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The flags are out in Lasswade and it isn’t even the Gala

The flaw is still the reality that double vaccinated people can still pass on the virus and can still catch the virus but potentially with less severe symptoms. With France and Italy storming their parliaments against vaccination passports

Good morning lovely people

The flags are out in Lasswade and it isn’t even the Gala (if you’re not from Scotland and need to know what a Gala is let me know).

Freedom date won’t be 9th August, it was Friday 30th July. Nonna G has taken a wee break (the feeling is mutual) to visit my brother in Italy. The girls have been like the land army getting her packed. New sandals (she’s heading for the mountains), snacks that fit in her carry-on bag, which jacket collection was needed for the evenings etc all made the admin pools’ (and there were several new recruits) tasks of certifications and PCR tests look like the easy part. It is good news, for everyone, that travel is being relaxed and families can be reunited. For the record, Victor, my other brother and the girls said there was very little easy jetting admin about it, but I suppose the first time for everything is always more tricky.

Fully vaccinated people from EU and US will be able to travel to Scotland without quarantining from tomorrow (this still doesn’t apply to France) with a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival. Traveling from the US has been cautioned against by America’s Centre for Disease Control with the US border also remaining closed for us heading across the pond. We had no plans to visit (anywhere) but sadly several exclusive bookings that we had been able to secure from American clients in September were cancelled on Friday, due to fears of quarantine on the return journey. Further proof that life isn’t anywhere near normal.

As I’ve commented before, our team, who are largely European, have really struggled not being able to see family abroad during the Pandemic. Again public facing personnel have been penalised as they can’t afford to quarantine when you would have to take additional holidays or worse unpaid leave? Office based personnel, who can work from home, are not subject to the same constraints. It has felt like a win win for some and another penalty for others. So for those with both jabs (not yet the majority of our team) this is good news.

The flaw is still the reality that double vaccinated people can still pass on the virus and can still catch the virus but potentially with less severe symptoms. With France and Italy storming their parliaments against vaccination passports, there seems to be layers of “vaccination passport” controls filtering in, in many directions. Are we just having to accept these if we want freedoms or are we accepting discrimination that we are told protects the majority?

Reading the Glasgow study that showed that the Covid shielding strategy had limited effect for the most vulnerable and didn’t significantly prevent infection and death, does leave you questioning some of the policies. The suffering that so many families and lonely individuals have faced sadly will never be able to be calculated or shown on a graph.

The 26th cause of death in England was Covid in June 2021. In Scotland there were 4,859 deaths in the same month, an increase of 10.9% over the last 5 Junes with 59 deaths attributed to Covid. I can’t calculate what percentage of the increase was Covid related, but with my Primary 4 arithmetic, could that be 6? For those who have lost loved ones there is no right or wrong answer. For others the answer is we need a normal, and can’t be subject to further unsustainable and unjustifiable restrictions and time lost with those that mean the most to us. With Scotland’s drug deaths tragically hitting new records, there are clearly many outcomes that we may only start seeing over time, the true price of Covid for many will be even more painful. Nobody knows yet what the future holds. I do feel like we are living a little more easily, most of the time. If we can remove the continual fear of closure, due to the team having to isolate, based on the journey so far, I could say this part is almost liveable!

As we all guessed last week, supermarkets and essential services will move to a negative testing protocol for double vaccinated individuals, stopping team to self isolate and allowing businesses to continue to trade. Cases are falling and hospitalisation rates are slowing, surely our real Freedom Day has to come soon. It was very good to read that Wales, from tomorrow, will be the first part of the UK to stop asking double vaccinated adults (and the under 18’s) to self-isolate after contact with a positive Covid cause. I really hope Scotland follows too.

Nonna G will have a 5 days quarantinewhen she arrives in Italy, assuming she has a negative test after 5 days. I’m not sure she’ll manage to stay in doors for that long.

Meanwhile we’re spending £250m on a new Royal Yacht, an essential purchase, not! The gooseberries are all picked and made into the most beautiful jam for Cannonball’s Peelham Farm pork belly stuffed with Stornoway Black Pudding, it really is delicious; the blackcurrants are being picked for the sorbet that we transform into a Cocktail at Contini George Street that Macheck makes for one or two weeks a year based on the harvests, it’s incredibly fresh and intense. By customer request/demand our Classic Club Buttery is back at The Scottish Cafe. Ali was delighted as he said he was fed up telling customers it wasn’t on the menu. All the team are settling in. I really am so very proud of all of them, we’re still working with all the same protocols, which is tiring for everyone, especially in this heat wave, but we’re trying to keep everyone safe one day at a time. Finally, our opening hours at Casa Contini (our home) will be cut back for a few weeks. Not because of lack of staff (the children) but Nonna G’s all day buffet is closed for the summer season. I’m off to pay the pipe band. What do they say a change is as good as a rest! Have fun big brother! I love you all!

Keep well and keep safe and thank you to everyone for your continued support, it is so very greatly appreciated.



This week we are letting the reviews do the talking….

*****Perfect dinner!
“First time visiting this restaurant and everything was exceptional. From lovely staff, great atmosphereand outstanding food. The heart warming welcome we received when we arrived up to the time we left the restaurant – I would say outstandingservice! Their food was amazing of course, the quality and the flavour on each dish was incredible. The atmosphere of the restaurant was great, you get that feeling of cosinessbut with the hint of fine dining plus the great view of the castle just when you look out the window makes everything perfect! I highly recommend this place and will definitely come back!”


It’s been cause for celebration seeing the business community back in for lunch. Table of four colleagues (from 4 households) chatting, sipping a little wine. It has felt like the 1990’s! I suppose that’s the change as more people come back to the office, with no time restrictions, the ability to relax and enjoy meeting friends and celebrating a wee deal here and there is making lunch more relaxed. Welcome back, we’ve missed you.


After many weeks of waiting we have finally taken the delivery of our new terrace umbrellas! Perfect for a bit of shade on sunny days and ideal for shelter on the rainy ones.

Our new menu launch this week saw the popular return of the Chicken club sandwich!

Delighted to be open 7 days in August, 10am to 5pm


With the new rules of 10 guests from 4 households and with people still encouraged to work from home,lets get you dining out for team building, we’ve all missed you.Let us introduce the “It’s not too late to celebrate package” in our exclusive private dining room for up to 24 guests

£60 per person

Minimum of 12 guests. Package includes:

Prosecco on arrival with seasonal canape
Three courses with coffee
½ bottle of Victors Vino
Package available for Augustto September events 2021

Please call 0131 225 1550 opt 4 or emailevents@contini.comquoting “It’s not too late to celebrate package” to qualify


Long may the sunny weather continue with catch up’s in the park or garden with friends and family.

Let us take care of the food and drink and order great party food and drinks to enjoy without the stress of cooking. Add a cheeky bottle of wine or one of our ready made cocktailsand you’re good to go!


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