Sunday lunch and an overnight stay at the Cow in Dalbury Lees is a joy after months of home cooking – even if it means hand-sanitiser, QR codes and no propping up the bar
We are practically exploding with excitement at the thought of going to a pub as we arrive at the Cow, though our anticipation has been muted slightly by pictures of heedless city-centre crowds on the first night of reopening. Inside this revamped Derbyshire dales inn, though, all is calm. My husband and I squirt on hand-sanitiser from a dispenser inside the door but beyond that it all feels pretty much like a normal Sunday.
In late afternoon there’s a muted hum of voices as people linger over roast dinners. A barman smiles from behind the beer pumps and a waitress is handing out plates of treacle tart. But signs that this is actually “new normal” are there when you look closely. The tables are widely spaced, and there’s no knot of locals propping up the bar – even the bar stools have been removed. (Drinks ordered at the bar are served at your table; anyone who really wants to drink standing up does so outside.)