A month-long £50,000 makeover has been completed at seaside pub The Saracens Head in Deal.
Dating back to the early 19th century, the historic Shepherd Neame pub is only a short stroll from the seafront, and has a covered courtyard garden to enjoy during the summer months, along with a log burner inside the pub, creating a cosy atmosphere when the weather is chilly.
The pub’s makeover included redecorating throughout and replacing the furniture, refurbishing the bar area with reclaimed wood to create a more rustic feel, and introducing new plants and furniture for the garden.
Licensee Emeline Burton took over The Saracens Head at the end of March. The mum-of-one grew up in Deal, attending St Edmund’s School in Dover before studying catering at Thanet College, and has worked locally in the hospitality industry since she was a teenager.
Emeline, 37, said:
After years of working in other people’s pubs and restaurants, it has always been my dream to be my own boss. The Saracens Head was only a few streets away from my home in Deal, so when it became available, it seemed the perfect opportunity to finally become a licensee. I love the quirky character of the pub, and we have had some great feedback from customers about its new look, which has created a contemporary feel while retaining its traditional features.
The pub’s large cellar has also been reduced in size to create a bigger kitchen, which has been completely refitted with new equipment. It has allowed Emeline to introduce a new menu of bar snacks and main meals including a daily fish special, dependent on the local catch of the day, and Tapas on Sunday. Her chef Zoe Barnes cooks everything to order, using locally sourced ingredients.
Our aim was to offer customers great pub food with a twist. For example, there are lots of pubs in Deal offering roast dinners on a Sunday, so we decided to go for Tapas instead, and it is proving really popular. Taking on my first pub was a daunting prospect, but I’m so glad I went for it. I’m lucky to have a great team working with me, and have received lots of support from Shepherd Neame. Being a licensee is hard work, but it’s incredibly rewarding.
The Saracens Head is open from 11.30am, Monday to Sunday. Food is available from 12noon to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; from 12noon to 3pm on Wednesday; from 12noon to 3pm and 5.30pm to 8pm on Saturday; and 12noon to 5pm on Sunday.
For more information visit the pub's website or call 01304 448858.