THE operations manager of Timbrell’s Yard in Bradford on Avon has told how they managed to survive three Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns by relying on the underlying strength of the business.

Natalie Zvonek-Little, 34, said they managed to pull through by furloughing most of their 38 staff and paying the full salaries of all in order to keep everyone who wanted to stay.

“The only staff we lost were those who were going off to university last September,” said Natalie, who is head of operations for Stay Original Co, the owner of Timbrell’s Yard.

“The first lockdown was the worst. It was really hard and horrible because everything was unknown and we didn’t know when it would end.

“The second lockdown was easier because it was only for three or four weeks in November, and by the third lockdown we had all our risk assessments and training in place.”

The 17-bedroomed boutique hotel next to the River Avon has just won two pub industry awards for best accommodation and best premium food offer.

Timbrell's Yard is now preparing for the end of the third lockdown, having installed a covered marquee outside its main entrance.

On Monday, April 12, Timbrell’s Yard will reopen for morning coffees, relaxed lunches, evening cocktails and evening meals in the marquee or on the terrace next to its waterside setting.

Miss Zvonek-Little said: “We are performing our own rite of spring with five weeks of outdoor eating and drinking, in style and comfort.

“We are working on an Inside Out food and drink festival with spacious seating, heaters, sheepskin rugs and romantic lighting for memorable times under canvas.

“We have all been dreaming of the day we can sit back, drink in hand, with family or special friends and enjoy delicious food cooked by someone else.

“That time has finally arrived, and we are so excited to be able to welcome customers back with our Inside Out festival.”

Customers will be able to enjoy a new Inside Out spring menu sourced from local producers and prepared by head chef Jack Stoodley and his team.

Miss Zvonek-Little revealed the hotel is already attracting hundreds of enquiries for ‘staycation’ breaks from all over the country.

“The bookings are flooding in and the first Monday after lockdown is already fully booked.

“A lot of people are staycationing this year and we’ve had hundreds of enquiries for the weeks ahead right up to Christmas.”

From Monday, April 12, Timbrell’s Yard will open all day, everyday, to Sunday, May 16, from 8.30am-10pm weekdays and 8.30am-11pm on weekends.