Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Let me get this off my chest.................

Ok - take a look at the basket of toiletries in this picture.............. (I know it's a little dark) but it's just a little basket containing a few bits and pieces of baby things - lotion, powder, nappy bags etc upstairs in our baby change area. Do you know what?? Some mean spirited Bugger (yes Bugger - I actually wanted to write something far stronger but thought better of it!!) has stolen from this basket 3 times!! In fact the last time, except for the few remaining nappy bags the basket was completely emptied. Emptied I tell you!!  Now if this was an inner city pub in an area of extreme poverty I could understand it - but this is Salcombe for Gods sake! Home to some very rich people....... Not only that, but our blanket box with 6 blankets in to keep people warm in the garden?  Yep, 2 blankets stolen from that! The basket of glasses on the counter for customers to use when they've forgotten their glasses? Yep - been replenished at least half a dozen times because customers have 'forgotten' to return them!
Now I don't care that all these things are reasonably inexpensive - but why do it??? The fact these things are cheap (ish) makes it even harder to understand............... and now I'm getting really hacked off with it. Ok - rant over and done with. Well almost ...............

The May Bank holiday weekend has been oh so busy yet again - dissapointing weather, but that doesn't seem to have put our lovely visitors off. We have been packed to the rafters - all day, every day.

Friday night saw a session with the gorgeous 'Old Gaffers' who just seem to get better and better each time they sing at the Victoria. Then Saturday night we let our young new barman Danny Jones sing for a couple of hours. He's an 'X Factor' hopeful and really wants to break in to the world of music - but like many he's not finding it at all easy.  I have to say I don't know why, because he has a spectacular voice and he sings lots of great easy to listen to pieces from Mr Buble and Adele to name just a a few. The customers just wouldn't let him come off - it was, '1 more' '1 more', so I'm pleased to say that he'll be back with us on the 11th April during the Salcombe Music festival. Then on Sunday we had Symon Paul a truly unique Harpist entertain our Sunday lunch guests - no one can say we don't diversify thats for sure.

Also on Saturday we had yet another lovely wedding reception held upstairs at the Victoria Inn  - this time it was Emma (below) and Chris and a wedding that been at least 12 months in the making. Cream Teas and a Hog Roast made this special for them, with hot pasties at 10.30 to see everyone off with a bang. The weather wasn't up to much but they and their guests had a great time and I hope to be able to use some of their wedding photo's on our website and in future advertising. But right now, it's back to the bar and carry on selling lots of lovely St Austell ales etc.............

A hog roast mans life is NOT always a happy one!!
A radiant bride - Emma

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Did the earth move for you???

Mmmnnnn, well we'll talk about that a bit later shall we........!! So Greece?? My 'Shirley' holiday...... Well, lets talk about it: 

Loved the people! Particularly the 2 smashing ladies in my Hotel - Le Citie, Lixouri. Janet & Gerry - those two ladies just couldn't do enough for you and how they knew everyones name I'll never know!! The hotel itself was pretty fair for the money that I paid for it - the breakfast could have been more varied and the rooms could have been 'prettier' but it was spotlessly clean and as I say, the friendliness made up for any shortcomings.

The pool area was great, and the gardens surrounding them with their bottle brush red plants and lemon trees with the biggest lemons I've ever, ever seen were beautiful. In fact the girls cut up the white pithe of a huge lemon I picked up off the grass and it was as sweet as sweet could be! Lush!! No beach to speak of which was a shame - but not the end of the world.

The area I stayed in was ok. Just ok really. Very, very quiet - I couldn't help feeling it was the recession rather than not just the season started.  Most restaurants had barely a quarter of tables full every single night. I wasn't overly struck on some of the food, but I did enjoy the starters and the ice cream....... However, it was a Greek quiet - if that makes sense. It was somehow still noisy with their way of making themselves heard and the square itself was filled with some remarkable characters that makes people watching the art form it is! This gentleman was some sort of young priest - but I was really taken with his amazing face and a real serenity and kindness about him. 

The weather was a bit hit and miss - with an amazing thunderstorm over another part of the Island one night and huge amounts of rainfall. But when the sun deemed to shine, then it was very warm indeed and yes, I do have quite a tan to show for it. 
The other guests were mainly British, with a huge walking party making up the main bunch and the ever present Northern contingent........ Now that really was the Shirley bit!! A twosome (one of whom the gentleman spoke some basic Greek - but he was quite impressive) and a delightful party of 4. I shared a meal with both lots and it made for a very pleasant change.  Vince and his wife (whose name absolutely escapes me - sorry!!) were there with her Mum & Dad & it was delightful to see a family so caring of each other and so happy to spend time in each others company. Vince was the archetypal story teller and a thoroughly great bloke.  Thanks to him (oh yes it was!!!) I had quite the worst hangover in my history of hangovers. An Ouzo hangover is not one that should be repeated twice!!!  By rights I of course shouldn't have let it happen in the first place - but you know how these things happen................!!

