Hang on – did I say award-winning beer garden?

“They notice lovely flowers and lovely gardens that look lovely” … 

October 8th, 2018

What-ho bloggy readers!!
Finally I’ve got a moment to sit down and put claw to laptop – wow that’s been a busy summer!! We weren’t around back in 1976 to experience that heatwave, so we can’t really compare it (well personally I was, I’m ancient), but the Fat Badger itself wasn’t.
Well I loved it, I’m all for five months of pretty much unbroken sunshine, basking in Mediterranean temperatures, slapping a bit of sun cream on and keeping hydrated in the award-winning beer garden watching the world go by dodging doveshit. Hang on – did I say award-winning beer garden? Since when has it been an award-winning beer garden? I’ve never heard it referred to as an award-winning beer garden before.
So, there’s a thing called Harrogate in Bloom. They’re lovely lovely people, and every year they go round the Harrogate area and notice lovely flowers and lovely gardens that look lovely, and they hold an awards ceremony in a lovely church (not really sure about that bit, but let’s move on). They give out lovely prizes and trophies to various categories of establishments / residences that deserve recognition for the time and effort spent on their floral displays. For the last couple of years we’ve been spending a lot of time and effort (and a considerable amount of Daddy B’s cash) getting our gardens up to standard – and hey presto, we won!!! Not just the hotel category, but it works a bit like Crufts and all the different categories go in for an overall award, and we won that too. So it’s a double-award-winning beer garden now. Love it!
Now, I rarely dabble in politics, but I do have a message for our MP. Mr Jones, you recently sent a letter congratulating us on our Harrogate in Bloom award. Now, that’s a nice gesture, but sadly you got it all wrong. You addressed it to that Clarkey chap who runs my pub for me, and congratulated him on all his hard work. Now, he may flounce around in flowery shirts all day, but he had absolutely bugger all to do with winning either of our awards for our double-award-winning beer garden. So I’d like to take this opportunity to appreciate those guys that actually did put all the hard work and effort in. Please take a bow and feel very proud of yourselves Goffy, Jez, Jaks and Susie (sounds like a kids TV show), and of course, Daddy B’s chequebook. Well done all!
As with all industries, and especially ours, staff come and go and the dynamic of the workforce changes with it, but something’s been happening a lot recently, things are following a certain pattern – the staff that came and went a while back all seem to be coming back. Is it a case of the grass wasn’t actually greener where they decided to move to in the first place? Is it a case of we only took them back because after a while we forgot that they were a little bit rubbish in the first place? Maybe they all want to be associated with our double-award-winning beer garden. Sometimes it makes me feel two or three years younger when I go in and there’s Nick, Rachel, Alex, Kieran, Katy etc. all hard at work – don’t worry you’re not in a time warp.
So, for those of you who aren’t aware – there’s now six establishments in our little pub / hotel group (nope, not all called the Fat Badger, but all lovely nonetheless). One of them is the amazing Black Horse Inn in Kirkby Fleetham, up between Bedale & Northallerton. I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever mentioned them in my Badger blog before, but it’s only fair I do so now, because the spotlight will be shining on them this week. You might recall that Clarkey guy was on a show called “Four in a Bed” with the fragrant Katie a year ago, well now it’s time for The Black Horse to have their fifteen minutes of fame. They’ve selected big boss Steve and bar manager Callum (beautifully described on Channel 4’s blurb as “an unlikely double act”) to take part. So if you tune in at 5pm every day this week (starting from Monday 8th October), you’ll get to see how they got on entertaining guests, judging other people’s breakfasts, searching for pubes under mattresses, and desperately trying to conceal hangovers from a ever present film crew. Can’t wait – should be TV gold!! And no, I can’t give you any clues as to how they got on, they haven’t given a single hint to anyone, not even Mr Badger.
>Since my last instalment, a little detective mystery that we had has been solved. You may recall that we experienced some unpleasantness when the award-winning Jaks’ doggy water beer barrel had gone missing one morning. We put out wanted posters, a little social media campaign tried to find the culprits, fingers were pointed at naughty young scallywags that may have come over from the bus stop overnight and half inched it, but all to no avail. Well, it turns out it wasn’t anything nearly so sinister. Apparently some over-enthusiastic beer delivery operatives had noticed that the barrel in question was one of theirs. Unperturbed by the fact that is was propped on a low wall with a picture of a dog painted on it, a water tap cleverly positioned where the beer usually comes out, two dog bowls directly underneath, they loaded it onto the the wagon and took it back to the brewery without telling a soul. Common sense prevailed however, and it’s back in it’s rightful place to refresh the thirsty pooches of Harrogate. I just love a happy ending.
Speaking of endings, it’s about time I went back down the corridor to partake in some product knowledge and quality control. As I sign off, this is just a blog. Not an award-winning blog. Do they do awards for blogs? Is anyone reading this going to nominate it for an award? Does it deserve an award? Is anyone even reading this? Which ex members of staff will be re-employed by the time of my next instalment? Will the Black Horse have a cheap plaque displayed above their reception?
So many questions…
Bye for now,
Mr Badger x