Monday, 22 October 2012

Customers - love 'em...........

Customers - love 'em, and we do........... well most of the time! I thought I'd share just a few pearlers to make you smile.

The best one has to be of course - 'Do you have a menu'?? No, we tend to keep all the information hidden just so you have to ask! Or alternatively 'are they the specials'?? Pointing at the board clearly marked Specials.

'Do you have a toilet'?? Now I have to say I've been guilty of this - in Amsterdam many years ago, and I think we narrowly escaped with our lives as they distinctly called us stupid English Bas***ds in Dutch! But in an English pub?? Do we have a toilet? Why?? Do you want to borrow it? Buy it??

A great one is coming through our closed front door and asking if we're open yet?? Umm no! That's why the door is shut!

How about one I had the other day.......... 'I'll have the Scallops' - then customer looking very oddly at me frowning to find them on the till, as they were of course, not even on the menu!

Customers - Love 'em??? To true we do, even those guilty of the above - AND more!!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

We're back!

After last week off, we're back and raring to go again!! We had a lovely few days firstly at a fantastic 700 year old pub in a place called Norton St Phillips - The George, and then a few days at Lainston House in Winchester, the most amazing country Hotel. Beautiful rooms, spectacular grounds including a Falconry (with a new Golden Eagle) their own kitchen garden with the most amazing produce.  Fabulous food (oh God it was gooooood) and needless to say the wine list was extensive (with wines from £45 to many thousands of pounds) with great cocktails as well. Came away feeling very rested, quite chilled and exceedingly chubby!!!!

Whilst on holiday I managed to achieve most of my Christmas shopping (going to have a full house by the seems of it on Christmas Day) as well as doing my bit single handed for the British economy upturn as a whole!

Also, visited a part of the world that I've not been to for many years - Selsey, in Sussex. Phew, what memories that evoked. I'm very blessed to have a Husband who goes out of his way so much for me, I was taking him up and down roads and then back up and down them again in my quest to find my memories! Funny old things memories - are they ever what we think they are???

Selsey was my dear old Mums birthplace and where all her family came from, and its where I had a good many holidays when my Daddy died and Mum didn't know what to do with me during those long summer weeks (!). So I was duly packed off for 2 or 3 weeks to stay with my Auntie Doris and Uncle Edgar for a couple of times a year. I found the house they lived in (I can still smell her big walk in larder with all its dried fruit) )which had changed a little but essentially it was all still there (I wonder if the mangles gone??) but apart from that I barely recognised most of the place............... except for the Lifeboat Station!

As soon as we got there, all of my sensory memories came flooding back with the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea and the footsteps walking along the gangway to the lifeboat station itself.  So many memories of happy childhood times in my swimsuit eating sandy food, playing around on the beach with cousins, enjoying the summer sun (oh yes, we had sun in the old days!). I remembered the Selsey Fete that I went too with a few pennies in my purse, trying to find my Mum something to buy to take home with me. Walking safely around the village (it was a village then!) buying ice creams and cakes and enjoying the company of my own little world............... I really felt quite teary at one stage of this journey.  

I found a cousin - Peter - I've not seen for probably well over 30 years I don't know who was more surprised - him or me!! Well, actually it was him really - in fact I'd go so far as to say he looked terrified to have a woman at the bar in his club enquiring as to if he drank in there!!! :))

He took us to where my Auntie and Uncle are buried and there in the pouring rain I looked at the headstones of 2 people who gave me so much love and such wonderful memories to reflect on now I'm old(er), and I felt so grateful for that..............

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Time flies

Time flies when you're having fun - so they say - and we have been having our fair share of fun!!

Couple of award ceremonies, the first being the BIG ONE at the Hilton Park Lane where we were given the title of Best Tenanted Pub of the West in the Great British Pubs awards.  A first class evening and we stayed on the 24th floor of the Hilton overlooking Buckingham Palace - I swear, I was like a child in wonderment and awe!! Just amazing!! The second was for a more local award - the Torquay Herald Express - where we were pitched against one of the big boys in our area. A Michelin star famous fish Chef with a restaurant in Dartmouth. It was a privilege to be in the top four with him.............. needless to say he won, but we were thrilled to have been there and nominated into the top four Best Dining establishments along the Devon 'Riviera'!

The 'Girleys' went to that occasion and they all looked absolutely beautiful and did the Victoria Inn proud.

On top of that Tim and Chef James have been busy making Chutney's and Jams to sell at theVictoria, along with some one cup Tea Pots (everyone always asks where we get ours!) and some really cute Teddy Bears with T Shirts that have our logo and name - great presents for Christmas!!

Our new home made Ice Creams and Sorbets are going down a storm!! My chefs can't make enough of it right now! Next new menu's coming in tomorrow and SOH is busy putting together a new wine list. So a lot of fun and a lot of hard work right now, but that is what the job of being a Publican is. Great rewards if you work hard and care about your business - which we do!

Thankfully we have a week off next week and what we are going to do I have no idea, but I do know it will involve lots of rest and relaxation!! I'll try not to leave it a month before I blog till then darlings, take care and wrap up warm as the Autumn creeps in X