I admit, I realized during lockdown that alcoholic drinks are best enjoyed when it’s served by someone else and preferably in a place with a great view along with a perfect weather. When it started getting warmer, even I was a bit sad that pubs weren’t open – great weather in this region is kind of a rarity. When it’s gone, it’s gone so you better make the most of it.
Luckily (or unluckily), pub restrictions were lifted recently and they’re now allowed to operate again as long as they meet the government guidelines. If you ask for my opinion, I am very much torn about the government lifting restrictions. Yes I do think that it’s too early but I am also quite concerned about the small businesses that are losing income while we’re on lockdown. I think everything will be fine if everyone will follow the social distancing rules and wear masks – but sadly that’s not the case.
Anyway, I also learned during lockdown that imposing your opinion on anyone in the hopes that they will follow your example is never a good thing. So I choose not to be self-righteous and let others do what they think is right for them. Just don’t get too near me and we’ll be fine.
We decided to go to The Albany because it has a huge terrace. We figured that social distancing would be easy to do there. We chose to go for a walk by the River Thames as we always do whenever we visit a riverside pub BC (Before Covid-19) but we didn’t realize how long it will take us to get there. It’s been awhile since we’ve done it. Lol. At some point, we were brisk walking so that we’ll make it to our 2pm reservation.
Yes, pubs do take reservations now so they’ll be able to control the number of diners at any given time. You can still go as a walk-in but tables aren’t guaranteed and you may have to wait for a long time before you’re able to get one. So better to book it in advance.
As soon as we arrived at The Albany, the staff asked us to download the Track and Trace app on our phone so we could put our details in. Again, it’s one of the government requirements so they could easily trace people who’ve visted an establishment if in case someone was tested positive with covid-19 there.
We were shown to our table and was told of the new layout of the pub – there are less tables now which worked well for us because it’s now extremely spacious but I guess it doesn’t really benefit the pub itself as it means less revenue for them. 🙁 There’s also a one way system throughout the pub, there are arrow signs on the floor to guide you.
Hand sanitizers were everywhere and also, they sanitize the tables and chairs as soon as a diner leaves before anyone could sit there again. That worked for us so much because we used to sit on an outdoor table with someone else’s plates there still. Lol.
On the downside, they ran out of some of the dishes that the Greek Mister ordered. The Albany wasn’t the only pub that we’ve visted which ran out of food while we were there. So I guess most of the pubs are still trying to figure this all out, as we all are. Everything the Greek Mister ordered was no longer available so he settled for a burger instead which he actually enjoyed. I just had halloumi fries along with regular fries, I wasn’t hungry then. I don’t know why.
So how was my first pub pimm’s of 2020? It was so glorious! The Albany was definitely the best place to have it! 🙂 We stayed there for 2 hours before getting an Uber back to our apartment. We were definitely not going to walk back after the amount of alcohol consumed. 🙂