'It finally feels like life is getting back to normal' - drinkers and diners celebrate indoor reopening in Alnwick

Drinkers and diners in Alnwick have been thrilled with the indoor reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

By Ian Smith
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:34 pm

The opportunity to meet up with friends and family without the need for coats and hats was welcomed by many.

Barter Books with its cosy, open fires, was among those to attract plenty of customers.

Chris Hignett, from Hexham, and is spending a few days on holiday in Beadnell, was among them.

Customers enjoying the reopening of indoor hospitality in Alnwick.

"It’s nice to be able to get out and see a few different places,” he said.

At The Dirty Bottles on Narrowgate, Duchess’s Community High School students Charlotte Walton and Isabella Turnbull were celebrating the end of their exams.

"It finally feels like life is getting back to normal,” said Isabella.

Charlotte added: “It’s really nice that we’re now free to go out again.”

Charlotte Walton and Isabella Turnbull enjoy an oreo and malteser milkshake and a tropical mocktail.

Jessica Straughan, who was celebrating her 24th birthday with friend Rachel Tait, said: “It’s nice to be somewhere warm.”

Andrea Frater, who marked her 45th birthday with a visit to The Bluebell Inn with husband, Mark, added: “It feels amazing to be here and have a little bit of normality – although we’re not here every Monday!”

Hazel Bettison, from Berwick, was enjoying a coffee with her partner, Paul Godwin, at The Pig in Muck.

"It’s great to see more places reopening,” she said. “People are chomping at the bit to get out and about again after all this time.”

Mark and Andrea Frater, who was enjoying a birthday drink at The Bluebell Inn.

Anita Mallin, from Alnwick, was enjoying a coffee with a friend at McKenna’s Cafe at Alnwick Playhouse.

She said: “It’s nice to get back in where it’s warm.”

A few yards away, Alnwick Library reopened for the first time since a serious flooding issue.

Pam Smith, senior library assistant driver, said: “It’s been a long time coming so we’re really pleased that everyone is now allowed back in. There were people waiting at the door for us reopening. They are thrilled to be back.”

Rachel Tait and Jessica Straughan enjoying cocktails at The Dirty Bottles.

Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman, Lisa Aynsley, has consistently stressed the importance of the hospitality sector the the town’s economic well-being.

"It’s a huge day for all non-essential retail,” she said. “Everyone is reliant on hospitality being open and helping to bring more people into the town. It’s another step in the right direction and very positive news.”

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Chris Hignett at Barter Books.