Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year All

So as I sit here Saturday afternoon 321st January 2017 thinking about getting ready for  one of the most special evenings in our calendar - I want this blog to be all about the team! The guys in the photo and some that sadly weren't there for the photo shoot! 

SOH and I are firmly of the opinion that this incredible bunch of people make up the most amazing team we've been fortunate to work with. Actually when this bunch are in full swing - then the 'magic' really does happen, because they all really do love what they do at the Vic!

Each and everyone of them; from the 15 year olds who do the 'running' and clearing and tidying to the Managers who keep a watchful eye on things, to the Chefs who cook and clean and feed so many thousands and thousands of you every year -  they all work so very, very hard and Tim & I consider ourselves to be incredibly fortunate to have them working with us! 

Every single one of them brings something special to the business and collectively they work together as a really great team.  They all socialise with each other as well - so that says a lot about how they get on.  If someones ill, it doesn't take them long to volunteer to cover a shift - usually without asking and often expecting nothing in return. 

This year we've worked extra hard on education and training and it was a joy to see Jessie and Philly (21 tomorrow) achieve NVQ's in Hospitality.  They are now supervisors and undertaking the next level of NVQ.  Next year we hope to have to young ladies join us as Hospitality Apprentices. Front of House next year will be looking to raise their game even further with more training and a bit of fun along the way. 

In our kitchen - the machine room - Tom Huggett joined us as our new Head Chef, Sous Chef Sarah also joined us as well as Chef de Partie Aaron and in January we have a trained Pastry Chef joining us. That brings our team in the kitchen up to 9 and 2 part timers.  We're investing a lot of money into the kitchen, buying a water bath and some other better equipment.  It will all help give you the customer a better experience when you visit, as well as make our Chefs lives a bit easier.  I am excited about the food coming out of our kitchen and even more excited about developments in our kitchen for 2017. 

Now I've had a break from entering awards for a year, I shall be back on the paper trail in 2017.  I feel this will be our year to shine again! 

So from Tim, myself and all our amazing team - we wish you all a very Peaceful, Happy, Prosperous and loving 2017. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Happy Christmas my lovelies!

Ok - this is actually my third attempt tonight at writing this as for some reason the Gods that are gremlins in wi-fi are insistent that I should just watch Masterchef the Professionals! But no I have shut down and re-booted several times to enable me to deliver my wonderful Christmas words of joy, peace and light to you............. yea right!! 

Now I refuse to bow to cynicism and commercialism I WILL believe in the joy of Christmas......... I will not be bought down by the fact that I could not find my Grandsons preferred toy. I refuse to be hacked off that I had to join a waiting list for said toy!!! 

I cannot allow my hatred of big stores expecting me to shove a quid in to use their trollies - particularly when it's hissing down with rain - and their trollies are not under cover! M & S Dartmouth!! Yes - YOU!!! 

Dartmouth of all places......... what in Gods name do they think will happen to them in Dartmouth?? Will all the genteel folk start having wheelie races in them up and down the prom!?! Will they be pinched and exported as a national treasure??

I will not let the red mist descend because there just might be a shortage of Sprouts this year. WHAT!?? No sprouts they say......... the masses will riot! No - they just won't fart as much when they're sleeping off the effects of a meal that most third world countries can only imagine. 

I will not be forced into buying 3 extra boxes of chocolates and 6 packets of mince pies just in case we have starving people ringing our doorbell on the off chance of an After Eight or 3! I will not buy nuts that will languish in the dish until they've gone soft and require the dustbin as a kind ending.......... I will not buy a mound of cheese that requires me to eat every bit as I cannot bare to waste it!! Oh no I won't! Will I?????

Oh dear.......... I do sound a bit cross don't I?? I'm not, but when you're in a business that's been thinking about and talking about Christmas for a very long time it's hard not to be world weary about it.  I adore Michael Buble but when you've heard 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' for the one millionth time it's hard not to want to commit hari kari!!! 

Anyway my lovelies - how are YOU all doing?? I know a lot of you are planning on coming down as soon as reasonably possible after the Christmas Day deed is done and we will be ready to welcome you with open arms. Salcombe has been fairly quiet the last week or 2 but we have still been remarkably buoyant trade wise, still achieving good numbers (particularly at the weekends) and this year we have a record amount of bookings for NY day and the couple of days following it! So PLEASE ring us and book won't you, can't be doing with tantrums because you can't get a seat! We are shut Christmas Day but open the rest of the time. 

 Right, moving on, the second photo in this blog is a painting SOH and I had commissioned by Caroline Appleyard - an incredibly gifted artist! I had a great photo lined up of her and I in the pub Sunday night, but no ....... my Mac has other ideas! It's getting above it's station if you ask me!!!

Now where was I?? Oh yes, Caroline and the picture.  I just love it and she has very kindly given me 2 prints as well.  One has gone to our friend Mark who does all the story writing and reading in the school holidays (also available for festivals, weddings and bar mitzvahs) and the other one we are raffling over the festive period to try to raise funds for the Salcombe First Responder Charity.  This service (of which of course SOH Tim is one) is run entirely by donations, so I'm hoping we'll make a good few bob from doing this. You can donate by post!  £5 a ticket! Please make cheques payable to Salcombe First Responders sent to the Vic. Cough Cough Jim /Adam et al...........

On the subject of being here with the family can I just put a plug here for a great local business that will actually come and babysit your children.  Not just at home but at functions - you know the ones where they're great for a while but then they'd rather do anything than sit quiet and enjoy an hours worth of speeches (who can blame them!)  Her name is Caroline Utin and her business is S.E.B.S - Salcombe Elite Babysitting Services.  She and her team are all CRB blahdy blahdy blah checked etc and she's a lovely lady who actually likes babies and children......... not saying I don't (you know I do really!) but I wouldn't get paid to glare at them although parents have suggested I could earn a crust! Here's the link to her website

Well then, the fire is lit and roaring away a treat (the cost of those logs 😄😄!!) mulled wine is on the go on the Bar at the Vic, the Champagne is chilling and the team are ready to welcome you back and ensure you really, truly do have a super Christmas and New Year with us. 

Tim, myself and all our amazing team would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for continuing to support us, whether just once a year or every week. 

We all hope you have a fab Christmas and that 2017 brings you joy, peace, great health and true happiness. 

Merry Christmas everyone and much love from both of us too,  

Liz (she writes this drivel on an occasional basis ) and Tim (He's the clever one!) X X X