Pubs and restaurants in Henley will be reopening their doors from tomorrow (Saturday) with new Covid-19 health and safety procedures in place to ensure the safety of both customers and staff.
Mark Dunlop is looking forward to welcoming people to The Angel. He said, “We’re sold out for bookings inside for lunch but I think we have a few tables left for dinner up to a maximum of 6 people per table. We will offering the terrace menu only with some specials initially. We have had to remove half the outdoor terrace tables and we will operate these on a first come, first served basis as we are not adequately covered if it rains. Entrance will be via Thameside.”
Mel Roberson from the Saracen’s Head on Greys Road said, “We’re opening from 12-8pm on Saturday. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again after being closed since March. Everyone will be seated and ordering will be via mobile phone.”
The Bull on Bell Street will reopen on Saturday with new opening times (click here). The pub will be maintaining social distancing guidelines and there has been additional signage put in place and there will an enhanced cleaning regime including regular cleaning of all key touch points, along with providing hand sanitation point throughout the premises, encouraging everyone to sanitize hands upon entrance. Like many retailers, they would prefer if you pay by contactless card and asking for tips electronically too rather than cash.
Joe Ball, General Manager of the Bull on Bell Street has requested guests to book for drinks and food in advance and to pre-order their food where possible. “We are currently running a table service only, with no ordering at the bar to minimize contact points and to ensure we are taking all necessary precautions to reopen in the safest manner possible”.
The Three Horseshoes pub on Reading Road won’t be opening until Tuesday. During lockdown it has continued to offer a takeway food service.
Tom Davies, Brakspear Chief Executive, said: “We are looking forward to our pubs reopening their doors as soon as possible, returning them to the centre of the communities in which they operate, and excited to welcome back our customers who have been patiently waiting to enjoy our pubs again.
“We have been working with our publicans to make sure our pubs are Covid-safe environments for both guests and team members by putting in place the necessary social distancing and hygiene measures, whilst still retaining the individual character of each pub.
“We would encourage customers to check the Facebook page for their local Brakspear pub to find out if they will be reopening on the 4 July, and for details on booking a table, which many pubs are now requesting to ensure social distancing.”
The Hart Street Tavern will be reopening on 4 July for lunch and dinner and then initially between Wednesday-Sunday from 12pm until 11pm (6pm Sunday) for dining only to maximise distancing space. David Holliday said, “Booking is essential so we can manage the flow of guests safely and make sure everyone has a great time. Do please wait for the host at the entrance when you arrive to be seated. Outdoor seating on our terrace is not available to book online due to unpredictable weather, but can be requested on arrival and we’ll do our best to accommodate. Bar dining will also be available on request.”
The Fairmile Vineyard are also opening this weekend (4&5 July) between 10.00-5.00pm for tours and tastings. Jan Mirkowski said, “We’re inviting people to enjoy free tours and tastings. No fees or bookings required, though we will ask you for a contact detail on entry in case we need to trace you later. Feel free to bring a picnic – and also a chair or rug as we have withdrawn our external furniture to reduce the number of touch points.”
Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “Everyone in Oxfordshire has worked extremely hard to bring the number of cases down, but the threat from the virus is far from over and we must not let our guard down. We must not now undo all this hard work. Lockdown may be easing but the advice is clear – don’t go easy on the virus. If any of us as individuals do go easy on the virus it will not go easy on us in return. We are still at national alert level 3, which means the virus is still out there. Everybody should remember that.”