For drinkers and diners alike, it’s the day they have long been waiting for.
With pubs and restaurants reopening for outdoor service tomorrow, the long months of biding their time come to an end – at least for those lucky enough to have a booking.
Figures compiled by hospitality industry website Caterer.com show that four million people have booked to visit a venue in the two weeks starting from tomorrow. And the Centre for Economic and Business Research suggests that the hospitality sector will get a £314 million boost this week alone.
The proprietors of The Scenic Supper in Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire have erected seven that can accommodate two or four guests
Somerset House, on the Strand in Central London, has put in dining domes to allow visitors to enjoy an alfresco eating experience
Councils across the country have slashed red tape to extend pavement licences for the next 12 months. But with the unpredictable nature of the English weather in mind – as well as the need to observe social-distancing rules – restaurateurs and pub landlords have come up with some novel solutions to get back to business.
Bosses at the Marston’s brewery chain have launched a nationwide project to fit out hundreds of its 1,400 pubs with orangery-style garden rooms, marquees and awnings.
The five-star The Berkeley hotel in London’s Knightsbridge, meanwhile, has installed five rainbow-coloured beach huts – each seating six people and requiring a minimum spend of £500 on food and drinks. According to manager Knut Wylde, the design was inspired by traditional coastal resorts such as Whitstable and Southwold.
He said: ‘There will be many of us who can’t or don’t like to travel, so why not bring a seaside holiday destination to Central London. We can’t think of a better way to promote British hospitality, a hugely important industry to support right now.’
Despite having just two outside tables, the family-run Enoteca Turi – an Italian restaurant in Pimlico, Central London, which counts Sir Michael Caine and Lord Lloyd-Webber among its clientele – is also reopening
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham, will be serving pints and a full selection of drinks in its two gardens. The venue, part of the Greene King chain, dates back to the 11th Century
Somerset House, on the Strand in Central London, has put in dining domes to allow visitors to enjoy an alfresco eating experience. A spokesman told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Our dome structures come from Germany and were actually originally intended to be used for growing fruit and vegetables in people’s gardens.
‘We came across them and knew instantly that they would be able to answer so many of the challenges presented for dining in the Covid-safe era.’
Meanwhile, the proprietors of The Scenic Supper in Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire have erected seven glasshouses that can accommodate two or four guests.
In Manchester, staff at The Oast House – which boasts one of the city’s biggest beer gardens – will be trying to recreate part of the traditional holiday experience for customers. Sales manager Matthew Lewty said: ‘We’ve transformed three airline trolleys to provide guest with tableside service – recreating the buzz of the first holiday drink usually enjoyed on the plane. The trolley is also a way for us to bring the fun and theatre of being at the bar, while ensuring customers remain seated.’
He added: ‘For many guests, the chances of taking a flight this summer are still up in the air, so this brings some of the flight fun to ground level. We’ve had many guests book in place of foreign hen-dos or group trips abroad, so this will go some way to making it a summer to remember.’
Not every venue will be doing things differently, though. Despite having just two outside tables, the family-run Enoteca Turi – an Italian restaurant in Pimlico, Central London, which counts Sir Michael Caine and Lord Lloyd-Webber among its clientele – is also reopening.
The five-star The Berkeley hotel in London’s Knightsbridge, meanwhile, has installed five rainbow-coloured beach huts – each seating six people and requiring a minimum spend of £500 on food and drinks
Owner Giuseppe Turi, who has run the restaurant with his wife Pamela for 31 years, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It doesn’t really make financial sense with just two tables, but our customers are so desperate to come back.
‘We are now fully booked until May 17 when we can open inside. We are very excited to connect with our regulars again, but unfortunately we’ve not been able to accommodate everybody.’ Meanwhile, the oldest pub in the country, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham, will be serving pints and a full selection of drinks in its two gardens. The venue, part of the Greene King chain, dates back to the 11th Century.
General manager Karl Gibson said: ‘I honestly think, come rain or shine, we will have people here. One bloke has said to me even if it’s tipping it down he will be here.’
He added: ‘It’s been such a team effort over the last couple of weeks, not only from the Trip team but the Greene King family too who have supported us all the way to get us to Monday.’
Pubs will also be allowed to sell takeaway pints from tomorrow. Customers will have to wear face masks when they are not sitting at a table. There are around 45,000 pubs in England and 43 per cent of them have an outdoor area of some kind. It is estimated four in ten restaurants will also reopen.
High street braced for £4.5billion boost as outlets open
Around seven million shoppers are expected to descend on high streets across England tomorrow as a spending spree gets under way.
The retail sector is set for a much-needed £4.5 billion boost this week alone as ‘non-essential’ outlets re-open for the first time since the third lockdown came into force.
With households having built up almost £160 billion in excess savings in the past year, experts at the Centre for Economics and Business Research say as much as £45.5 billion is earmarked for spending – with much of it set to go across shop counters during the summer.
Around seven million shoppers are expected to descend on high streets across England
Over the weekend, major retailers have been arranging window displays and putting the finishing touches in place.
As well as reopening for standard shopping, bosses at Selfridges are set to offer out-of-hours children’s parties and private screenings in its Oxford Street store.
Meanwhile, a new Hermès boutique and a men’s Givenchy pop-up space will open at Harrods in Knightsbridge.
Michael Ward, managing director at Harrods, said: ‘We are so delighted to be welcoming customers back in-store for some well-deserved magic.’