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Can't feel my fingers ...

Posted on 2 December, 2012 at 18:33 Comments comments (142)
... or toes, ears a-tinglin' with the sound of bell-ringers, nostrils a-twitchin' with the whiffs of mulled wine, hot dogs and popcorn.  Can only mean one thing - the annual Tankerton Christmas Fair in and around the lovely Whitstable Castle and grounds.  Fast becoming one of my favourite gigs of the year, helped by it being a) only 3 minutes from home, b) a chance to catch up with friends and neighbours (including those we were out on the razz with in Whitstable only last night!) and c) full of the kind of traders that I would happily work alongside every day of the week - fun, funny, helpful, and happy to share their hot drinks and home-baked bread puddings :)  The whole day was bright, crisp and even, the frost staying put on the bowling green right through till dusk, blimmin freezing cold but no doubt added to the atmosphere.  Helped along by the actual, genuine (he assured me) Whitstable-dwelling Father Christmas and his Hoodeners, paying a visit.  

So, that's the last of our 2012 off-site stalls now over. Time to get properly stuck in to the run-up to the Festive season in the shop.  Sarah McLachlan and Diana Krall Christmas albums handy, mulled cider at the ready, taster bottle of Brandy and Butterscotch Liqueur on standby for mid-afternoon tots in the coffee; stocked up with cat food for when the farm mog comes a'callin each morning (who then spends the rest of the day curled up in front of the heater behind the cash desk).  Not wanting to go too bonkers with the decorations but adding to them slowly on a daily basis, so the place looks like Santa's Grotto by Christmas Eve.  Wondering how come every year (and this is our sixth) I spend £££s on decorations, lights etc and it never looks enough... and why the solar-powered led lights I got for a song on Groupon still don't work (maybe the clue is in there somewhere ..).  And of course ordering far too much stock in a panic mid-way through the month and still looking at most of it (and the invoices that came with it) at the end of January.  At which point the dulcet tones of Ms Moira Stewart kick in again, reminding me that - yet again - I've left our tax returns to the last minute despite last year's good intentions.  Gosh, where DID 2012 disappear to???

Cider not with Rosie

Posted on 3 December, 2011 at 19:33 Comments comments (91)
Well, at least now Dougie has been (deservedly) crowned King of the Jungle 2011 I might get around to some admin, including updating this blog a bit more regularly!   My money was on Mark but there wasn't much to choose between them.

Closer to home... in Tank no 1 the cider is a-bubblin away merrily now and the ciderist veterans tell us a slow fermentation is best, so we're not worrying too much that tank number 2 hasn't kicked off yet!  Looking to rack off (spot use of technical term here) in February or March unless the weather turns tropical again.  Still much airlock-watching going on though - do they say a watched tank never bubbles?

Busy week in the shop, beginning to see the first signs of Christmas present panic-buying setting in.  Already having to reorder Christmas Mead, cream liqueurs and leather doorstops (last year's Christmas must-have, and looking good again for 2011.) Put the first Christmas CDs on today - Sarah Mclachlan's Wintersong and Diana Krall's Christmas album - and plugged the fairy lights back in.  Watching the first few Christmas trees from Grow heading to the car park, it all felt pretty festive when Michele from Flowerart next door brought in some mulled wine to top it off!  Great stuff.  

Dorset Ginger

Posted on 29 November, 2010 at 18:12 Comments comments (0)
We've got a few bottles but will probably be ordering more between now and Christmas, how many (cases of 12??? lol) do you want? x

Christmas is a-coming

Posted on 28 November, 2010 at 13:25 Comments comments (142)
Christmas is a-coming...  and we've got LOADS to tempt you at the TP!
Best-selling prezzies so far are our leather doorstops (bunny, elephant and tortoise, they're FAB), bags-o-beer (or cider... or a mixture of both), any three of our 500ml local ales or ciders in a handy jute bag for a tenner, the gorgeous cream liqueurs from Lyme Bay (double chocolate, brandy and butterscotch, and ginger cream. Yummmmm), and our new 'welcome birds', motion-detecting birdies that sit on your porch and sing to anyone coming to your door (the cats love 'em). 
We keep running out of Kentish fizz - apologies! - big order in now. Thought I'd got enough, but had underestimated how thirsty for this stuff our customers are.  Knocks a lot of European fizz into a cocked hat and at half the price, plus a nice warm glow from buying local. We're so well-served for quality wines in Kent!
PS our sister company Grow at Brogdale has just taken delivery of their quality Kent grown Christmas trees.  And check out our events page for details of our Festive Sundays in December with Boughton Monchelsea Morris on the afternoon of the 5th, and carol singing on the 12th!