All posts by Tom's Tips

Marketing Coordinator for Bells Hotel & Country Club

Confessions of the Golf Club Bar Staff #2

This feature is just for laughs! We will aim to share some of the funnier stories from years gone by for your amusement. If you recognise the story and are one of the main protagonists, don’t worry we won’t name and shame!

The Round Dodger

round dodger

The scene: It’s a relatively busy summer evening when a golf party staying with us in the hotel come to the bar no doubt thirsty from their golfing endeavors.

The personable group of four gents approach the bar in good spirits informing me that I am unlikely to see much of the fifth member of their group through muffled laughter.

I didn’t think much of that comment until their order came in, four pints of lager and two bottles of non alcoholic lager poured into a pint glass.

Around 15-20 minutes later one of the group comes to the bar and orders the same round again. At this point my curiosity gets the better of me:

‘Who is on the non-alcoholic beer then?’ I asked tentatively.

‘Our mate, he never buys a round so we are teaching him a lesson and waiting to see how long it is before he catches on’. My customer responds with a wicked smile from ear to ear.

One by one all four order the same round of drinks, just as the customer had suggested, with no sign of the fifth member. This carried on well into the evening before I heard a roar of laughter from the next room.

Moments later a somewhat disgruntled gentleman came to bar and asked for a pint of lager and a whisky chaser.

As he returned to his scheming friends I hear one of them shout ‘Look, after all that he STILL hasn’t bought us a beer!’

Choose your friends carefully folks!

To see what we can offer your golf party/society please visit www.bells-hotel.co.uk

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Confessions of the Golf Club bar staff

This feature is just for laughs! We will aim to share some of the funnier stories from years gone by for your amusement. If you recognise the story and are one of the main protagonists, don’t worry we won’t name and shame!

The tale of the bitter lemon

bitter lemon

The scene: A busy theme night many moons ago. I was collecting glasses after a brief (and frankly welcome) lull at the bar.

I am just about in ear shot of the bar when I see a gentleman make his way up and ask a young, eager and enthusiastic new barman for a gin and bitter lemon. The room is fairly busy and noisy so I’m not too surprised to hear the barman ask the gentleman if he can repeat his order.

As I’m carrying glasses back to the bar I see the new barman produce a slice of lemon in a set of tongs and present it to the customer!! Thankfully the gentleman in question saw the funny side of this story when he heard the barman say ‘I’m so sorry, I thought you said a bit of lemon!’

Always remember to be on hand to help new starters and always be sure of what you’ve heard!

For an update on up and coming events please visit bells-hotel.co.uk/events and who knows? You could be the star of our next story!

The top ten things to do with your visit to Bells Hotel & Country Club this spring

This wonderful hotel and venue has so much to offer and is ideally placed just outside of the historic market town of Coleford in the Forest of Dean. Whether golf or bowls are your thing or you are just looking for somewhere idyllic to rest your head and recharge the batteries, this is the hotel and venue for you.

hotel

Visitors to the area are lucky to have fantastic walking and cycling trails with spectacular views. On top of this there are some wonderful pubs and eateries with family friendly beer gardens all within a 15 mile radius. For more details please visit www.bells-hotel.co.uk

Check out some of the great things you and your friends and family could be doing below.

  1. What else but a round of golf on our beautiful parkland course? Many will choose to stay with us with golf included but for those more impulsive, clubs and golf can be hired at our golf shop. 20160720_135612
  2. There are a whole host of activities to keep the whole family entertained within the Forest of Dean but one of the most popular among those brave enough to take it on is a visit to ‘Go Ape’.go ape
  3. Why not take on one of our monster burgers? The clubhouse bar snack menu is full of food guaranteed to wet the appetite! chicken stacker
  4. A visit to Puzzlewood is a must when in the Forest of Dean. This place has had more filming attention from films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and TV series like Merlin than most A list movie stars! puzzle.jpg
  5. Our brand new crazy footgolf course is a whole lot of fun! With obstacles like tyre walls and fences more at home at Cheltenham race course, this is footgolf with a twist!CRAZY FOOTGOLF POSTER (1)
  6. This is the perfect time of year to walk our incredible woodland and see the carpet of bluebells along the way.may-hill
  7. Clearwell Caves is another amazing destination sure to wow! These ancient caves have been amazing guests and visitors to the area for generations, go and see why!lake_underground
  8. If you are into your cycling then the Forest of Dean is one of the countries finest hidden gems. Whether its BMX, down hill or mountain biking there is something for everyone here! Head down to ‘peddle a bike away’ and let them take care of all your biking needs! Location2
  9. There are many fine eateries and pubs with spectacular vistas in the area. If you are planning a pub tour then keep Symonds Yat in your mind as the views are breathtaking! Symonds-yat
  10. One for the kids and rail enthusiasts here: Perrygrove Railway offers a genuine coal fired steam engine experience in beautiful surroundings.32900-perrygrove-railway-and-treetop-adventure-coleford-01

