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Your pub and hospitality experience as the Covid restrictions ease

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DelayRepay

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The Euston Tap's prices were the same as before, and the place I went to later was £5 a pint so that was very reasonable.

I lived and worked in London for a few years so I am familiar with London prices, but the northerner in me cannot accept that '£5 a pint' and 'very reasonable' can appear in the same sentence!
 

Galvanize

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I’ve been taking advantage of a few pubs and outdoor dining places since they came back...and here are some of the things I experienced!

Some places...(no names or locations)
*As you can expect...Pre-Book only. Can’t just turn up. Oh, unless you are a regular whose on first-name terms with the owners.
*One bar in a Busy Shopping Centre operated first come first served...and despite not having much outdoor space, there was generally a fast Table Turnover...so came back after about half an hour and sure enough a Table was free.
*Couple of bars just had a rather generic selection of Drinks...having just opened again, supply of more interesting Beers, Real Ales or Ciders was disrupted. The brands you could just get in the Supermarket or even corner shop for cut-price...but out of principle better to support the pub, so tastes better in a pint glass served out of a keg or cask!
*Others were quite rewarding with their drink selection including a few with beers from local breweries within spitting distance!
*Different Pubs had different ways of working with payment...order off of the app and pay on the app...Order from a Waiter or Waitress and Pay as you go...Order from a Waiter/Waitress and pay AFTERWARDS when you are ready to head off.
*Not gonna lie...I got caught out at the latter from the above, and accidentally left without paying...simply because I went into Autopilot thinking I’d paid when the drink was served. Left the pub and sat in the Village Green in the afternoon sun and one of the Waitresses came out with my Bill...I realised straight away, and apologised most profoundly...luckily she was cool about it, but I had to go back to the pub to pay as she couldn’t get a signal on her Card Reader in that location! Easily done she said.
*A Thai Restaurant by a big River...really quick with getting orders taken...and for the Food to Arrive (not undercooked either!)...best of all as the sun was going down, fully functioning Outdoor Heaters! Seemed fairly busy on a weekday evening so getting a pre-booking was the right thing to do.
 

kristiang85

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I lived and worked in London for a few years so I am familiar with London prices, but the northerner in me cannot accept that '£5 a pint' and 'very reasonable' can appear in the same sentence!

Haha true! Though the Euston Tap is a craft pub so prices would naturally be a bit higher. But in London now, sadly, £6 a pint for a bog standard beer is becoming the norm in many places.
 

LancasterRed

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21 May 2018
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Place I went to last week would set up outdoor tables as long as it was distanced. Waiters in PPE, had to wear masks indoors, do what you want on the table.

Very sensible, easy to follow, no gripes for the immediate future.
 

yorksrob

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Haha true! Though the Euston Tap is a craft pub so prices would naturally be a bit higher. But in London now, sadly, £6 a pint for a bog standard beer is becoming the norm in many places.

I generally find the Euston Tap has something reasonably priced (for London) on.

That said, it's been closed on Sundays since lockdown 1, so I've tended to end up at the Waterloo one instead.
 

Dai Corner

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12 April

As the pubs in Wales weren't allowed to open I got the train to Bristol. Leaving Temple Meads I walked past Wetherspoons which looked crowded and sat down outside the first pub I came to which was the Stag & Hounds at Old Market. Those familiar with the area will know it's not famed for its scenery or air quality - but, hey, it was a pub!

Couldn't get the barcode on the supplied card to scan so popped my head round the door and the barman came out to serve me. Scanned the NHS app QR code. £4.10 for a pint of real ale paid contactlessly which I think is reasonable for Bristol?

15 April

On the train again, this time to Gloucester. Went to the New Inn which is probably one of the oldest surviving inns in the city centre. Scanned NHS QR code and barmaid came to take my order. £9.50 for a pint and sandwich paid contactlessly.

22 April

Bristol again. This time the Kings Brew House in the old City. NHS app scanned. Supplied QR code pointed to completely the wrong app on my Android phone but eventually downloaded the right one and ordered and paid for my pint. £4.25.

A queue built up at the entrance and I offered to share my table with another party which was gratefully received by them and by staff. Missed last bus (1845) so had to get taxi home from Newport station.

26 April

Pubs open in Wales now so Bus into Newport. Two of my favourite cafes weren't open so went to a third. They didn't bother with track & trace and payment was in cash.

