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GEMMA BELL AND COMPANY FORT ROAD HOTEL TO OPEN IN MARGATE news image

FORT ROAD HOTEL TO OPEN IN MARGATE

07/07/22

Located on Margate’s iconic seafront on the southeast coast of England, Fort Road Hotel will open its doors to the public this August 2022.

 

A pioneering venture from longtime collaborators, co-founder of Frieze magazine and fairs, Matthew Slotover, private residential developer Gabriel Chipperfield and artist, Tom Gidley, Fort Road Hotel will be the first of its kind in the area. Offering the modern traveller a reinterpretation of the traditional hotel that provides a unique experience rooted in design, art, architecture and food. 

 

The Hotel

  

Fort Road hotel is a landmark building of historical significance to Margate, being one of the last buildings Turner himself would recognise (and almost certainly patronised). Purchased at auction four years ago in an advanced state of decay, the building has been rebuilt and reimagined by the three partners and Fleet Architects with an additional top floor and terrace to create a  14-room hotel presenting a unique experience. Distinctive colour schemes, carefully selected artworks and period furniture adorn every part of the hotel with a guest-only roof terrace offering 360°  panoramic views of the vast Margate seascape, surrounding town and beyond. 

  

The 14 bedrooms offer a variety of sizes and styles with many rooms having direct sea views. Every room features a high quality bed made from natural fibres, handmade linen curtains, a selection of vintage artworks, interesting books and a bespoke wood and marble vanity unit. The top floor is an addition to the original building and architecturally distinct, each of its four rooms featuring high ceilings, oversized sliding windows, full length Kvadrat felt curtains and a selection of high quality mid century furniture. 

  

Moving into the bathrooms, the colour schemes are led by a vibrant palette with floor to ceiling hand-made tiling from Mexico, contrasting against herringbone Carrara marble floors. Elements of luxury are always within reach with personal grooming products available from local and national favourite Haeckels.

  

The top floor is an addition to the original building and, as such, is architecturally distinct. The four rooms that make up the space feature high ceilings and broad pocket windows that open fully to provide an indoor-outdoor experience. From here, guests have access to the Roof Terrace, via a glazed roof lantern, that offers undisturbed views of the coast and town and an opportunity to watch the famous Margate sunsets declared by Turner as “the loveliest in Europe”. 

 

The Art

 

Art is a key factor in the interior design of Fort Road Hotel. The ground floor and basement bar feature artworks by contemporary artists with close connections to Margate including Tracey Emin, Lindsey Mendick, Hannah Lees, and others, and a specially commissioned mural by Sophie Von Hellermann will fill the stairway between the restaurant and two-storey basement bar. 

 

20th century abstract and figurative works are combined throughout the rooms in a range of mediums including oil painting, gouaches, watercolours and prints. Gathered from across the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and the US over the last two years by Tom Gidley, many of the pieces are by previously unknown mid-century female artists who deserve fresh appraisal. 

 

The corridors are lined with a large collection of Margate-themed vintage photographs, postcards, memorabilia and antique maps. Ranging from the mid 18th to mid 20th centuries, they form a unique and rich social history of the town, its residents and visitors. 

 

The Restaurant and Bar

  

The 35-cover ground floor restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, tea and cake, and dinner, offering seasonal home-cooking with a focus on quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers. The herringbone terracotta tiled floor dominates the room, with vintage wooden tables surrounded by Thonet chairs carefully set out creating a warm and informal dining space. 

  

A tiled bar bookends the room, whilst the snug is illuminated by a wood burning stove as guests enjoy sea views from the sanctuary of the hotel. 

  

Head Chef Daisy Cecil will collaborate with consultant Gioconda Scott on a menu inspired by late 19th and early 20th century female food writers including Isabella Beeton, Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson. This inspiration is supplemented by their combined affection for Kent, the Garden of England with its rich tapestry of flavours, coming fresh from the vine, hop, land and sea.

 

Throughout the year, the kitchen will host a series of chef residencies, exciting collaborations and workshops with local foragers and micro-producers, engaging with food and culture through an expanded community that will bring fresh ideas and a constant source of inspiration to the kitchen.

  

The menus will offer simple, clean and honest cooking, using the finest produce to celebrate British seasonality, blended with a hint of the Mediterranean flavours Gioconda was raised around.

 

Dishes will include the likes of: 

 

Starters

 

Chilled cucumber and fennel soup

 

Pork terrine with pickled cherries

 
 

Main

 

Clay baked sea trout with bay leaves

 

Lemon and parsley risotto & dandelion salad

 
 

Pudding

 

Wild blackberry pancakes, geranium ice cream

  

 

The concise wine list will include a mixture of classic and natural wines, all organically farmed. European producers will be joined by the best of  British winemakers. 
 

Fort Road Hotel subterranean mezzanine 60-cover bar will present a drinks offering founded on principles of conviviality, creativity and curiosity. The remarkable double height room offers a third space for guests to visit within the hotel. Alongside the open area, there is a 24-cover bookable vault for more special occasions. 

  

The concise cocktail list will seek to preserve local ingredients beyond each of the four seasons and be founded on classics; slings, spritzes, martinis and juleps, using British spirits mixed with iconic European products. Gins will be infused with foraged fruits and grasses such as sloe berries, redcurrants, juniper, sea vegetables, wild fennel, and rosemary. Syrups will be created in-house using fresh teas, citrus peel and pressed fruit to play with the balance of sweet to the acid. 

 

Tom Fogg will be the guests first port of call when staying at Fort Road Hotel as General Manager.

  

Fort Road Hotel will open its doors on 1st August 2022, with reservations live now.  

 

For further information and imagery, please contact Lily on lily@gemmabellandcompany.com

 

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