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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

Halo Top Is Giving Away 1,000 Free Ice Cream Tubs

Halo Top, the UK’s leading better-for-you ice cream brand, is going to be making this unprecedented summer a little better for its British fans by giving away free ice cream. Halo Top is asking holiday-deprived Brits to visit HERE once the weather is hotter than the UK’s most popular holiday destination, Ibiza, to claim one of 1,000 free tubs. For full terms and conditions on how the giveaway works, head over to http://www.hotterthanibiza.co.uk/terms for more information.

Brits notoriously enjoy an icebreaker about the weather, and new research from Halo Top further proves this. Even before an unusual spring, Brits admitted to spending up to an incredible 10 months of their lives talking about the weather. However, over the past three months and with the rise of picnics and al fresco exercise, already weather-obsessed Brits have dialled up their love for the forecast with 20% saying they look at the forecast up to four times more often than ever before.

In fact, 44% of respondents said the weather topped the list of topics they’d resorted to bringing up to fill awkward silences on Zoom calls, as 39% also admitted that with a lack of current and future social plans, they’d struggled to find things to talk about with friends and families during lockdown.

The weather isn’t just a topic of small talk: it’s also a source of pride. Nearly a quarter of us have even admitted bragging to friends, family, and colleagues when the UK was hotter than where they were holidaying, and, 24% have been envious of friends at home because UK’s been hotter than their holiday destination.

“While we wish we were all in Ibiza this summer, we know we can still have some fun in the UK during one of the hottest months of the year. We can’t wait to help our British fans cool down with some ice cream and have some exciting things in store for them later this year,” said Ryan Bouton, CMO of Halo Top International.

British fans can keep an eye on Halo Top’s Instagram channel, where the free tubs will be announced once the UK is hotter than Ibiza. Consumers have a chance to claim one of the 1,000 ice cream tubs via http://www.hotterthanibiza.co.uk/halotop  on a first come, first served basis. The full terms and conditions are available here.

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Farzi Cafe London Reopens with Butter Chicken Bao Giveaway

Zorawar Kalra’s acclaimed modern Indian restaurant, Farzi Cafe is celebrating the reopening of its doors, with a special bao bun giveaway, an extended outdoor dining area and a new generous gift voucher initiative.

Welcoming guests back after the extended lockdown, Farzi Cafe will offer for a limited period only, a special giveaway of its best-selling Butter Chicken Bao with green chilli mayo or the Seitan Bun with garlic yoghurt. The offer will be available to guests dining in the restaurant on weeknights between 5 and 7pm, for the month of August only.

The return will also herald a new, more streamlined menu serving up their signature masterfully spiced and multi-layered flavours. Guests will be able to enjoy inventive dishes such as Wagyu Beef Boti Kebab masala butter, Grilled Lemongrass Sea Bream sesame broth, or Kale & Paneer Spheres white truffle korma. The ever popular bar with its signature Ayurvedic and zodiac inspired cocktails will also return, with the addition of a special Bordeaux Distillery Gin Co menu, that will offer 2 for 1 until 7.30pm Tuesday to Friday and 6pm on Saturday. In addition, the menu and a curated selection of cocktails are available for takeaway to enjoy at home, or delivery via Deliveroo, Ubereats and Supper.

The alfresco dining area has also been extended and is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch or just linger with an alcoholic lassi, a plate of Madras Pepper Prawns or Hass Avocado Chat.

Farzi Cafe will be participating in the government’s ‘Eat out to Help out’ scheme and has launched an additional initiative, allowing guests to buy vouchers ranging from £50 to £200 to dine at generously discounted prices. Full details can be found here and vouchers can be booked and redeemed immediately.  

Nikhil Joshi, Director at Farzi Cafe London says: “We’re delighted to reopen Farzi Cafe’s doors again and welcome back our loyal guests. With the procedures we now have in place, we can still offer the fantastic and fun experience our guests have come to expect. London is a city that innovates and moves forward against all odds and we look forward to Farzi Cafe very much being part of that.”

