Sunday, 31 July 2011

Grey clouds lifting.............

Yep, metaphorically the grey clouds that have loomed large over my head for the past 6 to 8 weeks or so have started to lift. The awful gut wrenching tiredness and apathy that I was experiencing have started to move away........... Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a 90m.p.h person. I rarely sit still and when I do I am planning/working on paper or on the computer, nearly always something to do with the business etc. So in my 19 year old head I'm good to go for a 16 hour day with irregular meals and little sleep, but in my 50 something body I was on the road to being quite ill. So with a few words of advice from my Doc (and a few pills which I didn't take for very long!) 2 whole weeks away from the 'shop' (staying in our flat listening to relaxation tapes, sleeping and reading BOOKS) and 4 days staring at the sea and sun in Spain I am starting to feel a whole lot more human - trick for me now is to keep things that way........... So for all of you who have asked why no blog posting recently and who have said 'what- another holiday' that's the reason behind my 'holiday' last week. Having said all of that, I'm off to my friends canal boat next weekend for 2 nights -pure unadulterated pleasure, but more on that little jaunt when I post next time. 

So back to the Victoria and business. Well, what a strange old week we had last week............!! An incredibly great Sunday followed by 4 days that were so quiet I was re-checking my menu in case people had gone off us! But speaking to colleagues in town, nearly all (certainly in the hospitality sector) have reported a poor season so far. Then from Friday, the visitors started to arrive, but it has to be said that it is not so far the bumper 'staycation' expected or talked about. So we'll see what happens this week with the Regatta's kicking off. Having said all of that we are doing about 260 - 300 meals most days, but people are thinking very hard about where to spend their money. Our seafood BBQ kicks off this coming week - Thurs to Saturday - so I'm hopeful that this will be popular!

In an effort to keep prices affordable in our menu, this week we have put on some really reasonable specials and one of them has been putting Mussels on the menu. They have just flown right out - and it has to be said that they have been the tastiest I have ever had! Superb taste and really fat and juicy, simply cooked in white wine, with Garlic and Onions, served with a crusty baguette and only £9.95............. 

Our Head Chef James has been on holiday leaving my 2nd chef Tanya in charge and she and the kitchen team have done an absolutely amazing job. Tanya says she has never worked cooking with the sorts of numbers that we now do here - but she has done so well and SOH and I are very, very proud of her!!

Talking of staff, nearly all of our summer staff are in place and what a lovely bunch they are! Most of them I take on unseen as their family have holiday homes down here and therefore they just e mail me for a job. So always a bit risky, but once again this year, I've got great kids who pick up the work really easily, work hard and have fantastic positive attitudes!

The Hobbitt House is doing really well, fully booked for the whole of August and the delightful picture above is of Georgie - one of a charming family who stayed with us for a fortnight. As you can see, Archie welcomes and gets lots of cuddles from guests but Rosie is a little bit more discerning and not quite so easily won over.  Rosie remains her Mummy's dog and as I sit typing she is laying right by my side with one eye almost constantly on me! In fact I may take her on to the Canal Boat with me to test how she settles on it as we have been talking seriously about our future and where / how we may want to live. Quite a lot of options on the table, but a wide beam canal boat (no smutty comments please!) is top of our list right now............... SOH doesn't want to live anywhere too 'ordinary' and I don't want to sacrifice too much luxury. I tell you what though, there are some amazingly beautiful and palatial boats around AND at a very good price! So - we'll see what the next few months bring.

On that note - I'm off to follow my plan of making sure I don't see an early grave by having an afternoon rest, cup of fruit tea with honey and then a look through the Sunday papers................. Take care friends x

P.S Our newest addition to the Garden - Our Budgies - have 2 little eggs.............!!! We'll have little baby Budgies!!! Just not sure when........???

Sunday, 24 July 2011

November Newsflash

Ok - I know we're only in July but thinking ahead, we've decided to offer a great deal on the 'HOBBITT HOUSE' for the month of November:

Stay any TWO nights for only £50 per night!!!! Still includes a great start to the day with breakfast at Captain Morgans and it doesn't matter if it's single of double occupancy. It'll make a great break for the period leading up to Christmas - a chance to do a bit of Christmas shopping maybe??

Don't spend too long thinking about it - I think this will be a very popular offer. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

What a day!!!

