Lighthouse & Boboli to go…who knew?
In those first days of the first lock down, that sent us reeling, it was a body blow, but to the heart as well. We regained our composure, regrouped, retrieved our youngest daughter from Uni, and created the best environment we could for her to complete her degree- she earned a First-so that was good!
Then we had to grapple with furlough.
Who had even heard of that before March 2020? Waited with baited breath to receive the grants and then the bounce back loan, and we contemplated how we could keep our little business afloat.
Takeaway we thought? Well maybe we can? Believe me it’s a whole different ball game to restaurant service. If we miss something off your order when dining in house it’s simple to remedy, not so much if you have driven home excited by your lovely bag of goodies, only to find your favourite bit has been missed out!
There is also the desire to retain our standards, especially if you are not able to enjoy our lovely restaurants and the happy environment we endeavour to create at both The Lighthouse and Boboli. We were determined that whatever we packed up for you would be as near as possible to the same quality as it would be if served in-house. Truly a little of The Lighthouse or Boboli at your table, from our kitchens, to your table!
So we tentatively produced a menu, and wow! We were, and remain blown away by the response.
The excitement of finally reopening Boboli in July with Eat out To Help Out, and all other offerings saw a monumental surge of business, which gave us a little more confidence and hope for the future. But we also thought we need to keep the Heat to Eat range going, after all there were still many of our lovely customers who really were not confident enough to eat out, sitting alongside others at our very busy restaurant.
In October we finally got it together and reopened The Lighthouse, just in time for the 21st anniversary of opening the doors at No 9 Station Street, and just in time for another lockdown! We managed one week’s service at The Lighthouse before we plunged back into the unknown.
Only this time it wasn’t quite so unknown, and we were a little more prepared for it, and were able to roll relatively seamlessly back into takeaways, this time from both The Lighthouse and Boboli, Happy Days! We rounded off the year with Beef Wellingtons on New Year’s Eve and then began to hatch our plans to keep it exciting and to do our bit to help keep the January Blues, in lock down, at bay. Our chefs have excelled themselves, we are so proud of the amazing food we have been serving throughout January, and now as I type we are planning a very busy Welly kind of Valentines, that is over 150 Beef Wellingtons are being prepared ready for collection for those seeking that extra special something this weekend,
In the meantime we are amazed and delighted to find ourselves awarded and included in the Michelin Guide for the year ahead. We have always been firm believers that we are here, first and foremost for our customers, and we refuse to jump through hoops to please the guides and the critics, however the praise and the honour of such inclusion are undeniable, and a very welcome boost to our morale, thank you!
As for the future, who knows? There is talk to reopening “proper” for Easter, but we dare not rely on any such speculation, so we remain committed to keep our little business afloat, servicing our community as best we can, keeping all of our lovely staff in employment and looking ahead to the future.
Life on the other side will be interesting, but we are convinced that there are positives to be drawn from this experience, the spirit and support of our communities have shown us this to be true.
Sarah and Lino Poli