A BRADFORD pub has found an innovative way to keep people warm and safe in their social bubbles outside as Autumn and Winter approach.

The Royal Oak, in Eccleshill, has begun introducing futuristic-looking domes in its makeshift beer garden.

The first one was built last Friday and the structure fits around a single outdoor pub bench.

Five more arrived from overseas on Monday and will be set-up in the coming days.

The idea has provided The Royal Oak with more flexibility during these tumultuous pandemic times and as the colder months begin to draw in.

Landlady, Claire Mclean, said: "We're so small inside, if it (Coronavirus) carries on looking toward the Winter, we would really struggle.

"The capacity inside is 32 in the lounge and 14 in the tap room.

"We're finding that a lot of customers want to be outside with the fear of being closed inside.

"At least you can sit within your own home and family, just them, and social distancing."

The Royal Oak has already converted its car park into an outdoor beer garden - with a bar, 30 benches and seven stylish booths with screens - to double its capacity and ensure customers felt safe.

The domes will enhance that experience and it all came about while Mrs Mclean was on her travels.

She said: "We went away on Bank Holiday, overnight to York.

"We left on the Tuesday and they were putting these bubbles in place.

"I said, 'wow that's a great idea'.

"We were thinking a marquee but the car park area is a wind tunnel and you'd need to heat it."

In the bubbles, heat rises and it's all self-contained.

People only need to move out of the dome if they need the toilet, according to Mrs Mclean.

There are two windows in each structure to allow for ventilation and a machine thoroughly sprays the bubbles to make sure they're clean.

The pub is also hoping to connect each dome to the electrics in order to provide heating and lighting as the weather gets colder.

Unsurprisingly, the technology comes from a nation well known for its straight forward approach to logistics and innovation - Germany.

Mrs Mclean said she expected the structure to be flimsy, but once built it was actually really sturdy.

The bubble has already proved immensely popular, with people booking the first one out every single night since Friday.

The landlady said: "On Friday, we were just shutting and those in the bubble were one of the last to leave the pub.

"Everyone is thinking they're great."

This isn't just about adapting to the COVID-19 virus either.

It is an innovation that could serve the pub well in a post-pandemic world, according to Mrs Mclean.

The pub hopes to create a theme with the bubbles in the future, with plans of a Winter Wonderland come Christmas time.

With much uncertainty across the country thanks to drastic rises in coronavirus cases over recent weeks, and new national rules implemented on Monday, Mrs Mclean hopes the pub can ride it out, with the help of the new domes.

The Royal Oak is looking to purchase more of the structures in the coming weeks.

Mrs Mclean said: "I think if we hadn't turned the car park into a beer garden, with an outside function room with heating, we would really struggle.

"The positive looking on the whole is now I would say we've got a good chance of getting through this."