Food and Drink

The UK’s First Purpose Built Socially Distant Restaurant Opens

Could this be the new normal for dining out?

The UK’s first purpose built socially distant restaurant opened its doors to the public on Saturday. Located at the St Moritz Hotel & Spa in Cornwall, the restaurant, aptly named ‘The Anti-Social Club’, has 16 separate rooms for each party, allowing guests to safely remain in their own social bubble. 

With capacity for up to 96 diners at a time, food is served through hatches in each private room, by staff wearing masks. Reservations are staggered, so that guests don’t have to wait when they arrive or come into contact with any other guests on entering. 

Hugh Ridgway, owner of the St Moritz Hotel, said the restaurant would only have been able to operate at 30% capacity with the two-metre rule in place, so he decided to build the socially distanced pop-up venue.

“People have been waiting and waiting to stay in hotels and now our phones are very busy, our online bookings are very busy,” he said.

“We are very lucky here in St Moritz that our architecture means all of our hotel rooms can be occupied in a safe and socially distanced manner.”

“The only problem is that we need to feed our guests. We can’t do that if we are restricting our restaurant to 30% or 60% – if at one-metre distance -occupancy. That’s why we came up with the idea of socially distanced dining and built this marquee with 16 individual dining rooms.”