Your mandate is tiny. Stop telling people to be quiet

Jun 23, 2016 will go down as a historic and victorious day for a marginal political party who never stopped banging their anti EU drum. UKIP not only scored their ultimate victory on that date but managed something of a secondary victory by bringing about the opportunity to turn the Labour and Conservative parties into deeply divided political entities, both more intent on infighting and political ambition than running the country. 

This isn’t a cheerleaders post for Nigel Farage or anyone else in UKIP this is merely a representation of events as I see them.  Britain joined the European Economic Community on 1 January 1973, along with Denmark and Ireland. Ever since that date there have been those amongst the electorate and political class alike who have been described as ‘eurosceptic’. There are a whole host of reasons as to why people didn’t agree with Britain’s membership with the EEC and ultimately the European Union. I won’t go into those now as people must be bored of justifying which way they voted on both sides of the debate. In 1993 the United Kingdom Independence Party was born and it was born out of decades of frustration regarding Britain’s membership of the EU.

nige
UKIP leader Nigel Farage

The beauty of living in a democratic society is that if you don’t like the way something is happening politically you are afforded (at times) the opportunity to change it. UKIP helped tear an already divided Tory Party apart over EU membership, with some MP’s defecting to the party. UKIP has taken a huge number of working class votes away from the Labour Party too, in fact 6 million in last years General Election represents a big loss of votes to both of the UK’s biggest parties.

In the aftermath of Brexit there have been a flurry of articles, Facebook status’ and broadcast appearances telling those who voted remain to ‘suck it up’ and get on with it. Here’s why that won’t happen: If eurosceptics had just ‘got on with it’ post 1973 UKIP would never have been born and the EU referendum might never have come about. It is only by ‘whinging’ and voting and campaigning and becoming activists that anything of political significance ever comes about.

Long after Theresa May or Michael ‘Brutus’ Gove are made the countries next PM, long after the Labour Party coup of Jeremy Corbyn fails or succeeds, long after Britain has gone through economic uncertainty, long after Article 50 is invoked will people be rallying for rejoining the EU. It may take years or decades and is most likely not to happen in my lifetime but rest assured if enough people are passionate about EU membership or something like it, the next generation may be asked to vote on where they see their future.

In the mean time it might be an idea for the young to stop attacking the old and vice versa despite whatever valid points each may have. Scapegoating the working class rather than listening to their worries and concerns is deeply unhelpful too. Which ever of the two main political parties realises this the quickest and stops their respective civil wars has the best chance of giving the county some much needed leadership at a time of real fear and concern, especially for minorities. There is an opportunity here to fix the mess made by two Etonians who have been in competition with each other since the day they clapped eyes on one another. They aren’t going to pick up the pieces and if Labour and the Tories aren’t quick to fix the current national divide, a rejuvenated UKIP might just cease the opportunity to inflict more damage. That for many is a huge concern.

UK politics is leaving the electorate nowhere to go

Over the last six years there has been plenty of talk about the ‘mess Labour left’ and the famed Conservative ‘Long term economic plan’.

In May of last year 24.3% of the population registered to vote gave the Conservatives a small majority government. There are several issues with our current voting system (first past the post) none more infuriating for those who vote than the lack of proper representation. UKIP and the Green Party for instance missed out enormously because of the current system and whether you like either’s policies, a huge number of people in Britain voted for them.

The Conservatives whilst in government have reiterated a few messages key to getting the public on board with their plans. Most notably they have spoken time and again about the huge deficit left to them by the Labour government before them.

That Labour government borrowed staggering amounts of money. So did every other nation in the world capable of doing so. When the banks went bust the taxpayer footed the bill. Whilst Labour aren’t blameless for this situation they are no more culpable than Conservatives.

The reason the Conservatives have to take their shame of the blame of the global financial crisis is because their spiritual leader, the late Margaret Thatcher, deregulated the banks in such a huge way that small banks were swallowed up and eventually the country was left with a group of super (investment) banks. Whilst Thatcher was doing this in Britain Reagan was doing the same in America. Their banks pretty much owned ours, so when their empire fell ours did too.

Whilst establishing a service industry in the country she systematically took apart Britain’s manufacturing industry and for short term gains privatised several public services. These include telecommunications, the rail network and the banking system.

