PUBS, cafes and hospitality business across Monmouthshire have welcomed being able to reopen indoor service from today.

Previously making do with outdoor service, customers can now take shelter from the Welsh weather - which has been changeable to say the least of late.

Landlord at the Anchor Inn in Tintern, Neil Foreman, said that he was "really glad" to have punters back inside his pub.

South Wales Argus: Neil Foreman of The Anchor Inn, in Tintern

Neil Foreman of The Anchor Inn, in Tintern

"Weather like we’ve had today (short bursts of torrential rain) would have wiped us out," he said.

"It's not been too bad, partly because of the weather. It’s going well."

Relying on forecasts is not an exact science and so it proved for Mr Foreman who, banking on a wet weekend, ended up with just four staff catering for a outdoor seating area which was full to capacity.

He said there was quite a lot of excitement at the new relaxation.

"People get it more this time around," he said.

"There are still a few who try to bend the rules though."


The Anchor is operating an indoor service on a booking format and, such has been the popularity that Mr Foreman has already received bookings as far in advance as the end of June.

"I'm just hoping and praying Wales will follow England’s lead in fully reopening later this year," he said.

He also said that businesses in Tintern had been “mentally busy” following the opening of the cycle route through Tidenham Tunnel from Sedbury.

"The café over the way had 250 bikes one day," he said.

Another cafe which is enjoying the new coronavirus lockdown relaxations is Cwtch in Abergavenny.

After falling foul of vandals recently, owner Joanne Nicholson said that her confidence had taken a hit.

South Wales Argus: Joanne Nicholson of Cwtch cafe in Abergavenny

Joanne Nicholson of Cwtch cafe in Abergavenny

However, today she said there had been "a real buzz about the place".

"We opened outdoors on April 26 and indoors today," she said, noting that the outdoor pods had been a "godsend" with the inclement weather.

"It’s been steady, lots of familiar faces.

"I was anxious at first as we’d been closed indoors for so long.

"There’s been a real buzz about the place. It’s nice to see people’s faces again."

She said that she could have "probably got away with having more tables inside", but opted to be as cautious as possible. "We’ve done it purposely," she said.

"Many of our customers are older."

The lockdown had hit Cwtch, and many across the industry, hard.

"We had been finding it hard it lockdown. I’d only had the café for three years," said Ms Nicholson.

"It was a major blow."

However, there were positives during the uncertain times.

Ms Nicholson explained that such difficulty meant that the hospitality businesses in the area had all rallied round and that there was a real sense of togetherness.

"Hopefully people will shop independent from now on," she said.