Cheers all round as Horsham country pub landlords get set to say: ‘Welcome Back’
Cheers are ringing out in pubs across the Horsham region as they get set to reopen next month when Covid restrictions are eased.
The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown has ruled that pubs can serve customers again - outdoors - from April 12.
And the message from local landlords is: ‘We can’t wait to welcome everyone back.’
Richard Kent, landlord at The Shelley Arms in Broadbridge Heath, said: “We will be reopening with a full menu, even outside.
“We have an app ordering system where people can order food and drinks from their phones.”
The pub is loved by many because of its large family-friendly garden which is now ideally poised for dining al fresco.
Meanwhile, Richard revealed that he and wife Tania had spent time in lockdown not only keeping the garden in tip-top shape, but had also redecorated the whole of the inside of the pub - which will now be ready to welcome customers back indoors when restrictions are further eased to allow indoor dining from May 17.
Peter Nottage, landlord of The Sussex Oak at Warnham, is also looking forward to reopening from April 12. “We absolutely can’t wait,” he said.
“We’re very fortunate in that we will be able to provide lunches outside and evening meals. We’re hoping for some fine weather.”
He said the past year had been ‘devastating’ but that things were now looking up with the rollout of the vaccine against Covid.
Many locals had suffered during lockdown, he said. “We have lots of regular customers and they all normally meet up here. It’s very important for people to get together, especially for elder people.
“People use the pub as a base to meet - we have groups of walkers who park here, have a coffee, go for a walk and then come back for lunch.”
As well as a large garden, the pub has a boules court and a field at the back where children can play safely.
The Limeburners at Billingshurst is also renowned for its attractive large garden - and its camping facilities which are popular with families.
Landlord Robert Haley said: “A lot of people have already booked on the campsite. The majority of people want to be outside if the weather is good.”
The pub has facilities for tents, motor homes and caravans and also has some glamping pods.
He said the pub had a ‘fantastic summer’ last year in the period it was allowed to open. “Now we will welcombe everyone back,” he said.
“Pubs are an important part of the community. We are a family-orientated pub and we try and offer the best we can.”
That now includes a new summer menu which is just being finalised before April’s reopening.
Robert confessed last year had been ‘a bad year’ for many but said he was grateful that the Limeburners had been able to retain staff on the Government furlough scheme and had been helped by Government grants and rate cuts, along with support from brewers Fullers.
And he paid tribute to his ‘fantastic team’ who are now also looking forward to reopening.