“Did Ron Weasley pay his tab last night?”

“No, Tara from Game of Thrones paid it for him” … 

July 13th, 2018

Well a lot has happened since I last got chance to put claw to laptop you lovely lot – where do I start?

The football, that’s where. We’ve never had a telly in the Badger – oh apart from the time that Clarkey guy was on “Wet the Bed” or something – but we were going to change all that. We’d got a big all singing, all dancing ten foot projector screen booked for the World Cup final. It was going to be a day that we’d all remember forever and tell the tale to our Grandbadgers. But no, Croatia weren’t as average as we thought, and sadly it just wasn’t to be. I can’t be on my own in feeling very proud. Proud of the team, and proud of the whole way the country embraced the experience, and in the way we dealt with the oh so inevitable disappointing climax in true British style.

I’ve just realised it’s so long since my last instalment that at the time the outcome of the Harrogate Hospitality awards hadn’t been announced. You may recall Jaks was up for Bar Person of the Year. The evening took place at the fabulous Royal Hall. All the Badgers got dressed up in their finest posh clobber and went to take full advantage of the hospitality on offer, and I mean FULL advantage!! There was a little disappointment when we weren’t awarded the bonus prize of Bar of the Year – congratulations to Christie’s for achieving that prestigious honour – but all that was soon forgotten when the announcement was made for Jaks’ category. Amid unprecedented scenes of jubilation, all the energetic and fully refreshed Badgers piled on stage to assist her in collecting the trophy. A fine trophy it is too. A fine glass trophy. So fine we thought we’d let Deej from the Coach & Horses have a look at what he could have won. Deej then produced his finest impression of a Scottish goalkeeper and the trophy was assigned to a dustpan and brush. All turned out fine in the end though, a new trophy was ordered, and everyone lived happily ever after. If you do pop into the Coach though, please don’t mention what a smashing time we all had – it’s a bit of a sore point.

The doves. Are we the only pub to have our very own gang of feathered friend to grace the skies around our famous beer garden? They bring grace to proceedings. They bring a reassuring sense of being at one with nature. They bring plenty of speculations about whether they’ll move on to somewhere else or start to raise their own baby doves in their amazing dovecote. And they bring a whole lot of sh*t. You’d have thought we’d have put two & two together beforehand and realised that by encouraging half a dozen flying eating machines to spend their days living around a beer garden that seats about eighty that certain consequences would be dropping from the skies. But no, somehow we didn’t see that coming. Anyway, some hastily organised spikeys along the hotel ledges later, and we’ve almost eliminated their favourite bombing locations. Although until the final deterrents have been installed, I’d stay away from tables 25 & 37 an hour or so after dovey lunchtime.

Every now and then we get famous people coming to stay at the pub and the hotel. There’s C-listers, B-listers, and the occasional A-lister. Mostly they just blend in, they are just humans after all. Or some of them are wizards – the look on a couple of customer’s faces this month was a picture when the person they’ve asked if it’s OK that they sit on the same table as is none other than Ron Weasley. Obviously not his real name – Sorry Mr Grint. Anyway, it was a pleasure to look after you and some of your acting buddies while you were filming in the area. It’s not every day the office conversations include lines like:
“Did Ron Weasley pay his tab last night?”
“No, Tara from Game of Thrones paid it for him”.

Fruity gin. The gin revolution goes from strength to strength. Latest in the lines that all our thirsty punters are asking for are the fruity gins. The amazing Slingsby rhubarb is still way out in front in this little race (we sell enough of the stuff to warrant buying it by the bathtub – a rather expensive bathtub), but all the other fruits aren’t wanting to be left out. So please welcome to the party pineapple gin, lemon gin, orange gin (from Tanqueray – and my favourite). Oh, grapefruit, strawberry, raspberry, parma violet (nasty) etc etc. Yes we do garnishes – the back bar can resemble a greengrocer’s at times, and we know you like them in the big gin balloons, so we don’t run out of those anymore. Our account with the glassware suppliers is stretching it’s credit limit, but as long as you lovely gin drinkers are happy, so is Mr Badger.

Now I was expecting the only time this amazing summer weather was going to let us down was for the Great Yorkshire Show – but no, it stayed nice and sunny for all the lovely people descending on Harrogate to take advantage of this unique three day event. As a badger, I’m not allowed to go apparently – something to do with bovine tuberculosis – but all my non badger chums tell me it’s a great day out. There’s animals, cars, tractors, beer, Pimm’s, beer, some food, some beer, some more animals and quite a lot more beer. I’m not sure what they put in the beer at the Black Sheep tent, but it seems to result in the vast majority of the visitors leaving their pleases and thank yous behind before returning to their hotel. May I take this opportunity to thank our amazing customers during the rest of the year for being so lovely and polite. **Leave it there Mr Badger – you’re treading on thin ice here**

Moving on – Sarah’s just reminded me about Harrogate in Bloom. You may have noticed that our outside area has evolved from being pretty nice and comfortable to being quite a floral delight. Goff the gardener’s incredible efforts have not gone unnoticed. The place really does look spectacular, so much so that this week the judges from Harrogate in Bloom were round to see if he deserves a trophy. So fingers crossed, we could be in line for another piece of glassware for someone to drop on the floor.

I think that’s pretty much it for this time boys & girls, I’ll let you carry on with something more important – I’m off to clean table 37.


Mr Badger x