Welcome to the George & Heart
Updated: Apr 18
Hello and welcome to The George & Hearts first ever blog post!
We've been busy working away to lovingly restore one of Margates Oldest Pubs, The Old George Hotel and have been dying to tell you all about it but I'll be honest, its been hard to find the time... until now!
If someone had told us 3 years ago that we'd be moving to Margate let alone restore an 8 bedroom hotel and pub we'd have probably laughed in their face.
Don't get me wrong, nothing against Margate, but both myself Kelly Love and partner Dan Williams being born and bread in London with roots in Ibiza, Spain we'd always thought that our restoration life project would be in sunnier climates.
That all changed in early 2018 when we were asked to become part of the then primarily food venue 'The Sun Deck' and run the Tiki Bar on site bringing our own unique shanti vibe, music connections and a very loud funktion-one sound system to the seaside with our 'Locked Inn' Bar brand that can also be found at festivals and London Pop Ups.
After a crazy first summer of sofa surfing and room renting whist still living in London and driving back and forth every weekend to run the tiki bar, life was becoming quite intense but we discovered an incredibly creative community, a more relaxed way of life and some of the best sunsets we've ever seen. This was exactly the life change we were both looking for. Its at that moment we decided it was time to lay our roots in Magical Margate and start living the dream.
It was a hot September afternoon back in 2018 when i entered the world of dated chintz and prints of the former Ambrette restaurant. My first impression was that of white plaster board horror but then as my lovely estate agent Terence Painter started leading me up the wonky stairs things started to get a little more interesting. I absolutly loved it although it was a lot of work and I have eye for design, I am by no means a architect or designer! I also knew that Dan would have to do the extent of the building works.
When Terry mentioned that everybody else had turned the property down due to the extent of works, I rose to the challenge and informed him that I love a project and Dan was very handy with a power tool... i saw a twinkle in his eye.
After my moment of bravery I got on the phone to Dan, hesitant that he would even consider looking at the place but to my surprise he came straight down and jumped on board.
Beyond the brash plaster boarded walls, boarded up doorways and bombsite of a kitchen we could both see the buildings potential.
The twisting stairways, crumbly walls and Dickensian wonky floors were a thing of unusual beauty and instantly made our minds buzz with ideas for the largely unloved building and we knew our little Pants (the cat) would love exploring the endless corridors of her new home - We needed the old George Hotel in our lives and on July 5th (almost a year later) we signed for the keys!
"Follow the yellow brick road" my friend Alice told me at the start of this project... and you'll always find your emerald city!
This is us getting the keys with Granny the dog.
Stayed tuned for our renovation project adventures...