Heatwave doesn’t have Edinburgh Luca’s ice cream licked

Rachel Murdoch from Luca's ice cream shop' in Musselburgh. 'Picture: Stewart Attwood
Rachel Murdoch from Luca's ice cream shop' in Musselburgh. 'Picture: Stewart Attwood
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As CITY sunseekers gear up for another sweltering weekend, Yolanda Luca will be working around the clock to keep her customers cool during the continuing heatwave.

Yolanda, who runs fourth-generation family business Luca’s, has been run off her feet since the mercury started rising. It is all hands on deck at their Musselburgh and Morningside cafes. She said: “It’s the busiest summer on record since we opened in 1908.

“We’re working 24 hours a day at the moment and the evenings are very busy.”

Keeping their own fridges stocked with ice cream is a challenge in itself, but the business also supplies 400 wholesale customers across Scotland who have been “crying out” for tops-ups of the secret recipes.

However, there is no chance of a shortage with staff working shifts while demand is so high. Yolanda said: “We’ll make sure that people get what they want. We don’t want anyone to go without.”

In Tranent the managing director of East Coast Organics, Mike Callender, is monitoring the weather closely, hoping for a downpour. He is concerned that some of his crops could suffer, with only one day of rain in the past six weeks.

Small vegetables like lettuce, runner beans and courgettes are safe in their polytunnels, but it is the kale and cabbage he has been keeping his eyes on. He said: “I wouldn’t want it to last too much longer. It could get critical in another two or three weeks.”

It is a bumper year for berries at Craigie’s Farm, near South Queensferry, with its pick-your-own fruit and veg.

Owner John Sinclair is delighted with the run of hot days. He said: “It’s fantastic. When the sun shines, people want to eat more strawberries and raspberries.”

But while the produce is ripening faster than usual, there are plenty of eager fingers to pluck the juicy bounty. John added: “Usually people come and pick the odd punnet, but this year they’re stocking up their freezers and making jam.”

Supermarkets across the country are stocking their shelves ahead of the high temperatures and the packed football schedule. Asda expects sales of BBQ meat and beer to soar by 1,966 per cent while Tesco has predicted it will sell millions of sausages, burgers and bottles of beer.

And who can forget England’s World Cup campaign, which continues with a Swedish showdown tomorrow. A whopping 23.9 million households across the UK tuned into Tuesday’s penalty shoot-out win over Colombia and even more are expected to down tools for the quarter-final.

The National Grid is battling fears there could be a power surge during the game that will kick off a national black-out.

Eric Drought, manager of the Three Sisters pub on the Cowgate, is expecting tomorrow to be “madness” as he reveals he has ordered in 400 kegs of Tennents, 200 kegs of Magners and 100 kegs of Guinness. More than 1,000 football fans are expected to crowd out the bar. He said: “There’s always a good crowd at an England match – the Scots come out to watch them lose.”