News 2020 & 2021

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Britain's seaside spots ranked by Which?

30 April 2021, Sean Poulter, The Daily Mail

Forget kiss-me-quick hats, sticks of rock and funfairs - Britain's favourite seaside spots now offer space, peace and pristine beaches. Bamburgh, in Northumberland, with its vast sandy beach and castle view, has been named the country's best-loved coastal destination. It is one of a number of smaller, less crowded holiday resorts that have been listed as the nation's favourites for a staycation visit.

Kent destinations:

  1. Dungeness 76%
  2. Deal 74%
  3. Broadstairs 72%
  4. Whitstable 71%
  5. Herne Bay 66%
  6. Folkestone 64%
  7. Ramsgate 64%
  8. Margate 57%

The survey of members by Which? is bad news for louder and more traditional destinations, particularly Skegness, Weston-super-Mare, Ilfracombe and Margate.

With more people expected to book a holiday at home than ever before as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumer champion sought out views on Britain's coastal towns and villages. The survey of more than 4,000 people ranked nearly 100 towns and villages and put Bamburgh at the top with a customer score of 85%, with five stars for its beaches, tourist attractions and scenery. And it received an additional five stars for value for money, with prices for accommodation being half those of some popular spots in Cornwall. Visitors were particularly fond of the castle, and despite the small size of Bamburgh village, the vastness of its beach meant it received four stars for peace and quiet, allowing visitors to easily distance themselves and avoid busy crowds. Other responses suggest word has spread about Bamburgh's appeal, with some encouraging visitors to reserve tables in the restaurants in advance as places are often booked up, and arrive at the castle early to secure a parking space.

Visitors rated nearly 60 British seaside destinations at 70% or above, while 30 were awarded four or five stars for peace and quiet.

Tynemouth, in Tyne and Wear, took joint second place alongside Dartmouth in Devon. Both received a visitor score of 84%, and five stars for their seafronts, while Tynemouth was given five stars for its beach and seafront, and four stars for scenery. Visitors to Tynemouth praised the selection and quality of restaurants and food options on offer, as well as the market at the Metro station at weekends. While those who had been to Dartmouth recommended taking a boat trip along the River Dart or the steam train from Paignton to get there.

Languishing at the bottom of the table for the second year in a row was Skegness, seen as being stuck in the past. It scored a lowly one star for its tourist attractions and scenery, and its beach was given three. However, visitors noted an improvement as the result of investment and refurbishment in the town centre and higher footfall, with more people holidaying in the UK.

Respondents recognised the family-friendly appeal of Skegness and its amusements. One commenter described it as 'unpretentious and a very pleasant place to visit', and encouraged visitors to 'enjoy the old fashioned 1950s atmosphere of a traditional English seaside town'.

Other destinations at the bottom end of the table included Weston-super-Mare (55%), Ilfracombe (56%) and Margate (57%). The editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland, said:

"Many of us discovered the joy of a British summer holiday last year and the trend looks set to continue well into this summer. The results of our survey show that bigger is rarely better, with smaller and less crowded resorts taking the top spots over better-known destinations. Given the crowds and prices at some of Britain's most popular seaside destinations, the best news from the survey is just how many highly-rated destinations we have to choose from. Whether you want a village with a beach or a big town with all the fish and chips you can eat, there is a fantastic spot by the sea for you."

Danny Boyle's Sex Pistols biopic 'Pistol' to be filmed in Deal

Alex Jee, Kentonline, 20th April 2021

A star-studded cast is coming to Kent to film scenes for a new TV series directed by Danny Boyle. Filming for 'Pistol', which stars actors from 'Game of Thrones', '1917', 'Hollyoaks' and 'The Witcher', will be in the county at the end of the month.

The limited series will be based around the life and career of punk rock legend and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Produced under the watchful eye of the award-winning director, the series is based on his 2018 memoir 'Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol', and will consist of six episodes. Film crews will be coming to both Deal and Folkestone this month to film various scenes.

Producers have approached Graham Stiles of the King's Head in Deal, with a view to setting up a crew base at Channel View Bed and Breakfast which he owns. The outdoor terrace known as The Square, has also been booked, and will be taped off while actors are filmed. Mr Stiles said:

"It's going to be great for the area. The crew will be staying at the B&B and this area (the Square) will be closed off while they film."

The crew will arrive in the town on Monday, 26th April, and filming will start two days later on Wednesday, 28th April.

Businesses in King Street have also been approached, including Mr Dapper Master Barbers and the Royal Leisure Centre.

