What are venues doing to stay connected now they’ve closed their doors?

On Friday (20 March) the Government told UK hospitality venues to close to the public. We’ve provided a short round-up of what some businesses are doing to stay connected, from home deliveries and take-out services through to gift cards and virtual events.

Please email zoe@tgmpublishing.co.uk to share your positive news and initatives with us. At this time, it’s important, both as an industry and as a nation, that we stay united and support each other.

No 3 Gin and Artesian’s Anna Sebastian create and deliver free cocktails to industry colleagues

In light of Friday’s news, in an act of kindness and solidarity, Anna Sebastian, Artesian bar manager, and Jack Hanlon of No 3 Gin, decided to “bottle some sunshine”, creating free cocktails to deliver to friends and colleagues in the industry.

No 3 gifted its gin to help Anna create and bottle one of her signature serves, The Unicorn. Anna and eleven of her colleagues worked tirelessly on Friday to create, batch, hand seal and label just under 200 cocktails.

In accordance with social distancing, Jack responsibly hand delivered all the cocktails in the No 3 van. He said: “We just wanted to do something to give back to this wonderful industry and all our friends that are going through really tough and uncertain times.”

Wadworth creates its own Virtual Pub

Independent family brewer and pub operator Wadworth bas launched its very own virtual pub, The Henry, named after its founder Henry Wadworth, so it can remain accessible and keep up connections.

The Henry, which can be found on Facebook, will feature regular live music from local musicians streaming online, Wadworth beer tasting, a weekly quiz 10@10 and Q&As with the shire horse team, plus weekly store cupboard cooking sessions, bingo, open mic, pub tricks and work-out Wednesday.

Chris Welham, CEO for Wadworth, said: “Pubs are at the heart of everything we do and there has never been a greater need to make sure that as a community we come together and are there for each other.

“With the recent call for pubs to close we wanted to keep pub goers company, keep the conversations flowing and bring a smile to everyone.

“We don’t want customers to forget what coming together feels like in a pub. All the fun things happening at The Henry will help bring a pub community together in a virtual way.”

Ladies & Gentleman delivers ‘Quarantinis’ to customers

London dive bar Ladies & Gentleman will be delivering ‘Quarantinis’ and ‘Ayurvedic juices’ to customers to keep the party going, even if it is in quarantine.

Self-isolating Londoners looking for a fun night in can order a selection of tipples to enjoy at home, from gin or vodka-based Quarantinis, Zombies and classic cocktails, including Old Fashioneds, Negronis and Magaritas. A range of Ayurvedic juices are also available, created using fresh oranges, turmeric and cayenne peppers.

The drinks will be delivered via bicycle or electric car, with contactless payment available.

Chestnut venues adapt to support local communities

East Anglia-based pub group Chestnut is adapting its venues to ensure they still remain at the heart of their towns and villages, whilst conforming to all Government advice.

All 11 Chestnut properties will be offering a takeaway menu, while other upcoming initiatives include; dog walks with complimentary hot drinks; complimentary soup for those most vulnerable; live Q&As with the chefs on social media; online bread making demonstrations; live pub quizzes; cookery ideas for kids; and live streaming of a health and wellbeing expert, linking eating well, keeping healthy and maintaining a positive well-being.

Chestnut’s The Northgate is batching up cocktail ingredients with recipe cards and creating DIY cocktail videos, while The Globe Inn is launching a farm shop with takeaway salads and homemade dishes.

What’s more, The Packhorse Inn is producing recipes and ‘how to’ guides for making chutneys and jams, and a Village Shop has opened at the The Three Blackbirds, selling pre-made puddings, bread, pre-prepared food such as curry, gnocchi, sausage and mash, but also cupboard essentials such as milk, eggs, rice and honey

Philip Turner, founder of Chestnut, said: “The Chestnut teams are passionate about their communities, and each and every one of our pubs and restaurants have been working on creative ideas to help where we can.

“Whether it is continuing to use our bedrooms, delivering home-made food, streaming live pub quizzes to isolated families or setting up a temporary village shop with provisions and recipes.

“We will be announcing our new initiatives via our social media platforms, so please keep following us to hear more and how you can be involved. Let’s keep supporting each other and we promise to continue to help our communities, to the best of our ability. We all need each other now, more than ever.”

Mayfair’s Novikov Bar and Restaurant is devising both short- and long-term strategies to ensure it continues to meet the needs of its customers. The Asian Restaurant is offering home deliveries and kerbside pick-up while the venue’s Lounge Bar is to launch a series of pro-grammes on InstaTV where bartender Gianfranco Lozzi will teach people at home how to make great cocktails.

In addition, Novikov’s garden at Brent Eleigh in Suffolk, that supplies all its kitchens, will be donating its produce to a charity which provides meals for homeless and vulnerable people in the Bury St Edmunds area. There are also plans in the pipeline to supply NHS staff working at West Suffolk hospital’s ICU with boxes of seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit.

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