ONE of the joys in my life is to go out for breakfast on a Saturday morning – and I was able to do that today for the first time in three months.

The easing of lockdown restrictions on pubs, cafes and restaurants meant that I was able to treat my wife Feona to breakfast outside of home.

We booked a table at the Orchid Café at Westdale Park just outside Bradford on Avon.

The café is run by Mandy Hiscocks and Andy Larcombe who launched their business last October.

The couple’s café was open for only four months before lockdown began and they were forced to close – putting their new venture at risk.

They managed to re-open on May 18 for takeaways only – but today were able to serve customers again for the first time in three months.

Mandy said: “It’s been hell over the last three months. We thought that we would lose our business.

“We’ve had to change the way we run the café to a takeaway business in order to survive but we have come through it.

“It has been amazing to re-open today. It’s nice to have people to be able to come back and to eat in.

“We’ve had to change the layout of the café to have less seating, and people will have to be charged for sauces because we are having to serve sachets now.

“We have had to re-arrange the café to serve people from one end and we now have three separate entrances for different services, such as eating in and takeaway.

“We have been working 13 hours a day for the last month just to get us ready for the new rules.

“Amber Sissons has been helping us out part-time and has been a gem. We would have been lost without her. She’s amazing.”

Because my wife is highly vulnerable and at a high risk of catching Covid-19 she has been shielding for the past three months since being furloughed from work.

Today, is the first time in three months that she has felt able to venture out anywhere beyond our home.

She said: “It is just wonderful to feel normal and to have people go out of their to make possible for people to are shielding to take their first baby steps back into ‘normality’.

“The café has been so good to us, cordoning off an area in their conservatory so that we could eat breakfast without anyone else coming too close.”

The café is having to take the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all its customers who come in to eat, and will have to keep them by law for up to three weeks.

It is also making sure that staff and customers observe the new one-metre social distancing rules.

However, that’s a small price to pay for being back in business and to be able to recover some of the income they have lost since lockdown began in mid-March.

As for me, the breakfast was lovely – and all the better for being cooked by someone other than myself!

Please tell us about your experiences of going out to a pub, cafe, restaurant or hairdresser today. You can email details and a contact phone number to John Baker at