Farzi Cafe’s reopening hours will be initially for weekday dinner only, Tuesday to Thursday 5pm – 10.30pm and Friday 5pm to 11.15pm. Weekend openings will be more relaxed, with lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks, Saturday 12noon – 11.15pm and Sunday 12noon – 9.45pm.

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Harwood Arms Reopens August 30 with Free Wine

The Harwood Arms in Fulham, London’s only Michelin starred pub, reopens for diners on Sunday August 30. The Harwood Arms’ much-missed favourites; venison scotch eggs and the amazing Sunday roast, are back on the menu, and there’s free English Sparkling Wine for diners with their meals during the first week.

The Harwood Arms won the Estrella Damm ‘Gastropub of the Year’, and ‘Gastropub Chef of the Year’ awards this year. They were handed out just as lockdown was imposed, and with no time to properly celebrate the win then, Head Chef Sally Abe will be offering diners a free glass of Hattingley Valley Classic Reserve NV from the Hampshire wine makers for every service during the first week of reopening.

The restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesday – Friday, and for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Social distancing restrictions will mean that the Harwood Arms will have to reduce the number of diners at each service, but the team will ensure that the warmth of the welcome remains the same.

Full Covid-19 safety and wellbeing measure will be reassuringly employed for staff and guests, conforming to Government and Public Health England guidelines.

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Flour & Grape Is Launching DIY Pasta Kits

Flour & Grape, the Bermondsey restaurant famous for its indulgent, yet affordable and authentic pasta and wine, has launched Flour & Grape At Home – giving customers the chance to recreate their favourite dishes at home with ease.

Perfect for date nights in, impressing friends at a dinner party or a delicious birthday celebration, Flour & Grape is offering a selection of crowd-pleasing pasta dishes, as well as a bespoke selection of antipasti, desserts and cocktails designed to bring restaurant standard freshness and quality straight to your door. Each pasta dish can be paired with a specially chosen wine to help elevate the tasting experience. With only regional Italian wines on the menu, the team are truly passionate about serving the best options and strive to feature more unusual choices at a reasonable price in order to make exciting flavours more accessible.

Pasta dishes to cook up at home in less than 10 minutes will be available to collect from the restaurant, or those lucky enough to live within a five-mile radius of the famous pasta powerhouse can have it delivered it straight to their door. Each kit includes everything needed to create the highest quality pasta dish, including pasta made freshly that day, alongside sauce and parmesan, with step-by-step recipe cards so you can enjoy hassle free indulgence transported straight from Flour & Grape’s dining room to your own.

With staying in being the new going out and many consumers still feeling cautious about returning to restaurants, not to mention lots of them having struggled to get a table at Flour & Grape during busy times, the team is looking to recreate the tasty and indulgent experience at home. Customers can now not only create and devour their favourite dishes, but also enjoy them alongside a specially paired wine designed to bring out the flavour.

After months of experimenting the team have perfected the preparation process and have developed clever packaging, allowing the freshest ingredients to be delivered straight to the door without compromising on taste.

Founder Nick Crispini commented, “Flour & Grape Pasta At Home has been something we were looking to develop long before lockdown – so it was imperative we got it exactly right rather than rushing to get something over the line. This is very much a long-term shift in our business model rather than a stop-gap response to the pandemic. With many consumers staying in during this time, we are looking to bring the experience of eating out to their door.”

Food

Flour & Grape uses only the finest ingredients and produce, with their pasta being rolled freshly every-day, to ensure the best tasting and freshest flavours each time. Dishes are also affordable, starting from only £7.

The menu features a range of Flour & Grape’s most iconic pasta dishes, including:

·       Tortelloni (Roasted pork shoulder, sage butter)

·       Taglierini (Preserved truffle, butter emulsion, parmesan)

·       Pappardelle (Beef short-rib ragu)

·       Bucatini (Tomato, black olive, caper, chili. VEGAN)

·       Fazzoletti (Spinach, mascarpone, nutmeg, parmesan)

·       Linguine (King prawn, tomato, garlic, chilli)

·       Fagottini (Ricotta, spinach, tomato, parmesan)

·       Vegetable Lasagna (Summer vegetables, tomato, bechamel, parmesan)

The website will be live for pre-orders from 9am Tuesday 28th July 2020.

