Monday, 5 May 2014


One of our small guests adding HER touch to our new garden sign
Hello dear reader - sure it must be down to single figures now as for one reason and another I haven't had the chance to blog for weeks!!!  Primarily it has to be said because we have been non stop busy - oh my! The re-furb has been SOOOOOOOOOO good for business. Also, because after thinking I was clear of poorly chest infections after 13 months being fit and well - I was hit by a horrible chest infection and was in and out of hospital over the Easter period, and only the last week or so have I returned to work.  

Anyway - back to the business of the Victoria Inn. As I say the re-furb has been very good for business - guests love the new look and what a difference it's made to their eating habits. What do I mean?? Well, guests are having many more 2 or 3 courses and staying & savoring the ambiance.  I had a conversation with a lady at the weekend who was actually downstairs in the library room - and she said that whilst they've always loved coming in to the Vic, she thought it was all so much more open and airy now - in fact her words were 'not so claustrophobic'!  That seems to be a common theme, but we do have to smile at guests who come in and look at the new stairs as though trying to figure out what the difference is............ but in many ways, I think that's great as it means the re-furb has been done sympathetically and absolutely in keeping with the character of the pub as was! 

The new garden sign has been painted by our friend Mark Fraser (the author and story teller in our garden in the summer) and the little girl is painting HER leaf on the bush, as did several children! Its absolutely lovely and we are lucky to have such a talented friend. 

We're also trying to actively encourage guests to book if they want to dine with us as even though we have a much bigger pub, we still turned many customers away this Bank Holiday weekend as we just couldn't fit everyone in. We've also now added 4 additional Full Time Permanent people to our team - 1 to the kitchen and 3 to front of house hospitality team - such are the demands of all our additional guests and the increased numbers. I also don't want to kill of US or any of our team through working us/them to death!! 

At the beginning of April we went to London for the judging process for the BII National Licensee of the Year 2014, along with 5 other contenders. This involved going in front of 3 panels of 4 industry experts, having photo's taken and a video (yuck - hate those!!) - next thing is lunch next Tuesday at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London to find out if we have won the title.  One of our Chefs and one of our Managers is joining us for this and I expect we'll see lots of people we know when there. I'd like to say I won't be nervous - but I will.  I'd like to say I don't mind if we don't win - but I will. However, having said that, I do realise how well we've done to get through to this stage out of all the hundreds that applied in the first place.

Whilst we were in London I saw this brilliant sign which was VERY pertinent to some of the prices in the pubs and restaurants in London - maybe I should nick the concept???  Not that we are that expensive when a pint of St Austell Dartmoor from sells at £2.80....

Last month we also said farewell to Jim Sloan as our Business Development Manager (change in areas) and hello to Dwayne Peace who's taken over from him. Dwayne is not new to us as St Austell brewery is very much a big family and you get to know most people in one way or another (generally pickled at the yearly Tribute awards!) He's a lovely chap and we look forward to working with him. 

So then, wish us luck for the 13th May and you can be guaranteed to read all about it here at some stage or another!! 

Carpe Diem

Liz x