A nautical theme marked the official launch event for Shepherd Neame’s coastal pub The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable on Tuesday (September 12).
Volunteers from Whitstable RNLI and Whitstable Coastwatch turned out in force to celebrate the reopening of the town centre pub, which has reopened after a stunning 14-week, £1.8 million refurbishment.
To mark the occasion, both organisations received donations of £1,000 from Shepherd Neame’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Neame, while the first pint was pulled by Visit Kent’s Chief Executive Officer, Deidre Wells OBE.
Dating back to 1867, the pub building has been completely refurbished, with care taken to retain and restore its original features, which include a Grade II Listed bar, while giving the historic venue a contemporary and stylish feel.
The pub, which sits on a striking spot in the heart of the bustling seaside town, at the entrance to the High Street, has been owned by Shepherd Neame since 1898.
The 14-week renovation was completed to the highest standard, with a classic feel of wood and leather complemented by a beach-inspired colour palette in recognition of its seaside location.
There are now eight boutique bedrooms, each boasting its own distinctive style and character. Whitstable has long been famous for its oysters, and each of the rooms is named after an historic oyster fishing vessel, known as a ‘yawl’ or ‘smack’, built in the town.
Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said:
“The Duke of Cumberland has been part of our estate for almost its whole life – more than 120 years – and is a treasured jewel in our coastal crown, so it was essential for us to ensure that this refurbishment preserved its unique heritage while also invigorating it with a contemporary feel.
“We are proud to be part of Whitstable’s thriving community and hope that the impressive work that has been carried out here will ensure The Duke of Cumberland continues to serve customers for the next century and beyond.”
Visit Kent Chief Executive Officer Deidre Wells said: “I would like to thank Shepherd Neame for making our job at Visit Kent a lot easier because this really isn’t going to be a hard sell! Shepherd Neame’s investment in The Duke of Cumberland is a real boost for our county’s tourism industry. The pub looks fantastic and I’m sure will prove hugely popular with customers, offering a unique place to drink, dine and stay in the heart of Whitstable.”