Collection and delivery will be available at the following times:

Wed & Thurs: 3pm-6pm
Fri: 3pm-5pm
Sat & Sun: 1pm-5pm
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Frog by Adam Handling Leaps Back on August 1

Adam Handling’s flagship restaurant, Frog by Adam Handling opens its doors again on 1st August, with stunning new menus and pavement dining in the heart of Covent Garden. Eve Bar will also open on the same date.

Adam Handling claims that the new restaurant menus ‘are our best yet’ and credits his team for working so hard with him during lockdown to develop some remarkable new dishes. These sit alongside the signature dishes which will always have a place on his menus.

New dishes on Adam’s a la carte, tasting menu and Adam’s vegetarian tasting menu include Veal sweetbread, bolognese, kohlrabi; ‘Pimped up’ aubergine; Crab, pickled melon, Chicken and chips; and ‘Meadowsweet, apple, pine’.

As well as the new menus, Frog by Adam Handling has been addressing the new safety guidelines for restaurants in their innovative way, including developing their own anti-bacterial alcohol-free hand washes using only natural oils. There will only be one chef and waiter per table, and new Perspex screens have been set up at the pass so that diners can enjoy counter eating there whilst watching the kitchen in action. Temperatures will be taken on arrival (staff and guests), there will be greater spacing between tables, and a decision has been taken not to use masks or gloves. “We want to create as normal an atmosphere as possible. We don’t want eating out to be an alienating experience, and we’re confident that we can provide a safe environment without them,” says Adam.

Outdoor seating on the terrace for up to 36 will be set up along Southampton Street, offering diners drinks and snacks during the day and evening. The terrace food menu will be available at Eve Bar too and includes some new street food specialities including a Fish finger sandwich made from turbot trim and set inside an Asian-style milk bun with hollandaise and traditional tartare sauce, and Corn ribs with a sweet and hot gochujang dressing and fried togarashi peanuts.

Drinking and eating in Eve Bar will be a more spacious experience with up to 20 people only having access to the bar and snugs. New Perspex screens will allow guests to drink at the bar and enjoy a new cocktail list including Yuzu to Bees, with Hendrick’s, yuzu, crystalized honey, pine tincture, Fever Tree ginger ale, and Pandan Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Monkey Shoulder, pandan leaf, clarified banana juice, Cynar, bitters.

Adam has also introduced one change that he believes is essential to the continued viability of the business. “We’re going to have to charge a non-refundable deposit for each diner on booking, there’s no way that we could cope with ‘no shows’ with the reduced seating guidelines that we have to adhere to. It’s not something that we would choose to do, but the economic realities make it essential over the next few months at least.”

Bookings can be moved once without losing the deposit, in consideration of COVID-19 cases. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday.

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Holy Moly Launches Original Guacamole Into Tesco Stores

Holy Moly, the British brand revolutionising the UK’s ready-to-eat snacking market with its smashed avocado and guacamole ranges, that taste just like homemade, has launched its Original Guacamole SKU into Tesco stores nationwide.

Holy Moly’s all-natural, nutritious Original Guacamole has been made available in 540 Tesco stores across the UK from 20th July 2020.

The product will be one of a very limited number of branded dips operating in the category on Tesco shelves, helping Tesco to ‘premiumise’ the category and meet soaring post-Covid demand for health centric products in general and dips specifically. This partnership is central to Tesco’s strategy of supporting independent UK brands that are committed to innovation and meeting consumer demand during the current climate.

Since Coronavirus, there has been huge growth in the dips category and in-home snacking during Lockdown, with Kantar reporting a 33.3% growth in dips from April to May 2020. Sales are expected to maintain as Lockdown eases, driven by the growth in demand for food products that support home entertaining.

