I can't lie, I'm very excited about hospitality slowly re-emerging from tomorrow. I can't wait to take in the delights of Oxford Street and Bedford Place, particularly with its new, quite literal, 'street' art. I think Piecaramba's ridiculous pie and pint deal, will be high up the list, alongside The Cricketers, Smugglers, Black Phoenix, Smugglers and Beards and Boards - what a line up of locally owned awesomeness. This isn't a sponsored post - posts are never sponsored, but I'm going to share Piecaramba's promo image to give a flavour of what's to come.
Over in Oxford Street, it's great to see lots of new local businesses setting up, including Rita's cocktail bar, Marco's moving from by the station, and Pam Pam pizza replacing Pizza Express. Alongside existing gems such as Max's Brasserie and Porters, it will be great to see the street buzzing again.
There are countless businesses reopening for the first time that I can't mention them all, but I will also be visiting Bevois Valley for The Shooting Star and The Hobbit, and Shirley for Overdraft and Clockwork. I also want to cross the river to home of the smallest outdoor drinking area in the city, Olaf's Tun. Leaving bars aside for a moment, my shoes have been getting a bit 'holey' recently so a trip to French's is required.
What are you most looking forward to opening? Please share your thoughts over on our Facebook group.
And of course let's all be supportive and friendly to all the staff in shops and hospitality - it hasn't been an easy time for them and they are likely to be swamped with demand, alongside the responsibility to keep everyone safe. So let's not make their job harder than it needs to be. Sometimes we'll turn up somewhere and there won't be space to safely accommodate us - it's great that the business is doing well and thus will be there for us another day - let's just move on and find somewhere quieter where they need our custom and which we can more safely visit.
Stay safe and have fun everyone. And to everyone working in the shops and hospitality, thank you.