The cost of living crisis has seen one pub come up with a unique way to save money – and it’s proving to be a big hit with customers.
With energy bills skyrocketing, The Masons Arms in Camelford, Cornwall, has gone as far as to switch off all its lights on Mondays from 6pm and rely solely on the use candlelight.
And one happy side-effect has been an increase in custom, with people flocking to the pub to enjoy the cosy and romantic setting.
Landlady Kate Chawner-Woods decided to take action when her August statement increased from an average of £700 in 2018 to over £3,000 this year.
She said: "When I opened the electricity bill I thought 'how are we going to cope'.
"It was really scary and we were so worried about how this winter was going to pan out – it's a massive increase, our electricity bill isn't much less than our rent now."
But an off-the-cuff comment from one of the local punters gave Chawner-Woods the idea of saving money with candlelight Mondays.
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She explained: "I was moaning and cursing when I got the bill through when one of the locals turned around and told me to just turn the lights out, go back to the way it used to be.
"So that got me thinking and now we've gone back to using only candles on a Monday, like how it would have been when the pub opened in 1753…
"The atmosphere is great, everybody seems to like it – it's romantic and people seem to talk to each other a lot more, it's really lovely."
Chawner-Woods said that ever since the money-saving policy was introduced, custom has shot up, with 65 booking last week alone – far more than the landlady usually gets on a Monday in October.
"At 6pm we cut out all the lights – people really like it, we had 65 covers last Monday which is far more than we'd usually get on a Monday in October.
It's too soon to say how much money their new scheme will save them, but Chawner-Woods predicts that their next bill will be around 4% less.
Other measures the pub has taken include changing all their lightbulbs to LED ones, cutting down on fridge and freezers and not using electric heaters in the winter months.
"The warmth of the candles actually means we don't need the heating as much,” Chawner-Woods said.
"It was toasty in here last month, so if demand continues we want to do it on another weekday as well…
"We want people to be able to come to the pub and spend some time in the warmth because it might actually be cheaper than heating their own homes."