The Wokingham Paper

The Lord Raglan opens its doors once again for drinkers and diners

The Lord Raglan
The team behind the bar at The Lord Raglan in Wokingham's Denmark Street Picture: Nick Tydeman

IT’S WOKINGHAM’S newest pub, and it barely had had a chance to showcase itself before the lockdown hit.

Now it’s reopening and it’s had a refurbishment of its refurbishment in order to ensure that it’s covid-secure.

The 180-year-old Lord Raglan in Wokingham’s Denmark Street is the Big Smoke Brewery’s latest venture. It offers a range of quality, freshly cooked food, along with beers – many of which it has brewed itself – and wines.

The company had only been open for 10 days before the Government ordered pubs to close. It carried on serving takeaways and, thanks to a partnership with Deliveroo, deliveries throughout.

It reopened on Saturday, with fewer tables, table service and an online ordering system. And to help things even more, there’s a reduced menu and a smaller range of goodies at the bar, with a promise to increase them as the lockdown continues to ease.

The one thing that hasn’t changed has been the warm welcome.

Rich Craig, director of Big Smoke Brew Co which owns The Lord Raglan, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be open again. It’s a bit different to how we are used to operating but our staff and customers have been extremely understanding of the changes that we’ve had to make to Enable us to operate safely.

“We had a very calm reopening and customers were just happy to be back in the pub again.

“We’ve been pleased with how we’ve traded so far and are looking forward to welcoming more people in as the days and weeks progress.”

Tables can now be booked and are available in two-hour slots, this ensures that they can be cleaned thoroughly so no one need worry about picking up the coronavirus.

Food and drinks can be ordered by scanning a QR code on a menu using smartphone, or by visiting the Big Smoke’s special app. You just need to make a note of your table number. And if you’re one of those people who hate the self-service checkouts at the supermarket, you’ll be relieved to know that The Lord Raglan’s team will be on hand to take your order.

The menu includes its famous Big Smoke Burger, a vegan ‘Lamb’ Burger, a Homemade Pie, Big Smoke Beer battered haddock, or Dry Aged Rib-Eye steak.

Roasts are available on Sundays, with children’s portions available.

There’s plenty of tempting desserts including Oreo Donuts, Chocolate Brownie, Mango Sorbet and Vegan or Dairy Ice Cream.

“We’ve set up an online ordering platform that means there is much less contact between customers and staff. It’s gone pretty well but some people prefer the old ways, of course,” Rich says.

And the Raglan’s takeaway service has been a big hit throughout the lockdown.

“It has been a very interesting time for us as a company,” Rich said. “Obviously, the pubs have been shut but our brewery has been very busy with home deliveries.

“Lockdown has allowed us to really look at how we operate and how best to serve our customers,  so some positives have come out of this.”

And being a brewery means that the lockdown time has been an opportunity for them to create some new beers for people to enjoy. It won’t be long before customers will be able to try them.

“We’ve been very busy brewing new beers, with one launched every few weeks at the moment,” Rich said.

“It’s been a great way to keep our home delivery customers interested in what we do and also keeping the brewing team engaged and excited.”

To book a table for The Lord Raglan, call 0118 978 3282, or log on to www.thelordraglan.co.uk/

You can also order a takeaway via Deliveroo.

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