Broads' restaurant 'overwhelmed' after launching Christmas Day takeaway

Richard Barnes Filby Bridge

Richard Barnes, head chef at Filby Bridge Restaurant will have his hands full on Christmas Day serving up at least 70 festive feasts with all the trimmings to take away. - Credit: Nick Butcher

With Christmas Day set to look different this year some have decided there's no need to spend hours slaving over a hot stove periodically prodding a turkey.

In 2020 anything goes and restaurants, already giddy from riding various coronavirus waves, have had to do another abrupt turn - saving us the bother of cooking when it's probably just going to be us round the table.

At Filby Bridge it started with a tentative offer of a three-course takeaway with all the trimmings for the big day as households who might have been expecting a horde of hungry visitors were reduced to just one or two, and older folk who maybe had an invite were opting to stay on their own.

Filby Bridge

Filby Bridge Restaurant in Filby is among many eateries that have had to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic to keep going. This year they are doing takeaway Christmas dinners which have proved a huge hit. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Tony Elms, one of the owners at the family run eatery, said his brother-in-law, head chef Richard Barnes, would be taking the stress out of cooking on Christmas Day for at least 70 people as order books bulged.

"It's all in the prep," he said. "People have a time slot between 12 and 2pm on Christmas Day and we take it out to the car."

On offer are up to three courses for £40 with a choice of starter,  roast main and dessert.

Filby Bridge Restaurant

The view from the Filby Bridge restaurant over Rollesby Broad. This year, for the first time, the restaurant is serving takeaway Christmas dinners. - Credit: James Bass

Most orders are for one or two people with the largest being for eight.

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"When we floated the idea between us we thought we were mad but would give it a go.

"We eat at the restaurant anyway because we live next door and it has turned into a real success.

"We had a number of people coming to us for takeaway on a regular who did not want to come to the restaurant who asked us if we were doing anything.

"We didn't think it would be popular but we were chatting one night and thought we could do a few because a few people had asked and we have been overwhelmed by the response."

Richard Barnes

Richard Barnes, head chef at Filby Bridge family-run restaurant will be preparing at least 70 Christmas dinners to takeaway. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The restaurant is making a handful of deliveries to customers who cannot get to them.

"One lady phoned me and she was so grateful and so excited to find she could have a Christmas dinner, she ordered three courses.

"You know when you talk to someone and you know they are really chuffed? It has really been quite overwhelming."