Fields Lodge gets its’ alcohol licence
Hooray! Fields Lodge now has an alcohol licence.
This means that you can now arrive, kick your shoes off, relax and enjoy a lovely glass of welsh bubbly with your Supper Patter.
No having to get showered and changed to go back out for an evening meal.
Just sit back, chill, relax and indulge.
Sounds like heaven to me!
If that picture just makes you want to book a stay, then click on the availability link at the side of this post….If you’d like to read about the goings on in getting the licence, then read on!!
The Path to the Licence
The path to achieving the licence has been a little stressing at times. Let me tell you…
I passed my personal licence exam some time ago and have had it on my ‘to do’ list to apply for the premises licence since then….a few years in fact.
There were a few things that kept making me put that ‘to do’ further down my list each month. This stems from when I originally passed my exam, the company I went with for my training did a good job of explaining how horrendous the experience was, of applying for the premises licence.
The Application Procedure
In the main, they suggested hiring a professional firm to draw up your plans, as plans have to be submitted, drawn to scale, with all your fire points, fire alarms, fire blankets, emergency lighting, fire exits, fire doors, together with the actual placing of all the rooms and furniture. Now, if you’re a restaurant, you normally have one public space and a kitchen-not so bad. We are a bed and breakfast and we also would like guests to be able to enjoy a glass of wine in any part of the garden they wish.
So, that means, the whole house and garden, every bedroom had to be included in this plan. I’m sure you can guess at the cost for a professional firm to come out, measure up all the rooms, pinpoint all the fire alarms etc and then draw up the plans and then complete the application form for the licence. So, as you might imagine, when I compared the profit I may make on the occasional glass of wine against the total costs, adding in the licence fees as well, well, I couldn’t justify it as a business expense. This is exactly why you don’t find many small B&Bs offering alcohol, as it is even against the law for us to offer you, free of charge, a glass of wine on arrival, if we don’t have a licence.
Hence, I sat on this area of development for quite a while, as I’ve said. However, as we now offer Supper Platters and we are now offering Breakfast Hampers also, I thought my guests might like to enjoy a bottle of wine with their platter and maybe a Bucks Fizz with a celebration breakfast.
Sharing Supper Platters
I know when I have a Sharing Platter, I love to have a nice wine with it and so I thought it’s important that I offer this to my lovely guests.
So, I took it upon myself to get my tape measure out, my drawing skills out of the cupboard(so to speak) and set about creating a plan of the house and drawing in all the various things that are required for the application.
I was lucky that I could view a few applications that had recently been put forward and so had a better idea of how I needed things to look, the terminology to use and the abbreviations expected in the language that the licensing department would be looking for.
I went through pages and pages, reading up on what was expected, had great help from friendly people at the council and was at last ready to put in my application.
The application goes in
The day came when my application was submitted. It was a requirement that a notice was put in my window and also put in the local paper.
And then we had to wait for anyone to object, as is their right.
The local Fire Department contacted me to go through the application to make sure I was fully covered for public safety, and were satisfied that all was in order-phew!
The day came for the last day of objections. If none were received, then a licence would be sanctioned that day with no further requirements.
I made the phone call to the council, was put through to licencing and heard the horrid phrase ‘someone has made an objection’……………………
So, that the meant that I was required to go in front of the licensing committee to explain myself and hopefully allay the fears from the objections raised. I could bring a solicitor with me if I chose–*gulp*
This meant sitting in a committee room, a bit like the ones they challenge MPs in, with cameras, audio equipment and the like. It was all videoed, and every time you wanted to speak, you had to press a button and talk into a microphone that was situated in front of you.
There was a public gallery to the rear.
So, the day arrived.
I had been given a copy of the objections, so I knew what the concerns were.
I arrived first, I’d rather be a half hour early than a minute late.
A little later, 2 chaps arrived and at first, I thought they had come to view my session, but it later became obvious when a third gentleman arrived, suited, booted and with a briefcase and went off into huddled whispers, that these 2 chaps were here for a license also and this was their solicitor.
A Solicitor!!! Blimey, had I really behaved like a country bumpkin and just turned up by myself? Was I about to be laughed out of session??
I gave myself a talking to, reminded myself how many times I have presented ‘things’ to various audiences, I knew I had the best of reasons for applying for a licence. I knew I could answer all of the concerns raised. So, I pulled on my big girl knickers (metaphorically speaking) and decided to stand in my own space and get the result that my guests needed.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The committee meeting was stressful, I was questioned in depth and stood ,y corner, as I had the best of reasons for wanting a liquor licence, and after what felt like hours, the panel retired to discuss and make their decision.
A long…………………wait later, the panel returned to the meeting room and after saying a lot of official wording, confirmed my licence has been granted. And from that day, I was able to offer for sale alcohol to my lovely guests.
So, myself and my lovely team of ‘angels’ are now coming up with marvellous ways to get our lovely guests involved with the extra facility we have for them.
Watch this space, as one of our angels is a mixologist!!! EEEK, exciting!!!
Fields Lodge Signature Drink
Fields Lodge Signature Drink here we come.
Ideas for names of said drink, gratefully received!
Click here to read more about life at Fields Lodge