Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Half term - already??

Can someone kindly tell me where this year is going, because I have no idea where the last ten months have gone!!! I've looked and just can't find them!

So - we carry on being phenomenally busy........... now don't get me wrong I am in no way complaining as in an age where pubs up and down the land are struggling to make a living we are exceptionally grateful that people love us as much as they do - but I do feel like I'm holding my breath waiting for the bubble to burst.....???  However, the re-furb, growing economy, warm weather  et al is ensuring we are still doing ok.

This Sunday just gone was the very first time in our 6 year history that we were fully booked at least 3 days before the day! We also had people sitting in the garden this half term weekend because it was so exceptionally warm.

As for New Years Eve - well I've only just advertised that event on the website and we already only have about a dozen spaces left - so if you're contemplating a visit to us NYE don't leave it much longer to book!!

I just wish I could get guests to understand that even though the Vic is loads bigger its also loads busier and if you don't book for a dinner or lunch reservation you may not get in, particularly if you're a party of 6 or more.

So, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE book or else please don't stand in front of us with pleading/accusing voices and expecting us to magic a table up! We'll always do the best we can even if it means a short (but pleasant) wait at the bar with wine in hand, but booking makes everyone's life easier.

So onto news - well it was very nice to go to a Hotel in Torquay last week to celebrate successful apprentices at South Devon College. We were delighted to see Aaron collect a fabulous cup for getting a Special Endeavour award - seen here pictured with his proud Mum & Dad. He really is a lovely young man and works so hard in our kitchen. He has some great ideas food wise and his palate is very good! He also has a blindingly daft sense of humour!!

Aaron is one of 3 apprentices we have - 2 in the kitchen, Blake is the other one (now on their 2nd year) and young Megan front of house who is our first ever Hospitality Apprentice - already she has learnt so much and all that adds to the overall experience of our pub and what we can deliver in terms of customer service. We also pay our apprentices far more than the national average - which we believe is a pittance (starts from just over £2.70 per hr!!!) and almost amounts to slave labour, so we pay a good wage and we also pay for them to attend college. We get a small grant from the Government for their first year but that barely pays for college, so we believe in the value that they give our business and pay them accordingly.  We both actually feel its quite a privilege to mould these youngsters and try to give them a good head start to their working life.  

What else?? Well SOH and I are off on a holiday of a lifetime at the end of November and so we are very busy getting ready for Christmas as there will be limited time for that when we come home in December. Sorry - did I say WE???? Well I/ me/ myself am writing, wrapping, sorting and SOH is..............???? Answers on a postcard please!!!

As I've referred already the weather is so mild down here that we have still been using the garden so that's not closed down yet as we would have done normally by now, and we shall have a Halloween interactive story telling session on Friday 31st at 6.30 with the lovely Jacob Cracker - our resident author.

Next week we shall be going to Exeter for the Devon Life awards again as we are nominated by YOU our customers for Best Family Friendly Dining Experience - fingers crossed we may win this year but regardless it's fabulous to be nominated into something as prestigious as Devon Life!

So on that note, I'm off - write again in a couple of weeks,

Liz xxx

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sorry (again)

I'm sorry, sorry, sorry  - I can't believe it's been six weeks, yes 6 weeks - since I last blogged. I have no idea where this year is going!!! 

Anyway - the summer board has been dispatched to the cupboard and the new winter board (courtesy of our resident storyteller/author/illustrator - Mark Fraser) stands enticingly at the front of the Vic. The fire is lit, the blinds half drawn, hot chocolate is selling faster again and the woolly pullovers are starting to appear. 

About this time of the year I'm starting to say that the pub is quieter, the nights are drawing in, no ones around......... etc etc. Well only one of the three applies right now...??? Which one? The nights are drawing in - that's which one, because we are certainly quieter than the summer but goodness me, much busier than any other year at this time and as for people around? Well, they're certainly in our pub that's for sure! 

The menu has veered off centre towards more autumnal foods and gorgeous rich Steak & Wild Mushroom pies have replaced salads, and Chicken & Mixed bean warming stews are appearing. Alongside those are fantastic double baked Pork Belly, still some great fish dishes and the introduction of this little beauty in the day menu >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
A hot meat platter! Consisting of Some gorgeous Pork Sausages, Hot cubes of a fore mentioned Pork Belly, and home made Chorizo scotch eggs. Add to that some piccalilli, apple sauce and crusty french bread - what more could you want on a cold Autumn day.  

We were pleased to find out that the Vic has been nominated again this year in the Devon Life Awards 2014 in the Family Friendly Dining Experience section. So we will be getting our glad-rags on and hot footing it to Exeter on the 6th November for the awards evening. 

Talking of awards it was fantastic to see Anton Petrowski at The Treby Arms get awarded a Michelin star this month - a fabulous place to try and visit if you can get a table! 

This might also be the right time to tell you that the Victoria Inn will be closed for a few days in November for a bit of remedial work carried over from the refurb we had in January - those dates are Sunday 16th/Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th November re-opening Wednesday 19th November. I'm sorry if you're in Salcombe on those dates and that this is disappointing for you, but it's the best time for us business wise.   

After that of course we have Christmas & New Year to look forward to (well we personally have a lot more to look forward to, but I'll leave that to another blog) and the menu's etc will be on the website shortly - however.................... don't leave it too long if you're thinking of booking for NYE, because we already (without advertising) have a lot of bookings already!! 

Till next time peeps, hopefully not 6 weeks either!!!

Liz xxx