Monday, 15 May 2017

Ok - maybe not Spring after all!

Gawd!!! The heatings back on and it's pouring cats and dogs.......... Come on Spring I'm waiting for you to come back! 

So! Good evening my lovelies, it's been great to see so many familiar faces popping in over the last few weeks for your post Bank Holiday breaks.  Some of you even went home with sun tans! Would be rust right now if you were here......! 

I was having some lovely conversations with guests in our pub this weekend and we always get great responses to the teams approach to customer service, in fact we got our results this week to the St Austell brewery mystery shop and we got 95% - we were thrilled and the 2 team members named (Jessie and Lauren) got a reward voucher from us. 

However, the conversation that stuck in my mind this week, was just HOW good our team are and how well they gel together.  I think it's because not only do we value them, pay them well and try to create a family atmosphere, THEY all seem to like each others company. 

Two of our team (who many of you will know and love) Jess (Manager) and Philly (one of our supervisors) have gone off 'glamping' for the week. I'm told that's glamorous camping - but as I say (boringly continuously) the only stars I will sleep under is where they have 4 or 5 over a hotel door! Yet, yesterday on their first day off where did they go for Sunday lunch?? Where they work! So I think that speaks volumes don't you?? 

Some of the Vic team with a couple of friends!!! 
We also have a team Facebook messenger group for sharing ideas, moans and grumbles as well as full on madness at times. They also like to go out together when they can, proving that a team that plays together - stays together!!! <<<<<<<<

We recently had a food blogger in our pub - Tim of Culinary Chatter. He did an absolutely amazing review and we are getting lots of positive comments on social media about it;

It's always a bit nerve wracking having someone write about you however much you think you did a good job and it's not until I see it in print I can relax.  

We've also been nominated for Muddy Stiletto (Devon) awards - now this is an interesting one as it's voted for by you the customer, so If you'd like to vote for us please can you follow this link;
Best Destination Pub would be great - Thank you kindly! 

What else have I got to chat about today then??? 

Well, as many of you know, I'm not working quite so many hours these days - but that doesn't mean I'm not 'working'......... If I'm not on social media advertising the pub then I can often be found in my greenhouse.  This year I've grown (many from seed) lots of lettuces and leaves and I mean lots.  So much of my produce is finding its way onto the kitchen at the Vic to be used in the menus. As a certain Greg Wallace famously said on Master Chef - Food doesn't get fresher than this! 

It really doesn't either, and there's no pesticides been on them, just me singing along to music on my Bose player in the greenhouse. I've also got lots and lots of tomatoes I've planted - again, many from seed and I hope they will be great for our menu about August maybe! I don't think anything tastes better and is more rewarding than walking outside your door and picking the freshest of the fresh produce. 

Today, we've just had a fab new addition to our pub and something SOH and I talked about for ages and that is a trophy cabinet.  Made by a local craftsman Nigel Couch it's of the most amazing quality and our trophies look absolutely fab in it. Who knows, perhaps we'll have another one or two to put in it this year?? 

Well, I think that's it for now lets hope we have sunshine on our bodies when I write my next blog! 

Liz x x x x

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Easter? Been and gone.............

Easter? Then it has to mean the first Stories in the Garden from our friend Jacob Cracker - and without it being to much of a pun - they really were 2 crackingly good sessions. Kids ( and grown ups) love these story telling sessions and we were blessed with great weather! 

Salcombe seemed to be VERY busy this Easter and as usual we have no summer staff yet, so everyone had to work that bit harder as usual. But as long as our customers were happy there we're happy. The weather was good, but we've known better and as for rain? Well we've seen none for ages - now there's the cue for the heavens to open! 

Food wise, we've taken the seafood plate off the menu for the summer but we have instead put Dressed Crab on the menu and my goodness, customers can't get enough of them! The other thing that customers are enjoying is the home-made Bannoffee Pie - I'm trying desperately to ignore it calling me............

Champagne weekends continue to be popular (and why ever not!) and Salcombe Gin (which is rather lovely) is also selling very well.  I have to say I think Salcombe Gin is actually a really good Gin and it is starting to get quite a few awards, so it's a pleasure selling it. 

You'll see I've put a picture of our Roast Potatoes for no other reason than for me a good roast spud is the essence of Sunday Roast and heavens above do we now get a lot of bookings for Sunday lunch particularly!! 
So please book with us, won't you! 

The hanging baskets and plants at the Vic are about to be refreshed and renewed by Potters Nurseries so hopefully we'll have some pictures in the next blog. 

The last purchase of logs have been made for this season and the Garden sign has replaced the welcoming Fire sign outside of the pub. 

What else? Well our lovely Ellen who's worked for us since she was 15 has just had her 18th Birthday and she is also joining us this year as one of our new Hospitality Apprentices, so you can expect to see a few photo's of her through the year as we know she's going to be brilliant. 