Holy Moly’s Original Guacamole is a versatile culinary staple that can be enjoyed on its own, or used as an ingredient as part of a larger dish. Each pot contains around two sun-ripened Hass avocados, which are grown, hand-picked and hand-scooped on a four-generation family farm in rural Mexico. Unlike other guacamoles, it is also free from dairy, preservatives, additives, gluten, is kosher, suitable for vegans and has no added sugar.

The Brits are a nation of self-declared avocado aficionados, spending £176 million on the fruit in 2018. With the dips category also experiencing a period of strong growth in 2020 due to a rise in consumer spending on ‘big nights in’, the public is ripe for new and exciting products. Holy Moly’s Original Guacamole delivers the answer to the avocado lottery by providing perfectly ripe, fresh, all-natural and delicious guacamole in a convenient, ready-to-eat format every time.

Holy Moly produces its Original Guacamole by combining the best avocados in Mexico with cutting edge science. The brand was the first in the UK to create fresh avocado-based products using High Pressure Processing (HPP). This all-natural process is commonly used in cold-pressed fruit juices and doesn’t use chemicals or high temperatures, preserving the taste, texture and nutrients of each avocado.

It delivers all the nutritional benefits of the avocado and is a convenient way to enjoy the fruit on a daily basis. Indeed, each tub is a rich source of fibre, iron, potassium, vitamins B & E and monounsaturated fats, which can help protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure.

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The Landmark London Reopens with a New Collection of Packages

Five-star Grande Dame hotel and AA Hotel of The Year London 2019-2020The Landmark London, is reopening its doors on the 15th August with a new collection of packages that deliver the most luxurious staycation experiences in London.

Whether guests are looking for the ultimate wellness retreat in a five star setting, a fun getaway with all the family or an exotic experience to rival a holiday abroad, there’s a perfect package for everyone. From a beauty minibar to personalised bubble baths, a family treasure hunt through the Marylebone neighbourhood and tropical cocktails, The Landmark London has curated the most exciting experiences for that luxurious post-Lockdown trip.

The Landmark London is dedicated to protecting the wellbeing of the team members and guests. It is reopening in strict accordance with government guidelines and is implementing thorough safety and sanitation measures as well as new initiatives, such as contactless check in.

Its health and safety strategy has four pillars, and includes keeping staff safe to protect guests, increased hand disinfection and enhanced cleaning methods and the practicing of social distancing throughout the hotel. Follow the hyperlink here to read more about its commitment to health and safety.

Self-Care Retreat (priced from £326)

Created to rejuvenate guests post lockdown, the self-care retreat is the pinnacle of luxurious pampering. The experience includes an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s spacious rooms, which features a supply of the finest grooming products and a minibar stocked with beauty-boosting food and drink, including collagen shots.

On arrival, guests are served a refreshing smoothie and can then retreat to the bathroom, where they will find their very own Germaine de Cappuccini bubble bath kit, complete with relaxing oils and rejuvenating eye and face masks, so they can personalise their own bathing experience. There’s even a neat feet care pack to refresh and renew tired legs after a long day in the city. 

The Landmark London has also curated a number of walking routes around the surrounding Marylebone neighbourhood. There are routes to fit any mood, guests simply advise on whether they are looking to destress, feel energised or simply enjoy some local nature, and the team at the hotel will plot the ideal path for that individual.

Landmark Tropicana (priced from £354)

For those dreaming of travelling to tropical destinations, The Landmark London’s Tropicana package will provide the most exotic experience in London.

Guests will enjoy a luxurious overnight stay in one of the capital’s most spacious hotel rooms, an exotic welcome cocktail and a refreshing ice cream sundae bursting with exotic flavours. The next day, guests can wake up to a lavish breakfast, including an array of tropical fruits and international dishes, in the comfort of their bed or in the hotel’s stunning Winter Garden Restaurant.

Family Fun (priced from £434)

For families looking to escape the monotony of Lockdown life at home, The Landmark London is offering a fun getaway in their luxurious and spacious family rooms.

