Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Just a note

 Since we reopened we have mainly been using paper plates. Not ideal but we don’t have the space at the moment for three people to wash up so for the time being we’re trying to limit the pans, crockery, cutlery and utensils.

Today we found another benefit came from using paper plates.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020


 Soup has returned to our menu.

We’ve made it every morning since I remembered to add bloomer bread to our delivery from the bakery and since we managed to dig out the soup pan and blender from the back of a cupboard.

No one was happier to see SOUP on a chalkboard than Peter and Janet (who come two or three times a week to tend our large garden) but their excitement was not because they wanted soup for lunch.

It was because they have an abundance of courgettes from their own garden and they know we’ll use them.

Today’s soup was courgette, celery and pea. It was very green.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Express Post

We made an appearance in the Saturday Express magazine this weekend. A lovely surprise. Yesterday I took a call from a lady who is bringing her family to this area during half term and wanted to book a special tea for five people. She’d read about us in the magazine, she told me. That’ll do nicely. 


Monday, 31 August 2020

No half measures

 Today is the last day of Eat Out To Help Out, the government scheme which has run throughout August where on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays customers have 50% off the cost of their order. The government pays the other half up to a maximum of £10 per person.

The scheme has meant we’ve been particularly busy at the beginning of the week and as today is also a Bank Holiday we are bracing ourselves. This is our only Bank Holiday of the season.

Most people know about EOTHO and smile happily or raise their eyebrows when their bill for sandwiches, tea and scones is so low. Some make no comment at all but surely walk away with a spring in their step. Some add items - extra drinks, an extra sandwich, a cake each instead of to share...

One lady last week made me very happy. When I added up her lunch order and told her that the Chancellor was paying for half of it she said “Ooh, in that case I’ll have a bag of crisps.”

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Reading Allowed

 Yesterday a man walked through the gate at which is a large sign explaining our new working methods, past the outdoor counter and another sign “Order Here”, through a door marked “Staff Only” and inside.

“I’m sorry but you’re not allowed in here at the moment”

“How was I supposed to know that?”

Thursday, 6 August 2020

A bit fishy

We are getting a lot of phone calls.
Many more than we’re used to.
For all previous seasons 90% of calls were from someone trying to save us money on our electricity bills but now 90% are asking are you open? do we have to book? can we reserve a table for 4? can we have afternoon tea under a gazebo? 
Last week I took a booking from someone who wanted to book High Tea for Four - a range of sandwiches, homemade scones and cakes. Plus the tea.
“Any dietary requirements?” I asked
“One of the ladies is vegetarian,” she replied, “so just give her tuna or something.”

Monday, 3 August 2020

in form

Today was the first day of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
We registered last week having been undecided for a while - would it be worth the extra paperwork? Would visitors expect it from us?
It went well today though I had to keep concentrating.
Here is now what happens as a customer approaches the counter:
Me: Hello, just to let you know we’re taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme (pointing to poster) which means that if you like we can offer you any food and drinks for half price today.
Up to a point. Although it’s pretty difficult to reach that point.
Customer: Oh right.
Me: Would you like to use the scheme?
Customer: yes please/rude not to/not everyday the government pays for a cream tea/what do I have to do?
Me: How many of you will be eating/drinking with us today?
(fills in form with answer, takes order, adds it up, tells them the total and then what they should pay, they smile/shake head/add another piece of cake).
Then I pick up the other clipboard with the other form and ask for their details for contact tracing.

This is not normal.