Oh, how I've missed Herbie's during the main lockdown period! When they had to close down, they tried continuing just as a takeaway service, but after no more than a week they felt obliged to close that too. At least I 'signed out' with a takeaway of their sumptuous Nachos Supreme, which made a delicious huge meal for me plus a more modest-size meal the following day (it's really best regarded as a hearty meal for two). Fast-forward to Saturday 25 July, when I had my first Herbie's meal since March. At first it all felt a little sad, because the size and shape of the premises meant that the number of tables had had to be rather drastically reduced in order to achieve a reasonable degree of distancing. However, really I see this as an advantage too. True, for the time being we shan't have quite the reassuring hectic bustle there that we used to have at peak times, BUT the noise level often got excessive at such times - not good for one's hearing long-term, and adding a significant stress level for customers and particularly the staff, who have to work (and keep smiling!) through all that.So, the smaller numbers, and a significant limit on the size of party bookings, ought to mean a more peaceful and relaxing experience for all involved.Because of reduced number of covers, it clearly couldn't make sense to offer the whole previous big menu range, but at least the current menu is a brilliant job of conserving what they could of the basic favourites. Also, the smaller menu size is always mitigated by there being a rotating Special main dish, and the mixed salad and the soup being frequently changed.I started off this time with their Mediterranean Vegetable Soup followed by their Moroccan Tagine, though choosing to have brown rice with it rather than the presumably more authentic couscous that's stated on the menu. It was just as excellent and a generous portion as ever.One little point here is that the new menu was confusing in one respect. While previously ALL their main dishes had a choice of mixed salad or potato wedges included in the price, now some of them don't, and it would have been helpful if the menu had explicitly stated the new situation. So, if you're a Herbie's regular and expect one of those 'sides' with your main dish, you'd need to check whether you need to have it added to your order.It's the same wonderful team there - naturally the owners Tony and Sue and often their daughter Emily, but of course as there's a smaller number of tables, the non-family staff have so far been fewer; it was great to encounter Gemma and Elisha again (one of two Elishas who were working there before). As with my other (much more recent) top favourite restaurant (Pho), the team here have been good friends to me over the years. Indeed, back in March, just following Herbies' temporary closure, I encountered Tony and Sue on one of my exercise walks, and immediately Tony was offering to do shopping for me, mindful of the absurd stipulation that all people over 70 must 'shield' and not do any shopping themselves. I actually took advantage of that offer for a few weeks before I rebelled, pensioned Tony off with my deeply-felt thanks, and reverted to doing my own shopping. I'm just coming up to 79 - but I'm still a *healthy and active* person and thus not at undue risk from COVID-19 should my pretty scrupulous distancing measures still let 'the bug' through. The Government thus has no busines to order me to live as though I were weak and 'vulnerable'!As I was feeling rather poorly yesterday (Saturday), I thought better of eating out, and had another takeaway from Herbie's, ordering by phone and collecting / paying in the doorway, wearing my face mask for good measure. I was particularly struck by the security of their particular set of takeaway containers. They use a robust waxed card container for the soup, and it didn't leak at all. The other items were also packed so that I got no leakage - and the container materials were all waxed card or/and thin aluminium. -- Thankfully no plastic! Some other takeaway sources I used during the lockdown had issues with container leakages, so I've reallly come to appreciate it when the best of care is taken to avoid that sort of thing!