The rooms are designed for two adults and two children (up to 12 years of age) and include a spacious lounge area and desk. As part of the package, families will discover a bespoke Landmark teddy bear, a tent, and headlamps for them to enjoy an indoor campout in the comfort of their own room.

The next morning, everyone can enjoy a delicious traditional English breakfast served in-room or in the hotel’s stunning Winter Garden Restaurant.

As a special add on, families can opt for an optional Treasure Hunt through the Marylebone neighbourhood.

The Landmark London’s concierge team are also on hand to recommend nearby outdoor attractions for the family, including Regent’s Park, London Zoo and Marylebone Village.

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Jumeirah Welcomes Guests to Three of Its European Hotels

Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, a member of Dubai Holding, and a leading luxury hospitality company, will welcome guests to enjoy a change of scenery this summer at some of its most exquisite properties in Europe – on the stunning islands of Mallorca and Capri and in the heart of the city of Frankfurt.

José Silva, Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “As travel starts to return, our guests will once again be able to enjoy our renowned Arabian hospitality in luxurious surroundings in the heart of Europe. Our unique hotels in Mallorca, Capri and Frankfurt are the epitome of our brand ethos, being exceptional in design, featuring signature dining experiences from some of the world’s most talented chefs and offering service beyond expectations. In the new normal, we understand the importance of peace of mind and every step has been taken to ensure a safe environment and truly memorable experience for our guests as they begin to holiday again this summer.”

Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Mallorca offers a clifftop retreat set within a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting panoramic views of the mountains and sea, as well as elegantly appointed rooms and suites. Guests can delight in the award-winning, Talise Spa treatments, which have gained widespread recognition for the ultimate relaxation experience. Those looking to get acquainted with local culture will try flavoursome dishes including traditional paellas at Cap Roig Brasseries, whereas guests with a penchant for Japanese delicacies can head to Sunset Sushi Lounge for dinner. Visitors can spend their day by the spectacular pool or exploring the picturesque surroundings including the labyrinth of garden walks surrounded by natural rock and vegetation native to the island.

Capri Palace Jumeirah – the newest Jumeirah addition in Europe – offers a magnificent getaway within one of the most exclusive and unspoiled parts of the island. The hotel, overlooking the Gulf of Naples fully embodies the Italian Dolce Vita; through authentic Capri style featuring art and design. The signature Two-Michelin-star restaurant L’Olivo serves Mediterranean classics and just launched ‘L’Olivo Undiscovered’, a new intimate space conceived and executed by Capri-born architect Francesco della Femina.

His creative direction transformed the traditional cavò into a unique private club atmosphere that accompanies guests on an intimate culinary journey where they savour the delights of Executive Chef Andrea Migliaccio’s Two-Michelin-star creations. Meanwhile, Il Riccio Restaurant & Beach Club, the only One-Michelin-star beach club in the world, is currently hosting an exclusive Dior Pop-up Store. The store set the elegant tone for the experience through its personalised lounge area and features the Dioriviera Collection as well as a selection of branded pieces designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Presented alongside exclusive Dior Maison objects, the capsule essentials include the iconic Dior Book Tote, Saddle and Diorcamp bags, revisited with the motifs of the Dior Around the World line and inspired by the sketches of the Roman artist Pietro Ruffo.

Jumeirah Frankfurt invites guests to take on a city break and enjoy expansive views, excellent service and contemporary design. As the first of the Group’s European hotels to be certified with the Bureau Veritas Safeguard Label for its stringent health, safety and hygiene standards, the metropolitan haven offers cutting-edge suites and rooms, in addition to facilities, spanning Talise Spa and Fitness First Frankfurt. Visitors can embark on a culinary journey across Max on One – serving up French fare with an Asian twist, El Rayyan’s extensive Lebanese dishes and the inspired beverages at Ember Bar & Lounge. The hotel is well suited to both business and leisure travellers, as it is a step away from corporate, lifestyle and entertainment hubs.

Jumeirah Group invites guests to avail the Jumeirah Escapes offer, on bookings placed before the 31st of July 2020. It offers up to 30% off on regular pricing for stays and includes complimentary daily breakfast, early check in and late check out, as well as an additional saving of up to 20% on spa and dining at select hotels. Applicable to its global portfolio of hotels, guests can also indulge in the offer when staying in Dubai across Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray among others.

