2016 Dorset Bloody Mary public event

With tongue firmly in cheek I could say that my 2015 Bloody Mary game was so strong that it scared people off from this year's Public competition, held at the Larder House on Sunday 25th September. A shame really but hey, I did the prep and I turned up on the day so I'm not going to turn away a litre bottle of Ketel One vodka, the limited edition 325th anniversary bottle, plus a copper kettle. Ketel one, kettle won!

As they say, you've go to be in it to win it.

Anyway, for anyone interested I will give a run down of what I did...

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Rum Night with Richard Seale, Foursquare.

This was my third rum club hosted by Peter Holland and there's always something new to learn. Held up in the Library of Liquor (Southbourne) once a month during the week, so check out the Floating Rum Shack website for further information. This night we had a guest speaker in Richard Seale from Foursquare Rum Distillery, whose laid back Bajan (meaning coming from Barbados) style was very intoxicating :-) pun intended.

On entry we were handed a Corn 'n Oil cocktail whilst we settled down. This is made from a mix of rum and Falernum over ice. I'd never heard of Falernum, which is a sweet liqueur made from rum, lime, nuts and spices.

What made this evening really interesting, aside from tasting quality rums of course, was the discussions on how the rum industry has developed from an economic and global perspective, as well as how the more artisanal rum producers are trying to educate and differentiate, learning from the lessons of the whisky industry.

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Larder House Rum Theme Night - June 2016

Well the team at the Larder House in Southbourne have done it again with another excellent themed food and drinks night - June 18, 2016.

On walking through the door, we stood on a ship's deck that was actually swaying underfoot as you walked across. Made for an interesting first few minutes as you got your first cup of grog and headed into the main body of the restaurant for sure footing. Who the hell puts the effort in building a boat inside their restaurant?

Peter Holland, from the Floating Rum Shack, has been instrumental in raising awareness of rum, and sugar cane based spirits by holding monthly rum tasting nights up in the Library of Liquor. He does this on a national level and even global level via his website, and we are lucky to have him move down to the local area. From the little I have learnt so far, I know that there is a whole spectrum of rums, far removed from the Barcardi and Lambs, that I never knew about. The quality sipping rums do actually rank up there with whiskies from what I have tried.

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English Sparkling Wines - Glass Ceiling

English Oak Vineyards is not too many miles from Poole and definitely worth a visit if you are seeking out some quality vintage sparkling wine for home or a special occasion.

You may or may not have heard, but English Sparkling Wine competes with and beats the best of Champagne.

You've probably heard the saying that the best French wines (those within our budget) are only sold locally and never get exported. I would say that this equally applies to what English Oak produces.

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Marketing events: You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club

I'm not a marketing person, I'm not a sales person, I'm not a creative person, I'm a geeky techie. After 16 years involved in running e-mango I must be doing a few things right, but they are many other things that I could be doing a lot better. That's why events where local business people can meet, gain some insights into each others work and approaches, to learn from each other in an open way and not be all anally competitive about it, are such a useful thing. I also attend the Fastgrowth meetings.

I will give Paul Tansey from Intergage a shoutout as he is someone that I like what he says and more importantly, how he says it. He is one of the nicest guys I have met in business and runs a very successful business with a great team around him. Who says you have to be ruthless in business to do well?

Coming back off the recent Once Upon A Time event held by Mark Masters, having seem him present in a very interesting and likeable way at a recent Intergage event, I decided to book myself to one of this You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club meetings. It only costs a few pounds but that basically covers lunch. You do not get sold to, no one his pitching to you, you listen in and more importantly join in. Take some learnings from it, and try and put something back in.

Mark's mantras are all about "You are the media", story telling with your brand, and being passionate about something.

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