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Punters have had a long wait to get back to pubs and restaurants, which have been closed in England since January 4 when the nation was plunged back into lockdown.
But on Monday, Step 2 of lockdown easing comes into effect, allowing us to head back to our favourite restaurants and boozers under one condition – sitting outside.
As research from Caterer.com shows four million people have booked food and drink venues in the next two weeks, pubs and restaurants have had to get creative to make sure their outside space is fit for notoriously unpredictable British weather.
While Somerset House just off The Strand in London has set up dining domes in its courtyard and upmarket hotel The Berkeley has installed five glamorous beach huts which you can book for up to six people with a minimum spend of £500 on food and drink.
Manager Knut Wylde told The Mail on Sunday the rainbow huts were inspired by the coasts of Whitstable and Southwold.
He said: "There will be many of us who can’t or don’t like to travel, so why not bring a seaside holiday destination to Central London. We can’t think of a better way to promote British hospitality, a hugely important industry to support right now."
While foreign trips are still off the cards for at least another month, The Oast House in Manchester has come up with a solution to make people feel like they're still getting a taste of a holiday abroad.
The pub's enormous beer garden will welcome back punters from Monday – who will be served drinks from three converted cabin crew trolleys.
Sales manager Matthew Lewty said: "We’ve transformed three airline trolleys to provide guest with tableside service – recreating the buzz of the first holiday drink usually enjoyed on the plane.
"The trolley is also a way for us to bring the fun and theatre of being at the bar, while ensuring customers remain seated."
While many venues are getting creative, some restaurants are just desperate to see their punters again – even if they only have a small outside space.
Giuseppe Turi, who owns Enoteca Turi with his wife Pamela, said he'll be serving people on his two outside tables after loyal customers begged him to reopen.
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People who have missed out on a spot in their favourite boozer shouldn't worry either, as pubs will be able to sell takeaway pints again too.
It's estimated four in 10 pubs around England will reopen tomorrow before the next stage of unlocking on May 17 at the earliest, which will allow venues to open inside space to punters.
- Boris Johnson
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