Happy Wednesday and mid-lockdown #2! It was two weeks ago today that we were asked again to close our doors for at least 4 weeks, with the promise that we'll be able to re-open them on 3 December. Whether that will be the case (and if so, under what restrictions) is yet to be announced. So all we can do is plan to be open and adjust if changes need to be made closer to the time.
Yesterday I made my first batch of mince pies as a practice run for our dessert board in December. I was reliably informed by our taste testing team (AKA the staff at Monkleigh Garage next door!) that they were yummy! With this in mind, I have updated our Christmas Menu page with the dates we plan to offer this. It all looks rather different this year - we'd usually run the menu on whatever dates you choose to book and would have already served several of the meals by now, but of course this was not to be in 2020.
Because this year is very different, we have to navigate carefully what we stock and staff for in terms of our Christmas offering. We're therefore running the menu on certain dates, which are listed on the page above. It will also be evenings only. The full menu and details are all there for you too. If you'd like to pencil your booking in, call us on 01805 938285.
We have to be realistic at this stage and prepare for the fact that if we are allowed to re-open on 3 December, it may well be with very different tier restrictions in place compared to October. We were lucky enough as a region then to be in tier 1, which meant people from up to 6 different households could meet for a meal and/or drink with us. We're keeping our ear to the ground with the help of the hospitality industry bodies that are in constant dialogue with the Government and it looks very likely the tiers will be different for December. This could mean different households not being able to meet, or us having to increase our social distancing measures within the pub in order to re-open. We may also have to meet the requirement whereby you can only join us if you are having a substantial meal.
If this is the case, we will need to assess these new rules when they're announced. Our biggest concern is if we struggle to meet new distancing guidance inside the pub - there are suggestions this could go up to 2m between tables - and be financially viable. We very much hope we will be able to make it work and adjust how we operate accordingly (and as a small business, we can usually adapt pretty fast). However, we do also have to ensure we can operate at a point where we can at least break even, so we'll be making those decisions when we know more.
So, tentative is the key word at the moment - we will happily, but tentatively, book Christmas celebrations in and also any other meals/visits you would like to organise in the hope we can all get out again before Christmas! In the meantime, we continue with our Friday and Saturday night takeaways - which are going down a storm (and often in a storm at the moment!) And whatever happens going forwards, we aim to continue to offer these. As ever, a huge thank you to everyone who has ordered and collected so far! Do give us a call or order online if you would like to book one in.