Dining in a not-so-private bubble built for two

If you don’t want to show your romantic side, let the windows steam up first.

That’s the advice Harbourside Grill operations manager Matthew French is giving to diners after erecting two small glasshouses, each of which can seat two people, on the lawn next to the Dunedin restaurant.

They were proving popular, Mr French said.

‘‘It is something novel to have, but it’s not really a private romantic dinner with everybody looking in at you.

‘‘It’s a bit like being a goldfish.’’

People in glass houses ... Victoria Atienza (left) and Aleen Barcos prepare to devour the first...
People in glass houses ... Victoria Atienza (left) and Aleen Barcos prepare to devour the first meal served in one of the Harbourside Grill’s new locally-made glasshouses, installed outside their waterfront restaurant. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

The aim was to accommodate romantic diners who could not be squeezed into the restaurant because of social-distancing rules.

‘‘We got told of something similar in the Netherlands and we thought it was a fantastic idea.

‘‘So, we got in touch with Christies Glasshouses and now we’ve got a new dining option in Dunedin.’’

Harbourside Grill waitress Nicole Botting carries hotties to a glasshouse dining room. PHOTOS:...
Harbourside Grill waitress Nicole Botting carries hotties to a glasshouse dining room. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

While the glasshouses were warm on sunny days, they were quite cold at night, he said.

Staff provided hot water bottles and blankets to keep the diners warm.

Diner Victoria Atienza said it was a great way to dine without compromising social distancing.

‘‘It’s smart. And it would be a romantic place to have dinner, especially at night when you see the water and all the lights outside.

‘‘You wouldn’t even know it was a glasshouse.’’

Mr French said a decision was still to be made about whether to make the glasshouses a permanent feature.

‘‘We’ll see how the market responds.’’

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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