To drink or not to drink?

I’ve been catapulted into the complex world of licensing laws this past 24 hours. I was aware that licences were something we’d need to consider for the Manor, but although an important issue, it’s not the most exciting thing when there are tablecloths, crockery and food suppliers to consider (more on those more interesting topics in future blogs, I promise!).

Anyway, serving alcohol is a core part of the ‘Dinner at the Manor’ concept. Martini Man wouldn’t be the same without a martini in hand! We want to serve delicious food and we also want to pair it with wines one typically doesn’t buy on a 3 for £10 offer. Alcohol and dining out are a classic combo, it would feel very odd to serve up a meal and not provide any booze. I was under the impression, from some scant research, that so long as we stated the alcohol was given away for ‘free’ and not part of the cost of the set menu, then we’d be covered. That’s not quite how it is in reality.

Advisors pointed me in the direction of ‘personal’ licences and ‘premises’ licences. As far as I could gather there was no chance of ever getting the latter as our venue is a home residence. As for the former, it requires one to sit an exam and go through all sorts of tests and checks – all a bit much for a little monthly supper club, no?

Anyway a quick chat with a licensing officer at the council (who was very helpful indeed!) has introduced me to the far simpler world of ‘temporary’ licences, phew! Whenever we want to serve alcohol to our guests at the Manor then all we need do is fill in a form and send it in to the council and the police 10 days before the event. The only slight catch is that we can only do five per year. But at least I can’t risk going to prison!

So, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that we can only pair wine and offer aperitifs with our meals five times per year. The good news is that we can put our attentions into these ‘wine and dine’ supperclubs and make them extra special. For all of the other supperclubs that we hold we’ll be able offer you our outstanding cooking at knock down prices! And what’s more, you’ll be able to bring along your own tipple of choice, saving even more pennies for you. Never has dining been so affordable! I just hope nobody is rowdy now!!

Now a quick word on our current supperclub that is due to take place in October. We realise it’s a bit of a way off but we’re using the time to get the Manor ready for your arrival. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response it’s received. In less than 3 hours from unveiling it we had booked all ten places! I’ll let you into a secret though – we’re squeezing in a couple more places so you still have the chance to book on and experience one of our wine and dine nights. You can reserve a place by using the form in the post below. See you soon…

MM

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