A BLUNSDON pub is offering hundreds of pounds worth of meals and drinks to customers for free - as long as they hear a good excuse for the visit.

The Cold Harbour on Ermin Street announced the initiative after discovering that, since lockdown lifted, a third of Brits are making increasingly elaborate excuses to justify their trips to the pub, which are up on pre-pandemic levels.

‘I need to get out of the house’ topped the list, closely followed by ‘I deserve it’ and ‘It’s hot’. Many highlighted the pub’s atmosphere, a freshly poured pint or the fact that food tastes better when someone else cooks it, as their reasons for visiting.

However, many respondents admitted to using some creative license when making up an excuse, with 18 per cent saying they were meeting a distant acquaintance such as their cousin’s next-door neighbour’s uncle, 13 per cent celebrating a non-conventional anniversary such as a half-birthday, and four per cent marking the dog’s birthday.

The pub is giving away complimentary meals from now until Wednesday August 4 to punters with the most original excuses for visiting.

General manager Sharon Kemnitz said: “Wiltshire locals are wanting to come to the pub more than they have in years in order to see friends, have a family meal or a night out with their partner – but it’s been so long since they’ve been able to socialise properly, some feel like they need a reason to justify it to themselves.

“As a team, we’ve loved seeing our guests find any possible reason to make up for lost time with their loved ones - which is why we’ve decided to have a bit of fun with it.

"Between now and Wednesday 4th August, people giving the most entertaining excuses for visiting will be rewarded with money towards a meal and drink so they can live out their excuse again with their loved ones.

“Perhaps you’ve lost your keys, the dog ate your dinner, or you’re simply making up for lost time by making special occasions extra special this year – tell us your entertaining, heartwarming or even most outlandish reasons for visiting, and we’ll reward the best! Whatever the reason, a warm welcome will await you and your loved ones.”

To be in with a chance of winning one of 10 £100 gift cards, submit original excuses at www.chefandbrewer.com/AnyExcuse by August 4.

Full terms and conditions can be found at https://www.chefandbrewer.com/AnyExcuse