WHILE most pubs remain closed, a handful are doing a roaring trade in takeaway drinks and food.

The coronavirus lockdown rules forbid pubs, bars and restaurants from opening their premises for custom, but entrepreneurial landlords and ladies are helping beleaguered drinkers to toast their good fortune by offering takeaway pints of draft beer and other beverages in plastic cups sealed with lids.

Rules are strict, however, with no entry to premises, toilets closed and strictly no consumption allowed on site - not even in gardens.

The hospitality industry has been decimated by the lockdown and faces a period of uncertainty while social distancing measures remain in place. Businesses are desperate to start taking in revenue in a bid to stay afloat.

There are fears some pubs and bars may never reopen.

Among the pubs keen - and legally able, with off-licenses - to serve takeaway ales and fine wines are The Jericho Wine Cafe, in Walton Street; Brew Dog in Cowley Road and the Port Mahon in St Clement's, all in Oxford.

The Crown in Woodstock has been selling takeaway liquid refreshment as has the Coach and Horses in Wallingford, Fleur de lys in Dorchester and the Half Moon at Cuxham.

The Teardrop Bar and the Market Cellar Door in Oxford's reopend Covered Market are selling takeaway beer and wine in so-called 'growler' containers and bottles.

Read more: Oxford pub hits on novel way to keep drinkers and diners socially distanced when it reopens

The good weekend weather also saw pretty country pubs doing brisk business, with socially distanced queues at The Maytime Inn in Asthall, near Witney, and the Angel, in Burford.

Rambler Lucy Silver from North Oxford was among those queuing at the Maytime. She said: "This is fantastic.

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"I haven't had a pub pint for more than three months so I know this is going to taste so good!"

The nearby Swan Inn in Swinbrook - one of the county's most beautiful pubs - had also been serving drinks but was forced to stop when a neighbour complained.

Read more: Popular burger joint reopens for takeaways and tunes

A local resident, who asked not to be named, said: "It's a real shame. The pub was doing a little bit of trade and no one was causing a nuisance. After all, this is probably the quietest, best behaved, village you could imagine.

"They are a great crowd at The Swan and I can't wait till it opens. Thank you to that person who spoiled the fun in the meantime!"

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The Swan Inn is still serving barbecue treats from in front of the pub, with burgers, pulled pork rolls and lamb kofta kebabs being snapped up over the weekend by ramblers and dog walkers.

Further South, The Freke arms in Hannington, near Faringdon, is serving takeaway bottled drinks, as well as a  Sunday roast for delivery or collection.

Landlord Rob Hazel said: "We will continue to do this after lockdown restrictions hopefully begin to ease. It would be great for Oxfordshire to know about us".

The community-owned Abingdon Arms in Beckley, is keeping customers supplied with a range of takeaway meals and at least one cask ale always on tap.

Gabriel Brodetsky, who sits on the pub's management committee, said: "We’re delighted that our tenants Suzy and Alex are supporting the local community throughout the Covid emergency. They're doing a great job."

* If you are a pub and are open for takeaway pints,or are a drinker whose local is serving once again, let us know. Email tim.hughes@nqo.com