Saturday, 16 November 2013

Our 'journey' has started

Yes, we're off!!! The re-furbishment started yesterday with a pre-contract meeting at the Victoria Inn and as you can see I was in the company of a lot of very nice men!! We learnt yesterday (and met) the firm that are going to doing the works and bless me if it isn't a Portsmouth firm (remember I'm a Pompey girl!!) so that was a great start. Cummings & Pope are the contractors - people that our brewery St Austell have used many times and have a fantastic reputation for the work they do. Gareth the boss was there and we met Gary who's the foreman - they were really great and explained the how, why and what will be happening. Adam Luck and Jim Sloan from the brewery were there, along with Nigel from the maintenance dept. Ricci our very talented architect from Hollington Architects was there, as was Matt (who has a great eye for detail) down South company Trading Spaces, Sam who's project manager, a H & S chap, a structural engineer and  us!! Phew...........but a starting point of Coffee and cake was a good beginning. Although a pint of Tribute was suggested - but may have been just a little early.
We will be closing from Sunday 6th January 2014, and we hope to be re-opening a little over three weeks later on Wednesday 29th or Thursday 30th January!! The trouble is of course that we are a listed building and whilst it has had a whole load of knocking about over the years they will not know what is behind walls until they start knocking them down........... Gareth was really honest about this but still incredibly sure they will be able to do the works within about a three week timescale. Adam decided yesterday that it would be appropriate to do external decorations at the same time - so can I ask you all to start sending thoughts out to the universe for good weather in January!!
I hope you will be able to see the 'mood board' on the right of this post - and some of the colours and styles we will be using in this re-furb. Beautiful fabrics, muted colours, mirrored walls - sensational! We are absolutely and resolutely keeping to the fact we are a great traditional pub - there is going to be very little change in that - but we will be bigger, and I absolutely guarantee that the window tables with their magnificent views being planned for upstairs will be FOUGHT over!!!!
The meeting went on for hours yesterday and my head was spinning - now my head is spinning today for having over indulged in Champagne last night!! Hey ho!!!
On top of that I'm planning a Christmas Fayre at the Vic for Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd December along with Father Christmas........... I've received incredible support from local people looking to sell all sorts of goodies - so that's going to be very special. 
At the Devon Life awards last week, we were disappointed not to win (of course) but LOVED the evening - they threw a great bash! Paris last weekend was amazing and my SOH gave me a weekend to remain in my memory for ever - but phew! How expensive was some bits of it!! One board we saw said that an average day in Paris was about 120 euros. The weather was reasonable but Saturday afternoon was awful, absolutely fantastic meal Saturday evening and our Hotel was just round the corner from the Arc de Triumphe.
I've also this week been to a Taste of the West (we hold a Bronze award from them!) networking event at Burts crisps just outside of Plymouth. Great to see how they make the crisps and I was so impressed at how pure their product is - a distinct lack of additives, and also to see how great their staff are - and also when you see the name on the back of the person who fried it, that's who they REALLY are!! Came away with a few goodies as well as words of praise from the man who helped start up Burts about our lovely pub.    
Apart from a quick trip back to Portsmouth to see my family before Christmas for a day or 2 visit, we now have a fairly packed diary of meetings, fact finding visits to other excellent St Austell pubs to look at good practice etc, the Christmas Fayre to prepare for (300 gifts to wrap!!) menu's to think of for the re-opening of the pub etc etc etc............ phew!!!!!

I hope to keep you all informed of the re-furb as it goes on through our Facebook page

Our Twitter account and maybe YouTube as well.

Liz x

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