Blog #7: Pies, Encouragement, Staff birthday, and deliveries 2 weeks on

Well, it's exactly 2 weeks today that we had to close our doors to customers when Boris Johnson announced the sensible measures needed to stop Coronavirus from spreading within our community.

Warren and I took the decision to continue to run the pub for our community, sticking to our 'We are a Village Pub' mission statement we made a year ago when we took over. It'll take a lot to close the Horse & Groom, when you consider the pub remained open during both World Wars.

We have taken extreme steps to ensure the safety of our staff, customers and our community. No one except the 5 team members are allowed inside the pub, which includes our live-in team. Collections are from the front porch where we leave the take-away items in the porch for collection by customers after we see them outside or they bang on the door. Payments are made by phone or online, so no risk of touching our card machines and all delivery volunteers (delivering to those in our community who are most vulnerable) access their collections from a separate entrance at the back of the pub. The advantages of having a Health Professor in the business.

New menu items

Pies, Pies & Pies. We are now serving pies did I mention. 4 pies, 2 veggie including 1 vegan pie. With Chips or Mash. Served with Gravy and Mushy Peas. We had to put our thinking hats on as some of our suppliers are beginning to drop like flies and our food options were accordingly dwindling. You really should try these bad boys, they are good!

Our groceries section has now increased too. We now have cheese, butter, eggs, milk, juice, pasta, flour, rice and other cupboard essentials to keep you from going to the supermarket if at all possible. If there is anything else you need, like vegetables, let us know, and we will see if we can source them for you.

Birthday Party

Today is our commis chef Jaro's Birthday. He's still in his twenties and 189 months. There is no reason why adults cannot use the month notation to declare age, when children can. I call this ageist! Tonight, after service, we will have a drink or 2 and eat some pies. We're still one the few lucky people who can enjoy a pub with fresh cask ale - and to that end, cheers!

Overwhelming Support - Thank you.

The feedback from well wishers and customers we have received in the past 2 weeks has been absolutely amazing. Warren and I along with the rest of the Horse & Groom team are very grateful and humbled. The countless positive phone calls and Facebook messages remind us that we are still people, we're all in this together, and we will get through this together. I'll drink to that.

Warren having Sunday Lunch with a selection of wines that would otherwise have gone to waste. Being a pub landlord sometimes has it's advantages it seems.

From Software Developer to delivery driver

I have got to know this part of the world pretty well now having delivered food to many villages around us, including: Evenlode, Adlestrop, the Rissingtons, Bledington, Stow, Broadwell, Churchhill, Kingham, the two Swells and Icomb. No one from the Slaughters yet! What is apparent is the beautiful countryside we are so lucky to be living in. Now the clocks have gone forward, I can now see the hills, fields and wildlife. Very different to sitting at my desk, staring at a computer screen for hours.

What has become apparent, is the lack of house numbers, making deliveries challenging. When your address is Barn House, Adlestrop for example, Google Maps and Waze cannot find them. I've been circling for ages looking at house names to make a delivery. So next time you see a blue 59 plate VW, driving slowly looking at houses, it's me, not a kerb-crawler - don't call the police.

Must dash, it's our first Pie night today, lets see how this goes. Keep safe and chat laters!

#coronavirus #covid19 #stowonthewold #upperoddington #horseandgroomoddington #stayathome #takeaway #nhs #communityspirit

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