Lockdown easing - 11 pubs and restaurants say welcome back
- Credit: Archant
It’s created heartache and misery for many and some felt they couldn’t make it through.
We know perhaps one or maybe more of them, but for those pubs and restaurants that have survived, Monday May 17 was an important date with destiny.
Re-opening after the latest lockdown, an innovative, entrepreneurial and motivated large number of them are there to welcome you back.
There are guidelines still to follow, and the pandemic has a way to travel.
But allowing customers back inside is the strongest signal so far that the sun is up – well up higher than it was yesterday!
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Many took to take-away and home-delivered food to sustain business.
Others bought marquees and dining ‘pods’ for outdoor dining.
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Gardens buckled under mounds of food and beers and wines served to you where you sat.
But inside, in the comfort and familiarity of your favourite pub or restaurant, is what it’s all about.
Here’s my random selection of some of them.
Please feel free to look for this feature on our Facebook pages and drop in details of your local.
Or send me an email, complete with photo and we will add as we go.
1: Three Pickerels, Mepal
Massive renovations are under way ready for a new restaurant but the rest of this wonderous, country pub and restaurant is up and running
"We are so excited to be able to welcome you all back inside eating delicious food with this amazing view by the end of summer,” is their message to customers.
2: The Anchor, Little Downham
"Here at the Anchor, we are in this together, says the pub owners.
“Gather your friends and share new memories over one of our glass of lovelies. We look forward to having you all.”
An invitation to wine and dine we find irresistible.
3: Maids Head, Wicken
Inside dining and drinking resumes next week “and we welcome back the amazingly talented Matt Howard on Friday night too,” boosts this charming country pub.,
They’ve been successful at outdoor dining, urge reservations (it gets busy) and remind customers Covid-19 regulations operate and its table service only.
“Time to catch up with friends and family and no need to worry about what the weathers up to for a change,” they note.
4: Red Lion, Soham
Extensive work has re-created a gem of a pub/restaurant at a building that dates back to the 17th century.
In the 21st century it’s a thriving metropolis for serving rustic British and Mediterranean cuisine.
The Red Lion also has a cosy bar where customers can enjoy an Adnam’s beer or an artisan gin from a specialist menu.
"We strive for perfection,” say the owners. “Most of all we love to have a good time, and encourage you to do the same when you visit us.”
5: Poets House
A charming, intimate garden, is one attraction but inside it is the service, food, wine, and hospitality that wins customers over.
Of course, the accommodation on offer is a major attraction but the dining experience is of the highest standard.
They like making cocktails, too, their most recent enticement of ‘blooming spring in a glass’
It gets its colour from crème de Violette “and a creamy boost from an egg white shaken into the mix.
“The subtle, sweet perfume of violet is a perfect complement to herby gin. Together, they taste like the height of sophistication”.
Maybe I’ll stick with red wine. Large, please.
6: The Cutter, Ely
Is one of three riverside offerings under the same management, as it includes the Riverside Bar and Kitchen and Red Herring.
Outside areas have been revamped and the company has worked hard within the Covid-19 regulations to retain customer loyalty and support.
But the river is Ely.
And for many this is the week when life, drinking, eating and enjoying the sunshine is back.
7: Three Kings, Haddenham
“From Monday 17th we will be welcoming our guests back inside, which we are aware a lot of you have been patiently waiting for,” says pub owners. Something of an understatement there, we think.
But they cautiously add a reminder that “although these are very exciting times, please remain aware of the Covid-19 risk which may be around”.
Like the others in my list, they remind customers of the guidelines which include, still, the wearing of a face covering upon arrival and when moving around
And they, sensibly, ask customers to “remain patient as service may not always be the quickest”.
8: Swan on the River, Littleport
Fresh from their triumph hosting the Boat Race crews, it will begin to look a lot like business as usual for this attractive riverside, destination pub/restaurant.
They, too, have been busy re-decorating and for the aficionados they've added “new beers and lagers for you to enjoy.
It has become increasingly popular and booking is probably best.
9: Prince Albert, Silver Street, Ely
Adapt, survive and prosper could well be its motto.
Its heated and spacious marquee has kept customers pouring in whilst indoor seating has been banned.
Now with restrictions easing, once more the chance to savour the whole Prince Albert experience both indoors and out.
Plenty of beer options to some enjoy with excellent cooking – and if you live or are staying in the city within reach.
"We would recommend this venue for wholesome food in a friendly atmosphere," says on trip Advisor review.
"The flowers outside were amazing - the owners of the pub must work hard maintain the baskets and troughs. Thank you."
10 Habis, Littleport
Not a pub but a small and exciting café/restaurant.
Suffice to say that of 110 Trip Advisor reviews, 103 visitors rate it ‘excellent’.
“Much love, see you soon! - Javier & the Habis team,” sounds the perfect invitation
11: The Lazy Otter pub and marina, Stretham.
With a new head chef and a revitalised team, it is back for the summer for this captivating pub and restaurant by the river.
The menu has been refreshed, too, and if you get there early the tea and scones are simply amazing.
Plenty of friendly but necessary Covid advice - including to remember there's a one way system through the front door and out the fire exit in the restaurant.
But is safe, secure and above all the perfect spot for those summer days.