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Chestnut group opens Winter Garden Tipis in Barrow restaurant The Weeping Willow




A restaurant group has ‘taken the indoors, outdoors’ by installing Winter Garden Tipis in some of its venues to give customers a taste of outdoor dining during the colder months.

The Weeping Willow in Barrow was the first of four pub/restaurants owned by Chestnut hospitality group to erect the tent-like structures in gardens.

Tori Dexter, group growth manager for Chestnut, said the tipis can seat up to six guests for dining by candlelight.

The tipis have now been installed in other pubs
The tipis have now been installed in other pubs

“Once we reopened in July we found a lot of people were choosing to eat outside,” she said.

“As we are lucky enough to have lovely big gardens and outdoor terraces at all of our properties we decided to try and take the indoors, outdoors.”

There is also a fire pit and heating apparatus to warm the tipis, with chairs lined with faux fur throws.

The cosy tipis have opened for the autumn / winter seasonPictures by Mark Westley
The cosy tipis have opened for the autumn / winter seasonPictures by Mark Westley

“There hasn’t been much to look forward to over the last few months, so we wanted to create a new experience for our guests – something a bit different that would capture peoples imaginations,” Ms Dexter added.

“The Winter Garden Tipis really have that wow factor, particularly as the lights go down, the twinkly lights, fire pit and candles make it feel quite magical.

“It is an opportunity to eat a delicious meal al fresco under the stars and who doesn’t enjoy drinking cocktails by candlelight, next to cosy heaters?”

General manager Greg Hacon and assistant general manager Chloe Dewsbery with staff Chloe Nicols and Dev Sharma Martin
General manager Greg Hacon and assistant general manager Chloe Dewsbery with staff Chloe Nicols and Dev Sharma Martin

The tipis can be booked for parties of five, or six. Managers have said that it may be possible for smaller parties to drop in if the tipis are not full.

Ms Dexter said the Winter Garden Tipi has been such a success at The Weeping Willow that they have been added to the grounds of sister pubs: The Packhorse, Moulton; The Crown, Stoke by Nayland, and The Globe Inn, Wells-Next-the-Sea.

Bookings can be made for groups of five or six	Pictures by Mark Westley
Bookings can be made for groups of five or six Pictures by Mark Westley

“The tipi is now booked up every Saturday until Christmas and mid-week is also filling up fast,” she added. “There are only 30 covers in the tipi due to social distancing. We have also had a lot of inquiries for micros weddings, as it is a beautiful setting to celebrate in smaller groups. We are also running some of our Christmas experiences in there.”

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