Sunday, 17 December 2017

Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year

None of this 'Happy Holidays' nonsense from us here at the Vic - It's a full blown 'Happy Christmas' to you all - are you ready for this great event.............??  Our decorations went up the first full weekend in December and the dreaded Christmas music shortly afterwards. Our poor team are already sick to death of hearing the same stuff, but just occasionally you'll get one of them humming away...... they won't admit it mind you! 

So this week we said goodbye to our lovely General Manager Rob, who's been with us for 5 years and has worked so hard to help us build the business up following on from the refurb and is loved by customers and staff alike. He's been like a second son to me personally and we are all so going to miss him! There was a very drunken send off in the week, where Rob had written 2 speeches - one clean and lovely the other risquΓ© and hilarious. I'll leave you to guess which one we all enjoyed more!

Now holding the reigns as our new Manager is Geordie Jess. She's been with us 2 years and has a great proven record in hospitality, so our business is in good, safe hands! 

Well, it's been another amazing year here at the Vic with us winning some truly super awards;- not least was being the Taste of the West overall No 1 Place to Go To 2017 Champions as well as Best Dining Pub ! 

New Manager Jess & Senior Chef James at an awards evening
Food and Drink Devon also saw us awarded the Best Pub Restaurant for 2017! All three awards were incredible and a huge pat on the back not only for us as the licensees of this great pub but also to all our brilliant team. 

Perhaps not the best summer trade we've ever known this year so we'll be doing a 'sun' dance next year, but the rest of the year hasn't been bad at all and Gin continues to be the No 1 most asked for drink closely followed by Champagne! 

Staffing the kitchen this year proved very challenging! In common with the rest of the UK, Chefs are in short supply and the ones that are around are not always of the calibre I like for our award winning pub, and to be fair, not many Chefs can send out huge numbers of meals a day every day (all freshly cooked)  but we are back to full strength again with some very talented people once more.

In the Front of House (and despite losing Rob) we have maintained a very stable team, all of them being the sort of people you can really rely on to get the job done and without making a fuss.  Customers like to see friendly, familiar faces who remember them and in the Vics team that's just what you get. We have 3 apprentices in the FOH team and 1 in the kitchen - so I'm looking forward to  watching their progress. 

What will 2018 bring then for us as a business?? I think it's about cementing our position as an award winning pub with great staff, fabulous food and a huge range of drinks. A garden that we hope will get better use next year (please lets have a hot summer) and hopefully a huge surprise for our customers during CrabFest weekend! 

Until then, Tim and Myself would like to wish you, our loyal and very lovely customers the Merriest of Christmases and a Peaceful, Prosperous and frankly Wonderful New Year, 

Much love

Liz x x x x

Thursday, 12 October 2017

A Game of 2 halves!!

Gosh this year at the Vic really has been a game of two halves (as all the best Footie pundits say)! We've had floods again this summer, electrical issues bringing everything crashing to a halt (every time SOH even steps foot out of the County), staffing shortage in the kitchen meant we had to employ an Agency Chef for the first time EVER (at an exorbitant cost to the business), we also had one of the worst seasons in Salcombe for footfall that we've seen in a long time - with August being awful for most business's in town, us included ....................... yet it's also been the most amazing time for us at the Vic personally and of course for our great team!

We have just celebrated 2 huge awards in 2 weeks - the first being Taste of The West overall award for Best Dining Pub in the West Country, where the Judge said that 'If there was a pub in Heaven he hoped that it would be like the Vic'! What a lovely thing to say!!

Then sometime later in the lunch hour both SOH and I were staggered to find ourselves in the running for the penultimate and amazingly prestigious award of no 1 Place to Go To - again for the entire West Country! We won!!!  The judges said that our place had everything that was great about a traditional pub! I am not ashamed to say I cried and even SOH almost got excited (!). I then was asked if I'd like to say a few words and for once in my life, it really was just a few words! (Mr Sloan take note!)

Then this week, we both went to the Devon Food and Drink awards where we were absolutely thrilled to be awarded Best Pub Restaurant - again with the judges giving glowing praise about our business.

