The September heatwave has come as a “huge relief” for the hospitality sector after a miserable July and August, leading industry figures have said.

Soaring temperatures over the past week have “brought back the feelgood factor” for business owners across the industry, they added.

Thursday was provisionally the hottest day of the year so far, with 32.6C recorded in Wisley, Surrey.

The executive chairman of a major pub chain said his establishments can double their trading when the sun shines and is anticipating a “Pimm’s rush” should the high temperatures remain over the weekend.

Clive Watson, co-founder of City Pub Company, which runs 43 pubs across the southern half of England and Wales, told the PA news agency: “After a pretty wet July and August, it’s a huge relief that we’ll be getting some good weather.

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