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Landlady of The George at Fordingbridge, Caroline Royland, says she will close it this Christmas as reward for 'stressed' staff

THE landlady of a popular Fordingbridge pub has said she will close it this Christmas so her staff who worked through the busy post lockdown period can enjoy spending more time with their families.

Caroline Roylance, who runs The George, said the break was their reward, adding: "The last 18 months has been incredibly stressful for hospitality.

"Our industry has changed immeasurably and we have adapted how we operate as we know how hard our staff are working and want to support them as much as we can.

Staff at The George are getting a Christmas break
Staff at The George are getting a Christmas break

"In a post-Covid world, we appreciate that time off with family is more important than ever, and therefore we have decided to close Christmas Day, Boxing Day in addition to Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th. This will give our staff a proper Christmas break."

Caroline continued: "We usually open over this period and we hope that those who usually dine with us on Christmas Day understand

"Our staff were very happy when we made the announcement. Anyone who would usually work a Saturday or Sunday will be paid," she added.

Based at Bridge Street, the pub is currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so all staff have two guaranteed days off. Staff celebrated its eight-year anniversary under Caroline's stewardship at the weekend.

The well-known eatery is regularly fully booked because it features an outdoor dining area that overlooks the River Avon.

During the lockdown it built new features to host diners and drinkers, including a pergola and courtyard, while Caroline made headlines after she said she would blacklist customers if they fail to show for a post-lockdown booking twice without cancelling after the venue lost money.

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