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23rd July 2012

Absolute Pubs to weatherproof outdoor area at the Bell Inn

The dire summer has prompted Absolute Pubs to bring forward plans to ‘weatherproof’ the outdoor area of the Bell Inn at Hampton, Middlesex.

Hopes that the garden area would be a strong driver of trade for the historic pub this summer have been dashed by the washout weather. Absolute, which operates four pubs around the Surrey/Middlesex border, now plans to start the planned building project immediately.

The Bell’s overall outdoor area will be expanded, and made less weather-dependent by extending the covered trading area, as well as installing additional umbrellas and outdoor heating and landscaping the area with new plants. The £75,000 project will see the Bell Inn’s outdoor area expanded onto a section of the pub’s car park, with the enlarged area providing space for 120 customers outside.

Absolute Director Simon Bailey said: “Like most pub operators, we’d been hoping for a good summer to encourage customers to eat and drink outdoors.  We’d originally scheduled the outdoor building work for October, so it wouldn’t disrupt outdoor trade.

“The Bell is in a fantastic location overlooking the Thames and when the sun shines our outdoor area is very busy. However, this year the weather just hasn’t done us any favours and of course, there hasn’t been as much leisure traffic on the river either. We’ve been busy, but customers have been staying inside the pub, which limits the numbers we can serve.

“We now plan to complete the outside work before the end of August, so customers will have a chance to enjoy some al fresco food and drink at the Bell this summer, whatever the weather has in store.

“Of course, as soon as we raise the first new umbrella, it’s inevitable we’ll get a heatwave.”




Notes to editors:

Absolute Pubs sites

  • The Kings Arms, Hampton Court (Hall & Woodhouse):  Absolute Pubs’ first site, in August 2008. Traditional, 300-year-old pub perched at the Liongate of Hampton Court Palace.  Function room and 10 bedrooms.
  • The Bell, Hampton (Punch Taverns): Thameside gastropub, refurbished in 2010 when Absolute Pubs took on the pub. Function room with river views hosts regular events including comedy nights.
  • Waggon & Horses, Surbiton (Young’s): an Absolute Pub since August 2011, completely refurbished in October of same year. Food sales have increased by 10-fold since reopening.
  • The Flower Pot, Lower Sunbury (Brakspear): opening as an Absolute Pub in August 2012. Sited near the Thames, with eight en-suite rooms.

 Absolute Pubs directors

  • Simon Bailey studied Urban Property Surveying at Northumbria University before working as a property surveyor, for telecommunications companies and then house builders. Sarah worked with people with learning disabilities, then as a manager with a leading pub group to gain experience of the licensed trade.

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Issued on behalf of:    Absolute Pubs

By:                               ShielPorter Communications

Further information:    Ros Shiel: / 07841 694137

John Porter: / 07734 054389