There has been a great deal of focus on production in the country over the last few days and in order to stimulate growth the Chancellor has come up with the idea of cutting corporation tax. Fine in principle, flawed when it comes at the cost of the disabled and vulnerable.

For anyone thinking this is a love letter to the Labour party here is an assessment of where they have left us up to this point. They failed to reverse any of damage Thatcher’s policy inflicted on the manufacturing industry leaving the country reliant on the city of London to stimulate the economy. It’s pretty clear that when banks are given freedom to behave as they please, it doesn’t work out for the average tax payer.

They also spent a disgusting amount of money on an illegal war *cough* Hutton report *cough* at the cost to lives to those in Britain’s armed forces but more importantly huge numbers of civilians in the region. The Middle East is now as unstable as it has ever been and that is largely due to the handy work of Tony Blair and his cronies within New Labour. It is no exaggeration to say that the last Labour government left the world in a bloody and violent mess. This is almost certainly due to leaving a vacuum of power across the Middle East (Iraq, Libya, Syria) that has been swallowed up by terrorists.

Back to today and we have a Chancellor too scared to appear in the House of Commons because he has no answers to the question what on earth has happened to your budget? During his time as Chancellor George Osborne has imposed several targets aimed at impressing the electorate and failed almost every one.

The scary thing is Iain Duncan Smith stated in his resignation letter he couldn’t stand by these proposed cuts to PIP which would have seen the disabled of this country over four billion pounds worse off. This the man who was happy to endorse policy such as the bedroom tax which has been linked to the rise of suicide. Worse still given what has been said in parliament today we will have no clue as to where this black hole in funding will be filled until the autumn statement.

The SNP (and much of Scotland) have had enough and think their chances are better off going it alone. Financially it would be tough but given what’s currently on offer in British politics who can blame them? The Labour party is engulfed in tribal infighting surrounding their future direction. The Conservatives are tearing themselves apart over Europe and ‘compassionate Conservatism’ whilst the Liberal Democrats barely even exist.

When politics fails as miserably as is happening in Britain today there is always a groundswell of support for smaller parties. If history has taught us anything, this unfortunately leads to a surge in sympathy for the far right.

Labour and the Tories need to get their act together for sake of the electorate. Unfortunately too many in government forget that’s how and why they are there in the first place.

United fans will have to fight for change

The Bootiful Game

For a number of different reasons this may make for uncomfortable reading for Manchester United fans. Their team’s humiliation at the hands of Danish minnows on Thursday night brought notable descent from the crowd who, somewhat creatively, reimagined their homage to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to vent frustration at the current team’s ineptitude.

For the most part the criticism was levelled at the players, that was until the full time whistle was blown. The fall out since arguably their most embarrassing European defeat has been extensive in terms of media and fan attention on the club. Whilst initial anger was directed at the performance of the players, soon attention turned to the dutch ‘trainer coach’ and his ally Ed Woodward. The owners however seem thus far to have gotten away unscathed from this season’s latest debacle and if United fans want to see real change they will have to start hurting…

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Too old for a kick-about?

Near the end of the Christmas break I was sat thinking about how I’ve spent previous holidays over the years. With the Premier League providing a footballing feast that could rival mum’s Christmas dinner there can be no doubt that football enthusiasts are provided with everything they could have wished for over the festive period.

As I sat in a local pub taking in the second half of Watford vs Man City through the reflection in well placed picture I couldn’t help but think that in years gone by, no matter what the weather was doing, I’d have been out with mates with a ball at my feet and the cliched jumpers for goalposts.

There are plenty of ways a man in his late twenties can get his footballing dose of exercise; there’s five-a-side and weekend teams a plenty but all of this means money and commitment. This begs the question: What happened to the days of being able to contact a few friends, stick some old rags on and kick a ball around in the nearest field or park? Is there a specific age where it is no longer acceptable to have a game of headers and volleys or Wembley with your pals?

I can remember vividly being given a France 98 Adidas replica football and taking it in turns with my friends, desperately trying to perfect the Roberto Carlos free kick technique as a kid. Would such an activity really be so childish and a waste of time nowadays? Ok so it isn’t the most productive use of anyones time but it’s cheaper than a gym membership or hiring a 3G pitch to play on for an hour.

There is of course the matter of adult responsibilities getting in the way but part of me is a bit gutted that at some point over the holidays I didn’t get my hands, and more importantly feet, on a ball and have a good kick about up the rec.

It amazes me that so much time is given up to the gogglebox and social media as we get older. Perhaps if I had spent more time kicking a ball about with mates rather than binging on the latest must watch TV series I wouldn’t have so many people asking me, in a not so subtle way, what my new years resolution is this time round.