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UK’s first purpose-built social distanced restaurant is set to open this Saturday


Diners take their places in family bubbles to test the UK’s only purpose-built pop-up socially distanced restaurant, split into separate dining pods with serving hatches under one marquee, the Anti Social Club (Picture: PA)

Could this be the future of dining out?

The UK’s first specially built social distanced restaurant, at the St Moritz Hotel & Spa in Cornwall, will open its doors this Saturday, 4 July.*

*Yep, that’s the day everyone’s calling ‘Super Saturday’, as loads of pubs and restaurants are set to reopen as lockdown measures ease.

We saw plans for this restaurant, the UK’s first purpose built to abide by health and safety recommendations amid coronavirus, back in June.

Now it’s all set up and ready for its first proper customers.

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The restaurant, called The Anti-Social Club, has 16 separate rooms for each dining party, allowing guests to remain in their own social bubble and stay separated from other guests and staff.

Staff deliver food to 16 rooms through hatches (Picture: PA)
The private dining rooms allow guests to remain in their social bubbles (Picture: PA)

Food is served through hatches in each room by staff wearing face masks.

Up to 96 guests are able to dine in at the social distanced spot and enjoy a new way of eating out in the era of Covid-19.

From Saturday, guests at the hotel and those who fancy booking in only at the restaurant will be able to head to The Anti-Social Club for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Reservation times will be staggered so diners won’t have to walk past others or wait when they arrive.

Servers will all wear masks (Picture: PA )

Hugh Ridgway, owner of the St Moritz Hotel, said their usual restaurant would only have been able to operate at 30% occupancy with the two-metre rule in place so decided to build the socially distanced pop-up venue.

‘Our self-catering accommodations are full for July and August, which we would expect,’ he said.

‘People have been waiting and waiting to stay in hotels and now our phones are very busy, our online bookings are very busy.

‘We are very lucky here in St Moritz that our architecture means all of our hotel rooms can be occupied in a safe and socially distanced manner.

They seem to be having fun, no? (Picture: PA)

‘The only problem is that we need to feed our guests. We can’t do that if we are restricting our restaurant to 30% or 60% – if at one-metre distance – occupancy.

‘That’s why we came up with the idea of socially distanced dining and built this marquee with 16 individual dining rooms.’

As well as the dedicated restaurant, guests can eat meals in striped guest huts, where staff will deliver the food before diners arrive to avoid any contact.

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