Old pub restored to its former elegance
ONE of Thanet's oldest pubs reopened with an old-fashioned knees-up.
The Northern Belle in Margate was refurbished inside and out by owners Shepherd Neame, and brewery boss Jonathan Neame was the guest of honour to unveil its return to former glories.
The pub dates from 1680 and was originally The Waterman's Arms until it was renamed after an American ship whose crew were heroically rescued from a shipwreck off North Foreland in 1857.
Wooden beams and davits from the wreck now form part of the bar and the walls tell the story of the ship's dramatic rescue.
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Other items that were salvaged from the ship and a rescuer's bravery medal are on display at Margate Museum.
The new look has kept faith with its nautical heritage with ship rope and netting lining the pub.
Mr Neame pulled the ceremonial first pint and made a £200 donation to the local RNLI to celebrate the occasion.
The brewery also pledged support to a campaign by drinkers to restore a plaque on the old stone pier in honour of the nine Margate men who died in the Northern Belle salvage operation.
The pub is a hidden gem, just a stone's throw from the Turner Contemporary in Mansion Street, where local lifeboatmen and fisherman join artists and creatives for a quiet pint.
Well-kept ale is guarantee as the Belle is a fixture in the Camra Good Beer Guide. It stages live music every Sunday.
Congratulations to Dave and the brewery on a good job.