McCanns bar fully booked with Post-it notes giving times stuck to tables. Found one not booked until a couple of hours later. Apparently Welsh Govt don't accept the NHS app for Track, Trace, Protect purposes so scanned QR code to log my personal details on a third-Party website. It remembered me from December - not sure how that squares with GDPR? Landlady remembered my favoured pint which had gone up from £3 to £3.20. Contactless payment.
 

Bald Rick

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Been to about 7 pubs.

Some have quite a relaxed interpretation of the regulations for track and trace / table service etc (ordering drinks from the bar in one place was the only way you’d get served!)

However generally it’s been a good experience. I do like the table service element, but then that does encourage one to line them up to make sure you’re not waiting...

It’s a shame it’s been so cold, unfortunately.

I have only been to a local pub here in St Albans (The Mermaid) - quality pub which always had excellent beer and a decent garden which has been splendidly upgraded - a good experience and they have a tie up with a local curry house which delivers to any peckish drinkers.

They have had to take on 2 extra staff. Very enterprising and appreciated.

Indeed - it was rammed last Sunday eve. Couldn’t get in!
 

davews

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Bracknell
One issue I seem to have is finding which pubs are open. Some have not updated their website and facebook for over a year and Trip Adviser reviews are old, I can only assume they have died.
 

Jamesrob637

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I've mainly frequented places during the week, which, apart from the very first night of reopening when you would expect crowds, hasn't been an issue.

The one time I couldn't avoid it, me and my friend only had to wait 5-10 minutes to be seated on the first Saturday after reopening (a fortnight ago today).

Overall not too bad an experience.
 

ls2270

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One issue I seem to have is finding which pubs are open. Some have not updated their website and facebook for over a year and Trip Adviser reviews are old, I can only assume they have died.
I have also found this to be the biggest issue. The single most important consideration when deciding whether to visit a pub is ‘will it be open?’ It is of utmost importance that information is kept up to date to avoid losing even more customers than have already deserted the industry.
 

yorksrob

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Unfortunately Facebook isn't a very good forum for providing information to customers as it seems to be requiring a sign in to see the pages of many businesses now.

Since I have no intention of joining the thing, I have no way to check the page for updates.
 

ls2270

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Unfortunately Facebook isn't a very good forum for providing information to customers as it seems to be requiring a sign in to see the pages of many businesses now.

Since I have no intention of joining the thing, I have no way to check the page for updates.
Despite having an equally strong disinclination to join Facebook, I do grudgingly find that it is probably the most up to date of a generally rather unreliable selection of information sources when it comes to opening times. I have noticed that the issue of requiring a sign in seems to happen after making a lot of such enquiries in a short period of time. If you then leave it for a bit and try again it will let you in without a sign in. Just my personal observation as I have no technical knowledge of the subject I hasten to add!
 

yorksrob

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Despite having an equally strong disinclination to join Facebook, I do grudgingly find that it is probably the most up to date of a generally rather unreliable selection of information sources when it comes to opening times. I have noticed that the issue of requiring a sign in seems to happen after making a lot of such enquiries in a short period of time. If you then leave it for a bit and try again it will let you in without a sign in. Just my personal observation as I have no technical knowledge of the subject I hasten to add!

That does seem like a plausible explanation, but at the same time it does sound like a company that's gotten too big for its boots.
 

Reliablebeam

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I went in a cafe/restaurant today for the first time since lockdown MK III, to somewhere that anyone who has to work or be in Whitehall regularly will be familiar with. Bit of a mixed bag I have to say. I moved tables to accommodate some students who wanted to sit together and have cocktails, which I did freely. The manager got a right dander up about this, made me move back to where I was, then shifted the student girls. I was then given evils from the rest of the evening - I think I disrupted his seating plan for his mates to come and puff on their obnoxious Shisha pipes. Left a bad taste in the mouth, though the food and wine was great.

