With their twinkling lights, friendly volunteers and wealth of local knowledge, our village shops have been a lifeline during lockdown, offering deliveries or a phone and collect service for the most vulnerable. In her round up of these vibrant little stores, local resident Rebecca Smith discovers not just a huge range of essentials, but a treasure trove of Christmas gifts and goodies, many of them locally made.
Like many small businesses, Gourmet Leaves salad farm has had a tumultuous year. Thanks to Covid, they have had to change their business model five times and work flat out to keep their farm afloat. But somehow they have survived. Here Kate Monk looks back with pride on a year of extraordinary challenges and tentatively forward to their plans for 2021.
Pubs have had a really tough time this year, with lockdowns and constantly changing guidelines to cope with. But our amazing award winning village pubs have risen to the challenge, offering takeaway meals and drinks, deliveries and even opening shops on their premises. As they reopened after Lockdown2, still with Tier 2 restrictions, our editor Rosemary Stephenson did a tour of the villages to see how our pubs have been adapting and what they are offering over the festive season.
We’re lucky around here to have so much good food served up by local cafes, pubs and restaurants. Many hospitality businesses made changes during lockdown the first time round, adapting menus for take-out, setting up as temporary local shops, delivering hot meals to those self isolating and generally cheering us up. Charlie Richards gives us a round up of some of the places serving takeaway food during lockdown.