COVID-19 Update | Hillier Garden Centres are Open
Ever since the first news about the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been closely monitoring and following government advice across our business to best protect the health and safety of our customers and staff. Our Garden Centres are open with social distancing measures in place. At this unprecedented time, we would like to thank Hillier staff for their hard work and commitment in extraordinary circumstances and our customers for their patience, concern and kindness.
What to expect when you visit
Our priority is to ensure the safety of customers and staff alike, and therefore you will notice some changes on your next visit including:
- As of Monday 14th September, we have returned to normal opening hours; 09.00am-5.30pm Monday – Saturday, and 10.30am – 4.30pm on Sundays.
- Following the latest government guidance, we are gradually opening our restaurants and coffee shops. See below for details. Toilets in some centres are still closed. Please check with your local centre to see if theirs are open.
- We will have a limited number of customers in the centre at any time, with queuing 2m apart to enter, and 2m social distancing markers will be seen throughout the centre. We also ask that you carefully browse the Garden Centre following the one-way system. Please respect staff and fellow customers and maintain a safe distance when shopping.
- Sanitiser stations will be located at the entrance to centres for customer use.
- We can now take cash payments as well as card payments. Hillier and HTA Gift Cards/Vouchers are accepted and HTA vouchers are available to buy again at our tills, but we would prefer contactless payment wherever possible.
- Under government guidelines, we unfortunately will not be able to offer assistance to customers in our usual way so please be aware that we may not be able to load your car with heavy items during this period of social distancing.
- Dogs are allowed in our Garden Centres, except at Hillier Garden Centre Eastbourne due to the entry route via the Farm Shop. Dogs are not currently allowed in our restaurant areas, this includes both inside and outside areas.
Opening our Restaurants
We are pleased to announce that all Hillier Restaurants are now open. We deliberately took a gradual approach to re-opening, starting with our restaurants at Hillier Garden Centre Botley and Hillier Garden Centre Newbury to begin with and taking time to learn from the new social distancing measures in place.
Here is a summary of the changes we’ve made to ensure the safety of our team and customers, along with other helpful things to know.
- Our opening hours will be 09.00am-4.30pm Monday – Saturday, and 10.30am – 4.00pm on Sundays
- No advance booking required; dining at our restaurants remains by walk-in
- Hand sanitiser will be provided at the restaurant entrance for your use
- A member of the team will greet you and direct you to a table that has been thoroughly cleaned ready for use
- When dining in our restaurants, we will need to collect your name and contact details to assist with NHS Test and Trace
- We can accept cash payment as well as card, but would prefer contact-less card payment where possible
- We will be offering a slightly reduced menu. This will include favourites from The Great Hillier Breakfast, lunchtime soups, sandwiches, toasties, ploughmans, jacket potatoes, our Hillier Great British Sunday Roast and a selection of cakes. Seasonal mains and afternoon tea are not available initially. We will continue to update customers by email as our available menu expands. At Hillier Garden Centre Banbury, Hemel Hempstead, Liss and Winchester, which all opened again on Tuesday 2nd September, we are currently offering a simple but delicious menu that includes sandwiches, jacket potatoes and hot drinks
- There is a new one-way system that all customers must follow, along with complying with social distancing measures as instructed. We are unable to accept dogs in any areas of the restaurants during this time
- To reduce contact, we will now serve you all your food and drinks adhering to social distancing guidelines, you no longer need to help yourself
Following the latest government guidance, from Friday 24th July, it will be mandatory to wear face coverings when in shops. This means visitors to Hillier Garden Centres will be expected to wear one at any point when you are inside – it will not be necessary to wear one when browsing in our outside plant areas, although you are of course welcome to choose to wear one outside anyway. Our Hillier staff will also be wearing face masks in every indoors area of the business.
A number of exemptions have been put in place for those who need to wear masks by the government, including for children under 11, those with disabilities and those with breathing difficulties. We encourage visitors to follow the latest government guidelines and ensure you are complying with them based on your own personal circumstances.
It is not expected for people to wear face coverings while in restaurants – as we gradually re-open ours, be aware you can dine without yours on. We would, however, appreciate it if you could continue to wear your covering while queuing to order food in our restaurants and remove once seated.
We know many of you have reward vouchers than you are keen to use, we will continue to accept any of those vouchers that you have that expired on 31st March 2020.
Stay safe and may your gardens continue to be a source of normality and happiness.