Added: Maryanne Gaspard - Date: 21.09.2021 04:40 - Views: 27957 - Clicks: 1162
It has kept hundreds of people fed during the coronavirus pandemic. A village pub near Bath has been keeping hundreds of local people fed since the first lockdown last March. Husband and wife team Ian and Jo Bennett took over the Ring O Bells in Hinton Blewett, on the edge of the Mendipsin December and have seen it go from strength to strength since then.
They've always offered takeaways, but Boris Johnson's lockdown announcement last year saw them roll out hundreds of meals to villagers through the spring and summer. Ian, 39, said: "We took our normal pub menu, with starters, mains, desserts, and that went online so you could get fish and chips, burgers, steak, macaroni cheese, pizzas.
I was in the shop taking orders and writing them down on a bit of paper and then Jo was upstairs on the phone. Looking for Bath's top stories in one place?
Customers came thick and fast from the nearby villages of Litton, Temple Cloud and Bishop Sutton, and it didn't take long for Ian and Jo to come up with a system and diversify their menu. She does a really nice chicken dish, a pasta dish and a bolognese," Ian said. Jo isn't just the head chef, she's a baker too, and during the first lockdown she set up a bakery to support locals, at a time when supermarket shelves were bare. Ian said: "We did normal loaves, sourdough, scones, hot cross buns - all the works. Our sourdough went from a little jar to a massive bucket.
The pub-owner admitted that his revenue had declined by around 66 per cent as a result of the pandemic, but said that profit hadn't suffered "too badly" as costs weren't as high and he has had a break from business rates. Ian was looking forward to seeing walkers return to the area, which is a popular walking spot in good weather and even listed as a "lush" dog walk on Bristol Barkers. The pub owner added that, because picnics were allowed again, Ring O Bells would be doing takeaway coffees for local walkers. The empty shops in Bath and what experts think should be done about them.
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The village pub owners near Bath taking lockdown in their stride