The Milton Keynes pubs and restaurants that have confirmed they'll be open on April 12

A string of MK pubs and restaurants have this week confirmed they will re-open for outdoor visitors during Al Fresco April..

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 5:23 pm

Only restaurants and pubs with outdoor seating will be able to reopen from April 12, while some brands have said they will hold off until May regardless of whether they have space outside.

But, unlike last year, this time people do not need to order a "substantial meal" in order to drink alcohol at a pub. They can simply enjoy a drink - providing there is space. And there will be no dreaded 10pm curfew, though some venues may choose to close early.

At least two Wetherspoons pubs in MK will open - the Moon Under Water at Central Milton Keynes and Captain Ridley's Shooting Party in Bletchley. The Bouverie Square Wetherspoons at CMK is not so far on the Wetherspoons' list to re-open.

The Moon Under Water will be open
The Moon Under Water will be open

Unlike many other venues, Wetherspoon will NOT be operating a system for people to book tables in advance, and it will be a case of turning up and waiting for a table to become free.

Greene King is opening just under a third of its pubs in England. Those that will open on April 12 in MK are the Lakeside pub on Willen Lake, the Furzton Lake Hungry Horse pub, the Caldecote pub at Caldecote, Ye Olde Swan at Woughton on the Green (Chef and Brewer) and Broughton Hotel (Hungry Horse).

Customers will be able to book a garden table online at these pubs from Friday 26 March, although people will to can visit the pub outdoors without an advance booking.

Other local pubs to confirm an April 12 re-opening include the Kings Arms at Newport Pagnell, The Old Beams at Shenley Lodge, the Wavendon Arms at Wavendon, The Three Trees in Bletchley, the Black Horse in Great Linford and the Cross Keys at Woolstone.

People enjoy a pint in some pub gardens again in Al Fresco April

Some have been working on their outdoor areas during lockdown. A spokesman for the Three Trees said: "We have updated our outdoor spaces for outdoor dining, we’ve added heaters, bespoke dividers, beautiful lighting all ready for alfresco food and drinks."

A Cross Keys spokesman said: "We have a large garden, full outside bar and are covering our garden with a stretch tent. Advance bookings are not needed."

The rule of six will still apply in all pubs and outdoor venues and a maximum of two households can meet,

Some pubs will have reduced opening hours and menus and these will be displayed on their individual websites or social media pages.

Several restaurants in MK have also confirmed they will re-open on April 12. The move depends on whether they have enough outdoor seating to make it viable, and many are opting to wait until lockdown restrictions ease further.

PizzaExpress is planning to open its premises at MK1 on the 12th, as is Byron burger restaurant at the centre:mk.

Nando's say they are working on plans to re-open some restaurants with outdoor seating "as soon as possible", but they have not yet said when this will be. The popular chain has indicated it will not be taking booking in advance when restaurant do open again.

McDonald's say they waiting on further guidance before deciding whether to re-open branches with outdoor seating in April.

All pubs and restaurants are not allowed to open for indoor bookings until May 17 under the Prime Minister's road map. The same map aims to lift all Covid restrictions in England by June 21.

Meanwhile, a new app called Boozr is giving people the chance to find out which pubs with beer gardens are open nearby from 12 April.

The app spans 700,000 venues worldwide and is aimed at people who can't wait to 'do their socialising in real life', say the developers.

* If you are a local hospitality venue planning to open on April 12, please let us know and we will add you to the list - just email [email protected]