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Last Call: What to Do While the Pubs Are Closed

Before March of 2020, you probably never thought anything would stop you from heading to the pub, but going out for drinks has become pretty complicated in the wake of the coronavirus. We’ve seen our locals close, reopen with new rules, and have curfews imposed in a bid to tackle the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, the latest development is the imposition of a second national lockdown, causing pubs to shut once again for everything but takeaway or delivery services. With that in mind, here are three things you could do in the meantime.

1. Enjoy drinks at home

With no boozers to unwind in, your best bet is to stock up on drinks to enjoy at home. And if you really want to capture the spirit of your local, you could try and replicate it in your living room. ITV’s This Morning has lots of recommendations, including a draft machine, and a customisable light-up message board so you can give your home pub a name. Stock up on bar snacks like peanuts and pork scratchings, and maybe even buy new glasses which would be most suitable for your beverage of choice — no margaritas out of mugs! And if you’ve run out of drinks after the shops have shut, there are plenty of online services delivering drinks to your door at all hours. Drinks House 247 offer beer delivery to London postcodes within half an hour, while Booze Manchester and Booze Delivery Liverpool transport alcohol to homes in the north. Wherever you are, there will probably be a company near you in most cases.

2. Party on Zoom

Perhaps you’ve reined in the video chats over the last few months, but remember how much fun they were in the darkest days of the first national lockdown? It looks like they’ll be back with a bang for lockdown part two, so if you and your usual pub companions are in different bubbles, organise a digital drinking session. And remember the most popular reason for a Zoom catch-up — a traditional pub quiz! Offer to host, and if you need some help coming up with questions there are plenty of resources available online. If you’re still quizzed out from last time, there are plenty of drinking games to play over Zoom. The likes of Never Have I Ever and Most Likely To are easy to navigate, but if you’re up for something a little more creative, you could always see how something like Truth Or Dare pans out over video chat.

3. Have a dry spell

If you’ve always thought about doing Dry January but never gone through with it, No-booze-vember is the perfect time to hit pause on the drinking for a while. It’ll hopefully be much easier without pubs there to tempt you, and there are many good reasons to cut out alcohol. According to the Priory Group, going teetotal for just a month could improve your sleep and reduce blood pressure, while also cutting calories and saving you plenty of cash. Other research shows that abstaining for a month could also leave you drinking less afterwards, with Dry January participants reporting one extra dry day a week after completing the challenge. Taking this opportunity to go booze-free could, therefore, result in numerous positive long-term effects.