Some of the best sea views in Kent are to be enjoyed from the attractive garden of the Belle Vue Tavern in Pegwell Bay, just a stonesthrow from the centre of Ramsgate.
Among those enjoying the view – and the pub’s tea gardens – was a young Princess Victoria a few years before she became Queen. It is said she was particularly partial to the shrimps on offer!
The Belle Vue was completely refurbished in early 2010 to become a well presented pub with contemporary restaurant, seating up to 32 people. Both bar and restaurant menus offer a good selection of contemporary and traditional fare, all using locally sourced, fresh ingredients. The restaurant is also available for hire as a function room for buffet parties of up to 50 people. Look out for regular quiz, gourmet and music nights – the latter featuring a heady mix of rock, blues and soul.
The pub is thought to date from around 1720 and, judging by tunnels connecting the inn with cottages across the road, was definitely favoured by smugglers who stored their contraband in the pub’s cellars until the coast was clear!
Writer Charles Dickens visited the pub with his family while on holiday in nearby Broadstairs, commenting: “The shrimps were delightful, the ale better.”
He is also thought have introduced children’s writer Hans Christian Andersen the delights of the Belle Vue when they visited Pegwell in 1842.