Shortly after visiting Deal, filming will move to The Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone. The hotel will host an interior scene in which the protagonists perform in a restaurant, and the windows will be blacked out to help provide a night-time setting.

The show's stellar cast including Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams, who will play punk icon Jordan (aka Pamela Rooke), and Babyteeth's Toby Wallace as Jones. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, of Game of Thrones, Love Actually and The Maze Runner fame, has also recently joined the cast. Anson Boon is Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge is Sid Vicious and newcomer Jacob Slater is drummer Paul Cook.

In an announcement with FX, who commissioned the series, Oscar winner Danny Boyle described the Pistols' breakthrough as "the moment that British society and culture changed forever". The director and executive producer added:

"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent … this is the moment that British society and culture changed forever."

The Third Pier - 1957

The third Deal pier, the only pleasure pier to be constructed since the war, is built on the site of the one it replaces. It was officially opened on Tuesday, 19th November 1957 by H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The band of the Royal Marines, a Guard of Honour and a very large concourse of people attended the grand opening ceremony. A presentation key made by Thomas Fattorini can be seen in the Town Hall. The design of this ceremonial key embodies the Ducal Coronet in silver gilt and enamel, and the Arms of the Borough on both sides, parcel gilt in blue and red enamel. A trident and rope border denote Deal's maritime associations.

The official opening by the Duke of Edinburgh on 19 November 1957

The Daily Express, Wednesday 20 November 1957 at page 9

The Man I Saved by Prince Philip

Prince Philip opening a new £250,000 pier at Deal, Kent, yesterday, said:

"I find I have a link with Deal - I helped to rescue your pier master."

To Captain Arthur Harris, the pier master, he said:

"Yes, I remember you. You're the chap who had the curious cargo."

Later, Captain Harris explained:

"I was first officer in a tanker blown up by a mine in the Thames approaches in April 1943. Our cargo was petroleum jelly, which was kept liquefied by the boilers. As the tanker broke in two, petroleum jelly poured out and solidified in a layer quite five feet thick on the top of the waves. "As we rowed through this the destroyer Wallace came along. A fair haired lieutenant helped us up the scramble nets. Later I asked who he was. I was told: 'Lieutenant Philip.'"

The Daily Mirror, Wednesday 20 November 1957 at page 2

Not Keen

The Duke of Edinburgh has an aversion for long piers, particularly Southend Pier, the longest in the world. He said so yesterday when he was opening the new £250,000 pier at Deal. It's a mere 900 ft. Said the Duke:

"I was very fond of piers as a child, but since I had to walk the whole length of Southend Pier (one and a third miles) during the war to get back to my ship, I haven't cared for them so much."

Monte Carlo or bust …

4th April 2021, Beth Robson, KentOnline

Bessie - the knitted car - to head to Monte Carlo from Dover for Martha Trust

A second hand car that's racked up thousands of miles in fundraising pilgrimages has been given a new lease of life - for another year. It means Bessie, the colourfully knitted Vauxhall often seen around Deal, can go on to take on another challenge for Hacklinge charity Martha Trust.

Her story is somewhat a fairytale of the rags to riches variety. Once upon a time, the little old green car was parked on a road in Gravesend. She was waiting for someone to buy her because her owner had bought a brand new car when she got snapped up for the bargain price of £600 she came to Deal. And that's when the fun really started.

Since then Bessie has been turning heads thanks to a unique make-over by keen knitters Pat Wilson and Jill Burford who knitted her a new patch-work cover bursting with colour and character. Her new woolly shell was so distinctive Bessie woke up to a new calling: to transport intrepid fundraisers to cities across Europe racking up thousands of miles and pounds for the charity that cares for young adults with profound disabilities. Since 2016 the £600 car has travelled with Pat Wilson and Jill Burford to Rome and Monte Carlo the following year. Then she went off with Jill Burford and Fay Franklin to Barcelona the year after that.

Bessie's team has raised £20,000 for Martha Trust to date. The tally contributes to the £235,000 it needs each year to provide care to those it supports. This has been done through sponsorship, casino night, raffles, auctions, quiz nights, music events and many generous donations. She has racked up guest appearances on TV and radio and has appeared in newspaper and magazine articles. She's also appeared at the NEC Craft Show, in Montreuil for World knitting day and has become a popular celebrity around the Deal area firstly in her beautiful knitted cover and then emblazoned with the Team Es-Car-go logo. Her team donated Bessie to Martha Trust to give her another adventure to Monte Carlo in 2020 however due to CoVid-19, the trip was unable to happen.

