I never expected to open a business when I moved to Falmouth fourteen years ago – let alone a Tea Room, Wine House and Gin Palace. My background is working on magazines and newspapers and you could say I have spent the last 30 years researching my business as a customer at many bars, pubs and restaurants. My first job when I moved to London in 1984 was working at the Elizabeth David shop near Sloane Square where as well as selling asparagus steamers and croque en bouche tins, I spent a lot of my time reading cookery books – I still spend my spare time in bookshops reading recipe books which is why Dolly’s is perfectly located above The Falmouth Bookseller.
Dolly’s came about just through chatting with friends about what they would really like in a bar/restaurant. We bake all our own scones and cakes, our ingredients are as a local as possible and we serve fabulous affordable wine and delicious tapas to share in the evenings. All our cocktails were created especially by us and are served from teapots and poured into vintage tea cups. About five years ago we branched into gin – to date we have over 350 different gins. As we say at Dolly’s staff training is really good fun and no one can remember it in the morning.
I once said running the business was similar to a giraffe on roller skates on a cobbled street – really good fun, totally out of control, a challenge to keep it upright and it could fall flat on it’s face at any time. Things haven’t changed much – but I have had so much help and support from my wonderful family (this includes Hebe and Pearl), my lovely friends, our suppliers who understand the highs and lows, the Dolly’s customers – many of whom have become friends and of course my wonderful, wonderful staff who understood from day one what I was trying to do and have gone with it.