They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and I’d say that’s accurate. Especially when it comes to dining in restaurants. We all used to take it as a given, until the pandemic took it away from us. But eating out has returned and I for one think it’s brought about some great changes. Here, I explain:
Getting back out there
Last year, I found myself daydreaming about the simple things in life. Meeting up with friends for food and drink was something I thought about a lot. So as soon as I was able to start visiting restaurants again, I made it a priority.
Dining in gazebos
When the restrictions first lifted, I met up with some old university friends in Chester. We visited one of our favourite haunts; The Architect. Before the pandemic, people only used to sit outside the venue to drink. But now there’s a huge gazebo where you can sit, drink and dine. The gazebo has heaters in it too, so you can stay nice and toasty, even if the weather is bad. going forward, it would be great to see gazebos like this available for venue hire. Imagine hiring out the whole area for yourself and your friends!
However, some guests weren’t as lucky as we were on that day in Chester. Those that turned up without a booking were told they’d have to sit on benches on the lawn; that would be fine usually, but not when it’s pouring down with rain (as it was that day). If you want to secure a table before heading out to eat, then SquareMeal is a great place to book.
I think that the key to romance is arranging regular dates with your partner, so myself and my partner decided to have a spontaneous date day as soon as restrictions started to lift. We headed to The Boar’s Head in Nantwich. They have a huge gazebo, but it was fully booked, so we sat and enjoyed our food on a picnic bench and sometimes, eating at a picnic bench, on a restaurant lawn works a treat. I have really enjoyed dining outside on sunny days. Before the pandemic I didn’t do this, I’d always sit inside. But as somebody who often finds happiness in nature, I’m glad we are now being encouraged to eat outside more.
Since going back out to dine, table service has become the norm. I have enjoyed this aspect of things, as it saves me from queuing at the bar. I’m always sure to tip the waiter though!
As well as having table service, I’ve found that many venues have QCR codes, which you can scan to order your food from your table. When I first started venturing back out to restaurants, I found these ordering systems quite tricky to navigate. However, lots of places seem to have made improvements.
Are these changes here to stay?
It’s not yet known if restaurants will keep these adaptations when the pandemic passes. But restaurants are likely to offer this for the foreseeable.
Visit the Government’s official website if you’re ever unsure about what the rules in your are.
Note: this is a paid collaboration.