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UKH Welcomes Prime Minister’s Announcement on Hospitality

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s latest announcement, UKHospitality has welcomed further clarity on the reopening of more of the hospitality sector, but also called on the Government to ensure that those businesses remaining closed are given support.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:

“The reopening of additional parts of hospitality is more positive news for the sector as it looks to rebuild in the period ahead. The reopening of leisure facilities, such as bowling alleys and skating rinks from next month is a great boost, especially as we’re about to begin the school holidays and these will prove popular with families and children.

“For those businesses still not able to open, particularly nightclubs and soft play centres, there must be a roadmap for reopening accompanied by targeted Government support which ensures that they do not suffer disproportionately while the rest of the sector welcomes back guests. The decision to allow for the return of conferences, business events and stadia events in the Autumn is also great news as these are intrinsically linked and vitally important to hospitality, generating significant revenue for the venues that host them and providing tens of thousands of jobs.

“With the new powers for councils to act on local outbreaks, it’s important that Government guidance is clear and consistently applied by local authorities. Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses have been among the hardest hit by this crisis, so any decision to close these venues in the future, if necessary, must be proportionate, transparent and based on clear science.”

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The Refuge Manchester Announces Its Reopening

After what has been an exceptionally challenging few months for the hospitality industry, the team behind Refuge by Volta now feel the time is right to bring the food, music and love back into the cherished venue so that the family of Refuge – the customers that make the space so special – can come together again.

Two carefully crafted menus will mark the reopening, with many of the restaurants favourite dishes making a return. The Refuge Experience is a brand new menu, specifically created to celebrate special dates, occasions or reunions, with a heart-warming selection of meat, seafood, vegetables and sides, from the Tamarind-glazed chicken wings, lamb shawarma, salt cod croquettes and the iconic ‘Big Hit’ 1.2kg of Lamb Shoulder – all perfect for sharing amongst friends and loved ones – to the fire-roasted Padron peppers, beetroot pakora and everything in between. The Refuge Experience is perfect for four to six people and costs £180 for the table.

Togetherness lies within the heart and soul of The Refuge, the ethos of which has brought countless people together in the city over the last four years since its inception. The Refuge presents Back To Refuge, a special no fuss sharer for two menu. Available Wednesday and Thursday 12 noon to 9pm and Friday 12 noon to 6:45pm. At £20 per person will get you a selection of the Voltini classics, including two starters, seven mains and sides.

Luke Unabomber, one of the founders of Refuge by Volta said: “It feels so good and positive to be able to turn the lights back on. The building is ready to go again for family and friends to come together, to celebrate all the missed occasions over lockdown or to simply have a nice drink with a friend in our public bar. Both Justin and I have always put our heart and soul into this space and we are so proud and happy to be bringing it back to the people and back to life.”

The music will of course continue to play a major part of The Refuge, with the reopening sound tracked by the usual Refuge resident DJS and selectors offering the finest music from around the world.

Guests are being urged to book in advance to avoid disappointment, and places will be limited for the foreseeable future to allow for physical distancing. Bookings can be made online by visiting www.refugemcr.co.uk. There will be a new system of QR code linking to the menu page of The Refuge web site, for anyone wanting to avoid disposable single use menus.

For the first time the Winter Garden and Public Bar will also take table reservations, walk up guests will also be welcome, subject to bookings so guests are being encouraged to book online in advance to avoid disappointment.

The new opening times will be Monday and Tuesday – closed, Wednesday and Thursday 5pm to 9pm dinner and until 11pm for drinks at the bar, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 3pm lunch, 5pm to 9pm diner, open from 12pm to 11pm for drinks, and Sunday 12 to 8pm for roast platers and until 10pm for drinks at the bar.

The safety of anyone visiting The Refuge during these times is of course of the utmost importance, and a very detailed list of FAQs regarding COVID can be found here.

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