This is Valvona and Crolla which features in many of the stories of “44 Scotland Street” This is a very real location in New Town Edinburgh and is Scotland’s oldest deli. It was founded in 1934 to serve Edinburgh’s fledgling immigrant Italian community by Alfona Contini, who began life as a shepherd in the Abruzzi mountains. Now four generations of the Contini family are involved. Director Mary Contini wrote the cookery book ‘Dear Francesca’ One of the characters of Alexander McCall’s Smith’s novel, Irene states “It was always possible that one might meet someone interesting in the café and have a conversation about something important…Edinburgh was full of interesting people, Irene thought, provided one knew where to go and meet them. Valvona and Crolla was a good start because interesting people liked to eat interesting food…” She goes on to talk about meeting a well known food writer in Valvona & Crolla. As it happens the day we had lunch there one of “The Two Fat Ladies” Clarissa Dickson Wright was having lunch at the next table.