With the first weekend of hospitality reopening after the coronavirus lockdown falling on the May bank holiday weekend, it is no surprise it was a busy one for the industry.
And despite the changeable weather, customers and tourists flocked to the local bars, pubs and restaurants to support the range of venues now open for business.
With hospitality restrictions only allowing customers to consume alcohol outside, many dining al fresco came equipped with hot water bottles, jackets and blankets.
The May bank holiday weekend is usually one of the busiest for hospitality in the north-east and despite the restrictions and the weather, hundreds of people turned up for their pre-booked reservations to indulge in hospitality’s offerings.
With many venues across the city erecting gazebos and marquees to keep customers dry, the occasion was one which saw friends, family and colleagues reunite face-to-face for the first time in months.
Head of food and drink, Julia Bryce, ventured out for two al fresco dining experiences at the weekend, one taking her to the newly opened Backyard Beach Collective street food pop-up at Aberdeen beach, and the other to Bonnymuir Green Community Trust‘s venue from their spring nights event.
“Both events were well organised and felt very safe. I headed to the street food pop-up on the Friday night with my sisters and on arrival we had to sign into Test and Protect by scanning a QR code. There was lots of staff working and plenty of signs to keep you right.
“The bar was table service only while the food vendor outlets were self-serve. However, only four people were allowed to queue for any one vendor at any one time. There was plenty on offer and everyone seemed to be really enjoying being out again. Face masks had to be worn when walking around the venue and hand sanitiser was available at various different points.
“On Saturday I headed out for dinner with my boyfriend and his auntie and uncle. Again, face masks had to be worn when heading indoors or walking around, but were allowed to be removed once seated at the table.
“There was lots of staff working and dinner was served in waves which meant service was easy flowing. Our details had been pre-recorded when we booked in advance so we didn’t have to give them again. All of the tables were well spread out and while there were heaters in the open sided marquee, the cold really did hit you later in the evening.
“We had come equipped with blankets which I would highly recommend to anyone dining al fresco on chillier evenings.”
Check out our photo gallery of just some of the busy places across the city centre this weekend and see if you can spy yourself, your friends or family.