Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Hello, Bonjour, Hallo, Bongu

Now then - what makes you think I've been on a course or 2 this week..............???!!! Actually I've been on 2 but first of all a few words as to WHY I've been on them! 

Firstly - I like the slogan in this picture.  It's amazing how many various people say to me how great it is that we win awards and that it's a fantastic reward for all our hard work. 

It's also amazing when people say how 'lucky' we are and I'm reminded of that famous saying that: I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it or another variation: The harder I work, the luckier I get." That quote is from Thomas Jefferson but accredited to many including Golfer Gary Player. 

But actually being a Pub Landlady (that is after all the title of my Blog) is much more than pulling pints and asking how people are. Its about a whole host of stuff of which luckily SOH gets to do the boring but very important stuff - Finances/Prices/Suppliers/Budgets etc etc - you get my drift. 

But my part of the ship that is The Victoria Inn is of equal importance - the people. You the guest, our team, the food, menus, social media, advertising - the fluffy bits really some would say. But even this part of the business is about hard work - fun, but work. This week it just so happens I've been to 2 great events with 2 different members of our team and goodness I'm inspired to even greater things (watch out world)!!
Yesterday Jonathan (one of our Asst Managers) and I went (exceedingly early!) to Exeter to a course
called The Art of Being Brilliant. Now I happen to think we at the Vic are already pretty brilliant and in fact I met a customer on the course who exclaimed 'Why' we were on the course as she really did think we were indeed already brilliant (blushes deeply)? 

But actually this particular course challenged our pre-conceived thoughts quite brilliantly and helped re-inforce ideologies I/we hold as a business in terms of excellence and yes, brilliance! Jon and I loved it and talked non stop about how we could work better/smarter/ more brilliantly all the way home!! How TO BE not just TO DO! Thanks Andy Cope - you gave us a Brill.... fantastic day!! 

Then today, the delightful Jessie (she of the great smile and even greater tattoos) came with me to the Eden Project in Cornwall (another even more ridiculously early start) for a South West Tourism Growth Fund International Tourism Conference (blimey thats a title and a half isn't it).  Lots and lots of like minded people in the same room to help learn to grow tourism in the SW. 

Another day of true inspiration and bloody amazing presentations from some truly inspirational speakers - 2 of whom have stuck in my brain all the way through to tonight (yes, some doing that - I know!). 

Firstly Simon Calder travel writer, guru, he has a strap line of  'The man who pays his way” because he won't accept free transport or accommodation from the travel trade. 

He says the people with the best stories to tell live life in the cheap seats - love that! 

But he was passionate about giving great facts and figures, advice on the travel industry and how we can help get more tourism from across the world to the SW. 

Second and so helpful to us in our business was an award winning speaker and the writer of great
books including OMG Marketing: - Geoff Ramm. Wearing a rather nifty suit he bounded on the stage and kept me enthralled for an hour as he gave us video clips, short stories and pause for thought moments! By the way OMG is not text talk for Oh My God its actually Observational Marketing Greats! See, Geoff I was listening. There were also many other speakers to numerous to relate each and everyone though.

My goodness were Jessie and I suitably inspired by the time we staggered out into the Cornish air........... I now have a list of to do/ to be/ ideas / to research / and on and on..............

So how does this tie into my opening line of Hello etc........ 

Well you find out the country where the last Hello word comes from in my title post - these are some of the countries talked about today. 

What does the last 2 days have to do with being succesful?? 

Well if I have to tell you I guess you'll never know..................  

Till next time my lovelies, 

Liz x

P.S Fantastic congratulations to The Samuel Jones pub in Exeter - one of St Austell's managed houses for winning the Best New Pub/Bar award at last nights Morning Advertiser Publican awards. Great job Reece and team!

Thursday, 3 March 2016


Its been a challenging few weeks in more than one way or two but we were delighted to receive three
fantastic awards in February!

Firstly the hugely prestigious Taste of the West South West England Gold award for the THIRD year running. Comments from the judges included: 
  • Meals were cooked and presented to perfection
  • The Veggie Burger was super tasty!
  • The Chocolate Tart was 'wow'
  • Service was superb
  • The whole team were working as a well oiled machine
  • The place was full of happy customers and the judges did not want to leave
A huge well done to every single member of our amazing team who worked so hard both in the cooking and presentation of the food and to the front of house team for their exceptional customer service skills!  Thank you also to our customers for being happy with us and loving what we do. 

Secondly and equally as important to us as a business we also won a Bronze award in the South West Tourism Excellence awards 15/16 in the Best Pub category. Two of our team went to this in our absence as SOH has been a bit poorly for a couple of weeks now - but I say, didn't they scrub up well! Jonathon one of our assistant Managers and Rob, one of our senior team members. Sadly, we didn't get through to the national finals, but I was really pleased with how well the Vic did.

It was held in Exeter Cathedral and we were assured it was a great evening. 

As I write this blog, the Harbour Hotel in Salcombe is up for Large Hotel of the Year in the National Tourism Awards in Blackpool next week - so can I take this opportunity to wish them all the luck in the world. They're a fab hotel with a great team and I am sure they will do really well.

Thirdly, we  won Wine House of the Year at the St Austell Tribute Estate awards at the Eden Project in Cornwall.  Again, an amazing achievement and all credit both to SOH for writing an alluring wine list with fantastic wines from St Austell but also to our team for their selling skills!  We're also just a few reviews from 1,000 on Trip Advisor so if you've visited us and loved us, don't be shy, tell the world.

We've just extended our Champagne Sunday to Champagne weekend and ooooohhhh our customers do love a drop of bubbly - especial Joseph Perrier.............. The sign on the staircase is all painted on from our friend Mark who has great artistic skills. Even what looks like a poster has been painted on and the young lady is styled on our very own Philly.

The road works in Salcombe are at last finished and thank goodness for that too. It certainly affected business in the town for February (including ours) and there is no way I would ever be asking for a pedestrian only access - apart from maybe in the 6 weeks of summer.

There were very few business's I believe that didn't feel the effects of having the road closed and we were all pleased it was for no more than a month. The rest of Salcombe is a bit like a building site and a mystery road trip as different bits of road get blocked off and steel fencing put round so if you're coming down just be prepared to do a circle or 2 of the town to get to your destination.

Something for the ladies who read my blog is that we have a new business in town - and guess what!? Its a handbag shop!!! Bella Borsa (already in Kingsbridge) run by the lovely Shani is full of beautiful soft leather bags, gorgeous colours and local suppliers too as well as the most amazing Italian bags.
I HIGHLY recommend (sorry chaps) a visit when you next come down. No I'm not on commission (and my SOH is not overly pleased with Shani for opening up in town due to my love of handbags) I only ever recommend anywhere or anything or services I've used and have been exceptional, and trust me, her handbags are just beautiful!!

Easter is but a few weeks away and we are already fairly fully booked for Easter weekend, so if you want to come and dine with us over that holiday - don't delay - book today! 01548842604

On that note, I'm off - hope you enjoyed this blog, see you all soon I'm sure,


Liz x