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Pub group launches magical ‘winter garden’ dining experiences

PUBLISHED: 12:34 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:34 28 September 2020

Inside the winter dining tipi at The Weeping Willow, Barrow near Bury St Edmunds  Picture: Emma Cabielles

Inside the winter dining tipi at The Weeping Willow, Barrow near Bury St Edmunds Picture: Emma Cabielles

Emma Cabielles

Chestnut is rolling out heated, fairylight-lit tipis at several of its properties – and they’re perfect for small wedding receptions too.

The winter dining tipi at The Weeping Willow in Barrow is kitted out with heaters and has five tables of six. It's available for small wedding receptions of up to 15 people, as well as dining  Picture: Emma CabiellesThe winter dining tipi at The Weeping Willow in Barrow is kitted out with heaters and has five tables of six. It's available for small wedding receptions of up to 15 people, as well as dining Picture: Emma Cabielles

“People have been going crazy for them since we launched on social media at the weekend,” says Tori Dexter of Chestnut about the launch of the group’s first winter garden experience in Suffolk.

Open now at The Weeping Willow in Barrow, and with bookings flooding in, the spectacular tipi set-up has been designed with comfort and social distancing in mind.

The arrangement has also caught the eye of brides and grooms, who are able to book the tipi for small wedding receptions of up to the legal limit of 15 people.

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“They have such a wow factor when you walk in,” Tori adds. “There are flickering candles on the tables. We have a lower seating area if you just want to have a drink with friends. And there are also five tables of six set apart for social distancing groups who want to enjoy a meal out there. We’ve put in planters to give more of a garden look, and lots of fairy lights. It has a twinkly, romantic feel and is something a bit different than you’d usually experience going out and eating in winter.”

With four large heaters inside and a firepit at a safe distance outside, the tipi is toasty and warm, and the group plans to keep it open throughout winter, even during snowy weather (unless there’s a storm or snow drifts).

“We’ll be bringing the experience to other locations as well. We’re looking at doing the same at The Packhorse in Moulton. At The Crown in Stoke by Nayland it will be slightly different with a stretch tent over the patio. And we’re also looking at having the Crown at Westleton ready by half term. We’re so lucky to have such nice big gardens and to be able to utilise them in this way. Guests have been wanting to eat out more and this was how we could create a ‘destination’ for them. Somewhere warm, cosy and beautiful for the winter months.”

It’s table service only at The Weeping Willow, and booking for the tipi is essential.


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