Mick and Donna Wells are proud of their new seating area outside the Barge and Bottle in Sleaford. EMN-210604-172156001Mick and Donna Wells are proud of their new seating area outside the Barge and Bottle in Sleaford. EMN-210604-172156001
Mick and Donna Wells are proud of their new seating area outside the Barge and Bottle in Sleaford. EMN-210604-172156001

UPDATED Photo gallery: Pubs and restaurant gardens around Sleaford gearing up for an exciting first week of opening

With pubs, restaurants and cafes now officially allowed to reopen from April 12 to serve customers outdoors, the hospitality sector in the Sleaford area has gone into overdrive.

Pub beer gardens have been a hive of activity in recent weeks as landlords and owners gear up with new seating, canopies, patios, planters and heating to ensure a comfortable experience for diners and drinkers.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming the dates of the next stage of the roadmap, they are all excited to see customers return, but some will be opening shorter hours to accommodate the effect of cooler weather and not be opening all week, so you are advised to check websites and Facebook pages for exact timings. Tables are limited to parties of six.

Many are also taking bookings for selected tables, so check in advance for any other arrangements. Some are already reporting the first few evenings booking up fast, demonstrating the pent up desire among locals wanting to get back to the bar.

Mick Wells, boss of the Barge and Bottle in Sleaford said they will be opening for food in the enhanced outdoor seating area off Carre Street from 11am on April 12, with food bookings taking priority in the first week, with drinkers on a first come first served basis.

He said: “We will have a floor host and full table service to ensure a positive customer experience.”

People will need to register with Trace and Trace and be shown to their table. There is full table service with orders linked electronically direct to the kitchen. you can even text to get your glass topped up.

Mick said they now have 24 covered tables, carefully distanced, with heaters for chillier nights. He said: “We cannot wait to welcome you to our refurbished and innovative outside terrace.”

He wanted to give the opportunity for people to forget the troubles of the past year and look forward to happier times.

Hollie Blankley of Watergate Yard, in Sleaford added that she and husband Ryan cannot wait to see people back in the yard. “We are, of course, still covid secure and have had a reshuffle of the tables to create a little more distance. We are now also operating with mobile order and pay so you can get your drinks faster.” You can book a table via the website.

Rick Thomas and Nikki Wakelen-Ball, who run El Toro tapas and cocktail bar in Sleaford, are excited to be reopening from Thursday April 15.

They said: “Thursday nights we are doing ‘Tapas Street Food’ an alfresco menu of the week changing every Thursday.

“Friday’s and Saturdays we will have our full tapas menu plus our Tapas Street Food specials of the week available.”

They want customers to immerse themselves in the atmosphere, watch your food being cooked, enjoy an ice cold beer, gin or cocktails.

They said: “As we are going ‘Out Out’ for April bring a coat, wrap up warm, we have blankets, full coverage, we are installing trellises as wind breaks to shelter you and doing everything possible to give you an enjoyable experience. We won’t judge you if you bring a hot water bottle.

“All Covid rules are being followed according to the government guidelines.

“We are now fully booked for the first weekend we open and not many tables left for the following few weekends.”

Sam Pavlou of neighbouring Tiamo Italian restaurant said they are opening from Tuesday, April 13 and added: “We’ve been busy making our al fresco area the nicest it can be for you all to enjoy, with a new menu and some added extras.

Here we show you a taste of what to look forward to around the Sleaford area’s beer gardens and outdoor dining areas.