Having been asked by my son-in-law to write a guest blog following our visit to Edinburgh last week I was in no doubt what my topic had to be (see his review of Castle Terrace here). It is some 40 years since I left Edinburgh as a teenager but it is a city that is still close to my heart (and stomach!) and we make at least one trip back each year.
The oldest deli in Scotland, Valvona and Crolla, is a real Edinburgh institution and something of a family favourite for us. Opened in 1934, it served the Italian immigrant community in Edinburgh and was a favourite of my grandparents. When my parents grew up they too liked to shop there although with money being tight in the 50s and 60s it was something of a treat for high days and holidays only. Now that my own children are adults they too make their annual pilgrimage back to Edinburgh and have decided that there is nowhere better to stock up for a picnic at Gullane or Flotterstone than good old Valvona’s.
Whether it’s cheeses, salamis, fine wines, fruit and veg brought in from the market in Milan or artisan pasta you won’t be disappointed by the veritable Aladdin’s cave that is their shop on Elm Row. They have over the past few years popped up in other Edinburgh institutions such as Jenners but in my own opinion nothing quite beats the aromas and atmosphere that greet you in their original premises on Elm Row.
The Cafe Bar is a great place for a coffee and pastry, a light lunch or a more substantial feast. Many of the recipes used have been handed down over the generations and are not the type of generic dishes which you will find on offer at the typical Italian High Street chain.
Valvona and Crolla celebrated their 80th anniversary on 1st Oct this year so many congratulations to the Contini family and here’s to another 80 successful years!
Categories: Restaurant reviews