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What a difference a year makes….

We have three restaurants back up and running and the sense of relief is difficult

Today is a happy blog.

We have three restaurants back up and running and the sense of relief is difficult, even for me, to articulate. I’m parking my Cloud 9a, “pingdemic” thoughts, I’m choosing not to live in a fear space for today at least. Next week I’ll be back fully frustrated if supermarkets get an exemption from isolation. If daily testing is used as an alternative for one sector of the economy, while the rest of us have to continue to suffer in this totally unworkable and unsustainable position I do think there will be a revolution.

25th July last year was a whole different emotion. I was 50, yes it’s my birthday today, the children are cooking, they’ve organised a cake and Victor has a bottle of bubbles chilling nicely in the fridge. What more could I want?

Last year, I didn’t want to even talk to anyone. My niece Sofia came to George Street to wish me a happy birthday. Her beautiful new baby in one arm and a cinghiale (a cured wild boar from my brother in Italy, honestly my life is anything but dull or slimming) in the other. I broke my cuddle rule and just sat and sobbed, and I really don’t think the pig had anything to do with it!

The sense of failure I faced on that one single day was overbearing. It’s taken me a year to come to understand the feelings. It wasn’t the family holiday of our lifetime that didn’t happen, or the gift Victor had picked that was cancelled, or the three slices of cake I’d already eaten for breakfast or the family party that I didn’t have to cook for. I was sad for the children that we couldn’t have time together but it was the lifetime achievement that I had set as a target for myself reaching 50 that left me feeling completely broken. It almost felt like a period of mourning. Over the course of a few days in March 2020, 30 years of hard work felt like it had all been scrapped, binned, and written off all because of a virus that nobody can even see. Acts outside our control were changing our path and I had no way of altering anything.

We all set life goals, while mine (and Victor’s) were still very much a work in progress we felt that we were on track. Inevitably life gets in the way from time to time but for the majority of my life I felt I could look myself in the mirror and say you’re doing a good job, keep going and we’ll get there. Last year when I looked in the mirror the sense of failure was everywhere. We were trading at less than a fraction of our normal capacity, we’d so sadly lost many of our team, the business was in shock, we were in shock and regardless of how much hard work or hours we put in, we just didn’t feel as if it was ever going to be enough. How many others have felt the same way?

So today, 51. I’ve reconciled my achievements. We’ve survived the journey so far and I honestly can’t believe it can possibly get any harder than the past 17 months, although I have been wrong many times before! Today, I can look in the mirror and say nothing is perfect, the plan just needs a redraft. I feel incredibly blessed that my family (and our team) has their health. Victor and I have not lost our values, our business, our home or our sense of humour, yet! We continue to make small changes every day to get us back on track and I feel that my energy, however low at times, can still find it’s purpose to deliver day to day. I’m calmer but I take no prisoners. Most importantly I acknowledge that it’s not the final destination that’s important but the scenery along the way. If you look, there are many beautiful things around all of us. If you can, take the time to enjoy the sightseeing!

Each of our restaurants we say remind us of our children. Three very different personalities but all with the same origins and values. They are all beautiful. George Street is the oldest and wisest, The Scottish Cafe is the most versatile and adaptable and Cannonball is our wee gem.

We had our first new restaurant service on 21st July at Cannonball and the team did brilliantly. I took a few minutes to feel proud. We love to see you in any of our venues but we look forward to sharing the warm welcome, great cocktails, delicious food and stunning views in our truly unique restaurant at the very top of Edinburgh. I think we might actually be the highest restaurant in the city? Sometimes it feels like you are dining in the clouds, Cloud 9 dining today for sure.

Keep well and keep safe and thank you



Cannonball Restaurant has had a brilliant first week and we are so proud of our team.

It is so wonderful to see people enjoying amazing cocktails (old and new) in the bar, catching up with friends and family. Then heading up to the restaurant for dinner with our incredible high ceilings, three walls of windows, all sharing a lovely warm breath of fresh air…


Join us at Contini George Street for

Breakfast 10am to 11.30am Monday to Saturday
Lunch 12noon to 3pm Monday to Friday and 12noon to 4pm Saturday & Sunday
Dinner 5.30-9pm Monday to Saturday (8pm Sunday)

And of course our amazing cocktails!


New Menu launching on Tuesday!
Join us at The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant for the best

Coffee and cake
Afternoon Tea

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
Open 7 days from 1st August



Victor was surprised and delighted to have received The National Galleries Visitor Excellence Award this week. He was nominated via their Mystery Shopper for giving”Exceptional customerService”

Victor we are very proud of you, thank you for living the “Victor Welcome” Thisis not only an award for Victor but the whole team who work so hard to delivery exceptional service every day.


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 July to 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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