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Tier two changes

Hi all, time for another little update from us, on this gorgeous, sunny day!

Sadly the sun wasn't shining on us quite so brightly when it came to the tier system announcement today. Whilst we hoped we would be in tier one, the powers that be have decided Devon should be in tier two, which will impact on our business. So this is an update of two halves - happiness that we can open our doors and see you all again, but sadness that we know it is going to be within some tough trading parameters.

The main differences tier two brings when we come out of this latest lockdown are as follows:

  • No mixing of households indoors - so we can't take bookings of groups from more than one household or bubble.

  • No alcohol without a meal - this will mean we can no longer serve you any alcoholic drinks unless you're eating with us (and this has to be a substantial meal).

  • The 10pm closing time is now extended to 11pm, however we can't serve after 10pm.

Whilst we welcome being able to open again, the loss of our 'wet' trade (when we serve customers just drinks) is going to mean another (and large) hit on our takings. There's sadly no way to sugar coat this fact and we expect to be operating at a close to break-even point at best whilst in tier two.

This means we will have to be even more careful about our operating costs. Whereas this is usually the season of plenty, it's more likely to be the season of miserly for us! We have to be mindful of opening when we can break even, plus making sure we keep a careful eye on our stock and staffing levels. So, we have had to make two decisions we were hoping not to have to make. These are outlined below.

Change to opening hours

Our weekday lunchtimes are mainly wet led trade and our customers are generally groups of friends as opposed to families or bubbles, as are our Sunday evenings. We are therefore not going to open lunchtimes or Sunday evenings until we are out of this tier and (hopefully) back to tier one. However, we are going to open earlier in the evening so families can get out for a meal with us if they choose and also have an early and later sitting! So, our opening hours from Wednesday 2 December will be as follows:

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: open 5pm to 11pm (food served from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, last drinks orders at 10pm)

Sunday: 12pm to 4pm, with carvery served 1pm to 2.30pm

Mondays and Tuesdays: closed all day

Christmas menu changes

We've had to take the decision to change our planned Christmas menu, as whilst it was popular, most of our bookings were mixed households. We have therefore decided to simplify our plans, to try and offer some opportunity for families to come and enjoy a meal with a festive twist.

With this in mind, we will have the festive options below available on our menu throughout December, so you can choose something Christmassy! We are also planning a Christmas Meal evening - more details to follow - for Saturday 19 December, where we'll have a Christmas roast with all the trimmings and delicious Christmassy puddings and drinks for you to enjoy. We will get the information out about this as soon as we can.

Christmas opening

We have been asked by people about whether we will do meals on Christmas Day. We have always just opened for drinks on Christmas Day, as staff-wise we prefer our team to be able to enjoy Christmas with their family and, whilst Roy and I are quick, we wouldn't be able to staff a busy Christmas Day dinner between just the two of us (and do it justice!) So, whilst we're in tier two, we currently don't plan to open on Christmas Day this year at all, as of course we can't serve just drinks to you at present (and we're not convinced everyone will want to come in for a coffee on Christmas Day!)

For the remainder of Christmas, we will update soon on our opening hours - likewise New Year's Eve, if we're allowed to open at that point.

Sorry it is very much a 'watch this space' update with regards to Christmas, but that's 2020 for you! In the meantime, we really look forward to seeing your faces again and stay safe.

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