Monday, 21 September 2015

Best Partnership Pub of the Year

Best Pub Partnership of the Year - that's the Victoria Inn!!!!Well what a night we had last week at the Morning Advertiser Great British Pub awards! Having been a bit disappointed recently not to have won another of the big awards we entered for (least said about that the better!) I was absolutely convinced we wouldn't win this one............ SOH on the other hand NEVER expects us to win - he say's  that way you don't get disappointed!! Viv la difference!!! 

Anyway, we had arrived in London the day before and had a night on the town - went to see Jersey Boys (You absolutely MUST see it - Phenomenal!) and then a few (!) cocktails after the show meant that I woke up with a stonking hangover the next morning.  Walking down Mayfair you would have thought I was casually looking into the very posh car showrooms - I hope to anyone looking at us it looked as though we were giving due consideration to a new Ferrari - when actually I was desperately trying not to chuck up! Maybe my pallor gave it away?!?  Anyway - until I had a decent bacon sandwich and a few gallons of coffee down my neck I felt like death warmed up. 

The Polyfilla seems to have worked!
Feeling better and ready for a late lunch we had lunch on the terrace in Harrods (Oh yes - we can do posh you know!!) we shared our first ever Lebanese food together and it was absolutely gorgeous. 
Back to the hotel and a little siesta, followed by enough time to let the polyfilla settle into the cracks of my face and we were on our way. 

Now the pub industry throws great bashes - but nothing is quite as good as the MA Pub Awards - so I knew to pace myself - although a good number of glasses of Champagne seemed to hit the spot remarkably well.  Our friends from St Austell Brewery Management were there as well as a couple of other pubs who were also finalists. We were on a table with great company from management of Enterprise Inns and my nerves had all but dissapeared - you note I say 'all but'. 

There is no other feeling like the one you get in the 30 seconds or so as the names of the contenders are read out and that eternity when they say 'The winner is..............'??? My stomach goes into a series of somersaults and I usually grip Tim's hand for dear life (think childbirth).  Then the words Victoria Inn, Salcombe were read out...... I swear it's the most incredible feeling on earth when that happens.  
I leapt to my feet shrieking (oh dear) forgot all about holding my stomach in, chin up etc and practically ran to the stage! Shook hands with the comedian Sean Locke (brilliant bloke!), then it's all over in a flash and you're being led off the stage - I'm sure they do it to stop everyone making Oscar night type speeches. 

We were then asked if we would do a quick promotional interview - the Lord only knows what I waffled about, but it looked surprisingly ok when we saw it the next day. I cried, kissed Tim and then proceeded to get highly merry!! 

So what does the award recognise?? This award recognises the work that we and St Austell Brewery have done together in raising the level of our business by 45%, being recognised as 'flagship tenants' and us in turn continually assisting St Austell with innovative ideas that they have used with other pubs in their estate - such as the Gin menu. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we truly believe that St Austell is a great company to work with.  They genuinely support you and want you to do well, and when you do perform well they are quick to congratulate and reward you. You feel valued and not just someone making money for them. If you have ideas they are happy to explore them with you - hence our major refurb last year. Next blog I'll tell you about the Hobbit House and our / their plans for that! 

On top of that we were absolutely delighted to be included in CAMRA'S Good Beer Guide 2016 - the only pub in Salcombe to be so, and a huge credit to Tim and all our team for all they do in making sure our beers are kept and served in first rate conditions. 

We also moved out of our house to allow a major overhaul of it and we are currently renting a little cottage with an Estuary view - blooming lovely it is too!  The house is coming along nicely and we hope to be back in it soon.  It's been odd being quite so close to the pub again - we certainly have put a lot more hours in as well as I've walked a lot more with the dogs. I'd forgotten just how lovely Salcombe is first thing in the morning..............

The pub continues to be busy - over 230 Sunday lunches yesterday - and we are fully booked most of the time still. A new Autumnal menu is being extremely well received and tomorrow sees the launch of an addition to our lunch menu; Pub Classics Lunch including Chilli, Shepherds Pie, Fish Pie etc. 

Now, if you're thinking of booking for New Years Eve let me tell you that we have lots and lots of bookings already, so get a move on if you're still thinking about it. 

Ok, on that note then - that will be enough for this blog. Hope I haven't bored you to death with all our good news!!

Much love  

Liz x