LOCKDOWN left The Woolpack in Sopley bereft of conviviality. VE day celebrations were cancelled, Father’s Day came and went along with those crucial May Bank Holidays when serving delicious food and drink would usually have those tills ringing!

However Darrelyn and Teela Liberty-Spark did not sit around waiting for lockdown to ease but set to work revamping this riverside idyll, painting the conservatory, plastering cellar walls and painting the walls and floors. New garden fences were built along with a new car park entrance. Meanwhile Darrelyn underwent surgery for two slipped discs in her neck!

And YOU have nominated The Woolpack as one of your favourite haunts!

Bournemouth Echo:
Teela said: “A landlady’s job is never done! We have been affected just like others, with closure for three months and we rely on seasonal trade. In previous years we have played host to duck races organised by local schools and charities. The Sopley festival evening event of live music and hog roast has also been held in the pub garden.” 
The Woolpack has adapted to the coronavirus pandemic, putting in place measures to keep the staff and customers safe in order to open.

Bournemouth Echo:
“Every staff member was brought in for Covid training and to be issued PPE, including face shields, masks and gloves, before we opened,” said Teela.
“Now, temperatures are taken and questions asked about their wellbeing ahead of every shift and a one-way system to the garden using a bridge is in place. A staff member stands on the door taking customer details for the track and trace system, while allowing safe passage for those arriving and leaving. And a large marquee now stands in the garden to shelter people from the sun or rain while they dine.”

Bournemouth Echo:
Originally seating 100 people inside, Teela has adapted to new spacing measures and the pub now sits 60, with tables perfectly distanced. Inside, the pub is table service only, but there is a garden ordering point boasting a clear, plastic screen to protect staff and customers.”

Bournemouth Echo:
The Woolpack is part of the Eat Out Government scheme, serving favourites like beer battered cod and chips, steak and Stilton or chicken leek and bacon pie along with their renowned Ploughman’s lunch. The daily special’s change with each season.
“We are doing everything to keep our customer’s happy and safe,” added Teela.
For details about nominating your favourite pub, fill out our super-easy questionnaire here