Sunday, 30 May 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Thursday, 20 May 2010
A little more staff training has ensured everyone is singing from the same song sheet and a lovely new (very tall) chef is on site; Martyn. He seems to really understand want we want and is delivering beautifully. Web site designers have been urged to get both the Victoria's and the White Hart sites up and running, delayed as they needed text from me and photo's but we are three parts there now. The Hotel bedrooms are almost ready, just a little bit more painting and we have to buy even more bloody pictures..................
Business at the Vic is really excellent - lots of couples enjoying romantic breaks whilst its still not the 'season'. The Victoria's 'Hobbit House' has the carpet laid next week - so only the furniture to buy and we should be good to go in terms of B & B mid June (ish).
There's just one small hiccup at the moment - and that's I'm back from seeing my consultant in Southampton with yet another rotten chest infection, so am typing this propped up in bed listening to a fabulous Leonard Cohen CD. As I said to my GP this morning, over my dead body (not literally of course - far too soon for that) am I going back into hospital - have far more chance of getting better out of those things.............
Now all my life I've never been one too sit back for too long bemoaning my lot without doing something about things - so yesterday in the throes of being crap again I made a conscious decision to make my life better........ big discussion with gorgeous SOH in making sure;
1) We BOTH get a better work / life balance (not 1 day off in 7 weeks like just gone)
2) I use the time management skills that Portsmouth City Council paid for me to learn - and then get SOH to use them as well..................
3) Eat healthier - we all know when we're overdoing the eating and its not helping my chest being so overweight
4) Off the booze again - its all crap calories...... oopps, can I say that as a pub landlady??? lol
5) Get fitter.............. now THIS IS where it gets interesting!!!!!!
Because Reg (not his real name - but he doesn't want to be identified at this stage - just in case I'm his 1st failure!! - I'm joking.....) is my new personal trainer!!! Yes, you read right - I'm going to have my very own personal trainer visit me twice a week and help me get back in shape - that's if my GP agrees I won't expire doing so..........!! So that is why I put a picture of a rainbow at the start of this blog post - Reg is going to help me get to the end of the rainbow - out of the grey sky's and helping me get to the pot of gold. ....................................Carpe Diem!!
Next post I'll tell you all about our fabulous wedding present trip of lunch on the Orient express - what a day!! Till then I'm turning off the laptop - and giving my full attention to the lovely Leonard - might even snooze! Night all............... x
Thursday, 13 May 2010
After the umpteenth phone call to BT sat in a car park somewhere near Bristol - I thrust the phone at SOH got out and sat and sobbed......... and actually I've done a fair bit of crying this last week - some of it in temper, and some of it in frustration and some of it because I've had moments when I've simply longed for a 'normal' life!
On top of that the kitchen at the White Hart has continued to challenge us all - now currently Chef -less until next week, SOH has been there 14 hours a day - every day! Equipment has defied all laws of normality and thermostats on cookers and fryers have declined to behave in an appropriate way!!!! Modbury Fair weekend saw us horrendously understaffed as we quickly came to grips with the vastness of this little towns fair! 75 plus covers on the Saturday saw SOH knackered out as he valiantly struggled to cope with those 75 covers - with a resulting 2 letters of complaint this week..........
The obscene dishwasher that had been spewing water out all over the floor was finally fixed this morning 13 days after we first opened. We parted company with our Cook of 4 days - lovely lady and a great cook (I had the BEST steak ever off her) but not a pub cook - don't under estimate how tricky it can be trying to balance orders all in at once and getting the food out on good time and looking great as well! She's now going to try her hand at being a dinner party cook - and I wish her love and luck! She said we gave her the impetus to do what she really wants to do!!!
I let 2 members of staff go quite quickly as it was immediately apparent that as bar people they just didn't have IT........ lovely people but not bar people! Oh any thing else........ how about the function that we're doing in a fortnight (can't say what in case I'm sued) where the gentleman today practically gave me a third degree interview before saying OK to using us!!
Then there was the shopping trip to Ikea - £800 later and a whole car full - what should have been fun was actually hard work as we were both tired and SOOOO cranky!! A lovely lunch out together was lunch in Ikea - mmmnnnnn, not my idea of fun!
So back to the White Hart - how do we go forward from a difficult few days...???? Well dear readers, with a smile painted on our faces, heads held high and a determination and resolve to make the White Hart as bloody marvelous as the Vic is!!! A curry night tomorrow has at least 30 bookings...... The Conservative association have booked us for another function - Cheese and Wine evening, a birthday party has been booked with an expected 200 guests. The menu has been torn apart and put back together again, staff have been trained a bit more, difficult conversations have been had with staff to help them understand our expectations and we are off on Saturday to the Orient Express for a wonderful wedding present lunch!! Our first day off since we came back from honeymoon...........
As for my longing for a normal life - well tell me, what would I do if I wasn't working till well past midnight most nights, eating on the run and schmoozing with customers......... as my friend Jim said to me today, I have to learn not to take it all so personally! He's right - I do!!
As for the Victoria Inn - it's my sanctuary and our home - and it continues to grow from strength to strength. A wonderful christening this last weekend for 2 of our fantastic staff was just wonderful, 89 covers this lunchtime (mid week........... and schools are not on hols!!) and a fabulous summer menu released today lifts my spirits just thinking about it..................now we just have to show Modbury what we're really capable of!!
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Then the next target is getting the hotel rooms back up to scratch - some minor decorative work there and probably yet another trip to buy soft furnishings - my target for that is third / fourth week of May!
As for the Victoria Inn - well, I've been looking after that mostly - and it's been a great May Bank Holiday. Lots and lots of people about - a smashing Under 10's Rugby evening last night - with the parents having an exceptionally merry night!! I've also been working with James on our new summer menu which comes to life in a fortnight - lots of fish dishes and especially Crab this year - as we are going to be the Salcombe face of a 'Visit South Devon' fresh crab campaign with the celebrity chef Mitch Tonks - again, more of that later...........
On top of all of this chaos has been 9 month old Rosie and 10 week old Archie - continuing to learn to live with each other and giving us lots to smile at as we watch them play and fight and eat and sleep so beautifully together......