We’ve just found out that we’ve been nominated for a Medway Food and Drink award in the category of Best Cafe or Coffee Shop – which is amazing.
There are lots of categories and dozens of nominees, so head over to the awards website to cast your vote.
We can pretty much guarantee that it’s been an incredibly tough 18 months for every single one of those businesses and they could all do with a show of support. We’d like to wish everyone good luck and we’ll be watching the results when they are live streamed in early September with baited breath.
As you’re probably already aware, the rules and laws around the pandemic are changing significantly in July.
First, whilst masks and social distancing are no longer legally required, they are still very much recommended. We are recommending those measures to our staff and volunteers and we are also recommending them to our customers – until seated. So if you’re moving around the inside of the building, waiting in the queue or engaging with staff at the till we (and they) would very much appreciate it if you could follow those requests where you’re able.
Secondly, table booking is not essential. We are back to our normal complement of seats inside and there’s lots of outdoor seating both on the patio and around the cliffs, tunnel entrance and surrounds.
Finally, there are no restrictions on group sizes either indoors or out.
From 17th May groups of 30 people will be permitted to gather outside and as a venue with plenty of outside space, free parking and toilets that is able to provide event food and has an alcohol licence, The Pantry will be available for evening hire once again from that date.
So if you’ve got a community group, friends group, large family or a team of workmates (but no more than 30 of them!), we would love to host your event. Menu and drinks choices can be tailored for your party and you’d have exclusive use of the venue for the evening.
Get in touch either through Facebook via @pantrychatham email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 07752255429
As well as being able to sell most of our original menu in takeaway form, we’ve also added to the range of offers available in an attempt to give people an Eat Out experience in their own homes.
We are continuing to sell our popular Afternoon Tea boxes but have added a special Valentine’s Day Share Box and a Movie Night Share Box, which will happily feed more than one person and include a range of tasty treats mostly made fresh in our own kitchen (we’ve had to do a lot of taste tests, which as you can imagine has been a real chore…).
Following changes in the guidance from the U.K. Government this evening, face coverings will be mandatory for all customers inside the premises who are not eating and drinking from Friday 24th July.
We know it’s not ideal. We know it’s short notice. We know some of you may be unprepared, so tomorrow we’ll have a small stock of masks to help people out, but as you can imagine we can’t enter into the free face mask business in the long term.
Thank you for your continued support. So far everyone has been wonderfully understanding given the circumstances.
Some of The Pantry’s Team (and friends) are cycling 118km (73 miles) on Sunday 28th June raising money for The Medway League of Friends. They are an important local charity who, under normal circumstances, would donate several hundred thousand pounds worth of equipment to local NHS services. Everything from furniture to fully equipped organ transport cars. As you can imagine though, circumstances are far from normal at present, so we’ve decided to help in their fundraising.
The trip will be from Chatham’s Historic Dockyard to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich (and back). At present there’ll be four people taking part and hopefully the weather won’t be too hot!
You can sponsor the ride here and there’s no such thing as a stingy donation.
Just like the rest of the world we were caught off guard by the severity and the speed at which Covid-19 affected us. Back in March, prior to the Government’s advice being issued, we took the difficult decision to close our doors temporarily until it was safe to reopen.
We are pleased to be able to say that we are now nearly at that point.
From Monday June 1st, we will reopen initially as a takeaway. There will obviously need to be some changes to the way we operate and the menu and services we offer for that to happen. In the main the changes are:
We will restrict access to the building so keep numbers of customers low. There will be floor markings indicating the social distancing requirements.
We will remove most of the furniture (although we appreciate that some customers might need to sit whilst they wait for their order to be prepared).
We would prefer you to pay by card (contactless where possible).
Our menu will be changed in order to provide a good selection of takeaway items.
We will be issuing cutlery, napkins etc rather than them being self-serve as they were before.
Key staff have undergone specific Covid-19 infection control training.
Outside furniture will be distributed to allow for lone or household group eating away from the premises.
We will not commence the opening of our evening hire events for the time being until government advice is given allowing us to do so.
Additionally, the Fort Amherst site will reopen to the public on the same day and is a great space to walk, ride and explore. Regrettably the tunnel tours will not be available, but there is still plenty to enjoy.
On the 15th April, World Art Day, we’ll be welcoming local artist Rehana Khan and a collection of her work to The Pantry for exhibition and sale.
Rehana has lived in Medway for 35 years and art has always been a part of her life, particularly when she became unwell her health & well-being was improved though her art.
The exhibition, A Celebration of Creation, features artwork organised into two categories: Diverse Abstract Art and Arabic Art.
The materials used vary from recycled materials, coloured pens, crayons, paints, and sequins. Rehana said, “I am inspired on a daily basis by my environment, whether it is my home life, the outdoors or family festivities. Art is a celebration of life and has been therapeutic, enabling me to find the inner peace I have been searching for.”
Rehana’s exhibition and art sale will be held at The Pantry, Fort Amherst, Chatham on Wednesday 15th April, World Art Day. All proceeds raised will be split between The Medway League of Friends and charitable work in Pakistan.
Treat your mum this Mother’s Day with an Afternoon Tea and flowers at The Pantry.
For only £20 per person you can enjoy a selection of sandwiches, savoury snacks and sweet treats with unlimited tea or coffee on Sunday 22nd March. Book before Thursday 19th March and we’ll even throw in a complimentary bunch of flowers.
Please call 07752255429 to book your table now.
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options are available, but please mention this at the time of booking.
We’re happy to be hosting our first Nintendo Switch Meet on Sunday 9th February 2020 between 10:30am and 2:30pm. The nature of the Switch (and of its gamers), quirky, social and vibrant, makes it the ideal device and community for a more connected gaming experience.
The event will be open to all ages and all we ask is that people are respectful, considerate and courteous to other visitors. It should be a fun experience above all.
If the event is a success we will schedule additional meets throughout the year, so please support it if you can.