How Peterborough’s beer gardens welcomed back customers
Peterborough got its first taste of post-lockdown alfresco hospitality - and by all accounts loved it.
A number of city centre restaurants and pubs made good use of the space they had available, while the likes of Charters, with its vast revamped beer garden was a big attraction on a cold but sunny spring day.
“There was such a nice atmosphere,” said Tracey Williams from the Oaka Group which owns Charters near Town Bridge.
“The sun was shining - and it is again today - and everyone looked so happy to be outside again meeting friends for a drink.
“As soon as we opened people started turning up and it stayed like that all day. It made it feel a bit like a normal day again.”
And it wasn’t just drinkers, with diners at lunchtime and in the evening under the gazebo enjoying meals from East, the Thai restaurant on the boat.
Angela Ennis, landlady at the Queen’s Head in the city centre, described the first day back as a “great success”.
She said: “The people of Peterborough are so pleased to be out and about. Most people were really respectful and understanding about the new rules regarding track and trace. We are so pleased that we have been able to extend our front terrace to create more space and let the guests enjoy the views of the cathedral as well as a decent beer!”
“We were very busy, town was very busy,” said Rinaldo Fasulo at The Pizza House. “But we only have around six tables and tables were turning over quickly. If the weather stay nice everything will be ok but I can’t wait to be fully open.”
And it was a similar story at some of the village pubs with plenty of space outdoors - owner Damian Wawrzyniak at Eye Green’s House of Feasts commenting: “It was amazing - I think we had most of Peterborough here.”
At the Pack Horse in Northborough, landlady Heidi Semple was glad to be back - and so were her customers.
“The first 12 hour day for four months!! It was absolutely brilliant,” she said. “The weather was on our side and the support from customers was terrific. The staff stepped up and it all went very smoothly. Let’s do it all again today please!”
Stuart Johnson, mine host at the Golden Pheasant in Etton, was in a similar mood.
“Customers were so pleased to be able to start feeling like the light at the end of the tunnel is nearer and for us it was fantastic to see our regular customers and new ones,” he said.
“But the most important thing that stood out to me was the sound of laughter - it was beautiful to hear.”
At Hampton Vale’s Gurkha Lounge the outdoor seating permit only came through yesterday - but a few early evening customers still took advantage of the opportunity to dine alfresco.
Owner Krishna Kris said: “It was really good, a little chilly though. We had only just got approval but 10 people booked in last minute and enjoyed it. Plenty more are interested and I am looking forward to seeing them tonight.”
READ What alfresco dining looks like in Peterborough.