HRH talking to me before starting his visit!
Wow - what a fantastic day Monday 11th was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HRH Prince Charles and Camilla came to Salcombe. The excitement started on the Sunday evening when one of the Royal security squad asked if we would let the Royal party use our 'facilities'........ Would I???? You're joking! If I'd had my way SOH would have been gold leafing the loos over night!!!

So when will I know when HRH wants to use the loos then says I to the (very slightly gorgeous!) security man - 'oh about 30 seconds before the event' says he............. Ok then!! After about 3 hrs sleep (I was excited ok! I admit it!!) the day started with the most beautiful sunrise - yes I saw the sun rise, and the arrival of Radio Devon to use the Victoria as a base for their Royal transmissions. SOH was interviewed about his new role as a First Responder and I was interviewed about what the visit meant to me! I tried to hide my excitement but I don't think I did a very good job.............

Then walking down the street about 2hrs before came all the suited and booted security blokes..... It was like a scene from Reservoir Dogs!! Then the people who were going to be officially presented arrived in the square, with hundreds more starting to throng the streets. Dead on the dot (and I mean to the second!!) the royal party turned up on my doorstep at 10.30!! Prince Charles got our of the car (the photo at the top is taken by Janice King who runs one of Salcombes superb B & B's) and turned in my direction - imagine my heart at that precise moment!!! I said 'Good Morning Sir' he said 'Good Morning - business good for you I hope' I said' Very good thank you Sir', he said 'Jolly Good' turned and buggered off into the crowds.................... The disappointment was like finding out Father Christmas didn't exist!!! But I had just had a conversation with the future King of England so that made up for not  using our loo somewhat!!!!!

Anyway - they did their walkabout in the square (SOH was introduced and had a conversation - the contents of which he found hard to remember - Doh!!) and then they came back down and round the crowds......... and I got a 2nd bite of the cherry. A hand shake from Camilla and another short chat with Prince Charles as you can see by the photo's below - where I swear it looks like he's pointing his finger at me?? I have to say that both Prince Charles and Camilla came across as 2 very nice individuals and you couldn't help but catch a bit of the magic dust that was around that morning.  EVERYONE I spoke to who spoke to them or shook hands was made too feel very special and individual and for me personally it was a great moment and made the dark clouds that have hung over my head for the last few weeks temporarily disappear.

Right then - no more from me for a week or 2 as I'm off to Spain on Monday to get my head cleared and batteries re-charged in time for the Summer rush. 

The start of a fabulous day!

Mike from Radio Devon

What a magical moment!

Salcombe's First Responders - what a great bunch of people!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Here comes the Summer.............

Well if the rain stops and we actually get a few days continuous sun that is! The weather is just so changeable right now isn't it......??  But it doesn't seem to be stopping tourists from coming down so thats something.

Monday is expected to be hugely busy here in Salcombe for the Royal visit of Charles & Camilla.  We're hosting BBC Radio Devon from 7.a.m to hold their interviews with excited Royal watchers - sp it'll be a very long day fro us here. Staff have to be on site early because of security issues and I think we'll open at about 10 to catch all those people wanting early cuppas etc............... lets hope it doesn't rain on Monday!!

SOH & I have been busy re-planting in the garden as all of a sudden our spring plants keeled over, so yet another few bob spent at the local nursery - we've gone for Begonias and Busy Lizzies (appropriate really!!) this time with a sprinkling of Marigolds.

Our new menu is live from this week and with specials of local Lamb and Salcombe LOBSTER amongst others .......... it's drawing a great deal of interest!! If you want to check it out here's the link to our website:

Our budgies now have a couple of nesting boxes in their cage as they are showing signs of wanting to mate (so says SOH - wouldn't know myself!!) so hopefully we'll have little baby budgies in the future. The Seagulls have been a nightmare this year - so daring and so viscious but I can't help being entranced by the baby seagulls trying to fly and making such pitifull little noises. Not quite so enchanting are the noises that the seagulls make so early in the morning and even in the middle of the night. Our Chickens are one less as one departed for that big chicken shed in the sky - so we're back to eight again now, but they're laying as good as ever.

Merlin Rocket (sailing) is this week coming, so we expect to be even busier - here's to a great week for all of us!