Come in out of the cold
As many visitors will know, we have held off opening up our inside tables for lunch since re-opening. This is because whilst blessed with dry and sunny weather we felt it was best to make use of the fresh air and wide open space the courtyard provided.
It has also given us time to fully assess and think about the measures we needed to implement to keep inside dining as safe as possible for you and the team coming to work to look after you.
Inside now open for lunch bookings
We are pleased to announce we are ready to resume table reservations for brunch and lunch.
There are very limited tables at the moment (just 4 in each room) to ensure enough space between tables and also for staff to weave their way around. However, we have commissioned Enigma Signs to custom design and build some protective screens, which once installed will increase the indoor seating available. Not to the level it was before, but more than it is now.
In the meantime, as well as the very well spaced out tables we have fitted super-silent air extractors to improve the airflow significantly, plus a reduction of touch points and an increase in sanitation and cleaning. The staff have worn face-coverings since day one of re-opening and we continue to do so. Plus with the help of some clever call buttons, they are also able to reduce their ‘dwell time’ at the table, keeping the process of looking after you as swift as possible.
The challenge for us, a business that so prides itself on customer service is how do we still provide that high standard of hospitality and adhere to all the new rules… well, I think the team have risen to this challenge and delivered spectacularly.
What to expect from a lunch booking
A few things have changed.
Due to the huge reduction in capacity, we simply cannot afford for bookings not to show. Therefore, when you book online you will be sked to provide your card details to secure the booking. This is done securely via our online reservations provider and a £5 no-show fee will be charged for any no-shows or very late cancellations.
There is a new stable door, to the left of the main entrance – complete with doorbell. This is the door that you enter by. When you arrive, simply ring the doorbell and wait for your table host to greet you and take you to your table. We then ask you to leave via the Long Room door, which creates a one-way flow through the building (one of the Covid-Secure guidelines).
We are using take-away eco packaging and wooden cutlery for all lunch bookings during the day, this includes teas and coffees. I understand this isn’t ideal and certainly not what you were used to before. The reason is directly linked to Covid and what changes I needed to make to keep my team safe. You may have noticed our kitchen is very small and the dishwasher is located in a terrible position, right in front of the pass where the front-of-house team collect the food orders when it they are ready. Before Covid, we had someone washing dishes (and cups, saucers, cutlery, bowls, teapots, glasses……) from the second we opened to hours after we closed, they could not move from that spot and it created a very cosy working environment! As part of my responsibility I have had to create space between workers and look at all activities that pose risk and ask ‘can this activity be removed or reduced to create a safer business?’. The answer to having someone congesting the kitchen area washing dishes all day, was yes it can be removed it we switch to eco-packaging, so that’s what we have done. How long this will last I cannot tell you, but what I can tell you is that the food is just as delicious, the coffee is just has enjoyable even from cardboard.
See you soon
Brunch tables are available to book at 10am, 10.30am, 11am and 11.30am and will be yours for 1 hour.
Lunch tables are available every 15 minutes from midday to 2.45pm and will be yours for 1.5 hours.
We are able to accept bookings of 2 to 4, with just a couple able to safely seat 5 or 6.