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What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

How we have missed you all.

But the feeling has been mutual and the excitement from so many of you to be back in the restaurant has been so comforting and so reassuring.  You’ve been thrilled to see us as much as we’ve been to see you.  We also know that having someone to cook and look after you, with no dishes has been the main attraction.  Trust me, we’re absolutely thrilled to be doing the dishes!

We’ve opened at Contini George Street and we’ve been able to look after you in comfort and confidence in our new Covid world.

The core team have been working at George Street for the last 10 weeks and we’ve adjusted to this new normal.  Being on site has given us the opportunity to really think about the journey in the restaurant (for you and for us) and based on your feedback we’ve struck the right balance.

We’ve delivered a new restaurant experience that in many ways is better than it was before.  The ventilation is better.  The privacy with enhanced acoustics from our new classy glassy booth dividers all add a more intimate feel.  A smaller menu is allowing us more time to deliver a little more detail and less covers; while challenging at other levels, is perhaps nicer for all of you.

Our big learning last week was for our team.  While the senior team has been robust around the changes as we’ve had time to consider and learn, it has been a challenge for some of our wider team.  Coming off of furlough after four months at home; with intensive training and then into a busy service with different procedures has been harder for some than for others.   The world is different and our new working environment needs just a little adjustment.  “The team has done so well” that’s the feedback you’ve given us, thank you.   I’m so very proud of them.  Visors, face masks, social distancing, enhanced protocols, working with less colleagues, long shifts, yes our Contini team have done great!

We’ve taken this learning and we have decided to bring the wider team from the other venues back to George Street on limited days to help then come up to speed faster so when we’re able to serve from the other restaurants it will be easier.

We’re also having to manage the challenges around social distancing.  We will not be serving from the kitchens between 3pm and 5pm as we need additional time to prepare the kitchen and the venue for the next service.  Prep time is more precious as we have less team on shift at any one time in the venue.

Sunday Brunch is back from 26th July.  Benedetto, Fiorentina, Salmone; what’s your favourite?  With a wee cheeky Negroni or my favourite Watermelon Martini is a great way to chill and relax in comfort on a Sunday.  Last table booking 5.30pm


I was happy to hear the PM say we need to get back to offices.  Edinburgh, like all cities, is missing it’s business community.  Of course our community health and wellbeing is vital and working from home has been a good outcome from this nightmare. But with the big employers like Standard Life rumoured not to be bringing their teams back to the office until January this will severely affect our shops and our city communities.  Flexibility is always good.  If we can move towards part working from home and part working from offices this work life balance, I’m sure would support both the health and wellbeing of our office communities and our city centres financial health.   Let’s see.

With so many people working from home it will take time to feel the buzz in the mornings at Contini George Street but we’ve decided to keep providing this service.  We’ve always provided a great breakfast and we don’t want to stop.  We’re here for you.  We’ll be running this from 10am to 11.30am.  We are no longer opening just for coffee as the time to prepare each setting is too time consuming.  But we’re still baking and our scones are delicious and fresh and who can resist a world famous Edinburgh bacon focaccia.

Place your orders for Contini at Home for delivery or collection Wednesday to Sunday.  The lasagne is definitely a winner.  If you are working in the city you can place your order up to 9am for collection the same day.  So go to work and we’ll cook dinner at home for you.  It’s the new takeaway!


Keep well and keep safe and so very much looking forward to seeing you.

Victor and Carina