgh delivery Thursday to Saturday and rest of Scotland and UK for Friday delivery using the links below.



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