PUB owners across Monmouthshire have shared their excitement at finally being able to reopen outdoors after many months of lockdown.

The famously unpredictable British weather held up its end of the bargain, with people enjoying a pint in the sunshine at pub gardens up and down the region.

England opened outdoor hospitality on April 12.

Olly Hayden and Hannah Oliver, landlord and landlady at the Five Alls in Chepstow, say that this discrepancy has meant pubs on the other side of the border have benefitted from double the amount of trade.

"We are extremely happy to be back open," said the pair.


"The staggered opening between England and Wales has meant that English border counties have had the benefit of customers from both sides of the border these last few weeks which I think is a shame for the Welsh economy."

Some Welsh establishments will now operate by a booking system so as to control demand.

The Five Alls, however, will not.

"We are a wet led pub so will not be taking bookings for tables," said mr Hayden.

"We have a large beer garden with lots of tables and it’s first come first serve. "We are in the process of getting a covered shelter built in our beer garden as we all know how unpredictable the British weather can be. We have had new toilets installed and in the coming weeks are redecorating throughout. "We are so glad to be back doing what we do best and are praying for good weather over the coming weeks so people can enjoy the garden with a cold beer catching up with their nearest and dearest."

Those pubs with plenty of outdoor space will be looking to make the most of the lockdown relaxation.

The Anchor, in Tintern, has space enough for 50 tables. However, owner Neil Foreman says that should they reach capacity the kitchen may be overwhelmed.

When we spoke to him he said the pub garden was 80 per cent full.

"About 100 people, we’re doing well," he said.

"There have been a few teething problems, but that’s to be expected.

"It’s awesome to be back open. The staff are really excited too which is a bit weird!"

The Anchor will not be taking bookings either, with a first-come, first-served plan like the Five Alls.

"Being Wales and with the weather, if it rains I’m not going to get those bookings," explained Mr Foreman.

"We’ve got a good 50 tables outside.

"If it gets full to capacity we’ll have problems with food."

He explained that, even with the kitchen running at maximum efficiency there would likely be a wait of more than an hour for food.

"Track and trace is in place upon arrival," added Mr Foreman, saying that the reopening had been well-received by punters.

"At the weekend I counted 126 people sat on the football field next door," he said.

"I’ve never seen anything like it before. We would have loved to have been able to serve them all.

"What can you say? We’re open now and that’s the main thing."