The Thames Clippers are serving alcohol but they kick up a right fuss about you being out on the deck and scanning the app. The galley staff did seem a bit browbeaten by it all.
 

island

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One final point to consider: some of the restrictions are just inconsistent and bizarre. Earlier today, I went for a walk from Carlisle to Gretna, which is only a few miles but crosses the Scottish border. When I was having my lunch in England, the pub operated entirely on the basis of table service, yet when I had a post-walk pint in Scotland, I could go right up to the bar and order as normal (which was a lovely surprise)! Why can't the same be done in England - walking to the bar, ordering, and taking your pint to the beer garden is just much more civilised than hoping to catch a member of staff's attention (which can take ages in many cases).
The rationale for the table service only rule was that it would reduce transmission by avoiding having people stood shoulder to shoulder at the bar for long periods whilst waiting to be served.

I am merely providing it, not agreeing with it, I hasten to add.
Then you need to know when they're open to be able to answer the phone :)
There’s always good old answerphone message with the current opening hours ;)
 
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I went out for a meal on Wednesday with two friends. We didn’t book, the pub was busy but had kept space back for walk ins. Big outdoor area all done up to a high standard, unfortunately I think they spent all their money on furniture as the food was not very good. But we were all glad to be socialising somewhere other than a house/garden/park.

Normal table service was offered with real menus, payment by card machine at table as usual. There was an NHS track and trace QR code on the table, but we forgot to do it and didn’t have any issues - staff weren’t pushy with it anyway.
 

Lampshade

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I went out with some mates last weekend, went to one of very few pubs open so we had to book a 2 hour slot. We were asked to scan the QR code before going in (fair enough), wear masks when going to the toilet and from 1h 45m onwards we were being 'nudged' into leaving, they came round with plastic cups to finish our drinks off the premises.
 
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yorksrob

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I found a rather splendid pub on the cliff top at Scarborough that was open and enabled me to sit outside and enjoy a couple of pints within sight of the sea. Very good service, the barman set up a tab and I never had to wait long. Very pleasant. Stopped off at the York Tap on the way back, which was exemplary as usual.
 

greyman42

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I went out with some mates last weekend, went to one of very few pubs open so we had to book a 2 hour slot. We were asked to scan the QR code before going in (fair enough), wear masks when going to the toilet and from 1h 45m onwards we were being 'nudged' into leaving, they came round with plastic cups to finish our drinks outside.
Do you mean outside of the pubs premises or were you drinking inside the pub?
 

DelayRepay

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Today here in Bucks we have heavy rain and high winds, so quite a few pubs have had to close. Not good for trade on what should be a busy Bank Holiday :'(
 

Tezza1978

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Today here in Bucks we have heavy rain and high winds, so quite a few pubs have had to close. Not good for trade on what should be a busy Bank Holiday :'(
Similar here in Warrington - I took a stroll to town earlier to go shopping and most pubs hadn't opened as the weather is so bad today. Only saw a couple of people shivering under gazebos nursing pints at the couple of pubs that had braved opening. May 17th can't come soon enough for the pub and restaurant trade.....
 

Shimbleshanks

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First pub visit since the start of the lockdown, to the Kentish Horse in Mark Beeches, Kent, following a country walk. A chilly experience; I was quite glad when 8pm closing time neared and it was time to walk to Cowden station and head for home.
There was an area with infra-red heaters but that was fully occupied by a coterie of diehard drinkers all the time we were there. Most of the other customers coped by huddling up in huge coats and jackets but that wasn't really an option for us at the end of a seven-mile hike in mostly warm and sunny weather.
Don't think I'll be venturing back to pubs until either the weather warms up or we're allowed back inside, whichever is sooner.
 

yorkie

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In the last 3 weeks I have had meals at pubs/restaurants in Five Ways, Blakedown, York, Cheadle Hulme, York (again), Eighton Banks, Stirling, Tyndrum, Rothesay and Dumfries (in that order).

The vast majority have been excellent in most respects with some being excellent in every respect.

Perhaps the worst experience was in Stirling because the weather turned as we were there, though we did narrowly avoided being properly rained on and it could have been a lot worse!

A member of staff at a pub in Eighton Banks did get a bit hysterical (towards another forum member) at one point, but other than that, no real complaints.

Next weekend will include visits to pubs/restaurants in Barry, Cardiff and Northfield.
 

Dai Corner

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Does anyone else find that compulsory table service means one tends to eat/drink more?

A good waiter/waitress will spot when you've finished, come over and ask if you'd like anything else. Ordering by app is much easier than getting up and going to the bar.

Talking of apps, I've accumulated loads over the last year or so. I wish there was just one that every hospitality business used!
 

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