Next week - the 30th is the towns 2nd CRABFEST and if last year is anything to go by, it should be an amazing day. Lets just keep our fingers crossed for good weather. 

So right now, it's onwards and upwards to the summer; Summer team to be employed, decisions to be made on menus/BBQ's etc. 

Till next time, 

Liz x x x 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Happy Half Term

Well that was an odd half term if ever there was one! But before that and since the last blog (which you're right was absolutely ages ago!!) we had our usual post Christmas staff bash which this year was at the Harbour Hotel Salcombe and huge thanks to them for giving us a fantastic time! I hope we didn't upset too many guests as we (they) all got louder and louder (read drunker and drunker!).  

Don't the girls look fantastic with SOH?? 
Gosh, everyone scrubbed up very well and I think all team said it was one of the best - although I shall probably remain scarred for life at some of the atrocious 'Dad Dancing' that was exhibited by a certain silver haired Chef and assistant Manager!!! 

So! Back to half term - spread this year over three weeks and various parts of the country meant the numbers were quite diluted, meaning we didn't have the rush that perhaps we've experienced in the past but it could have been worse! Next one is Easter and we understand that this too will be shared over a number of weeks with various parts of the country - so we wait to see what it will be like. 

SOH and I have been on our post Christmas holiday ( a Norwegian cruise) during which I was exceptionally unwell only to come home and find I was a lot sicker than I thought I was, resulting in a 9 day hospital spell and I shall be off work until about Easter - so huge thanks to our great team for ensuring the business ran like clockwork and nobody noticed I was even missing.......... Having said that I've had some amazing cards, gifts and messages from many of our customers and felt very loved. 

There really isn't much else to gossip about at the moment as little else has happened, but we have a kitchen upgrade happening on Monday with some nice, new sparkly equipment coming in including a Water Bath! yes, one of those things you see Chefs flouncing about with on MasterChef and our new Head Chef has coveted for as long as he's been with us! We've also been struggling with some massive food price rises seeing shocking amounts going onto Dairy products and Smoked Salmon, as well as the Spanish flooding affecting some (not much as we try to stick strictly local) of the salad and veg produce. 

So a short but succinct blog tonight and I hope to see many of you back at the Vic as soon as I'm fit and well again, 

Much love, 

Liz x 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Dry January - not likely!

Evening all and Happy New Year to you!

I hope you had a good one - we had an absolutely fantastic NYE as usual. The food from our new Head Chef Tom and his team was outstanding and in the first 2 days of 2017 we took five - yes 5 - bookings for NYE 2017!! We also sold both of the bedrooms for that period - amazing! 

Alongside that we had our busiest New Years Day ever as well - so thank you to everyone for liking us so much and thank you to our incredible team for working so hard and making the New Years period the huge success it was. 

No pics this year though as I seemed to be busier than ever this year - I think it was because I was trying to raise money for the Salcombe First Responders and even I (yes, I know - hard to believe!) can only usually do one thing at a time! 

On that note thank you to each and everyone of you who donated of your own free will (I did NOT chain anyone to their seat until they paid!) to this amazing service that is provided completely free of charge with no money coming from anywhere but the donations of very kind people like YOU! To those of you who had one ticket, half a dozen or a £100 like one incredibly generous gentleman.  Through you all we raised a little over £1500!!! 

The winner was a local lady called Jennifer Cooper who called in with her family at the weekend to collect her prize.

So all the chocolates have been eaten (i'm guessing in most houses - not in ours as I've still not had a chocolate since August!) the great Cheese mountain has almost been demolished and surely there can't be a mince pie left in the land.  Although I did see HOT CROSS BUNS in Sainsburys last week!! Really Sainsburys............??? 

Who's on dry January then??? Please don't - goodness knows there aren't enough pubs left as it is...... 😀
But seriously, if you are 'drying'out why not see what great soft drinks your pub has rather than stay home?

The sign above I shamelessly pinched off the internet - great isn't it! 

Well then Salcombe - the tree is down, lights are too, sales are in full swing and some shops have quite amazing bargains! I've done my bit to keep Salcombe economy buoyant! 

It looks like Lloyds bank is definitely going to close this year leaving Salcombe without a bank in it's town. The nearest being Kingsbridge and I can tell you that not only is that pretty poor for the older people left in Salcombe but it's going to be real hassle for business's like ours!  We do offer cash back on purchases if you get stuck, but it's a poor show from a bank that last year were celebrating their centenary presence in Salcombe! Hypocrites!!!! Utter hypocrites! 

Ok - I'm not getting on my soap box quite so soon in the New Year - I'm going to try to be nice, polite and totally non ranty in my blogs.................👌👌👌

Well perhaps until March! 

Till later my lovely readers, 

Liz x