A SUTTON Green pub, The Olive Tree, which was given the Travellers’ Choice Award on TripAdvisor for this year, has reopened after the coronavirus restrictions were eased and is proving as popular as ever.

Nigel Farnfield, the owner, said he was delighted with the award.

“It’s a huge deal as it only goes to the top 10% worldwide. It has been a turbulent year but receiving this award has truly put a smile on our faces.”

The Olive Tree had to close when the coronavirus lockdown was imposed and provided takeaways when restrictions were eased a little.

“We are very lucky to have a very loyal village,” Nigel said. “But what has been amazing has been the number of new people we are seeing. This is really encouraging - its possibly because people are working from home.”

The pub-restaurant has introduced some social distancing and coronavirus restrictions which mean that all service is at tables with staff wearing visors.

The government’s “eat out to help out” which allows for money off on food and non-alcoholic drinks from Monday to Wednesday, has meant the Olive Tree has been at capacity for lunch and dinner.

As a result, even though it can seat 40 at social distance inside with a further 56 on the patio, on some days last week it was turning away up to 30 people in the evenings, highlighting the need to book online via its website, when track and trace information is given.

When Nigel took over four years ago, he dug up half the car park, which is still substantial, and installed a garden gave the pub extensive patio seating. Used as a pub by villagers and visitors to the area, it is best-known for its food, which includes a choice of bar snacks, with six costing £2.50 each.

Homemade scones, tea or coffee are also available from 10.30am for people out walking the dog, or just having a catch-up with a friend.

The dog-friendly country pub and restaurant specialises in fish and seafood and is set in the Surrey countryside, just a few minutes’ drive from Woking.

For more information, visit www.theolivetreesuttongreen.co.uk.