Getting both Dining awards was amazing because I really do believe we offer some of the best food in a pub that you are likely to get. We have both worked so hard in the 9 years, and had many great teams work with us, but the team we currently have and have had for the last few years are outstanding in what they deliver. Both in terms of cooking and in delivering customer service so all of the awards are not just for Tim and I, but for each and every one of our team.

THEN only yesterday we were informed we are finalists in Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2017 - and will receive either a Bronze, Silver or Gold award in November!  We also have Devon Life awards and the Herald Express awards to go to yet as well...............

So as I said at the outset - a true game of 2 halves!! How do we move forward from these accolades and ensure we stay No 1 and top of our game now??

Well, we keep ensuring the very best produce from our local suppliers, we have a full compliment of Chefs again with another 2 senior and very experienced Chefs having joined us (welcome Chris and Zac), in fact we have a Chefs meeting tomorrow to discuss Winter menu's.

We support our Hospitality Apprentices to be the very best they can be - because they are our future and we continue to cherish and be thankful for the amazing team of people who work with us each and every day.

Then it's a huge Thank You to all our loyal and supportive customers (many of whom are personal friends now) who continue to keep visiting us and continue to love what we do.

Love and kisses (from a slightly emotional)

Liz x x x x

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Summer Hols. Salcombe is...........??

Snapes Point 
So it's the summer hols and Salcombe is..........?? Salcombe is what? Well a lot quieter this year than anyone expected.  I've spoken to few traders (large and small) who are saying the same thing. 

However having said that, our day time figures have risen considerably which indicates many more day trippers, but evening stats are not quite so good.  Whilst there are no car parking spaces to be had in the streets of Salcombe up and around, there are more often than not spaces in the car park at Whitestrand in the evening. 

Now some of this is around the fact that the garden has not been so well used this summer yet due to the absolutely dire weather we've had and continue to have tonight as I sit writing this blog! 

Luckily we've not had as many young people on our summer staff as we have had in the past so we've not had to let any summer team go, so plenty of shifts for all of them so they have a bit in their bank accounts for when they go back to University. BUT the weather for the end of August looks to be perking up a bit! Hoorah! August Bank Holiday could well be dry AND sunny!!! 

Picture from Colin Nightingale at Salcombe Brew 
The Salcombe Regatta last week was (I think) a huge success - there certainly seemed to be a fair few people milling around. As usual there was controversy about Whitestrand car park closing for a few days and  concerns/grumbles from some shop owners that it was adversely affecting their business.  I'm not sure it does - granted it can make trying to find somewhere to park a bit of a pain, but it's only a few days once a year and it's such an institution that it would be a shame if  it ever stopped just because of that! 

The local people who volunteer to run the event are a great bunch and put so much effort into it, planning for it goes on most of the year and it's a shame when people moan and groan so much about parts of the event. It can't do their morale any good! 

Official handover of the new First Responders Car

The fireworks were great as usual and for the first time in our 9 years in Salcombe, SOH and I watched the entire fireworks spectacle from Cliff House where I hosted a table as a new Rotarian for a charity fund raising event.  

I'm so proud to be part of this amazing group of people.  There were some fantastic auction prizes and I bid (of course) on a super 1 night stay in a top hotel in London and a meal in a Michelin star restaurant - something to look forward to next year! 

Salcombe Rotary are an amazing bunch and work very hard to raise money for local charities, through things like the Crabfest event and a case in point is they supported a new car for the Salcombe First Responders.  

The Victoria Inn as a business also contributed a substantial amount too, but without Salcombe Rotary they definitely would  not have got this lovely new car (that means SOH can now actually get out of 2nd gear!!!) But in all seriousness, this new car is just that - brand new, spacious, mobile phone, blue tooth etc. 
Salcombe Rotary President John Sampson, Jill and Tim 

It makes a tremendous difference that SOH (Tim) or Jill (fellow first responder in the bottom photo) are able to get to a 'shout' swiftly and safely - and this car will make a huge difference. 

