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The Benefits of Bananas

Rocco x

Good morning lovely people,

Victor has changed my term of endearment from honey bunny to noisy monkey.  The joys of almost thirty years of marriage.

I woke up at 2am in pain.  My right leg, below my knee, had gone into a cramp.  It felt like it had been run over by a bus.   Victor’s answer to any such emergency, ask Siri!  I was uncontrollable and Victor was reading a BBC news bulletin.  My conscious brain was about to commit murder, my subconscious pain-free brain was dying laughing.  I’d no idea we were hosting an early morning Fringe show in our bedroom.   Five minutes later; a glass of water and a stretch – crisis over! We were both asleep again.

What’s the point?  Well two weeks into the Festival and it’s a reminder that we all have to look after our health, we’ve still got a lot more work to do, believe me.  The shock news on Friday that “Le Gavroche” is to close in January 2024 is a reminder of the poor health of parts  of the hospitality sector. Michel Roux seeking a better work life balance as Brexit (and other business pressures) takes its toll on one of the world’s most iconic restaurants of the old order. Wow!

Culturally, we want the hospitality sector to work less hours and have more balance but sometimes we don’t have the choice.  Given the intensity of Edinburgh in August, inevitably many of our team do more to fill the gaps.   We love them for it.  Their exams results are in and they’re all A stars, passing with flying colours.  Victor’s hours in the garden don’t count, so overall he got an ‘E’ for Entertainment.

It’s not just hospitality that’s full on. We see it with the teams at the Fringe, the Tattoo and the other Festivals.  It’s intense, it’s crazy bananas, it’s readjusting, it’s great fun and as much as it’s hard work we’re just so relieved to be able to service it.

We all have a routine. Even working around the normal antisocial hours in hospitality there is a pattern.  Victor and I do less nights now but we never miss an evening in August. When your daily routine is altered, inevitably it can set you off balance.

Wee Rocco has had his routine altered too.  His daily walk has been substituted with Nonna G’s early evening exercise which consists of going round and round the garden.  Poor wee thing is chasing his tail, in the same direction and getting dizzy in the process.

To help the team’s routine we always increase our staff food in August.  Extra cereal and yoghurt for the very early morning starts, more fresh fruit throughout the day and Victor is on hand with team treats. He’s a cross between Father Christmas and the Cookie Monster, definitely no “lollipops”. For me, I’ve increased my banana intake.  Potassium (and magnesium) deficiency plus dehydration can cause cramp, hence the monkey; noisy because I woke him up.

In hospitality you can be surrounded by food but you can struggle to find the time to eat it.

We very much hope you’re finding time to eat well and are enjoying our hospitality over this year’s Festival. One more week of fun and the city returns to a calmer, more peaceful pattern. We’ll miss it but remember we’re still open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, aperitivo and dinner.  That sounds like my kind of routine.

Keep well and thank you most sincerely, as always for all your support


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