'All Change' at the Railway Tavern
Lockdown meant an abrupt and complete closure for the Tavern! This was a very worrying time, not knowing when we would be able to re-open, if at all. All the bills were still coming in, but with zero income. We knew that hospitality would be the last to re-open.
Fortunately, the end came sooner rather than later, and we were delighted to open our doors again in July.
We knew this would be the dawning of a new era and we would have to be creative with our new layout, events and offerings. Safety had to be the priority, whilst retaining the relaxed atmosphere, friendly welcome and fun for which the Tavern is known.
We are now used to the added screens, one-way system, hand sanitisation and regular cleaning of the (minimised) touch-points. Customers are now advised to book in advance, to sit in groups of no more than six and we have a texting login for track-and-trace purposes. We’re introducing a ballot box system now too for those without phones. This will maintain customer privacy.
Sadly, our famous yearly event, the Mellis Music and Beer Festival couldn’t take place in 2020, and large live music nights are no longer viable. We have had instead several successful outside acoustic events from Spanish guitar to mandolins, via Country and Western! One blessing we have had this year is beautiful sunny weather, enhancing the natural beauty of Mellis Common. This more gentle, relaxing atmosphere has, in turn, been attractive to a wider range of customers.
We’ve also re-structured our food offerings. Apart from our Friday Fish and Chip night, we no longer offer a regular menu. Instead, we have moved to themed ‘Guest Chef’ events ... Katy’s Cake Kitchen, a twist on the classic afternoon tea, with all homemade quiches, cakes and desserts made by my talented daughter ... Spanish Tapas Day thanks to Paula and Lisa (ably assisted by Steve and Grace) for whose hard work and support of their local we are extremely grateful.
Ideas from locals are very much welcomed ... as requested, we are hosting a Village Harvest Fayre (3rd October 2-5pm), featuring stalls, music and a barbecue ... which will be followed by a similar Christmas event (12th December) with the Mellisian Village Singers singing carols.
Our continuing investment in the ‘new normal’
will now focus on creating a warm, sheltered outdoor environment as we move toward the Autumn. We’ll be lighting the wood
burner and bringing back traditional Roast Dinners each Sunday in October.
A massive thanks for the continued support of our regulars, old and new, who have made our new direction possible. In order for the pub to continue to thrive, we’d love to see people signing up to our social media pages (we can be found on Facebook and Instagram), so they can see all that we are offering and we can all work together to keep the village local ‘on track’ through the challenging times ahead. Looking forward to seeing you all, Frank and the Team.