She has lots of experience, conquered the Pyrenees on her way to Barcelona and skirted Mont Blanc on the way to Rome, despite her dislike of hills. That's why she needed regular upkeep. Now thanks to Perry's in Whitfield her engine's running smoothly, her bodywork is intact and she is regularly serviced. and will be used by the Martha team for events. With her new yearly MOT, she's ready to be put back to good use.

Manager Chris Lavery says:

"Perrys Dover is more than happy to do whatever we can to keep Bessie on the road. The money she is raising is for such a worthwhile cause and is great; we love that we can make a difference and be part of this journey."

Fundraising and Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM says:

"Bessie's story is truly heart-warming and we feel very privileged that Jill, Pat and Fay bought her to take part in three of our annual car challenges and then donated her to continue to raise funds for Martha. We are incredibly grateful to the fabulous team at Perrys Dover who have made sure Bessie is roadworthy and safe for her adventures on a yearly basis – their support is invaluable!"

This year's car challenge is Monte Carlo Madness.

A team of cars, all worth less than £600, will be leaving Dover on 4th September. Each team has to pledge to raise a minimum of £1,500 in sponsorship. In return Martha organises channel crossings, accommodation and flights home. To sign up, please visit, email or call 01304 610448. The event has been rolled over from 2020 and hopes to go ahead, pending restrictions.

Deal 'virtually Covid-free'

27th March 2021, Phil Hayes, KentOnline

The 10 Kent towns which are virtually Covid-free.

While there has been an uptick in cases in Kent over the past week, there are still several towns which are virtually Covid-free. Infection rates are lowest in the Sevenoaks district, with just 20 positive tests recorded in the seven days up to 21st March, the latest available figures.

But across the entire county there are areas where weekly cases are in single figures - even in Swale, which once had the highest infection rate in the UK. Queenborough, on the Isle of Sheppey, is one of 10 towns in Kent where fewer than three cases have been recorded. When this happens, the Government does not show any data on its interactive map, in order to "protect individuals' identities".

Meanwhile, Hythe, New Romney, Lydd and Hawkinge - which all fall under the same district - are also virtually Covid-free. The same applies to Deal and neighbouring Sandwich.

Fewer than three positive tests have been recorded in both Deal and Sandwich.

Over in the west of the county, Edenbridge, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks town also recorded two or fewer cases over this period. However, Kent's infection rate as a whole rose from 19.8% to 33.6 per 100,000 people. Medway's fell 3.1% to 34.1%. Back on 4th January, Kent's rate was 869.6 and in Medway it was 1,168.2, highlighting how drastically the outlook has changed over the past couple of months.

The recent uptick comes as restrictions are loosened from Monday in the next stage of the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown. The Government anticipates that cases could rise further as more of our freedoms return.

But crucially, this time ministers and scientists will be looking at whether the roll-out of the vaccine to the most vulnerable people means the NHS will not become overwhelmed. Latest figures show there are 90 people in Kent's hospitals with Covid, plummeting 93% from 1,341 on 4th January.

Meanwhile, deaths have also fallen this month. Eighty people from Kent and Medway have died after testing positive for Covid in March, compared to 1,454 in January. Full list of towns with two or fewer Covid cases as of March 21:

Deal on Sunday Times 'Best Places to Live in 2021' list for the south east

26th March 2021, Steve Waite, Kent Online

Two Kent towns are among the top 10 places to live in the south east in 2021 according to an annual list published by the Sunday Times. Deal has been added for its 'swanky but sensible high street' and Sevenoaks was praised for its 'top-class schools, a hands-on community and rolling countryside'.

The Sunday Times guide looks for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and community spirit. It judges areas on topics such as broadband, air quality and schools. Deal is described as 'underrated' and where "the sophisticated and the sensible are nicely balanced and come with a sea view". The guide says it's perfect if you want "a thriving seaside town that’s salty and sophisticated".

"Cosy pubs and wine bars abound, and dining options are plentiful: the Pop Up Café for lunch, Middle Street Fish Bar for cod and chips on the beach, Frog and Scot for post-lockdown French cuisine and Walmer Castle (a real castle, not a pub) for an atmospheric Sunday lunch with veg from the garden."

Deal With It, an environmentally-minded community group, gets a mention for its regular beach cleans and seed and plant swaps, as well as its community hop garden and community-grown beer.

Stroud in Gloucestershire was named the best place to live in the UK, while the Surrey Hills were the best in the south east.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said:

"This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it's no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live. Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn't been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected."