I found somethings to be ridiculously expensive - 2 Satsumas and a very small Banana (see, a little bit of healthiness!) were 1 - yes 1 - Euro!! And as for the airport over there - well, don't get me started!! Oh yes, and the taxi driver (same one both ways) who transferred me from airport to hotel and vice versa - drove virtually one handed nearly all the way whilst making many telephone calls and shouting down the phone!! I closed my eyes and prayed hard (quietly) on several occasions!

Would I go to Greece again? Probably but to an area with a beach ...... although I would like to visit Athens. Did I have a nice time? Yes I certainly did, and I did  (note the past tense) feel rested and relaxed - but real life has caught up with me already! Next stop May Bank holiday. 

Oh yes! As for the earth moving bit??? Well, I was sat by the pool - on my own and we had a tremor (save the jokes about turning over on the lounger or any others - I've heard them all!) A throaty rumble from the earth made me sit up with a sharp intake of breath, followed by my table and the bottle of water on it wobbling all over the place - all of about 5 seconds and the longest, scariest 5 seconds I've ever encountered. Oh that's ok says Gerry - better 1 or 2 small ones than the big one of the 50's that wiped us out!!!!   

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Shirley Valentine - Not me!

Shirley Valentine - Not me!! But some  years ago had I had the courage that our 'Shirley' had then it might well have been!! As it is - I'm off tomorrow for a whole week to Greece............ just me, myself and I! A few (well actually, quite a lot!!) of Euro's, 4 thumping good books (1 self help - of course!) and an Ipod full of tunes. I'm going for Sea, Sun and absolutely none of the other............. :) 

I watched Shirley Valentine many years ago and always wanted to be (in her words) 'Shirley the brave'....... she used to talk to the 'wall' and get great satisfaction - talking to the wall didn't do it for me I must admit, but I certainly used to lose myself in daydreams of a better sunnier life.   Now I'm living my better sunnier life but because of work SOH and I can't go away together this time - so he's paid for me to have a week of this dream.  So now - 'Liz - the brave' is driving herself in her car to Gatwick, going for a whole weeks worth of rest and sleep and great healthy (I'll try!) food.  Drink in moderation (thats the plan!) and hopefully lots and lots of sun..........a little shopping maybe, some exploring and some culture. You can be sure there'll be a blog post when I get back and lots of pics.

Till then - stay healthy and happy.................. X 

 Ένα μεγάλο κρασί παρακαλώ CostOS -ευχαριστώ'

Saturday, 7 May 2011

A very quick one!

Royal Wedding at the Victoria Inn, Salcombe
Blog post that is.... naughty!!! oh Missus..........

Although we're quieter than we were in April - we're still pretty busy!! Thankfully.............Tonight a very full restaurant and a bar still rocking away tonight as i sit here typing.  

So what a fantastic Royal Wedding we had didn't we?!?  Didn't you just love the whole thing. Ahhhhh .............

What started out as a whole lot of apathy to the event (here at least) ended up a real humdinger (well, for us - anyway!) From 10.00a.m to nearly midnight we never stopped. The photo opposite really doesn't do it justice as to how busy we were - but trust me, we were!

We'd also had the local Rugby 7's in the last week or 2 where a visiting team (who shall remain un-named) disgraced themselves in the highest order (doesn't matter - you really DON'T want to know what!) in our pub - and following a letter to various local officials a letter of apology and a cheque were swiftly received. An artifact from our pub was also nicked and thanks to another pub's staff member coming and telling me I was able to march off to their last watering hole in town - a lot like Peggy Mitchell out of Eastenders - and retrieve it from them.............. Little ba****ds!!!  

We had a fantastic Trip Advisor from the sister of the Bride who's wedding was held at the Victoria recently http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g190768-d1821467-r106814408-The_Victoria_Inn-Salcombe_Devon_England.html#REVIEWS  in fact we've had a couple of nice reviews recently................ fingers crossed they continue! So I'm really hoping that we can start to build that side of our business up next year. 

SOH and I are away for a couple of days from tomorrow - and then my big adventure to Greece next week..... as well as the decision to drive myself to Gatwick and back!  But I am sooo looking forward to my holiday. 

So thats it peeps - a quick blog as I said!! Take care - it's heaving it down with rain at the moment - lets hope the sunshine comes back soon - waste of time having cleaned my Betsy!!!! X