Pubs and restaurants look forward to 'normality' of indoors on May 17
- Credit: Harry Taylor / English Heritage
Pubs, restaurants and even Kenwood House are all looking forward to reopening indoors on Monday.
Some, like the Magdala in Hampstead, will be back for the first time in the best part of a decade, and though others like the much-loved Paradise Indian restaurant in South End Green have been open more recently, managers are looking forward to the return of a slice of normality.
Other pubs reopening include the Flask in Hampstead, and although places like the Gatehouse and the Prince of Wales in Highgate have had an outdoor offering, getting people back actually through the doors is very much a welcome step forward.
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Dick Morgan, the man behind the Magdala's resurrection, told this newspaper: "Everything's all about done. I am glad we've got this far - it's been quite a long process.
"It's not just another pub reopening, it's something a bit special. It's been nice to have all the support from locals, people popping in, so many people looking forward to us being back."
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Known as a favourite with some of Hampstead's celebrity residents, Paradise has been part of the furniture for 52 years.
Wasel Ali, whose family have managed the restaurant all that time, said: "Things are great. We have a little bit of outside dining - weather permitting - but we're really excited to have people indoors and welcome our customers back.
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"We're all raring to go and looking forward to bringing back a bit of normality."
He said Paradise's long history had left it fortunate during the pandemic.
"All of our customers and our friends in the local community have been really supportive and have had takeaways so it's been enough to get by, but we're looking forward to Monday."
Also reopening, albeit not until Wednesday May 19, is Kenwood House.
Helen Payne of the Friends of Kenwood said it was "fantastic for us all that Kenwood will be fully functioning again".
The English Heritage property will be open between Wednesday and Sundays, and though entrance is free, visitors have to book online at english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/kenwood.