So to all of the people who gave money at any Salcombe Rotary fundraising event, and on behalf of Tim & Jill, Salcombe First Responders - THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Social Media - The Power of!

Well forgive me if I never write agin how gorgeous the weather has been! Because ever since the last blog where I talked about glorious sunshine etc, etc , etc it seems we've not had a day where it hasn't poured down with rain! Oh and Thunder...... and lightening... and gale force winds! So my humblest of apologies to you all! 

I have been smitten by a chest infection yet again for the last couple of weeks so everything I've done has been done from the comfort of my sofa, and actually social media wise I've been kept busy! However, I did venture out one lunchtime to treat myself and more about that later!                                                                                                
Me!!! In full Blog writing mode! 

Social media consists of so much for us as a business nowadays - we have a huge Facebook site with well over 3,000 likes, a Twitter account with almost 3,000 followers and an Instagram account I'm building up slowly but surely standing currently at 520 followers. None of that has happened overnight and every day my routine is this; 

Firstly! Cup of tea in bed (bought by SOH) check Social Media Accounts. Always check Trip Advisor (currently No 1) to see if any new reviews in - a lot of my days mood will depend on the fact we've had good or not so good ones! I always answer all of them regardless. 

Next, I check all media accounts for comments, actions to be taken, e mails to be answered, any bookings that come through the accounts.  For the pub team we also now communicate through a private Facebook group; Rotas are sent, discussions had about previous services, any queries or ideas etc.  Sometimes just a bit of well placed banter or a private whinge!  It doesn't stop us meeting as a team but it's a useful tool and it's nice and informal! 

All of this and more can be done on my iPhone (shameless plug I know - but they might send me a free upgrade when it happens!). So it's often nice to check in and say Hi, pass on compliments etc to the team. 

But to write blogs or articles for magazines I always fire up my MacAir (Yes, another shameless plug!). I can sit for hours tapping away on this thing and thoroughly enjoy it, but I would say updating all of the social media accounts takes me about 2 hours a day - more like 3 if I write a blog like tonight. But you cannot underestimate the power of SM - and any business that doesn't use it to it's fullest potential is missing a trick! 

For example - the photo of our rudder advertising our Taste of the West award 2017 attracted over 600 views on FB, over 1800 'impressions' on Twitter and 60 likes on Instagram! Do you have any idea what sort of cost that would be to advertise formally!!?? 

So, just because you don't always see me in the pub, I am not sitting around painting my nails! 

Today I've been kept busy as we featured in the fabulous Devon Life as one of top 16 Dog Pubs in Devon to visit and one of my fab team; Sam Inch recently thought about water in the garden for our doggies and came up with this absolutely fantastic and innovative idea!!! Don't you just love it???

Anyway, I've been a poorly bunny again as I said, but I did go out (on my own!) the other (only) sunny day for a spot of lunch. 

Now, I think we're VERY  lucky to have some really nice eateries in Salcombe - I have a couple of personal favourites - but it's always nice to try something new, and there's currently a bit of a buzz about The Wardroom. At the back of Crew Clothing (Oh Lord how I love that shop!! Especially stocking up on SOH shirts and tops when they have their sales) 

The young man causing a bit of a stir is Jamie Lee Burnard and he's been a MasterChef quarter finalist as well as also Young Chef of the Year for the whole of the SW. 

We've been talking on FB (social media again) so I took him up on his offer to try his food (all of which I paid for - apart from the pud which was his get well gift to me!) I had a super seat by the waters edge and the food was as good as I've tasted in some top London restaurants! 

I truly think he is someone to watch and I personally wish him all the love and luck in the world in developing his menu and the business. 

It's so great when you see new talent emerging and I'm sure we will hear big things about Jamie in the future. It's also excellent news for all of our visitors as it gives yet another option for them.  

Talking of new talent, we are delighted to have another apprentice starting with us in September. This is Nick - Nick had been with us a KP (Kitchen Porter) for a few months now and a nicer man you couldn't hope to meet. KP's generally get the shittiest jobs - the humping, lifting, shifting, cleaning, fetching and carrying jobs! 

