Megan Procter and Simon Davenport, managers of the Ship & Trades pub
We started managing this lovely modern, waterside hotel, restaurant and pub in March. It’s housed in an original steel-framed dockyard structure, which contained dockyard offices and an engineering shop. It was rebuilt as a hotel by Faversham brewers Shepherd Neame and recently renovated to reflect the original building’s nautical heritage.
Before arriving at the Ship and Trades, we spent several years running an Artic hotel – the world’s only log-built hotel on the border of Northern Finland and Lapland – and, most recently, three years at a busy pub on Portobello Road in the heart of Notting Hill’s carnival route. Always ready for a new challenge, we’ve swapped snow boots and carnival masks for water wings and a riverside adventure!
The Ship and Trades is Chatham Maritime’s only pub, restaurant and hotel and we oversee a fantastic team of more than 30 staff. We are certainly kept busy managing 11 bedrooms, a large bar area, an upstairs restaurant and an outdoor terrace overlooking Chatham Marina.
A typical day starts at around 6.30am when we start preparing breakfast for our hotel guests. We also receive deliveries and assist guests who are checking out. By mid-morning, it’s time to open the bar and restaurant ready for service from midday. We’re currently serving food from our new summer menu in the bar until 10pm, and until 3pm and from 6pm until 10 pm in the restaurant. When it’s very busy it’s all hands on deck and we’ll be found serving at the bar, making sure there is a constant supply of good quality beer flowing from our glass fronted cellar or helping to serve food.
The afternoon is spent checking-in guests, dealing with any queries and we may even get the opportunity to take a break and put our feet up! We host a mixture of business clients and tourists, as we offer an ideal base for visiting the Chatham Dockyard, Dickens World, nearby historic Rochester and even London, which is just 40 minutes by train from Chatham. We also have lots of wedding guests staying with us at weekends.
A typical day might also include a meeting with a brewery representative or a supplier. Our heads won’t hit the pillow until midnight, after the bar has closed.
We’re looking forward to seeing the Marina come alive during the summer months and welcoming local customers and tourists, who like us, are keen to discover Chatham Maritime.