With hot drinks including mulled wine and hot water bottles in the line-up to keep diners cosy, Julia Bryce takes a look at how businesses are continuing to adapt.
Initially it was cocktail deliveries and food takeaway services which were on the rise.
Then, with the latest Scottish Government restrictions which saw alcohol only be served outside and until 10pm, we saw a new version of BYOB appear, with numerous venues up and down the country encouraging guests to “bring your own blanket” to keep cosy while dining.
And now, with the end of the current 6pm indoor curfew scheduled to come to a close on Sunday October 25, numerous bars have now launched hot water bottle stations to help keep punters warm in their socially-distanced beer gardens.
Hot water bottle stations
In Aberdeen, BrewDog Castlegate in the city centre was one of the first bars to offer the service, giving customers the chance to stay warm while enjoying an alcoholic beverage outside.
To get your hands on one of the water bottles for the duration of your visit, all you need to do it ask a member of staff who will be able to fill it up and bring it out to you.
As well as handing out blankets and hot water bottles, the bar is also serving up warm mulled cider on tap, too!
The Newton Arms in Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire has also launched a pop-up hot water bottle filling station inside its pub for those looking to sit outside and enjoy an alcoholic beverage.
Hot water bottles are free to use, but must be returned back to the staff once finished with as they are not for customers to keep. Blankets can also be provided free of charge and are washed after every use.
Bringing a touch of Scandinavia to Rubislaw and Queen’s Terrace Gardens, No.10 Bar & Restaurant has relaunched its outdoor seating, putting a Scottish touch on chalet chic with No.10’s Chalet on the Terrace.
Offering a new hearty menu to complement the colder weather, these winter warmers are perfect for filling a hole.
From Highland steak stovies and Chalet burgers, to chicken schnitzel, fondue fries and more, not forgetting warm milled wine and spiced apple cider there’s plenty to keep you cosy.
Guests are reminded to dress for the weather as the marquee area is open to the elements and although there is some heating, it is best to wrap up warm.
The outdoor venue is open from 4-10pm Monday to Thursday, with food served from 5-8.30pm, and Friday to Sunday from noon to 10pm, with food being served from noon to 8.30pm.
Launching new dining areas
Work is complete on the food and beverage areas of The Aberdeen Altens Hotel with more than half a million pound investment.
Operated by RBH – the UK’s leading independent hotel management company – open plan dining area Coast and Keg has now been revealed.
The original three dining areas have been turned into a single open space offering a modern design and an ease of flow for all guests. Taking inspiration from Aberdeen’s heritage and culture, including famous figures and topography the new interiors are stylish while seamlessly incorporating modern technology such a digital menus and self-order app.
All the artwork was commissioned to focus on local Aberdonians who have put the city on the map including Archibald Simpson, Annie Lennox, Denis Law, Emelie Sande, and Paul Lawrie.
Kris Manship, General Manager of The Aberdeen Altens Hotel, said: “Our new, multi-faceted dining environment really reflects the diversity of our guests and represents a major advancement in our food and beverage offering.
“Everything is new from the crockery and glassware to the furniture and interiors – even the team uniforms. We’re delighted with the final result, which perfectly suits business and family visitors as well as groups of friends. We can’t wait to start welcoming our first guests.”
Restaurants launching new outdoor drinking concepts
On the River Don Maryculter House has also launched its courtyard for outdoor dining giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a tipple with their meal.
Featuring new firepits, the socially-distanced al fresco experience can be enjoyed by both residents or non-residents.
In Aberdeen city centre Cafe Harmony have opened an outdoor dining area where they can also serve alcohol.
The eatery has also launched a new cocktail menu with espresso martinis, amaretto sours to negronis and more, there’s a whole heap of drinks to enjoy.