An outside dining area

Going out to eat


Often, in our favourite soaps, restaurants are used as a backdrop for drama. But it is possible to just go out and have a good meal.

In the UK, dining out, of any kind, was off the cards for a while, due to the pandemic. This didn’t apply to the soaps of course, mainly because restaurants and pubs are the hub of all the drama. We will let the production teams off though, because they largely managed to broadcast uninterrupted and they explored some important lockdown storylines.

Going out in the real world

Back in the real world, us soap fans are able to dine out again and I for one have been doing just that.

I have been revisiting all of my favourite, pre-pandemic haunts, as I want to support those businesses. I know that it’s been a tough time for them, so I’m happy to visit and spend some of my hard-earned cash.

As well as dining locally, I’ve visited some of my favourite venues in other parts of the UK. This has included one of my favourite eateries in Carlisle; Gianni’s Pizzeria.

I’ve been making an effort to visit new places too. However, I always check restaurant reviews first, as I don’t want to end up visiting a place that isn’t up to scratch!

Booking ahead of time

I am quite a spontaneous and disorganised person, so for me, booking ahead of time doesn’t come naturally. But I’ve found that when I just turn up, my favourite restaurants are often fully booked. This means that I have to book ahead if I want to secure a table. I’ve found that SquareMeal is a great website for booking.

Other changes

Being organised isn’t the only thing that’s changed when it comes to dining out. Many places have now extended their outdoor seating area. I’ve enjoyed dinner outside the Coal & Cotton in Worsley and the atmosphere is great on a Friday evening.

I’m also a big fan of table service. For me, ordering from the table is ace. It means that me and my friends don’t have to take it in turns to visit the bar either.

I’ve also enjoyed ordering food and drink via my iPhone. Lots of places now have QR codes, which you can use to order food from. At first, I wasn’t sure about this system, but I soon got used to opening up my camera app, pointing it at the code and being taken to the venue’s ordering page.

Going forward

For now at least, venues seem to be keeping some of the adaptations they brought in when lockdown lifted. I personally think that they will keep some of them as we progress into a post-pandemic world. I would certainly like table service and outdoor dining to remain!

We all hope that we won’t ever see any restrictions again, but you should never try and gauge the current Coronavirus rules by what your favourite soap stars doing. Always check the Government’s official website if you suspect that something has changed.

Note: this is a paid collaboration.

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