The wine cellar is full and dishes are ready to take to the tables as the team at 1863 celebrate a long-awaited reopening.

At Pooley Bridge in Penrith the Restaurant with Rooms has been a family favourite among the community through-out the years and has been sorely missed by many during it's long months of closure.

On May 20 the business officially reopened to customers marking it's very own anniversary date of turning five years old.

About the reopening, general manager and head chef, Phil Corrie, said: "It feels right and everybody's ready for it. It's been great to open the doors, it's like my second home and I'm tremendously happy to see it open once again. We've put a lot into the business over the last five years but closing was very tough on us all, mentally as well."

During the first months of this year, owner Mark Vause and manager Phil Corrie were looking at ways to continue to support the community while also providing their quality service to the locals.

Inspired by a growing trend of other big businesses in the UK, they decided to do their own version of 'Home Dining,' where customers could order a box of recipes for favourite dishes to make in their own kitchens.

Being entirely safe from spreading infection this allowed customers to have the experience of eating at the restaurant without needing to visit.

Phil said: "We launched it back in February where we sent out a menu every two weeks. We do the bulk of the preparation, package it all and send it out to customers with instructions on how to finish it at home, putting food through the oven, garnishing, heating sauces so they can have the 1863 experience, but in their own home."

Coined the '1863 experience' by the head chef it became so popular that the team are continuing to offer the service for anyone who is still unsure of going out to public places.

The 29-year-old said: "It really helped us keep alive as a business, we could still act as a restaurant for people just without the social aspect."

The restaurant had a soft opening on May 19 for friends and family to make sure that the team was prepared for the full reopening with staying guests also being allowed to visit. Phil said: "We had one couple who hadn't been out for 14 months and they were so happy to be out the house and they commented on how safe they felt in the environment we've created."

The team are excited to welcome more guests in the future.