Blankets are the latest al fresco dining trend with sales DOUBLING

Do you BYO Blanket? Sales double as pubs and restaurants serve outdoors but etiquette experts say you should always ask the venue’s permission and only wear it over your legs

  • Britons said that their trips to the pub are no longer complete without blankets
  • While some British retailers revealed sales for throws have doubled this month
  • It comes as people in England embrace al fresco dining due to Covid restrictions 

As Britons embrace al fresco dining due to Covid restrictions, the humble blanket has become a must-have accessory.

Social media users have admitted that their trips to the pub are no longer complete without the household item to keep them feeling warm and cosy, while retailers revealed sales for throws have doubled this month.

English pubs and restaurants reopened on Monday 12 April for outside table service only, and brave Britons embraced the cold weather to get their long awaited pints. 

As such, diners have rushed to buy outdoor blankets to combat the chilly temperatures – with Dunelm reporting a 240 per cent increase of purchases for their £12 faux fur throws. 

Sales of luxury Tolly McRae blankets have also doubled in the last four weeks, while Wayfair recorded a 50 per cent rise in customer searches for throws this past month.

But etiquette expert William Hanson suggested diners should contact the restaurant in advance to see if they have plenty of blankets available or not before taking your own.

Scotland’s eateries reopened fully on 26 April, while Welsh pubs reopened outdoor service only on the same day and Northern Ireland is set to allow restaurants to open their outside areas from 30 April.

But for those wanting to keep warm with their own blanket when dining al fresco, here, FEMAIL reveals the ultimate guide to taking your throws with you. 

As Britons embrace al fresco dining due to Covid restrictions, the humble blanket has become a must-have accessory. Pictured, two diners showcase the look on Instagram

Retailers revealed sales for blankets have doubled this month. A woman in London shared an image to Instagram showing off her outfit, complete with a throw

English pubs and restaurants reopened on Monday 12 April for outside table service only, and brave Britons embraced the cold weather to get their long awaited pints. Pictured, a woman holds a blanket as she prepares to go out to an eatery 

Even the pets are in on it! This adorable dog embraced the dining trend and is seen wrapped up in a blanket while in London

ONLY DRAPE YOUR BLANKET OVER YOUR LEGS

Etiquette expert Paul Russell, founder of training firm Luxury Academy suggested diners should never treat their throws like a duvet, and instead only cover your legs with it. 

He told FEMAIL: ‘Unlike visiting someone’s home, where it would be considered impolite to take your own blanket, taking your own blanket to a restaurant is acceptable. 

‘Take a plain or tartan blanket, preferably wool, and nothing too big. Fold the blanket so that it’s rectangular or square and drape over your legs. 

‘Don’t take a duvet and don’t wrap yourself in the blanket, it’s not a sleepover or slumber party.’

ALWAYS CONTACT THE RESTAURANT IN ADVANCE 

Social media users (above) have admitted that their trips to the pub are no longer complete without the household item to keep them feeling warm and cosy

Meanwhile, William Hanson suggested diners should contact the restaurant in advance before taking their own blanket

He said: ‘Etiquette changes to adapt to the times we live. While it may not previously have been acceptable to bring your own blanket to a restaurant (for outdoor dining) it is now totally acceptable. 

‘I would, however, contact the restaurant in advance to see if they have plenty of blankets available or not before I brought my own.   

‘If you do bring your own rug you are entirely responsible for it, however, not the restaurant.’ 

DON’T MAKE A ‘BIG FANFARE’ WHEN USING YOUR BLANKET 

Etiquette expert Paul Russell insisted that those wishing to use a throw while at an eatery shouldn’t make a big deal about it.

‘[You shouldn’t] make a big fanfare about being cold, just bring out the blanket if needed without making a fuss or drawing attention to yourself,’ he said. 

‘The etiquette rules of using a blanket when eating outside at a restaurant are similar to a picnic or open carriage ride, and it’s perfectly fine to drape a blanket over your knees if required.’ 

Celebrity stylist Rochelle White said that the fashion-conscious amongst us should embrace a belt, creating a cinched waist with the blanket placed over your shoulders (pictured)

TEAM IT WITH A BELT FOR THE MOST STYLISH LOOK

Celebrity stylist Rochelle White said that the fashion-conscious amongst us should embrace a belt, creating a cinched waist with the blanket placed over your shoulders.

Blankets ‘helped us have huge success reopening’, says pub manager

Robbie Morgan, manager of The Half Moon Inn in Stakeford in Northumberland, said blankets and a pop-up marquee helped with the success of his pub’s reopening. 

He said: ‘Reopening the pub outdoors at first seemed like a difficult challenge, but we have seen huge success in our first few opening weeks.

‘We believe this is because we installed a pop-up marquee to allow people to feel safe from rainfall on days the British weather’s been unpredictable. 

‘We also bought over 30 blankets to ensure anyone who requires extra warmth is offered it.’ 

‘The best way to wear a blanket and style it would be to think about the look you are trying to create,’ she explained. 

‘You wear a blanket as an oversized waistcoat or cardigan, teamed with jeans or leggings, boots, trainers or heels. 

‘You can create a look where you can draw it over your shoulders and add a belt to cinch you in at the waist.’

She also suggested layering the look, adding: ‘Depending on how cold it is, you could wrap it around you and add a scarf around your neck.’

EMBRACE SPRING COLOURS LIKE PINKS AND CREAMS

The celebrity stylist also suggested that, for this time of year, trendy diners should embrace spring colours when picking out their throws, such as pinks and creams. 

‘Think spring colours like mustard yellow, teal green, nudes, light pinks, creams and whites,’ she added.

Rochelle continued: ‘The best blankets are often ones that are cosy to keep warm in – and definitely not too thick because you don’t want to overheat and be uncomfortable.

‘Handwoven blankets, wool, cashmere or a soft throw – these types of blankets are perfect for this time of year and will keep you toasty warm.’

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