Businesses forced to close in England's flooded heartland

26 July 2007 by
Businesses forced to close in England's flooded heartland

Heston Blumenthal was among the hospitality operators hit by the heavy flooding that has continued to keep large parts of southern England inaccessible and under water.

The Hind's Head, Blumenthal's pub in Bray, Berkshire, had to close its doors to diners on Friday (20 July) lunchtime as flooding on the high street burst into the premises. A spokeswoman for the pub said: "It would have been hard for guests to get into the pub, and it would have ruined their dining experience."

As Caterer went to press, some hotels, swamped by deep water, were still in the dark about the future of their power supply and were facing the end of their water supply.

John Jenkinson, owner of the Evesham hotel in Evesham, Worcestershire, told Caterer: "It has been pande-bloody-monium here, and the situation is changing the whole time. I don't think we are going to be directly affected, because we are on a hill, but the Northwick hotel down the road has had 5ft of water. We managed to send some food down to them on a dinghy."

A spokeswoman for the Hotel De La Bere in Southam, Cheltenham, said: "The roads leading to the hotel have been flooded. We have had people sleeping in the bar, and now we have no water. We do not know when the water will come back on."

She said that the hotel had to cancel reservations because of its inaccessibility and lack of basic utilities.

Kate Hempsall, customer marketing manager at Charles Wells Pub Company, said the operator had four of its pubs flooded over the weekend, most prominently the Duke of Wellington, in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.

"The pubs are not trading at the moment," she said. "Obviously there is the initial effect in trade, but we do not know how long the clean-up operation and other remedial work will take to be done and, at the moment, we are hoping that will be a fairly easy process."

Hospitality industry calls for tax moratorium >>

Government urged to give tax break to flood hit hospitality operators >>

By Christopher Walton

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