Dear River Cottage Guests and Supporters,
We are writing to you today with a message that feels unreal in a world that has changed unimaginably in just a week – and continues to change faster than any of us can anticipate. As you will no doubt have understood, those of us in the hospitality sector are facing unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 crisis – as of course are all kinds of businesses.
Our first responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our staff and guests. It’s now abundantly clear that we can no longer look after our team or our guests properly or feed them safely in any version of business as usual.
We are therefore taking the very sad and painful decision to shut down our restaurants and suspend all events at River Cottage HQ with immediate effect, and for a period of at least 2 months. During this “hibernation” we will be working hard to find the right support and investment to ensure the future of the business on the other side of the current problems. This may include engaging some of the support announced by the Government yesterday.
All of you who have bookings with us will be contacted personally as soon as possible, and we very much hope to move your booking or event until later in the year (please wait for us to get in touch as we will be very busy with this). And so we sincerely hope that as we emerge from this dark and confusing time, which we certainly will, it will be possible to reconnect with all of you, and welcome you back to River Cottage as our guests and friends.
In the meantime please accept our heartfelt thanks for your continued support, and our sincere hope that you and your loved ones keep safe and well in the weeks ahead.
With our warmest wishes,
Hugh and the River Cottage Team
Update: 24 March
In light of the Government’s latest safety measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus, we have made the decision to close the takeaway and delivery service from our Axminster Kitchen with immediate effect, until further notice.
We are still hopeful we may yet be able to find safe ways to provide delicious and nourishing food to our local community during this incredibly challenging time. But the safety of our team, customers and community must take priority, and it would no longer be responsible to stay open to serve food in the way we have been in the past week. We will pay close attention to the Government’s recommendations in the coming days and weeks, and continue talking to our partners in the community. As soon as we can find a safe and appropriate way help feed the most needy here in East Devon we will let you know.
Thank you for your continued support and patience, and please stay safe
With our warmest wishes,
The River Cottage Team