PUBS are reporting on how busy they have been in the first week of them being able to reopen.

This weekend marks the first one this year when pubs with outdoor seating have welcomed back punters.

Across Oxford, pubs have been full of customers as many sought to enjoy the sunshine, particularly this weekend.

Ordering a table at most pubs in the city has been a challenge in itself, this evident at The White Rabbit.

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Alleyn Buckler, assistant manager at the pub, said: “We were very busy yesterday – we never had an empty table and there was a very quick turnaround from one table to the next.

“It’s been busy but controlled, and everyone was enjoying themselves which is exactly what we want to see.

“It’s been an exhausting week but it’s been so nice to see people back out.

“People have been very responsible with their behaviour in pubs and restaurants, which I think is something that might’ve been missing in the last lockdown.”

Oxford Mail: Scenes from The White Rabbit earlier this week. Picture: Ed NixScenes from The White Rabbit earlier this week. Picture: Ed Nix

Meanwhile, the Isis Farmhouse by the River Thames has been making use of a ‘unique advantage’.

Deirdra McAllister, general manager, said: “We were exceptionally busy yesterday and we’ve had a particularly busy week really.

“Everyone is desperate to get back to the pub and it’s been such a lovely, positive environment.

“We’ve got big garden space so we’re extremely lucky compared to other pubs.

“We’ve been able to trade as normal really – it’s a bit of a unique advantage.

“Due to our location, the takeaway trade didn’t make sense so it’s all the better we had so many people coming this week.”

Oxford Mail: The Isis Farmhouse. Picture: Ed NixThe Isis Farmhouse. Picture: Ed Nix

Many pubs have introduced new measures to ensure they can accommodate more customers.

This is the case at The Seacourt Bridge in Botley.

Landlady Tracy Dennell said: “Yesterday was quite busy but not quite as busy as Monday – everyone was in a really good mood.

“It’s been really good, it’s nice to see everyone outside having a drink and relaxing.

“Compared to November and December, it’s so much nicer as people can just come by for a drink rather than feel forced into getting food.

“It’s now a case of playing it by ear, and the next few weeks will depend on the weather – we’ve got a new marquee in the car park which will help when the weather is windy and cold though.”

Oxford Mail: The new marquee at The Seacourt Bridge in Botley. Picture: Liam RiceThe new marquee at The Seacourt Bridge in Botley. Picture: Liam Rice

The Punter, with its new vegetarian and vegan menu, has also been welcoming customers back.

The pub’s general manager said: “It was a nice 50/50 split on drinks and food, and people were out in good spirits.

“We had quite a high demand with the menu, which is giving us a good chance to settle back in.

“Midweek was steady every day, but we’ve been fully booked over the weekend, and the nice weather has helped.

“We have got some heaters though and retractable covers in case the weather isn’t so good.”

Oxford Mail: Tom Rainey, owner of The Punter. Picture: Tim HughesTom Rainey, owner of The Punter. Picture: Tim Hughes

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