Friday, 3 February 2012

The night I came over all girly

For all of my Blog readers who are not British there are some iconic Chefs/Cooks in this country - in fact you're hard pushed to turn on a television without one of them telling you how to cook something or other and preferably whilst shouting at the top of your voice, looking at the item from strange angles or using dry ice! But one of the most iconic and now very much 'in' again is the great Mary Berry. Known to us here in the UK particularly for her being part of the Great British Bake Off team. I knew Mary had been in town as she was opening the newly re-furbished Yacht Club, but I nearly had heart failure when I realised she was sat in my pub on a quiet and very cold Monday night, WITH a menu in her hand!!!

Now as you regular readers know, we get a lot of 'celebs' in the Victoria Inn and in Salcombe generally........... half the time I don't know who they are or else we just accept them as any other guest - the exception being Nick Knowles last year who managed to reduce me to a gibbering, blushing wreck!! Even Prince Charles didn't have quite the same effect as him....... anyway, moving on! I'm really confident about the food we cook and serve here unless I know it's to a fellow licensee/chef so you can imagine the state I was in!  

Off I went into the kitchen - 'OMG Mary Berry is in our pub and she's eating'............. and so on and so forth, until my chef threw me out of the kitchen!! Anyway, I sat well away from her but checked out regularly that she wasn't screwing her face up or spitting it out!! Needless to say my staff played their part well (think it helped they didn't really know who she was!) and she and her Husband appeared delighted!! SOH and I were sat with some good friends that evening and we talked about the programme and the fact I had the book AND had baked some recipes from it (yes son - THAT fruit cake!) after much egging on, said book was retrieved and like a trembling school child about to go the headmistress I approached her table and asked (with a tremulous voice!) if she would sign my copy of the book!!!  Not only did she sign with best wishes but she also said how much they'd enjoyed their meal and she wrote that as well............. then we talked about my baking and then she talked to my friends about a couple of cooking issues!!!  A delightful lady who once again showed that 'proper' celebs (like the lovely regular visitor Ian Wright & Nick) are down to earth nice people! To make my life complete I'd like Heston Blumenthal to walk through the door this year... oh and Barry Manilow would be nice as well!!! Maybe Michael Buble as well please...........

Apart from that, not a lot else really to report on in this blog. Absolutely freezing cold in common with the rest of the country but glorious sunshine. My friend Clare and I walked our dogs this afternoon and sat in the shelter in the sun and it was positively spring like........... not quite like that now mind you, but this is where the huge open fire in our bar is such a draw to our customers.  Business is a bit up and down mainly due to the roadworks and no hotel open up the road - but the roadworks are moving UP the road so that should help us out! We now operate a 20% discount off our specials board for the next couple of weeks, and that has certainly helped with trade I think.

SOH is working soooooo hard up at our home painting & decorating, and we have at last had the go-ahead for the 2 dormer windows to be created so all is looking good for our home now! We hope to move in early March, and I don't think I could be any more excited than I am!!

So I always have to sit in our office to type this blog and it's flipping FREEZING - my fingers have nearly seized up with cold, so time to get the kettle on and thaw them out!! Stay warm my lovelies and take care if you're out and about in the ice!

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