Good morning lovely people
I’d like to dedicate this blog to those who have suffered indirectly due to the effects of Covid, not to the virus itself. This isn’t for our hospitality or arts communities, who are always close to my heart, but those who, for no fault of their own, have been left scarred by the consequences of the last two years. Talking to many of you, the mental health challenges that some of our community have dealt with are more than I had even considered.
At midnight tonight the circle of madness stops in Scotland, again, and hospitality (and the other affected sectors) will operate without restrictions. Masks, Test & Protect and Isolation will still be in place. In England, Boris (sorry he doesn’t deserve to be called Mr Johnson or the PM) is cancelling Plan B as a smoke screen to his fairground activities.
The last two years have left us feeling as dizzy as jumping off a roundabout, without the fun. Consumer confidence and our general health and wellbeing has been equally damaged around this rollercoaster of rules and regulations.
TOMORROWS NEWS FLASH: We’re cooking, We’re drinking, We’re singing and We’re dancing. So come with friends and family and have some fun.
Recent evidence is showing that hospitality is no higher a Covid risk than other activities and lower, as we suspected, than going to the shops, which have had none of the limitations that we have been subjected to. More significantly, restricting hospitality over Christmas and New Year had no significant impact on infections. It did have a significant impact on our customers who had to cancel plans, our teams, our suppliers and our business. The recovery that our sector and other communities were slowly building was unnecessary and abruptly halted. The revenue that could have been collected and shared with the wider economy was lost, yet again.
The damage and longer term effects of the decisions made on the 10th and 17th December may be the hardest that many businesses have had to manage over the last two years. If VAT revenue was a devolved income, would this decision have been made? I’m just thinking out loud.
Reading that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has written off £4.3billion of fraudulent Covid payments, is sadly no surprise. Why were these funds not authenticated before being paid? Why are these claimants not being prosecuted? Why are the people who authorised these payments not being reprimanded?
Many businesses asked from the very beginning, why funds were simply not distributed based on historical VAT and TAX contributions. It would have been so much easier and importantly it would have been based on the current system that has been deemed fair and proportionate. Hindsight is a great thing, so let’s at least learn something.
Squandering this level of billions, when we know families are being put under huge financial pressures with the cost of living crisis and business is facing their own challenges. These lost billions will only be costing us all more for the future. If we’d planned better and our NHS had been correctly supported, maybe we would have been able to survive this Covid journey like stepping on and off a very big Ferris wheel. Things would still be moving but with no need for some to be forced to press stop to precariously get on or off.
I don’t think we’ve seen the back of this, but at least we’re seeing the end of this round. No more dodgems, maybe we’re at the candy floss and hot dog stage. Not my favourite but occasionally palatable.
Working from home is ending next week in England but under review until February in Scotland. Hopefully that will give the council in Edinburgh time to get the road works finalised, as trying to do the school run, even given the current mandates, is like a game of crazy golf. Our city centres are looking forward to #workingfromwork being the next new thing.
My loony tunes will stop playing, for now.
Keep well and keep safe and thank you for keeping me company, and stop me going crazy, Victor is eternally grateful.
CANNONBALL RESTAURANT & BAR
Our new menu launched last week at Cannonball. We’re open for lunch in the bar and dinner 5 days a week. Tuesday to Saturday. If our menu is tempting but you’re looking for a little encouragement to get up to Castle Hill we’re offering our 5 course Tasting Menu at a Pre Theatre price of £30pp Tuesday to Thursday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. If you’re having a work at work day why not come and join us for a mid week treat?
CELEBRATE BURNS AT THE SCOTTISH CAFE
We’ve rescheduled our Burns Dinner and we’re now able to host our Annual Burns Ceilidh. Hurray! For one night only, if you’re looking for a wee jig come and join us. We’re reducing the numbers from normal years, and we will be limiting the dancers at any one time, but we promise it will be fun. Victor will be hosting, he’s just hoping he can fit his trews!
Join us for delicious traditional Scottish fayre where our locally produced haggis is piped in and addressed, taken with a wee dram. After dinner our in house band shenanigans will play traditional reels and jigs guaranteed to get you dancing!
7pm to 11pm // 28thJanuary
Four course set menu & nip of whisky £55per person
Glass of fizz, four course set menu, nip of whisky & half bottle of wine £75per person
Or for those who prefers a quiet dinner – join us at Cannonball House –see details here
BURNS AT HOME
If you prefer to celebrate at home, don’t forget to order Burns at Home for collection from 103 George Street Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th January, or we can send your order in a taxi for you to settle on arrival.
Our Burns at Home starts at £35 per person and includes all the classics for you to simply pop on the oven and enjoy!
THE SCOTTISH CAFE & RESTAURANT
The Scottish Cafeis open for breakfast, coffee and cake, lunch and afternoon tea. The perfect setting to enjoy refreshments after visiting the annual Turner exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery.
CONTINI GEORGE STREET
Join us at Contini George Street for breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner. With our new season menu launch last week here is definitely something for everyone!
CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY AT CONTINI VENUES
Cannonball House will be open on Monday 14th February with aspecial tasting menu
showcasing the very best of Scottish seasonal produce with a view to match.
Contini George Street will also be offering aspecial tasting menuor Best of Contini menus as well as fabulous cocktails.
The Scottish Cafe’sValentines menuwill be running from 6th to 20th February and includes pink prosecco afternoon tea and lots of little romantic treats!