On Friday night we officially re-opened the pub after 18 months of Covid-closure.
When we closed the doors in March 2020 we all thought it would be a matter of a few weeks before we were back with our friends drinking, singing and generally being silly together. How wrong we were!
I remember at the beginning of June 2020 boxing up the pub’s glasses and tumblers after watching them getting dustier and dustier on the shelves. It was one of the saddest days for me, realising that we were in for a long journey back to reopening in any capacity, let alone revisiting the pub atmosphere we loved so much.
In the last 18 months we have had to develop almost contortionist levels of flexibility to keep the pub going, in any guise we could. We’ve dived into beer (and food) deliveries, opened a door-step off-licence, offered a gifted-drink delivery service. We hosted the cheese & pie van for the people of Sweffling. We renovated the beer garden twice and created ‘The Mule – Live Music Venue’ which, despite three attempts at launching, was only ever open for 2 events of music & drinking. At each turn we have been thwarted and forced to change direction by developments with the virus, lockdowns and changing guidelines for businesses and individuals. All whilst adapting and applying similar levels of flexibility to running the Alde Garden Campsite!
But on Friday it all became worth it to see our newly-ventilated & freshly scrubbed pub full with people again! We had lots of lovely people and all the aspects of The Sweffling White Horse we’ve been missing packed into one evening: Fancy dress, music, games of ‘it’, laughter, silliness, poker dice, jumpy frogs whoopee cushions and, of course, delicious beer. For us it was the perfect night to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy the company of our pub-family again….finally indoors!
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along, to everyone who dressed up and to everyone who couldn’t make it but has been supporting us over the last 18 months. Thanks also to our amazing team of staff and to Jason for his brilliant photos.
The rest of the opening weekend was a delight too, with our regulars settling back into their old places and ways – welcoming new faces with the same warmth as before and interacting with other regulars with the same playfulness. I have felt the pub smile with the familiarity of the vibe which is so unique to this place, and my own grin has been well used this weekend my face hurts!!
Going forward we will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings from 7pm, and Sunday lunchtimes from 12-3.
We are tentatively re-introducing events, and have a few things lined up – keep an eye on the ‘events’ page for more info