ONE OF the best known venues in Oswestry has made bold new efforts to maintain business during the Covid-19-enforced restrictions – dining pods!

Sweeney Hall Hotel, off the A483 in Morda, has become the latest venue in the UK to bring in special dining pods for six people to enjoy food in the dry and warm, meaning the hotel can continue to serve guests 'outdoors' in the pods.

Kara Kynaston-Evans, from the hotel, says they have taken inspiration from other countries and hopes it will help the business survive more challenges created by the pandemic.

She said: "We had seen places in Amsterdam using green houses for Covid-secure outdoor eating and then more places in the UK hiring or purchasing pods for outdoor dining, so we decided that we have the room here at the Sweeney why not give them a go?

"We bought the pods just before the second lockdown and they arrived during it.

"We built them ourselves and it was like Meccano for adults who hated Meccano as children but the finished effect was stunning. We decided to run a competition for Afternoon tea in the pods to gauge interest and it was phenomenal.

"We had thousands of likes, share and comments on social media and once we opened up for booking it’s been non-stop on the phones.

"To comply with current guidelines we are seating up to a maximum of six in a pod; they are heated with mini electric log burners and you can even borrow a bluetooth speaker and play your own choice of music in your pod.

"We are hiring them out for a two-hour, 20-minute time slot starting at 12pm each day and serving our Christmas menu and afternoon tea depending on the time you book.

"Hospitality has been annihilated during 2020 and we are doing what we can to stay relevant in a very harsh environment.

"We have been at the hotel for nearly 30 years and really want to be here for a long time into the future."

To enquire about or book a pod, call 01691 652450 or head to