Customers in the north-east raced to get their bookings secured as hundreds logged on to confirm their seats.
More than 1,000 covers at The Chester Hotel have been snapped up in seven minutes as bookings for the four-star hotel’s al fresco and indoor dining opened earlier today.
The hotel on Queen’s Road in Aberdeen opened their books at 2pm and by 2.07pm, 1,000 people had been confirmed.
Reopening on April 26 after a three-month closure, customers were eager to get their tables secured as more and more venues begin to take bookings in anticipation of opening their doors once again.
The hotel has retained its two large marquees in front of the venue which will be open for food and drink bookings (with alcohol) from noon to 10pm from April 26, with last orders at 8pm.
It is adopting the Scottish Government’s suggestion of two-hour pre-booked slots for hospitality when it reopens fully inside.
Tables for food and non-alcoholic drinks can be made indoors from May 3 from noon to 8pm, with last orders at 6pm
There will be the option to pre-book drinks only alfresco tables for one-hour slots and breakfast, teas and coffees will be available indoors from 10am to 12 noon from May 3, too.
The popular afternoon tea experience can also be booked from April 30 every Wednesday to Sunday, and the 72 bedrooms the venue houses can also be booked from that date.
Stephen Gow, general manager at The Chester Hotel, said: “The major success for us in 2020 was our outdoor dining experience. From July to the end of September we served more than 16,000 diners; with up to 400 on some days. The appetite for this was staggering.
“We think that the enthusiasm for alfresco dining will remain for some considerable time. Even with the vaccination programme, we’re predicting that being outdoors with well-spaced seating will remain popular at least throughout 2021.”