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And so this is (crunch time) Christmas!

It's no secret that the recent Covid developments have impacted on everyone's confidence to be out and about in the run up to Christmas. Some of you may have seen celebrity chef Tom Kerridge's piece in the news yesterday about the staggering number of cancellations he has seen over the last two days for his restaurants - and he of course is not alone. I raise his case specifically though because he noted that we all understand why and of course yours and your loved one's health should always come first.

It means we are once again making decisions on how to operate our businesses on a daily basis, to secure a future for us and our staff. It certainly looks as though this will be the Crunch Christmas, with Covid vs the economy left to battle it out without Government intervention. At present, there are no plans to re-introduce furlough, grants, VAT reductions or any other financial packages of support that were available last year. As business owners, we all knew at some point the Government would have to do this - step back and allow the economic impact of the pandemic to run its course. It is all part of 'learning to live with Covid' and thankfully a busy summer season just gone will help many weather the storm we're now in.

This is of course not just hospitality, a wide range of businesses will now be feeling the impact of reduced footfall as people stay home, cancel plans and try to stay safe between now and Christmas. What we're imploring you to do is make the most of the changes and attempts we're all making to help our businesses get through the coming months, by frequenting them where you can. With this in mind, we are doing the following:

  • Bringing back our takeaway service so you can enjoy a treat in the comfort and safety of your own home - just call us on 01805 938285 if you would like to put an order in.

  • Ramping up our Covid safety measures by installing an air purifier to cover the pub. These units are now tried and tested in hospital settings and have proven to make a big difference in Covid transmission rates.

  • This is in addition to ventilation via having our fire lit and therefore drawing air out of the pub constantly and good air-flow via our second chimney which is open. We obviously also have all the usual sanitiser stations and cleaning regimes we have had throughout the pandemic in place.

  • If you would like us to wear a mask when serving you - just let us know, we are more than happy to.

We have also made some other decisions in the coming weeks to try and maximise the use of our stock and staffing levels and therefore reduce waste and costs.

  • Our Christmas Carvery on Saturday 18 December from 6.30pm will be our last carvery this year (and we still have space if you'd like to join us!) We hope to offer our Sunday Carvery in 2022 on 2 January, but this will depend on bookings, so please get booked in if you'd like to join us!

  • We have updated our opening hours on 27 and 28 December (see below). We had planned to close on those two days to give our staff a well-deserved rest with their families, but we've had several enquiries about coming in to eat with us on both days, so we are mindful to make the most of some renewed confidence once everyone has (hopefully) had Christmas day and Boxing Day together. Our opening hours will be dependent on trade on those days, so please do get booked in if you would like to join us.

That's all for now - again a big thank you to all our regulars who continue to support us so well in these uncertain times and everyone who is shopping, eating and drinking local!

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