A pub “in the middle of nowhere” has become a thriving grocery shop, fishmonger, butcher and takeaway after it devised a plan to transform itself within minutes of the announcement of Britain’s lockdown.
The Cart & Horses near Kings Langley in Herts used to cater to lunchtime diners, hikers and wedding guests but now serves shoppers in its car park, which has been neatly divided into lanes where staff hand drivers their purchases.
“I have never been busier in my life,” said Curtis Reynolds, who runs the free house with his father, Ian. “Since this began we have both been working 14-hour days, seven days a week.”
Fortunately Mr Reynolds is no stranger to physical exertion: in normal times he is also a professional rugby player and has recently signed for London Scottish, the Championship team.
When The Telegraph visited over the weekend a constant stream of cars could be seen arriving and queues formed.
“We’re less busy during the week but we still have a couple of our staff in,” said Mr Reynolds. “At the weekends we can need seven employees. One does nothing but serve in the bar because we sell beer, wine and spirits under our ‘off sales’ licence to customers to consume off the premises.”
This newspaper witnessed some customers doing just that in the sunshine on grassy roadside banks nearby.
Mr Reynolds said he had sat down with his father to decide how the pub would operate within minutes of the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 23 that Britain would enter lockdown.