The past six weeks has been the busiest for 2onMAIN so far.
The word has got out that we are a good choice of restaurant on the island and that individual celebrations are well looked after.
We have been astounded by the popularity of the restaurant across all ages and social groups on the island (who could ask for more?).
This has included a number of birthday festivities for young Saints including young Katie Williams who celebrated her 9th birthday one Friday evening.
Valentines night was booked up three weeks ahead and not just with couples which was a pleasant change.
Over here Valentines is a night to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones so we were pleased to take two tables of 6 and two tables of 4 amongst the couples. The ambiance in the restaurant was all the better for it as there was a real buzz to the place.
Noteworthy visitors to St Helena and to 2onMAIN over the past month included the key decision makers of two hotel
companies who are thinking of investing on the island. They were Mantis and Protea Hotel groups, both of South African decent; although Mantis has properties worldwide. The feedback on food and service from both parties was very positive which was incredibly motivating for the team here. We are looking forward to future visits from both companies and closer working relations especially as my
trainees will their employees of the
Kirsty demonstrating her strength !
Beware when ordering food items in units and taking for granted that the size is going to be the same as the UK!
Over here we get our fresh fruit from South Africa. It is ordered in advance by only a few purveyors who have to get clearance from South Africa’s food administration and then Saint Helena Customs to get it to the shops.
It travels for five days on the RMS St Helena and then spends possibly another day on the wharf over here.
I was looking forward to some oranges only to be told that they had been refused by the South Africans as not being fit for shipment. I was offered a variety of other fruits such as nectarines, plums, ruby grapefruit and watermelons. As this is a once a month occasion I ordered the fruit as soon as I knew what might be available.
Included in the order were two watermelons which from a UK perspective would have come to around £6.00 in cost and 6KG in weight. Therefore it was much to my surprise that the invoice from the store stated two watermelons at £19.00! Now I know there are shipping costs and other extras but nearly £20 for two watermelons is a bit steep. When I saw the items I could see why I paid so much for them, I have NEVER seen anything so large in the fruit line in my life! These things could hardly be lifted and if one had been carved out it would made a cradle for a baby! The lesson here is to check what size something is before ordering although when this is in a container on the ship it’s a tad awkward!
Trawling the internet for Watermelon recipes is now one of my hobbies! Watermelon Sorbet is a permenant fixture on the menu which is no bad thing as the temperatures here at the moment are in the high 20's C!!
The Coffee Machine has
One of the things we are aiming to train over
here is the art of the Barista!
St Helena coffee is some of the most exclusive in the world, the strain being grown is the same as when Napoleon Bonaparte was imprisoned and died here in 1821.
There are a number of growers on the island and the coffee retails at a high premium.
I believe in the UK, one of the only retailers is Betty’s of
The training centre has just taken delivery of a brand new Rancilio Espresso machine.
The machine will be one of the first if not the first commercial Espresso machines on St Helena and certainly the training will be the first offered over here. Our students are excited and a little apprehensive at the thought of becoming experts in this field!
Eventually we hope to use St Helena coffee in our machine or at least offer it as a choice to our guests.
At the moment we are using a really good rich roast bean from the Drury Tea and Coffee Company who also supplied the machine.
Initial feedback from our customers has been brilliant with many wanting to come in when we are closed in order to get their daily caffeine fix.