MAN’S BEST FRIEND WILL ALWAYS BE WELCOME IN YUMMY

One of the most important things that I tell our customers about our business is that we’re a pub, not a restaurant. We are a relaxing escape from the normality of life, a home away from home. If your best friend is at your home, why shouldn’t he / she be with you at the pub, regardless if he / she is canine?

The figures speak for themselves; two-thirds of dog owners are put off pubs that don’t welcome our furry friends. That’s why I’m very proud to announce that not only are Yummy pubs already registered on Dogbuddy.com, we’ll also be taking part in the Dog-friendly Pub Awards.

I used to own a beautiful rescue dog myself. Her name was Ruby, she was a mixed lurcher / greyhound dog and I tell you, everybody in my pub bloody loved her. I’d trained her so that she would come and sit by the fire when I was around but as soon as I disappeared back of house she’d go straight back to being her naughty self, getting cuddles from my guests, as well as sneaking herself a fair few chips – she was an asset to my business, not a liability.

When dog beers were brought to the market, we were one of the first businesses in the on-trade to buy them in, on top of always having offered doggy biscuit treats and water bowls. They’re called Man’s Best Friend for a reason; to most people, a dog is part of the family and sometimes, their only family. 

Ruby was an inspiration for how I wanted Yummy to run, which is why we’ve been dog-friendly from the get-go. Actually, we’re more than that, we even welcome horses outside the Wiremill, whilst their owners have a pint. Sadly, we’re not quite able to offer the same treatment in London but if we could… 

/ Tim Foster

GUEST BLOG: NICK’S STORY by CARINA TALMEY

We recently donated a weekend away at the Wiremill as a prize for a fundraising event which will be held in honour and support of Nick Stanley on Sunday 11th September. This is the story that encouraged us to help Team Stanley, told by his good friend and former colleague, Carina Talmey.

After years of hard work at school and university, I was loving my new job as an Occupational Therapist (OT) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, but after a long illness which saw me out of action for nearly eight months, the thought of returning to work was pretty daunting. That’s when I met Nick Stanley.

Nick was a Locum OT at the hospital (meaning he covered shifts across a range of specialties – an incredibly competitive sector) and worked in the Trauma Unit, to which I was returning. Not only was he a fantastic colleague and OT, he also quickly became a great friend. He held my hand as I made a tentative return to a crazy world, stood by my side when I needed him and encouraged me to stand alone.

In the six short months we worked together, I learned more from Nick than I ever had from anyone. He rebuilt my confidence and left me believing in myself. He also helped develop my love for the Trauma Unit –  I am now the lead OT at my local hospital and am training to become a specialist in spinal cord injury.

You can imagine my horror when a few months ago, news reached me that Nick had been involved in a serious accident. He’d been knocked off of his bike whilst cycling to work and was left fighting for his life in intensive care.

Against the odds, Nick bravely fought back from the brink. Tragically, he had sustained life-changing injuries. A severe spinal cord injury had left him paralysed from the waist down and further injuries resulted in him losing the use of his left arm. As a friend, I was devastated by his life had changed and as an OT, I understood exactly just how much.

But Nick had so many reasons to get better. His wife of nearly 3 years, Nicole. His little girl, Rylee-May. The unborn baby his wife was carrying at the time of the accident. An entire family and friends who loved him. And his patients of the future.

Having had such an impact on my life, I knew I had to do something to support Nick and his family in their time of need. They are always the ones that help others – now it was our turn. A close friend of the family set up a fundraising page and friends, family, colleagues and former patients flocked to offer their support. I wanted to offer something to help but I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could turn my donation into something more.

Cue the Team Stanley Fundraiser.

I hired a community centre, invited some friends along and wrote to local businesses, asking if they would be able to support the event in any way. I envisaged a raffle with maybe one or two nice prizes, a little cake sale in the corner and hoped to perhaps raise a few hundred pounds for my friend and his family.

It’s now three months later and I feel like I’ve taken on a second job as an events planner! With the support of my own incredible family and friends (particularly my loyal sidekicks Emma and Sam), we’ve created an event which we hope will be really special.

There’ll be a buffet, alongside the cake sale, a whole section for kiddies with a tombola, lucky dip, guessing games and face-painting (I offered to have them try a few faces on me – I now look as if I’ve had a bit of a dodgy tan!). There’s also a raffle so phenomenal I can still barely believe it. For even in a time when money is tight and business is tough, unbelievable generosity from local businesses has seen us create a raffle with over £1,000 worth of prizes! We’ve had so much support; we’ve had to put some of the prizes in a silent auction! With generous donations from people who can’t be there (and also monetary donations from some local businesses too), we also have a healthy fund – before the day has even arrived.

