Towering garden tipi proves a hit with al fresco drinkers

The tipi at The Jolly Farmers pub

Visitors to a village pub in Ormesby St Margaret can enjoy a tipple in a tipi. - Credit: Daisy Bonham

A giant wedding tipi with an empty diary due to Covid-19 has popped up in a pub garden.

The Jolly Farmers in Ormesby St Margaret has transformed its outdoor space in line with Covid guidelines to provide an al fresco drinking space with a difference.

Its garden tipi is head and shoulders above anything else in the village, casting a cosy purple glow after dark.

The tipi at the Jolly Farmers

The tipi at the Jolly Farmers comes into its own when it is lit up at night. - Credit: Daisy Bonham

Aaron Riches and Daisy Bonham, who only took on the pub six days before the first lockdown last year, said seeing customers back on the premises had been a real tonic.

Mr Riches, who oversees four pubs in the same group, said the tipi had been fully booked over the first weekend of opening with the coming one looking strong too.

The tipi was the latest in a long line of measures aimed at trying to adapt to the ever-changing situation, he said.

Having fenced in the car park and introduced an outdoor bar and check-in point everything was working well and had been well-received he added.

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The garden now hosts the statement tipi, which can seat up 60, as well as a wood-burner area and other tables for walk-ins.

The tipi at the Jolly Farmers Ormesby

The pub garden has been totally transformed at the Jolly Farmers in Ormesby and includes the addition of a giant tipi which can hold up to 60 people. - Credit: Daisy Bonham

"We also have a wedding company, so it was a no-brainer for us," he said.

"It fits into the rustic, country vibe and really comes into its own at night with the fairy lights."

An added bonus was that its sides could be lifted to comply with rules on being 50pc open.

The couple's event styling and wedding company Smoke and Wildwood also styled the MysaBar in the Castle Gardens and The Maids Head Hotel winter garden in Norwich in December.

The Jolly Farmers is an Enterprise Pub leased by Third Place Inns director Paul James.

Its sister pubs are The New Inn in Horning, The Kings Head in Acle (which is closed for renovations) and The Ship Inn in Caister.

Mr James said: "It was disheartening last year with the stop, start, open, close, but now we are passionately looking forward to a summer and are putting all our efforts into a full steam ahead approach for the pub and the wider community.

"It’s been a tough year and so it is an incredibly important time to support small businesses, so we have sourced all local suppliers to make this concept a reality."

Tipi tables are available to book in time slots of: 3- 6pm and 6.30 -9.30pm on Friday and Saturday, and 1.30 - 3.30pm and 4-7pm on Sundays.