Small B&Bs and guest houses that have jettisoned their drinks licences have found other ways to allow their guests to continue enjoying alcohol on the premises.
Michael Broddle, president of the Scarborough Hotels Association, said a number of members had dropped their licences because their bars were not profitable enough to justify the increased cost under the new regime. Instead, some were now telling guests they would provide glasses if they wanted to bring their own bottles, he said.
Simon Lever, proprietor of the Daylesford hotel in Torquay and executive member of the Torbay Hospitality Association, said it was also permissible to give bottles of wine to guests as a gift.
The Department for Culture, Sports and Media (DCMS) confirmed that both solutions were not licensable activities, but warned proprietors might have to prove they were not making a sale in principle.
DCMS said that around 2% of the potential 190,000 on- and off-trade licence holders had not re-applied for their licquor licenses.
by Angela Frewin