Sunday, 22 November 2009

Puppy Dog Tales...........

Good morning from a blowy but not too cold Salcombe - a bit of a different story from yesterday when we were lashed by rain and gales and yet oddly enough had one of our best Saturdays trading wise for a few week. Mind you - I say oddly enough, but I guess if you're a visitor in a small town and you've 'done' the shops that are here, then what better than to snuggle up in a beautiful St Austell pub like the Victoria Inn, where we had our real log fire sizzling in the bar, plump cushions to relax against, little t-lights in red holders giving an even better ambiance - fantastic ales, great wines (of yes, and Champagne by the glass!) and hot chocolates that are a work of art!! Something for everyone - perfect!! We had lots of happy customers yesterday who seemed to be enjoying the bad weather..... lots of 2nd home owners were down and it's so lovely to catch up with all our old friends. Everyone loves Rosie - but more of her in a minute............ I just thought I'd open this weeks blog with a picture of the flowers on my kitchen window - they're from SOH, who as we start our fifth year together is still as thoughtful as he was in our early days. You can just see the estuary behind the flowers - and that's our view every single morning (when the tree has no leaves that is!), how lucky are we...............

Anyway - a little more about the Victoria Inn before I go on to coo and ah about Rosie - firstly, I think I told you last time that I'm also writing a regular blog entry for the Good Pub Guide. This guide really should be one of the things you first consult (on-line or hard back) http://www.thegoodpubguide.co.uk/ if you're not sure whats going to be in the destination of your choice. I especially like the GPG as it's completely un-compromising and it's not wooed by licensee's - all reviews come from anonymous visits and paid for by the reviewer. So in my opinion well worth a look at. This is my round-about way of saying that there'll be 2 blogs for you to look at now!! So whats going on at the Victoria then work wise - well the week itself was reasonable but Wednesday was dead....... from start to finish! Even now, I still can't settle to the fact that if we have a quiet day - then we're having a quiet day, I always think no lone likes us any more. So a quick trip round the town generally re-assures me we're not alone in being quiet.

Still as I say Friday and Saturday were bumper days, lots of lovely return customers - some on their last visit to their houses until the New Year (so they were telling me). Talking to our guests you can see that even those with what you consider (well I would consider) to be a comfortable lifestyle are feeling the credit crunch - maybe only eating out a couple of times on their visit down and doing more cooking in their home - so it's nice they choose us to come too. Also talking about the sorts of holidays they won't have next year - sounds like Salcombe will be having plenty of people again as they choose to stay at home...??!!

A great meeting in the week with our maintenance manager Graham, the proposed building contractor Carl and our own business development manager Jim - and just me as Tim has been away all week on BII business and other stuff. This kick started our own plans for the Victoria to decorate and update....... firstly - the real bad news - we have wet rot in the restaurant (I might have mentioned this previously). This is a real horror and not only vastly expensive for St Austell, but also going to be a mighty big job to sort out and that's before we even think about re-decorating etc...... I loved this meeting - it took me right back to my local authority days of meetings, negotiating and planning but this time because it's for us, it was important to have as much firm input as possible! We hope to start the work early January - it means our downstairs restaurant will be out of action for about 3 weeks so we will have to be creative in using the bar area and upstairs if needed...... who knows really. Last year January was really quiet - but our figures so far this year are showing a small growth - so it's a bit of a grey area. What we do know is that we won't want to lose anymore trade than is really necessary.

The rot has completely knackered our plans for a lovely wood floor though which is disappointing, but St Austell will make good with a beautiful black slate floor carrying through the theme from the bar and cosy corner area. I think that will look as good - maybe better........

Next thing for us to do this weekend is make decisions about furniture - we have decided (I think!) to invest in all new furniture for our upstairs restaurant - with the planned re-dec, new carpeting etc it means we wwill have a superb up to date additional dining space and function room. We're using H J Berry & Sons of Preston and they have provided us with beautiful sample materials for the seats - I sense great discussion today! We're really excited by the whole re-furb process - but I have plenty of Paracetamol on standby.......

Then last but not least - there's Rosie........ oh my goodness the girl is ADORABLE!! Full of fun and mischief and what is sooooooooooo fabulous is how pleased she is to see you - even if you've only been out of her sight for a few minutes!! Whats more - she's sleeping at night now - HALLELUJAH!!!!!! We've even had vistors to the pub just to see her..... She's in to the lets chew anything that moves stage, charges up and down the garden, launches herself at the chicken wire - they're just not so keen on her! She also snores.....cuddled up on one of the wet and windy afternoons this week she was snuffling and snorting - it was really funny to listen to, and I have to say she is turning in to a bit of a Mummy's girl...... the pic with the blue spool of rope is in our office - the rope stops her chewing the mat!! Just the 'house training' to achieve next though.......... not such good fun!
Thats it for now then - till next time friends, shield yourself from the awful weather we're having - Christmas is round the corner............. X

2 comments:

Coffee With Marty... said...

Send some of your bad weather this way! I'm ready for a little snow :)

Liz said...

You're more than welcome to some of this awful wind and rain!!

Hope you enjoy the blog

Liz