It’s schemes like the Random Acts Of Kindness project that make it possible for people like me to do things like this. They have helped me turn a little idea into a huge fundraiser. That in turn is going to make the most amazing difference for Nick and his family. The money can be used to help make their property accessible. It can take off the financial strain (neither Nick nor Nicole have been able to work for many months now, being stuck miles away from home with Nick in a spinal rehab unit). It can take away some unnecessary worries and it can allow Nick to focus on his rehab to regain as much independence as his injuries will allow. It will quite literally help change their lives for the better, at a time when they have had to face so many difficult challenges.

So thank you – family, friends, businesses. Thank you to projects like The Random Acts Of Kindness. Thank you for helping me help my friend.

Written by: Carina Talmey

VIDEO: JAY. TIM. BED. STILETTOS.

Sadly, the Dark Lord a.k.a Anthony Pender was away at the time of filming…(excuses, excuses!) but not to worry, Tim and Jay get quite cosy on their own. Rest assured no team members were physically harmed during the filming of this video (potentially mentally scarred a little though).

PHOTO STORY: Lakeside pub in Surrey celebrates Muddy Stilettos Awards in style (and in bed)

The votes are in! The Wiremill in Lingfield, Surrey, is announced as the winner in the Best Boutique Stay category of the Muddy Stilettos Awards! Owners of the Wiremill, Yummy Pub Co., have always been known for doing things a little differently, so when their pub won the award, there was only one way to celebrate…

“I ordered the stilettos the very next day, ” said Tim Foster, co-owner of the Wiremill. “I got a few curious looks and questions from the wife but I’ve got to say, I’ve grown quite attached  them! In all seriousness, we’re incredibly proud of our team for winning this award. A boutique stay isn’t about the fluffy beds or the roll top bath – although we have both at the Wiremill – it’s about creating an atmosphere that is so comfortable, that you feel less like a guest and more like a part of our family.

“It’s not just service, it’s hospitality. That’s what our people do, they add that special touch to each person’s visit and I truly believe that’s why people voted for us to win. That, and the promise of myself and my co-directors strutting our stuff in a pair of red heels, of course.”

The awards had 30 categories in total, with five businesses nominated in each one. The public were able to cast their vote online and the Wiremill took in almost half of the votes for its category (49.1%).

PRESS RELEASE: 365 DAYS OF KINDNESS (and over £15,000 raised for charity)

Last month, the teeny, tiny, beautiful pub company that is Yummy pledged to shower the UK with random acts of kindness – and they are staying true to their word. With a newly appointed Head of Random Acts of Kindness, it’s now time for stage one of the kindness revolution – #RAOK365. 

That’s right, 365 days of kindness of all shapes and sizes, each designed to put a smile on people’s faces and which have so far raised over £15,000 for charity. Throughout the campaign’s first few weeks, Yummy teams have helped raise money for local charity events, gone on a crazy sailing adventure (where they battled it out alongside the Duchess of Cambridge!), dressed up in double denim, made sandwiches for the homeless, given away tasty treats, celebrated RAOK’s across the country, rewarded an extraordinary RAOK performed by an employee at Morrisons in Basingstoke and much, much more.

Co-owner, Anthony Pender, said: “RAOK365 is just the beginning and it’s been bloody amazing so far. We want to involve all our loons – as they’re known in the Yummy family – and soon enough, hopefully every single person in the UK. I’ve gotten in on the fun myself and got to play pirate this weekend as I embarked on a sailing trip during the Interbrewery Regatta alongside the directors from Yummy and team members from CPL training. The public’s support was incredible and we raised an incredible £15,000!”

The campaign started on Friday 13th May in an effort to bring some luck to those with friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday 13th, that is); ice-cold Frappuccino’s were gifted to customers to enjoy in the sunshine. The drink was created by Will, team member at country pub The Wiremill in Surrey. Keen on rewarding and promoting its talent, Yummy even decided to add the delicious drink to its menu for the entire weekend. 

Day two saw £2,300 raised for the Save The Children Refugee Appeal at an event hosted by Stokeyparents, for which The Stoke Newington Tea House donated a night for two at its wine and cheese bar, Bouverie Road, and The Wiremill donated the biggest prize of the evening – a weekend away with dinner and bubbly, which went for £300 in the charity auction!

Anthony added: “The campaign isn’t just about RAOK’s within Yummy. Last week we highlighted some special people who have shown extraordinary kindness, such as Lin Lisle-Fenwick,  a Morrisons employee who helped a customer by playing with her autistic child during a difficult shopping trip.”

“Random Acts of Kindness is about making someone else smile, with the only reason being that you can. Lin did just that and that’s why we decided she deserves a weekend away at one of our country pubs. Our Head of RAOK has spoken too Lin and she was thrilled – we’re just waiting for her to pick a date to visit us!”

There’s plenty more in the pipeline, especially during summer with a BBQ cook off amongst Yummy chefs, a Tea Party in honour of her majesty the Queen in conjunction with the Wimbledon Guild and a a ping-pong party with Wimbledon-inspired cocktails.

