Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Chish and Fips Awards

Chish & Fips - that's how I always think of Fish & Chips, its a childhood thing! But yes, we were up in London last week for the Fish & Chip Awards where we were nominated for the best Independent Operator and placed in the top to three. Sadly, we didn't get the top prize but we were delighted to be nominated.

Looking at the photo I realise that despite 8 evening dresses I always wear my favourite - memo to self - wear something different for the St Austell Tribute Awards this week.....................

The compere was Rory Bremner at these awards and I loved him - a very, very funny man! Excellent food as well at the bash - some of the best I've ever had at a ceremony like this.
It wasn't quite the romantic couple of days we had planned however as SOH had raging toothache and had to hightail it down to his dentist in Winchester - while I was left to mooch round London. No real hardship........ A spiritual visit to Westminster Cathedral, followed by worshipping at the God that is Knightsbridge! Harvey Nic's and afternoon tea at Harrods. Very nice it all was as well! I didn't spend quite as much money as I would have liked - but managed to enjoy myself all the same!

The statue of the 2 bears was in Kensington Gardens (Opposite our Hotel) and most apt of SOH and I - don't you think?? We had a nice little walk round the park but it was FREEZING!!  In between the toothache and the awards we also went to China Town and had a great dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant - please try to go - it was delish!!

As I've already said - this week is the St Austell Tribute awards in Newquay - so another night of fun and frolics.........

Tough old life isn't it..............???

Laters darlings x


Monday, 14 January 2013

MasterChef - Brilliant!

 A quick post just to tell you all about our amazing meal at the Treby Arms - a relatively small and unassuming pub outside of Plymouth in a place called Sparkwell.

What makes this place so special?? The fact that the Chef Patron is Anton Piotrowski who was the (joint) Masterchef Winner 2012!!

We've always been avid watcher's of this programme, with growing admiration as the contestants get further and further into the competition, but for us there was always something about Anton's food that we liked right from the very beginning! I do actually think the Judges were weak to split the title - it should have been only Anton - but that's just my thoughts.

Anyway - cut a long story short we were incredibly lucky to secure a booking for us last week, and what an amazing Dinner we had.

We went for the Masterchef Tasting Menu containing 10 (yes, TEN!) courses and it was the most amazing food I've tasted in ages!!
Its really hard to choose overall favourites from the menu, but suffice to say that the Pidgeon Wellington, Scallops with Vinegar Crumble and the Duck were A-MAZ-ING!!

The puds were out of this world and the Chocolate Soil with Popping Candy was incredible. But the Banana Pud with the Salted Caramel filled Chocolate tube will remain a hard pud to beat!!

It was also nice to see that St Austell Brewery supply the wines to them, and we had a bottle of superb Ermita Reserva Rioja from Bodegas Santalba - you may remember that we met Roberto from the Winery last year when he came over and we did some wine tasting with him. Made it even more special by having that great wine with our meal.  

It was also really interesting to hear from Anton & Clare just what it had been like for them winning something as prestigious as Masterchef - the whole excitement and great things that are happening to their business as well as the new challenges. They were a delightful couple, supported by great staff and we look forward to going back later on this year. Both Tim and I wish them great success for their future.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Walk the Lines

I meant to talk about a fantastic event that we had at the Victoria Inn on the first Sunday after Christmas............but to be honest, my brain has been all over the place (yes, I know - no change there!!) Our very good friend Mark Fraser is an amazingly talented Author/Illustrator and he has written, illustrated and published a series of fantastic children's books.  He travels around the country offering a series of inter-active book readings to fayres, schools etc. We thought it would be an excellent opportunity to trial the Victoria Inn for this sort of event with an eye to offering something similar to this at the Vic during the summer. I can see it now - sun shining, children laughing, the chickens and budgies (and flipping seagulls!) having a squawk and lots of fun and laughter with these reading sessions..........

Anyway, back to the inaugural event -  It was an amazing success, the young (and NOT so young) thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and he sold some very special signed first edition copies. He has just finished commissioning his website and you will be able learn more about Mark and his brilliant books at this address:

We really hope that you enjoy his books as much as we do, and my grateful thanks to Sam & the Burdett family for the photos. X  

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy New Year

Although for me its been a pretty difficult Christmas & New Year as my Asthma took one heck of a nose dive and I had two fabulous (!) days in hospital! I had hoped my general approach to health/fitness and diet would lead to a reprieve this winter but no such luck..... I do get pretty fed up with it all actually, but the life of a landlady is pretty much like being on the stage! On goes the slap, adjust the smile slightly, for Gods sake don't wheeze on the customers and whatever you do - don't pour drinks when you're up to your neck on steroids and inhalers........ Why?? Well the ensuing shakes and spilt drinks assure customers you're actually a functioning alcoholic!!!  But to be honest, when I'm that ill - there wasn't much work done till yesterday.

Apart from doom, gloom, a broken down car (just don't ask) and frankly big thoughts of disappearing to the Tropics for 4 months a year - the Festive period went exceptionally well - both on a personal level and professionally. All our friends survived most of the lurgies, an imminent Baby didn't make an appearance, the railways managed to transport my Brother in Law from Aberdeen and back again and remarkable quite well on time! SOH cooked the MOST amazing Christmas Day lunch, present opening took HOURS, we played all the rubbish traditional games and didn't put the TV on once!!!

Work wise, we had a really good trade - Christmas Eve food was divine and we were PACKED out..............In fact since then, its been pretty marvellous all the way through!!Even though I say so myself!!  Afternoon food has been very much appreciated by people with families and walkers, and we look forward to growing that side of our business this year.   We were packed out again NYE - had our delightful table top magician and of course our Old Gaffers.  NY day saw our now traditional Curry Buffet with the Mutton Kashmiri Curry being the MOST popular. Today, we were privileged to host a family gathering - Birthday and generations getting together - in our upstairs restaurant, as well as a pretty full pub! But many, many were going home today and certainly tomorrow - so it's bound to be quieter now. Just as well as we take our staff out next week to say thank you to them!!  Photos WILL be posted............ 

On the note of photo's here are some from NYE at the Victoria - don't forget we were virtually fully booked for NYE12 from MID NOVEMBER.......... so if you fancy joining us THIS year, don't leave it to late to book!  

On a personal note, SOH and I are eating at the Treby Arms, near Plymouth this week - what makes that so special?? Well the Chef Patron is Anton Petrowski who was the Masterchef Winner 2012 - Can't wait!! My Christmas gift from SOH is dinner at Tom Kerridges pub in Marlow in February......... all this gorgeous food to look forward to!