But Nick has really shone in all that and he asked to be considered for a Chefs Apprenticeship! He'll get paid a decent wage and learn a trade and we are very, very pleased that he wants to do this - so well done Nick, we're happy to give you this opportunity.  

Our Chefs are currently working on the new Autumn menus (they will start mid September) and the NYE menu (for which we literally have a dozen spaces left!) is going to blow your socks off you lucky people who have booked with us. 

Just a quick mention about 2 local happenings before I close down for the night; The Berry! This is still rumbling on!!! Ominously so! There is a Facebook page if you want to keep up with events;

There's also been an impassioned plea from Ben Sherring who runs a small family run business at South Sands called Sea Kayak Salcombe - might just be worth a read and a comment if you feel so inclined;

I think that will do for tonight, seem to have been on here for ages - let me just remind you dear readers, that all comments, musings and meanderings on here are MY OWN thoughts and comments. Everything I write is in the interest of Salcombe, our town, our traders and our visitors! 

I hope you enjoy reading this blog tonight and continue to support me in my witterings for a few years to come, 

Much love

Liz x

Sunday, 16 July 2017

It must be summer!

The sun is shining, the birds are out and customers have got nice happy smiley faces (mostly!). Summer team are coming into position - minus the lovely young Tom who has managed to break his arm on his skateboard!!! 

The flowers on the front of the pub hanging baskets and at the back of the pub are looking amazing and we are as usual getting lots and lots of great feedback on them. 

We have 2 little Chicks from the hens who are growing nicely but we don't know yet what sex they are - please don't let them be cockerels is all I can say!! 

The Gin menu is changing slightly with a few coming off and some new ones going on, a couple of nice new Fevertree additions too. The summer menu is finalised and live and the salads seem to be going very well especially the continental meats one - very yummy. 

We sell an awful lot of meat on our menu as well as beautiful fish and getting exceptional local meat can be a challenge, so as well as continuing to use Holesome Park, the local farmer we've used for the last couple of years we are also now working with Alex at Salcombe Meat Company and I have to say that the Roast Pork again today (Gloucester Old Spot) from him was absolutely mouthwateringly delicious! 

Salcombe has seemed very, very busy this last week or 2 - great weather for tourists but perhaps not such good weather for the Merlin Rocket annual event.  Some shops here have changed hands and we're really missing not having any local bank in town now Lloyds have finally gone! Only one cashpoint on Whitestrand means the town regularly doesn't have any cash although the Fortescue Inn has a cash dispenser as does Spar up the hill.  We give cash back, but have decided not to install a cash dispenser - for many, many reasons - but still not a great situation and I think it will definitely impact on the cash business's in town in the summer.  

The shoe shop has now disappeared and in its place is one of 2 by the same family; Love From...... and I absolutely love these 2 shops!!! 

Love from Luella is just past the old Lloyds. At last real clothes for real women (for that you can read not all stick thin!) in Salcombe, not full of sequins and kids glitter, not simply a chain, but beautiful linen tops (similar to what I saw in the South of France last month) and classic good quality clothing, and they must be popular as I counted at least 6 women in short succession with their Love From bags only this lunchtime. 

Well done and welcome to Salcombe Love From.... I've promised SOH not too give you all our money! 

Further up, JONs Menswear is now Salcombe Clothing Company selling primarily GANT clothing (I think) at a range of ages from small children upwards to grown ups - and very lovely it is too! Great quality and not hugely expensive either, in my opinion!  I also saw some locally made clothing. It all looks rather lovely, very classy and again different to the usual Salcombe offering, I can't wait to to take my Grandsons in there when they come down later in the summer.  This little cutie is Freddie styling a Breton number......... aaaawwww! 

Some new benches installed (at long last!!) on the Whitestrand front took longer to do than painting part of the Forth Bridge must have taken and the rumblings of the future of The Berry at the top of the hill still seem to be going on! The message of the day coming from SHDC seems to be 'sweat the assets' at all costs - but if they try to take The Berry away there are many of us have said we will have to be forcibly removed! But, I think everyone is hopeful that won't happen and there are some great locals really (and quite rightly) kicking up an almighty fuss!! 

