Sunday, 19 September 2010
Then on to Autumn........
Don't you think there's a bit of a nip in the air in the mornings and evening's.....?? I love the Autumn - it's my favourite time of the year, and I especially love Autumn in Salcombe. There are still quite a few people in town but it's lost that huge hustle and bustle and a feeling of not being able to move for hordes or cars and tourists. It's not quite lazy and yet the town has a nice gentle feel to it - locals are coming back into the Victoria and old faces who love this time of year here are appearing for their 2 or 3 week sabbatical. Now then, where shall I start - well, firstly my training with JC is paying off dividends..... I'm now a whole 20lbs lighter than I was when we started! He also has these amazing scales that show not only weight loss but water, fat round your organs, bone mass etc - very interesting actually - so you get a whole picture. Then there's my new short hair with its natural colour that I'm really starting to love as well as receiving lots of lovely compliments on how well I'm looking so that's all very lovely!!! On top of that, I have started driving lessons - and I am chuffed with how well I'm doing. Guy is my instructor and after a couple of dodgy moments in the first lesson I've one what he said - relaxed, thought about my positioning in the road and used my mirrors, and on Friday I drove all the way home from Kingsbridge! SOH has even started looking for a little SMART car for me......................
Work wise, we've been making some serious business decisions - particularly about the White Hart. When we took on the temporary tenancy we did it for a couple of reasons; firstly the challenge of taking a pub from scratch and making it work, secondly, we rather liked the idea of being 'multiple operators' for the brewery - taking this pub and then using the business model for maybe 2 or 3 others. Well, we soon discovered that for us, the dreams didn't match the reality! Immediate issues with staffing made it all very difficult right from the off - as well as the usual teething problems with appliances that every pub suffers, getting the pub up and off the ground when the last 2 owners had gone bankrupt meant we had a hard audience in Modbury to try to impress - I'll never forget the 'interview' with a local before being allowed to do a wake!! It's also been much more difficult than we thought in trying to get the right mix of time at both pubs - being 'seen' at both was proving almost impossible! Great in theory but bloody difficult to achieve in reality.
So we have asked the brewery to accept our notice, which they have done and I'm absolutely delighted to say that Mark & Christine (our current managers) have been selected by the brewery to become tenants in their own right of the White Hart from the end of September. We are so pleased for them, they have worked really hard for us in achieving the start of a great local customer base; the pub has a sound regular clientele now, the hotel rooms have come 6th in the Trip Advisor rankings for the whole of the UK, with the breakfasts often being cited in reviews as the best ever and I know it's only a matter of time before the beautiful function room upstairs starts to get regular bookings.
I still believe that the White Hart has huge potential and that they are completely the right people to do it, but for us.......? Well, we'll go back full time to our lovely Victoria Inn and of course Captain Morgans! We didn't come down to Salcombe to kill ourselves, we tried with the WH and I don't feel we've failed, but being multiple pub operators is perhaps just not the lifestyle we want after all.
So here's a toast to Mark & Christine and the White Hart Hotel, Modbury and lots of good wishes for it's continued future success.