One of my more recent Twitter posts read: “When you’re a publican and you’ve retrained as an actress. Just call me Lucky”. Who would have thought both of the hardest hit industries throughout Covid 19 – namely hospitality and entertainment – would be closed a week before Christmas?
Considering Covid has had us on the run since March, you would think it would want Christmas off. And let’s not forget our colleagues in the rest of the country. Those who have been enduring restrictions for many more months than where I am, here in my gastropub in the heart of Essex.
We recently opened our pub in July 2019 after an extensive refurbishment, having previously worked in wet-led pubs and mobile bars, being the first company to introduce kegerators to Twickenham and the O2.
We knew we could handle a food house, but what a massive learning curve it was. I will never underestimate the skills and work ethic of restaurant managers ever again. If only someone had warned me about how much time I would spend in the pot wash.
Being one to look on the positive side, when the first lockdown hit, we took it as an opportunity to consider where we could go next after this self-sanctioned baptism of fire.
Nine months later, post an Eat Out to Help Out scheme we could not take part of as our team was too small, we lit up a mobile wood burning pizza oven for the garden and later installed a new electric pizza oven for the kitchen. Yes, you may have guessed stone baked pizza has been a popular addition, alongside a new service of other take-away products.