So there you have it - I think that about covers whats current at the Vic and in Salcombe for now, I hope you're all managing to get yourselves into the sun at some stage and I know we have lots of lovely regular guests visiting shortly - safe travels and see you all soon, 

Much love as always and until the next blog

Liz - Licensee x x x x

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Challenges, challenges

Champagne anyone? 
Challenges! We don't call them problems any more do we......... problems are challenges! 

Of course challenges don't have you running to put pen to paper to quit the job you're doing - they just make you go and stand in a corner and sob quietly! Or as in my case rage ever so loudly! 

Challenges don't ever appear when you're ready for them they only ever come along when you don't want them, can't deal with them and frankly you just wish they'd bugger off and leave you in peace!

But life is full of challenges and anyone that tells you it isn't is either a liar or living in fantasy land - running a big successful business like the Vic is chock full of challenges - especially this year it seems.

This year, our biggest challenges have been in the kitchen! Staff have left, joined, changed roles within the business, re-joined and then this year we found ourselves at the mercy of agency staff........ for the first time ever.  It has to be said that we found a local agency ChefShare who we worked with quite well and the Chefs they sent us were nothing like the shouty, shifty & generally dubious characters you see portrayed on TV. But, they don't come cheap, so it's been a huge added cost to our business to have to employ an agency chef to ensure our kitchen continued to perform to it's highest levels.

We also had to move our GM, Rob into the kitchen for a couple of months as he had prior kitchen experience - but of course that meant we were short at the front of house!! Now we have been very lucky in the almost 9 years we have been here, we've had a steady crew and a really (quite unusually low for our business) low, low turnover of team. However, this year it's not been at all like that and frankly it's driven me to the edges of desperation and despair!

Well deserved cup of tea Chef?
What you don't see in our business is the often frenetic scenes in the 'engine' room - the kitchen! What YOU the customer see is plate after plate of beautiful food, presented well and smelling gorgeous - you don't (quite rightly!) see the deliveries that start from 7.30 in the morning of crate after crate of fresh produce that all has to be put away and then the kitchen teams ability to turn it into a menu that will delight you.

By 8.30am every morning Sarah will have a tray of Scones baking, then there's often meat to be taken off the bone, fish to be trimmed and stored, cheese to be cut and weighed.  Crabshells have to filled with crab for salads, dishes have to be devised, costed and put on as specials. Vegetables have to be prepared and ready for cooking, desserts are made fresh at least every other day - so trays of Sticky Toffee vie with Banoffee Pie and Possets for space.  Sunday lunch is at least 2 sackfuls of potatoes and as for the Veg!!!??

There are probably another 2 to 3 dozen jobs I could be writing down here, but you'd stop reading before I stopped listing the jobs!

So with at least 95% of our menu made from scratch - that's no mean feat and every single member of our kitchen team is to be congratulated on the work they do producing anything from 300 to 600 meals a day at this time of year.

Don't forget, at 10 or 10.30p.m (sometimes even later!)  the kitchen then gets scrubbed back to shiny clean gorgeousness and they stumble out into the fresh air ready for a nights sleep before coming in and doing it all over again!

So when you are suddenly a person down - that puts the kitchen under enormous strain, but this week at last we appear to have a full kitchen team again! Hoorah!!

So to Head Chef Tania, Snr Sous Tom and James, Sous Chefs Craig, Jake and Sarah, Junior Chefs Churchie and Scott and our wonderful KP's Nick and Ollie, a huge, massive, heartfelt Thank You for all you do in our kitchen for us and for the great dining public - onwards and upwards!

Oh no wait - one is off with a poorly shoulder.......... well then - almost a full team!!

Till the next thrilling instalment of life as a Pub Landlady, πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Liz x

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...... πŸ˜€
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.................πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

Well perhaps until March! 

Till later my lovely readers, 

Liz x