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First guests enjoy al-fresco afternoon tea at house where Netflix hit Bridgerton was filmed 

The first guests have enjoyed an al-fresco afternoon tea in Covid-secure ‘dining domes’ on the lawn of Queen’s House in London.

The gardens are famous for being where Netflix hit Bridgerton was filmed ahead of its successful release during lockdown last year. 

The grounds of Queen’s House, a former Royal residence of James I, were transformed into an alfresco dining area. 

From May 7 until May 31 dinner or afternoon tea will be available to guests who can sit in ‘dining domes’ to keep out of any bad weather. 

It comes after it was revealed filming for Bridgerton’s second season has begun with the actors photographed in a scene set at Ascot last month.

The first season focused on the romance between Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and Simon, Duke of Hastings, the role which Rege-Jean Page bade farewell to last month – to the dismay of his many fans.

And fans seemed delighted to be able to get a piece of the action as they laughed with friends while enjoying afternoon tea in the grounds of Queen’s House. 

Guests laugh with friends as they enjoy afternoon tea in the gardens of Queen’s House in London

The pods were placed in rows on the expansive grounds of the house that once belonged to James I

The pods were placed in rows on the expansive grounds of the house that once belonged to James I

Guests can have dinner or afternoon tea in the pods from today until May 31

Guests can have dinner or afternoon tea in the pods from today until May 31

Dozens of pods were set up in the grounds as guests enjoyed quality time with friends and family

Dozens of pods were set up in the grounds as guests enjoyed quality time with friends and family

Meanwhile, London‘s restaurant scene was handed a major boost after 60 streets were converted into al fresco dining hubs when coronavirus restrictions were loosened.

Westminster Council resurrected last year’s popular move to allow hundreds of venues to expand outdoor seating capacity by spilling onto the road.

The scheme began on April 12, when Boris Johnson reopened hospitality for outdoor service.

It means modest West End pubs without beer gardens are still able to open at the earliest possible point by applying for pavement licences.

That restaurants were allowed to make use of the street proved a lifeline to hundreds of businesses last year amid tight restrictions on indoor gatherings. 

Of Westminster’s 3,700 restaurants and bars, 560 took advantage of the scheme – which overlapped with Eat Out To Help Out.

The next loosening is hoped to come on May 17, when six people can meet inside pubs and restaurants. 

The bubbles will shield guests from any foul weather as storm clouds threaten overhead

The bubbles will shield guests from any foul weather as storm clouds threaten overhead

The domes were placed on top of platforms to ensure as little damage as possible to the lawn

The domes were placed on top of platforms to ensure as little damage as possible to the lawn

Guests were able to look out over the rest of the sweeping grounds as they enjoyed their meals

Guests were able to look out over the rest of the sweeping grounds as they enjoyed their meals

The house is surrounded by domes as hundreds of people are expected to enjoy food there

The house is surrounded by domes as hundreds of people are expected to enjoy food there

Grant Shapps today revealed British holidaymakers will be able to head to Portugal, Gibraltar and nine other destinations without quarantining on their return from May 17.

The Transport Secretary unveiled a 12-strong green list of nations where visits will not lead to automatic quarantine requirements.

But he warned that the countries would remain on a ‘watch list’ and reserved the right to take them off again if there is a spike in Covid cases.

Fronting a Government press conference tonight, Mr Shapps said the plan was ‘necessarily cautious’, adding: ‘We must make sure that the countries we reconnect with are safe.’

The countries on the green list from May 17 are: Portugal including the Azores and Madeira; Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; Brunei; Iceland; the Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; the Falkland Islands; and Israel.

But two of those countries, Australia and New Zealand, will not currently allow British visitors to enter.

There was a blow for football fans as Turkey was added to the red list just weeks before Manchester City and Chelsea battle out he Champions League final in Istanbul.

The Maldives and Nepal have also been added to the red list. People returning from those countries after 4am on Wednesday will be required to stay in a quarantine hotel for 11 nights at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

Mr Shapps also said that France, Spain and Greece, three top holiday destinations for Britons, were not yet ready to make the green list on the new traffic light system that is being introduced.

Mr Shapps said travellers were ‘crucial’ to rebuilding the UK’s economy.

‘We want a summer in which, with the help of vaccines and testing, we can reunite family and friends, and travel to places we love,’ he said. 


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