Sunday, 5 April 2009
Here we go......
Well then - in the immortal words of the song: 'ere we go, ere we go, ere we go'......... and the tourists have started to arrive - in droves!! One minute we're sleepy little Salcombe, wake up the next day and we're starting to see: cars arrive (lots of four wheel drives) and unpacked with cases, bags, buckets and spades littering all available spaces, Quba jackets abound on men and women, girls with limbs like colts, blonde maines of hair and suitably short skirts! Boys with foppish Hugh Grant haircuts and polo shirts with upturned collars are everywhere and 'yummy mummy's' are in great evidence........It's a most curious phenomenon!!! But makes people watching great fun......
As for the Victoria Inn - I'm most pleased (and relieved) to say, that we have been seeing large numbers of people in both the pub and also the restaurant. Last night saw every table in both restaurants taken, and with some lovely customers - a group of Nurses were great fun as were a whole bunch of Sailors. We had the most fantastic comments on our food and I was so proud of our chefs. One party wasn't pleasant though, and despite having led several large departments in Local Government and dealt with really difficult tenants at times (threats of serious injury to my person were not uncommon!) I find this sort of customer to be particularly challenging. However, I am learning (incredibly quickly) that there are such things as professional complainers - people who come to a restaurant with the specific aim of getting a free or cheap meal....... last night we appeared to have some of those!! I got hugely upset when this particular party had left as I knew their complaint was totally, completely and utterly unjustified, and it took a large G & T and massive post supper chat with experienced bar staff to realise that actually this is something that 1) they've all experienced at some stage in their jobs and 2) provided Tim, myself and the Chefs / Bar Manager are happy that all is/was as it should be - then as front of house boss I just have to take it on the chin, cope, smile and MOVE ON!!!!!!!! So last night was the first and last time (I hope!) that I let a customer make me weep.
Moving on to today, it has been a different kettle of fish altogether........ really busy still, but smoother somehow and a really good feel to the day. The garden has been incredibly well used, tonight the restaurant and bar has been full to capacity with tables being turned over twice - and the most fabulous customers..... I almost feel quite privileged to be meeting some of the people I am meeting and as an added bonus, most of the children have been polite and very well behaved!! I have been out and about again for an hour or so at lunch time with our flyers that let people see who we are, and that we are the only pub in Salcombe to have a garden, childrens play area etc etc - oh yes, and now of course chickens!!
The chickens are here....... and the last 24 hours have been a bit like a Monty Python sketch in places! Firstly going to the 'Sign of the Owl' pet and bird sanctuary was yet another traumatic experience for me with the turkeys etc (read the last post.....) but once in their new home I have to admit they are proving to be enchanting - AND totally exasperating!! Yesterday was the first time that our 8 little darlings have seen grass or felt it under their feet, or been able to eat the flys or peck at the bramble bushes........ are they grateful - are they heck!! Last night, one of them decided to bury themselves in the hedge and we thought she had been stolen, and today two have tried doing an escape plan all afternoon!!!! The 2 brown ones - don't ask what type just yet, that comes in another post - one (Millie) hopped over the fence twice and had to be chased round the garden - and the other (Amelia) found a whole in the fence and decided to perch perilously close to the edge of a sheer 18 - 20 foot drop.......... with SOH (Tim) having to go on the verandah roof of a neighbour to try to grab it back!
With SOH hanging a bit close to the edge himself, Amelia decided to go back into the pen of her own accord!! Aarghhhhhhhhh.......... With this a couple of customers (two of many who were laughing none too quietly for my liking!) helped us out and clipped their wings - literally! So we are hopeful that they will now settle down and learn to love us and their environment......... anyway, they are proving to be exactly the draw for the children that SOH said they would be - he's a clever so and so!! Beth is not quite so sure....... x