Monday, 25 August 2014


I have to go back to 2012 to find a rainy Bank Holiday Monday.
So I can't really resent the weather and its effect on trade today.
Especially as yesterday was BUSY. Properly busy. Ten-members-of-staff-plus-all-my-family-roped-in-to-help busy.
But then yesterday it didn't rain....

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Deposit and the Bank

August, what a month you are. Since I have been blog-lazy I shall try to sum you up:

- Tea rooms are adopted by a local cat who relishes the attention from customers and rewards us by throwing up entrails in the conservatory. The people who've booked "a table in a nice position" just laugh.
- The health inspector pays a surprise visit. Thankfully not on cat-sick day. All fine. Brings leaflets about new regulations coming in later this year. My winter challenge.
- Someone yells in the Visitors' Book "MEND THE ROAD".
- the lawnmower chucks a stone at the conservatory and breaks one of the large panes. We stand and watch and listen as it crackles into a thousand pieces (I didn't count them).
- We host a Christening. A neighbour chooses this day to light a bonfire. The wind brings ash and bits of paper into the garden. No planes have to be grounded but it's close.

And now we've reached the final Bank Holiday of the season.
And the Art Fair is on in the Church.
Which means it'll be extra busy today.
Better get on...

Monday, 4 August 2014

Red Blues

Red onion marmalade is magic.
In several ways.
It's "magic" in a seventies-sitcom-catchphrase-way in the cheddar sandwiches.
It's magic in the Harry Potter way. It just disappears.
But the frustrating thing about it is that however many red onions I slice & caramelise I only ever seem to be able to make one jar. A sort of reverse Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Business as Usual.

Now that was a weekend.
Yesterday morning I leapt out of bed (highly unusual) to make fifty meringues (they take an AGE to cook) and seventy smoked salmon blinis and several lemon drizzle cakes (lost count).
I prayed for the rain to stop.
We polished all the cutlery, folded all the napkins, and prayed that the rain would stop.
We cut up strawberries and cucumber for the Pimms glasses and glanced outside to see whether the rain had stopped. It hadn't.
We set the tables in the conservatory and set up the wedding cake.

The groom popped in to ask if anyone had an appropriate 'phone charger.
One of my young staff rang home and asked her dad to bring hers. He did.
The groom showed us a sheaf of papers and asked if we thought his speech might be too long. It wasn't.
At two o'clock Louisa, the bride, arrived at the church. In glorious sunshine and a stunning long lace dress. The rain had stopped.
Granted it rained later but someone had thought to give the newlyweds a couple of gorgeous umbrellas.
And it didn't rain for long.
Actually we were grateful for the rain because it cooled the temperature in the conservatory and meant we weren't terribly busy in the rest of the tea rooms.

This morning the bride's mother vacuumed all the confetti from the floor of the conservatory.
The bunting and flowers were gone.
We had a very busy day inside and out and the sun shone all day.

Friday, 1 August 2014

On top of it all?

Tomorrow Louisa and Alex will be married.
This evening the conservatory has been decorated with pretty white bunting and old white tablecloths.
We need the sun to shine, but not so much that we fry in the heat. Although Louisa has bought some beautiful fans to grace the tables should the ladies start to "glow".
I am going to bed early to prepare myself for making meringues.
And blinis.
And putting their wedding cake together....

Thursday, 31 July 2014

A haze of days

Three big days are ahead.
Today we are the venue for a post-funeral gathering - tea, coffee, scones, cake, strawberries.
Tomorrow afternoon a Three Choirs Festival concert is being held in the Church. It's a sell out. We have  pre- and post-concert bookings.
Then on Saturday it's our second wedding of the the season.
I have to make 50 meringues.
(Whisked egg whites. Not dresses.)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Institute Invasion

How wrong can one person be?
I thought this morning would follow the same pattern as the previous few - a slow start and a busy lunchtime and afternoon.
But at 11am three ladies came in and ordered cream teas. The scones were still cooling from the oven.
Two more ladies, two more cream teas.
The WI members were coming in force, they told me, and the scones didn't stand a chance.
And they kept coming.
In the midst of their staggered arrival came a large extended family for coffees, milk shakes and cakes.
By 1130 the conservatory was full.
And most of the day's scones were eaten.

The rest of the day reverted to type.