Monday, 5 August 2013

Summers Days (and nights!)

Fresh Plaice delivered to us by Kingfisher in Brixham
Well - the silly summer season of 2013 is finally here, schools have broken up properly and of course - the rain has arrived as well!

Every year since we've been here and every year we all (Managers and ourselves) sit down and try to figure out staffing levels based on what has been in previous years and how the year has been so far - bless me if every year we almost get it right!!  

Almost of course being the operative word.......... last year we lost three staff for various reasons in the first week of the season, which left us desperate and pining for wine from an early stage, and this time a key member of staff was unwell - leading to unparallelled limits being reached by several members of the team!! (ourselves included) because actually Salcombe at the moment this week looks and feels like Salcombe used to look when we first came down here nearly five years ago!! The streets have been wall to wall people and the sun has (until late last week) been shining and generally giving a feel good factor. So any variance in staffing levels is not good news for anyone.

As usual, guests visiting a pub in a seaside town expect to see fresh fish on the menu and this year is no exception - beautiful fresh Plaice from our supplier Kingfisher in Brixham has been on the menu alongside beautiful Sole, Hake, Cornish Sardines, Mackerel Fillets etc. and of course our award winning beer battered Fish & Chips. Steaks (Fillet & Sirloin) are as popular as ever as is the Double Baked Pork Belly.

Drinkers have been going for the Tribute, Proper Job and Dartmoor  - as strong as ever from St Austell, but Rattler Cider and Devon Northcotts Cider making a good showing! Ladies are loving the Pinot Grigio and new for us this year we've been making Mojito's (jugs & glasses) of which I can safely say are the cheapest in town at only £3.80! Again - hugely popular and alongside Pimms great summer drinks.

I always find this summer rush such a double edged sword (I think we all do actually) because we are pragmatic in understanding that it's this short sharp boost that helps support us massively in the rest of the year (although the Victoria Inn does now have a good all year round trade) but its just so exhausting keeping up with the constant demands of it. Yesterday for example, we were fully staffed up and it was looking like a usual 1st Sunday of Regatta week here in Salcombe - but the rain came and within minutes we were 4 deep at the bar and ended up serving well over 200 lunches............ quite a lot more on the entire day than last year, and today has been similar - yet this afternoon...........??? Dead as a dodo!!

James, Tania & Stuart - our 3 great Chefs!
But. back to our brilliant staff and this year again we're being supported by young people, some of whom have never had a job in their life - but their work ethics are amazing and they are doing incredible jobs of clearing, tidying and running the length and width of our garden delivering food and smiling strongly!

Most of our staff are local people but a few of the University guys are of course from far and wide - but right now, we are giving employment to about 20 local people (local in terms of the South Hams area) not bad is it...???  The wages sheet for this week shows 27 people relying on us for income (as much as we rely on them) an awesome responsibility I often think.  

So - almost time for the evening rush - a pretty full booking sheet reflects tonight could be hairy.............. laters darlings!


valentino46 said...

Sorry that I haven't been down to your garden for a crab sandwich and a bottle of Peroni, but I've strained my Achilles tendon.
Disability, I can cope with, but the pain from my strained tendon was something else!
Regards George

Liz said...

I hope you're feeling much better now?
Liz x