‘Social distancing restaurant’ to open in Cornwall in July

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 12, 2020 15:39

A Cornish hotel has said it has revamped its restaurant so that it conforms to social distancing guidelines, and it will open early next month.

St Moritz Hotel & Spa, which promotes walks to nearby St Enodoc Golf Club on its website, says it will be ‘the UK’s first purpose-designed and built socially distanced hotel restaurant.

‘Nicknamed ‘The Anti-Social Club’, it will consist of 16 private dining rooms, with a maximum of 96 covers and featuring multiple dining times.

All individual dining rooms are accessed from the outside, with the service function being provided from a central atrium, and all food and drink is delivered to each room via a set of hatches.

It is due to open on July 4.

‘Mixing elements of private members’ clubs, private dining rooms, beach clubs and summer pop-up restaurants, clear guidance and exacting operating procedures ensure the two metre rule and new environmental health requirements are met at all times,’ said a spokeswoman.

‘The service team don’t need to go into the dining rooms, and the individual, staggered dining times mean that guests won’t run into each other. Each and every room can be completely cleared and appropriately cleaned, then re-set-up, to meet all requirements, between each dining party.

‘The Anti-Social Club will require a team of at least 20 to run across the high season, providing vital local jobs and economic benefits.’

Co-owner Hugh Ridgway said: “Covid-19 has stopped the industry in its tracks. Like all hotels, bars and restaurants across the globe, the virus has hit our business like an unbelievable sledgehammer. However, as ever, we have dusted ourselves off, and risen to this unpredictable challenge in our own way.

“We can trade our rooms in a safe and socially distanced manner, however we can only sell those hotel rooms if we can feed our guests – and feed them well. “Simply reworking our current restaurants and bars, and operating at 30 percent capacity doesn’t allow that, so our specially-designed summer ‘pop-up’ restaurant overcomes this obstacle.”

Hugh’s brother, Steve Ridgway, until last week the chairman of Visit Britain and former chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “We are forever talking about the pioneering British spirit and it’s true to say that out of adversity comes creativity.

“Within Visit Britain we have been encouraging the industry to discover, and unlock, experimental opportunities that provide a silver lining amongst the Covid challenges.

“We’re all exceedingly pleased to have landed on a new concept and dining solution that elevates the summer experience there. Thousands of customers do not want to miss their summer holidays and this will mean that they won’t, and that they can holiday in a safe and enjoyable way.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 12, 2020 15:39
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  1. Sue June 13, 17:25

    Good luck to the St Moritz Hotel and Spa in Cornwall. I hope their experiment works with the ‘anti-social club’

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  2. Peter June 13, 14:57

    OK !! In the short term, we’re going to see some things that we wish we wouldn’t, plexi-glass, plastic, etc. As leaders, it’s our job to “calm the waters” and restore order !! Yes there will be changes in the short term, mostly a return to fundamentals in cleanliness ! We’ll also see some new, “next practices”, always a good thing ! However, we must remember, people will only pay for great experiences in good times ! Before the virus , it was an experience economy and once we find a vaccine, there will be a bigger demand for greater experiences !”

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