PEMBROKESHIRE pubs and pub-goers have delighted in the reopening of hostelries outdoors following the relaxation of Covid rules.

Monday, April 26, saw the long-awaited reopening of outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, as well as outdoor hospitality, including cafes, pubs and restaurants.

It is expected the hospitality sector will be able to open indoors from May 17.

Happy customers in the Clarence Hotel's seafront beer garden on Tenby's Esplanade were the first to be served from the newly-installed on-site bar.

"It's all going well and it's pretty busy," said a member of the reception team.

In Saundersfoot, the Harbwr Bar and Kitchen was busy with food and drink for customers to sit outside or take away.

The plan was to serve food until around 8pm, and then judge the bar closing time by the amount of customers, said manager Dave Cannaby.

"Everything has gone well so far, and people are behaving themselves, which is a bonus," he said.

"For a Monday in April it's been a very good day. It's going to be pretty crazy this bank holiday weekend."

Nicola from the Ferry Inn, Pembroke Dock, said: "I am not nervous about re-opening it's just all a bit strange trying to adjust to the new rules, and you’re not sure how everyone feels about it."

Other pubs such as the Welshman's and The Hope Inn will not be returning to their customers until as late as Friday.

Haverfordwest's Friars Vaults duty supervisor Crissy Chave said the support from patrons has been fantastic.

"It's been a great response from our patrons.

"Really good to be open again, in fact it’s been brilliant.

"It’s mainly our regulars but there are one or two wanderers. Everyone’s pleased and I’m just glad to see different people."

The Castle, Little Haven, welcomed back patrons and a full rota of staff.

The Castle's Amy Blockwell said staff will be returning to a more normal routine.

"It is a relief to be back open," said Amy. "People are sort of over it now, they just want to be out, want to be back to normal."

With the pub being right on the sea front, Amy says a lot of trade relies on the season, with Easter one of the high points.

"We are very seasonal so we need to be open by Easter really," said Amy. "Obviously we missed that. It’s just a relief to be open now."

Mandy John, of The Farmers Arms in Haverfordwest said it was lovely to have people back.

"We have had a few in and out," said Mandy. "I think it’ll pick up when work finishes up.

"It feels lovely to be back. Couldn’t wait. Just nice to see our work lads and everyone coming in."

Relief was the overriding emotion at Haverfordwest's The Oak which reopened its doors at 12 on Monday, with a lot of people messaging to book spaces around 4.30pm.

Assistant manager Toni Swan said: "It’s been nearly five months that we’ve been off. You start to go round the bend so it’s nice to open up even if it’s just outside and there is limited space."

One of the issues raised by Toni is wondering whether seasoned customers know they are open.

"We normally have our regulars through the day," said Toni. "The guys who are retired, but I'm not sure they have Facebook so I’m not sure what time they think we are opening. We normally open a 2."

But the overriding message from Toni was: "We’re open, please come back."

Martha's Vineyard in Milford Haven said: "It's been a long winter and we've waited a long time for this day. It's great to finally get the doors open, the weather is in our favour today so it's good to see our outdoor eating areas full and so full of life, people socialising, enjoying food and drink and just seeing friends back together enjoying a bit of laughter.

"It's horrible seeing a restaurant locked up with nobody inside, it's a horrible feeling so it's great to see people back out and enjoying themselves.

"The place is bustling. The whole marina is packed today, there's people everywhere. There's a bit of a continental, European feel about it all.

"We're pretty much full for the next 10-14 days, as is everywhere along the waterfront."

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