Pub hosting 'dining in the dark' evenings

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Dining in the dark: the Tollymache Arms (pictured) launches new event to highlight energy crisis
Dining in the dark: the Tollymache Arms (pictured) launches new event to highlight energy crisis

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A Northampton based Wells & Co pub has hoped to increase footfall and reduce its energy usage by launching a new ‘Dining in the Dark’ event for this Winter in honour of the battle hospitality businesses currently face regarding energy bill price hikes.

The Tollemache Arms (also known as the Tolly) in Harrington, part of the Cambridge based company’s Neighbourhood pub division, will shut off its lights each Thursday during November, with guests dining on a four-course meal by candlelight accompanied by drinks and music.

Forefront of everyone's minds 

Wells & Co retail development manager Chris Reed said: “It’s great to see the Tolle taking some initiative and not only hosting a really good night for guests, but really bringing the hospitality industry energy crisis to the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“The Government​ must take action on further supporting our industry and our pubs otherwise it will be chaos.”

Real estate advisor Altus Group​ earlier this month warned 50 pubs a month were disappearing from communities across England and Wales amid soaring energy costs.

Reasons and value 

This comes as The Morning Advertiser​ last week reported a number of pubs across the country had started hosting ‘Blackout​ nights’ in response to the energy crisis, including the Tipsy Fox in Southwater, West Sussex.

Licensee Andrew Keeley said, while the pub was currently in a fixed contract, he had been quoted up to 10 times more in energy costs upon renewal, which, as well offering a “quirky” experience for customers, was a contributing factor in deciding to host the event.

He said: “More and more, you have to give people a reason to come out and visit the pub, it's not just finish work, let's go and spend some money, you’ve got to give them reasons and value to spending money that is more difficult to earn these days.”

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