Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The heat is on!!!

So we didn't pick up the final prize of BII Licensee of the Year - that pleasure went to Keith & Diane Marsden from the Prince of Wales pub in Mosely.  But my goodness we had a great time in London with our splendid companions Rob - our General Manager and Adam one of our Chefs. Don't you think they look handsome in this picture???

The night before the Lunch was an event at the Post Office tower in London.  Ye Gods but it was high up........ a few Prosecco's cured those nerves though. Great company and an absolutely splendid Elton John guest tribute act. The actual lunch was held at the Honourable Artillery Company in the City and was an excellent bash!!   I met and spoke with Clare Balding - what a truly lovely lady and her speech went on for about 15 minutes when she actually had about 3 minutes allotted. Close up she has the most amazing eyes and her passion for sport and equality just shone through - I felt really inspired.  I love the fact that she talked about how it was ok for women to be competitive.  We were also treated to an inspirational talk by Sir Clive Woodward - again, when I  sit and listen to people like him speak I personally find it hugely motivating. We all then went out, drowned our sorrows and got completely ratted!!!! There was barely a murmur from any of us on the train home the next day!
But whilst it's disappointing to have not lifted that prize there was something that happened to me straight after the lunch - and that was a man came up to me and asked if I was the licensee with a pub in Salcombe.  We had a conversation where he told me that he and his family had visited us last summer and we had made his holiday really special (also apparently increasing our sales in Muscadet!!). That to me was really important to hear that right there, right then.  We are still in the top 5 Licensees of the entire UK (2nd year running) an important fact to remember and our customers love us! A fact re-iterated by sooooooo many texts and messages of goodwill that I received from customers and friends.

So, moving on now  - we are absolutely all systems go for the summer! New menu's are in place and a great new Childrens' menu is in with a little platter for toddlers with carrot sticks, bread sticks, cheese, sausages etc and that's all thanks to a customer who suggested it! They even have special little childrens divided plates from Cath Kidston.

The grown ups menu has 2 sections - one for the garden (a slightly reduced menu) and a full menu for inside the pub.  Now starting to serve dinner from 5p.m.  Just right for all of those hungry families coming off the beaches in the summer. 

The newly introduced Prosecco menu is flying out of the door (no Prosecco shortage here!) with Champagne Sunday (£4.75 for a glass of great Champagne!) equally popular. The garden has been planted with summer plants and is starting to look pretty inviting.

Fathers day is  already looking hugely busy, with a party of between 30 - 40 and several other parties already booked in - so we should have a great vibe in the Vic that day in particular! Just as well I have another great Chef joined us - the lovely Richard, there is of course a photo to follow.

We have said good bye to the lovely Glo this week - she of whom there are few photo's as Glo hates (I mean really, really hates!!!) having her photo taken. But here is
one from NYE this year when we celebrated the start of another fantastic year.

Glo has decided that it's time to take her foot off the gas a bit, and whilst we are desperately sad that she has left us we remain great friends and it will be lovely to welcome her to the other side of the bar and look after HER! 

Glo has been with us for 7 years and previously 2 years before that with the previous landlord. Professional, kind, great with customers and team (especially the younger ones) she could always be relied on to bring finesse and graciousness to our business.  If we had functions she could totally be relied upon to pull something out of the bag that was just that extra bit special. She could walk in and instantly spot what hadn't been cleaned - she coined the phrase 'Time to lean, time to clean'!!

Personally (and our discussions last week confirmed this) I enjoyed the early years with Glo on a Sunday when we had on the 60's music and Sundays were such fun.  But the business we lovingly call the Vic is a very different business now to what it was then.  It's incredibly hard work, we are (thankfully) consistently busy, often fully booked days before, there are few 'quiet' spells - the youngsters get very tired, so for us slightly older ones (coughs!) it's even harder. We wish you love and laughter Glo and lots of gardening in the sun.

But - times change and it comes to all of us to decide when it's time to call it quits - not for us though, not for a good many years yet!! On that note - I'd best be getting back to that place called the Victoria Inn..............................

Much love darlings

Liz x
p.s : We have some great things planned post summer............. watch this space!!

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