Sunday, 30 August 2015

Expansion. Curve Ball.

Hello Tutties and Frutties. 

           Nice to see you here at the QB blog. The poorly maintained, apparently unloved nether region of the QB social media. It has solid foundations though (very dense material), and the unnecessarily wordy construction was all glued together using drivel and bilge, so it can withstand a good deal of neglect. 

       Mostly everything has been running smoothly at the teahouse. 

       We lost some excellent staff members, though also gained some. Definitely sad, but we are so very happy to see people move on.

          We bake every single thing in house now (apart from bread, which still comes from the formidable Sugar Down Bakery, and occasionally Gr*ggs when we run out :-), and the kitchen is a well oiled machine (extra virgin), albeit really really sweaty. We are still looking to expand the kitchen, so if you have kitchen experience, like to sweat and are after a job, please do get in touch. 

      The kind, thoughtful customers we have visiting us really do make the place what it is. We can put on nice music, polish the bannisters, ensure that we are chatty and welcoming, make everything delicious, and all of that sorta stuff but if you lot aren’t there to respond positively, it is all in vain. As always, thank you everyone. 

            As usual, we closed for two weeks this month (August). We souped up our cake display area, caked up our soup display area, created a new specials board, repainted everything (time consuming), shpongled what ever needed it, did some behind the scenes tinkering, invested in rugs and laminated 400 bits of card for the menus. Pat got a blister. 

     We also did something huge. 

   The story goes like this-

    We three have been cogitating for quite some time on what direction to take the teahouse. We would like to make more room to fit you all in, so you don’t have to queue. We would like to open some sort of eatery/deli/excellent takeout place. We would also like to open a music venue. So we have been working on all of these projects. Here is a proposal we put together for a venue, just so you know what sort of trees we have been barking up. 

        All of these projects, for one reason or another (often frustrating and disheartening reasons), are either not going to happen, or are not going to happen for at least a year. So we began brainstorming. 

      One year ago, to the day pretty much, one of us went to Montenegro. A favourite place of ours. Whilst there, time was spent with estate agents. Many a property was viewed, including an abandoned olive mill. The price of this ruin was high. Unachievable. But it was nice to see it. 

            A year later, the price had reduced considerably, and the euro was weak. 

                 We had some money, not enough, but some. 

    Enter CHRIS from stage left. 

 Chris Le Messurier, currently in Melbourne, but from Perth, Australia, is an old comrade of ours. He worked with us in Budapest, and has been a good friend ever since. 

         We four began chatting about turning what was a dream into some sort of reality - purchasing the olive mill, and turning it into accommodation of some sort. 

     We booked some plane tickets to Montenegro (One of us didn’t cos he is having a baby soon).

   We fell in love (with the building, and the project).
                 Between the four of us, we had some money, not enough, but some. 

           So we loaned a lot of money.  

   And on the 7th of August, after a roller coaster of a ride (we nipped to Flamingo Land), we became the owners of plots 1828, 1829, 1832 in Podgrad, Stari Bar, Montenegro. 

    The Grove is born (Geordie 90’s teen TV link not coincidental).

Not fully formed yet, but a squirming, wriggly infant, unsure of where its limbs are and what they do. Definitely with uncontrollable leaks in various places.

  We now have a 20 month period in which to renovate the place. Opening Spring/Summer 2017. 

  So that is what happened this summer. 

      It is all extremely exciting. The place will operate along side the teahouse. We will be very wary that the quality does not slip here in Newcastle. And perhaps, hopefully, you will be able to visit us over there some time in the future, for it is a place well worth visiting. 

      Big love to you all.

QB x

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