The new team at the Folly are looking forward to reopening next week after being closed since the start of lockdown.

Back in March, the management were replaced after “blips” in their service. “The team didn’t give a damn before,” said John Mitchell, the new manager. “We want to make guests the focal point, and get some passion back into the pub.”

The assistant manager, Charlotte Huxter, says she remembered what the pub used to be like when she worked there five years ago, and wanted to reinstate that. “We’ll still be The Folly, but better,” she said.

Only two weeks after taking over, however, the pub was closed along with all the others across the country. The staff were stuck at home, and even when restrictions began to lift in August, the pub was placed in the third phase of reopenings by its owners, Greene King.

“It was hard to see other pubs serving in August while I was stuck at home,” said Charlotte. On the plus side, she said that lockdown allowed them to prepare their staff for the reopening.

Now they’re back in the building, she says it’s been “hectic” getting the whole pub back up and running.

“You have to do things you don’t normally think of,” she said, “like running the taps for an hour!”

To celebrate its opening, the pub will be having balloons and archways, as well as a horse mascot for children. They’ll also be having their own version of the Eat Out to Help Out discount, with 50% off in the pub on food and non-alcoholic drinks, but with no £10 cap.

The Folly will also be breaking new ground in other ways, with Jordan Jones, the kitchen manager, launching breakfasts at the pub, which will include a range of options from a full English to breakfast burritos. Measures to keep guests safe from Covid-19 will also be in place, from table monitors to hand sanitisers and table service.

In the future, the pub is hoping to appeal to a wide range of customers, including dogs, while the pub will be split into a family focused section on one side, and an adult section on the other. They also want to host a range of activities when it is safe to do so.

“We can’t have a hullabaloo now,” says John, “but if we get back to normal we want quality music. We want to be a big venue and host fetes and fairs in all the space at the back.”

The Folly will reopen at 8am on Monday, October 12.