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June Newsletter

16th June 2017


I always feel like superman when the sun comes out, I know most of us do.  Everyone’s energy tops the scale.

The view from The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant to Princes Street Gardens is so green even the Balmoral is almost removed from view the tree foliage is so abundant.

I’m a little geeky around gardening, not that I have green fingers at all but having been inspired by watching Monty Don and crew on The RHS Chelsea Flower Show it does make you so much more aware of the environment we live in.  To bring it home ever so slightly why not take some time to pop along the the Portrait Gallery and see A Perfect Chemistry, photographs by Hill and Adamson which is on until 1 October. Some of the images are of this iconic view but in its early conception in the 1840’s.  Worth a visit of before and after when you can stroll back along to the Scottish National Gallery, pop into The Scottish Cafe for afternoon tea and then head up to the Constable & McTaggart (free) exhibition which is now gracing the walls of the main gallery.  The images are truly breathtaking.

 The terrace at The Scottish Cafe doesn’t take bookings but the team are on the ball and will seat you as soon as they can.  There really isn’t many better places in the city to enjoy an afternoon when the sunshine is out.

Wynad Pepper from Kerala

Our dearest dearest friend Colin Hamilton handed in a very generous gift the other week. 20 kilos of black Para’s pepper from Kerala. Victor and I are very very fortunate to visit the plantation almost 20 years ago. To watch each perfect berry picked only when ripe, increasing the time to harvest by up to three times.Then each beautiful string of berries are allowed to dry naturally in the sun. Then the white pepper which is the same crop has the black skin removed by hand to add an extra kick. Probably the best pepper in the world I’d say!  Thank you Colin. Sending 20 kilos and more of love back to all in India’s most tranquil and idyllic region of Kerala.

A separate little hello to a new friend who visited from Quebec with two of our favorite and dearest friends late last month.  

No, remember you are all friends and favorites, I just may not show it as well as Victor does! These lovely people have discovered a new favorite table. No longer being able to book the Italian Bar, you see the same rules apply to all, they’ve found what they are calling the “intrigue table”, it hasn’t not got a number but they feel it’s got the added advantage of being discreet enough to hide and not be seen if you should so wish. So any intrigue that’s going on, make sure you share, we wouldn’t want any gossip to be misplaced! Gossip aside, love to all our friends visiting from abroad that see Contini as a home from home and big cuddles to all our regulars who use Contini as a base in town. We truly appreciate and value every visit. (Photo by LuxuryColumnist)

“Trap Advisor”

Now I’ve learnt over the years not to say anything bad about anybody as I know it comes back and kicks me. All of us make mistakes but it’s how we deal with it that counts and most importantly how we learn to try and not let it happen again. Our teams will inevitably have an off day but their hearts are 100% committed to looking after all of you and they genuinely love doing it.

I just thought I’d share a little moment from our amazing Alina. Many of you will remember her from her Searcy’s Days at the National Galleries before we opened the Scottish Cafe & Restaurant in the same venue. We were lucky enough to “adopt” Alina (I’m saying this as I feel like they’re part of our family), Emma now Head Chef at Cannonball and Suzanne our Executive Chef. Three hospitality career girls. Alina also has a MA from Edinburgh in Fine Arts so not only is she a pretty face, a clever cookie and a lovely lady, she’s one of our most loyal and genuinely gentle team both for her team at Contini George Street and for all our customers.

She calls Trip Advisor TRAP Advisor. As anytime she sees a painful review she thinks she’s been trapped! The face falls, the lip quivers and the tears are close to pouring! If we ever get it wrong, please please please let us know and we will do our very very best to fix it so you’re released from the agony and we’re freed from the feeling of letting you down.

With all our love from our team including amazing Alina!

“Beyond Caravaggio” at The Scottish National Gallery
From 17th June 2017 to 24th September 2017

This is the first exhibition of works by Caravaggio and his followers – the so-called Caravaggesque painters – ever to be shown in Scotland. Caravaggio’s dramatic lighting and compositions, and his radically new approach to subject matter exerted a huge influence on a host of contemporary artists from all over Europe, many of them painters of the very highest calibre, such as Gentileschi, Ribera, Valentin and Ter Brugghen.

Image: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ, 1602
On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson. Photo © The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.


Glengoyne Whisky Suppers- Early Bird Special Offer
£30 per person – 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th & 25th August at 9.15pm

“Fantastic location, great food and a world class tutoring on Scotland’s national drink”

A fantastic opportunity to meet a whisky aficionado and learn about the history of whisky in one of the city’s oldest and most important buildings with stunning views to Edinburgh Castle.

The evening will start with a tutored whisky tasting by our Glengoyne Brand Ambassador and include two delicious Glengoyne nips. The tasting is followed by a sensational two course supper prepared by our award winning team at Cannonball Restaurant.


Book now