If you want to read about our #RAOK365’s visit: www.yummypubco.com

Know someone who deserves a RAOK? Perhaps it’s a colleague who’s worked really hard, a friend who’s going through a rough patch or a stranger who helped you in your time of need. Whoever it is, for whatever reason, we want to hear about it! Tweet @yummypubco #RAOK or email allie@yummypubs.co.uk

PRESS RELEASE: Are you ready for GROVE FEST?

Didn’t score yourself a ticket to Glastonbury? Stop sobbing and dust off your wellies, because there’s a new music festival in the UK. Welcome GROVE FEST, a two-day music bonanza held in the garden of the award-winning Grove Ferry Pub & Inn, Canterbury, on 27 – 28 August.

Unlike most music festivals, GROVE FEST won’t cost you a penny – unless you want it to. As part of owners Yummy Pub Co.’s Random Acts of Kindness campaign, manager Billy Morgan and his team are employing a “pay-what-you-can” standard and all proceeds will go to charity.

The festivities will take place at noon until late on both days, with six headliner acts on Saturday comprising of local university bands, buskers, music school artists and DJs – names to be announced next month! Sunday will see a family fun vibe with lots of entertainment for the little ones including arts & crafts, a bouncy castle and an inflatable slide. Those who wish can also plant pumpkin seeds (in preparation for the pumpkin carving competition on Halloween!).

To ensure that customers walk away with a full belly, the Grove Ferry will also be cooking up a feast of hog roast served with fresh home-made trimmings including seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes, brioche buns and coleslaw.

Billy said: “There’s nothing better than making others smile and so we figured, how best do we do that? Live music, BBQ food and lots of fun outdoor activity on a Bank Holiday seemed like a good start. Absolutely everyone is invited – humans, animals, aliens – you name it. Not only will there be some absolutely cracking live music and entertainment but also, it’s for a good cause.”

The pub, which was recently voted the Best Pub in Kent in the National Pub & Bar Awards, will be celebrating the hard-won title by letting one of its guests choose which charity will receive the contribution. Each guest who donates money will be given a raffle ticket and the winner will be drawn at the end of the weekend.

PRESS RELEASE: Riverside gem The Grove Ferry Inn named Best Pub in Kent!

Celebrations are in order for Canterbury, officially home to the Best Pub in Kent – The Grove Ferry Inn!

A gem among stones, the charming pub – situated on the bank of the Great Stour River – has been crowned the County Winner in the National Pub & Bar Awards Final, hosted by Pub & Bar Magazine. 

What’s more? The pub is in the running for another title! The Grand Final, which will be held at London’s BAFTA on Tuesday 24th May, will see 12 of the 94 County Winners crowned Regional Winners and one to be named the Best Pub in the United Kingdom. 

“I’m thrilled and overwhelmed by the news,” said Billy Morgan, general manager of The Grove Ferry Inn. “Our pub is about people – not just the amazing team who work here but also, our incredible customers who come back time and time again. Our strength lies in that we’re true to our core values – great drink, even better food but above all, a brilliant experience and friendly service. I’d like to think that this award is a reflection of that. I can’t wait for the final and hopefully, we’ll be celebrating another title soon – fingers crossed!”

Tim Foster, co-owner of the pub, said: “It’s been an eventful seven years. The Grove Ferry Inn has experienced everything from a fire to a flood but that just makes winning this award that much sweeter. We’ve been through hell and back, and come out swinging! I’m really proud of the hard work and passion that Billy and his team have put into making the Grove a great community pub, a countryside gem and of course, The Best Pub in Kent!”

PRESS RELEASE: Calling Londoners for Random Acts of Kindness

Calling all Londoners – the world’s best job is up for grabs. Fancy being Head of Random Acts of Kindness? (now how’s that for a title!).

Thought up by the teeny, tiny, beautiful Yummy Pub Co., this is a a hunt for London’s kindest, kookiest and cleverest person to launch a new project, a revolution in fact, with one simple aim at its core – to reward people for Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK).

Whether it’s handing out 1,000 cups of tea to strangers on the street, curing the Monday Blues by inviting local workers in for a bottle of bubbly, giving away free meals to the homeless on Christmas or even inviting someone who can’t afford a holiday for a weekend away at one of the company’s quirky country BnB’s – this is the job you want (not your average nine-to-five).

“Ever heard of the guy who put five dollar bills in library books, the café that opened its doors to stray dogs on cold winter nights or the man who gave away money to 35 people on his 35th birthday, instead of asking for presents of his own? We have and we love it. It’s about giving something to others for nothing in return but really, it’s not just a selfless act because it makes you feel good about yourself, too. We’re going to shower the country with RAOK, big and small, as soon as we find the right person to lead the campaign and join our family.

“There’s plenty more to our new project, so watch this space – everything will be revealed in due time.” – Anthony Pender, co-owner of Yummy Pub Co.

Know someone who deserves a RAOK? Perhaps it’s a colleague who’s worked really hard, a friend who’s going through a rough patch or a stranger who helped you in your time of need; whoever, for whatever reason, we want to hear about it! Tweet us @yummypubco #RAOK or email allie@yummypubs.co.uk