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Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Yes, on 1 December 2020, it's our second birthday! Happy Birthday to us!

And like all milestones, we’re marking this one with decided celebration, because it’s been a hellova year!

I feel like we have been growing in leaps and bounds, just like a child in their second year of life –we’ve learnt to stand up, to take a few steps, and now we’re trying to run. We're improving our systems, refining our menus, upskilling our staff, improving our offering, and enhancing our surroundings. We are starting to become an entity unto ourselves, as we work out who we are and how we interact as a business, as a team, as a family.

Just as children are fraught with with illness, we've had to fight some battles while this 'little' pandemic thing is going 'round! Lockdown saw us shut the doors for five weeks - bookings were lost, and when restrictions eased, the loss in confidence of personal safety meant they didn't automatically return. Restrictions on function size further complicated things - who wants to celebrate, commemorate or socialise when you can only do so with half of your guests? But lockdown blessed us with breathing space; giving us time to stop, take stock of ourselves and our business, and do a LOT of online learning. We came back with new ideas, systems and staff keener than ever to help people gather, connect, celebrate. Lockdown made us all realise that it is actually coming together, meeting face-to-face over coffee or lunch, and talking, listening, laughing, connecting – that is what is really important to us as human beings.

Our ‘Taste of Europe’ week went really well in September, with some classic Dutch treats (bring back bosche bollen!) while the hundreds of tulips flowered in pots in every corner. The Dutch Embassy held their pop-up consular desk once again, giving double the excuse to come in for kroketten and Grolsch. We have enjoyed numerous family occasions – 40th , 60th , 80th even a 90th birthday; weddings, anniversaries, corporate celebrations; awards nights, and family gatherings to mark a passing of a loved one. The stories, the hugs, the laughter, the tears on all these occasions remind us what we are here for – to keep our stories going, to keep our families connected.

As with all two-year old's, parents have to be patient, constructive, and understanding, so we are extremely grateful to all of you - our faithful following - who have watched us grow and learn. Thank you to our amazing staff who have been here – some of them right from the start – ready to roll up their sleeves and pitch in wherever necessary. We have watched our people grow as our business has, and we could not do this without their experience, knowledge, skills and co-operation every single day.

Our hands are in the clay, getting very messy as we mould and shape Zenders into a place where you can come, chat, eat, drink, and grow together. And rather than the classic 'terrible twos', we think the coming year is going to be terrific!

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