Clocks go forward on Sunday, 28th March 2021

This year the clocks go forward by an hour on Sunday, 28th March, marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). BST will begin at 01:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), meaning that people in the UK will have one hour less sleep as 1am becomes 2am. The reasoning behind switching to BST is to have more daylight in the evenings. GMT resumes in autumn, on Sunday, 31st October. At 02:00 BST, the clocks will go back an hour to become 01:00 GMT again. This is so there is more daylight hours during the winter months. An easy way to remember how clocks change is the phrase: 'Clocks spring forward in spring and fall back in the fall'.

Shell found on beach

John Nurden, KentOnline, 13th December 2020

Second world war grenade found on Deal beach explodes in kitchen sink.

A mum and daughter have given up beachcombing after a wartime grenade they found on the beach exploded in their kitchen sink. Jodie Crews and eight-year-old Isabella from Deal believed their discovery could have been a fossil or old bone and appealed on social media to help identify it.

Jodie, 38, said: "I posted photos on fossil and archaeology sites and had lots of replies but no one suggested it could be a grenade. One woman thought it looked like whale vomit and said I could find out by poking it with a hot pin. She said a puff of white smoke would come out."

Instead, Jodie and her daughter received the shock of their lives when the grenade suddenly burst into flames in the dining room of their council house in The Fairway.

Jodie said: "It just turned into a fireball. My daughter screamed and ran out the back door. I grabbed the grenade and ran with it at arms' length into the kitchen where I hurled it into the sink. I then rushed upstairs to soak a towel to throw over it to put it out. The adrenalin must have kicked in and taken over. My first thought was to save my daughter, house, cats and dogs. With my daughter safely in the garden I ran back upstairs to get the cats - we have four three-week-old kittens - and rounded up our two dogs, Teegan a border collie and Lulu a Pomeranian."

In the meantime, neighbours rushed to their aid and one called the fire brigade. The Second World War grenade burned itself out in the sink but melted part of the plastic windowsill, damaged the sink and filled the house with smoke.

Jodie, who works for Kent County Council looking after adults with learning difficulties, said: "I have been told not to drink out of the taps as some of the chemicals from the grenade might have gone up them. It was a fireman who said it was a grenade. He said it was normally covered in a protective coating of wax."

She added: "Isabella had been asking for a metal detector for Christmas. I think she might end up with a Nintendo Switch instead after this incident. It will be safer."

The pair stumbled on the grenade while walking along Sandown beach last Saturday. Jodie recalled: "We were taking the dogs for a walk and I found it on the pebbles. We often collect pieces of glass and driftwood as we like making things. We are very arty and crafty. It had strange ridges and looked more like a piece of bone. It wasn't very heavy and weighed the same as a bag of sugar. I thought it might be an old knee joint. It didn't feel metally at all."

The pair took it home where it took pride of place on the living room table. By Thursday, after she had read suggestions on social media, Jodie settled down on the carpet to probe the object with a pin.

"As soon as I put the pin in, the casing seemed to melt a bit and then the whole thing turned into a fireball. We were unbelievably lucky. It could have been a hundred times worse. All my friends have made me promise not to pick anything up from the beach again."

She believes the 80-year-old grenade, left over from the Second World War, could have been washed up by recent storms and high tides. She added: "My daughter was incredibly brave and did all the right things. She ran to safety and called for help. I am very proud of her."

Dover District Council has been informed of the damage.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: "If you find anything you think could be ordnance on the beach call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Free parking over Christmas period

Dover District Council, 8th December 2020

Last minute Christmas shoppers, families travelling to join their Christmas 'bubbles' and New Year bargain hunters will be able to park for free in all DDC-owned off-street car parks on the following dates:

NHS and key workers can continue to park for free whilst on duty or carrying out visits in the community. This concession, in line with directions from the British Parking Association applies until 6th April 2021, or until such time as the government issues further guidance.

For the latest guidance on travelling and visiting family and friends over the Christmas period, see the latest government guidance.

All other parking restrictions, including on-street parking and single/double yellow line restrictions continue to apply.

Please note:

Click here to view Deal car park info. DDC-owned 'off-street car parks' in Deal include the following:

Three Deal pubs feature in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2021

KentOnline, Rhys Griffiths, 29th October 2020

Today sees the publication of the Good Beer Guide 2021 - the Campaign for Real Ale's guide to the country's very best pubs. Our reporter Rhys Griffiths got his hands on the beer drinker's bible and takes a look at some of the Kent pubs in Deal that made the cut this year.


One of the county's original micropubs, the Just Reproach in King Street is one of three venues to represent the seaside town in this year's CAMRA Guide. Its 'welcoming ambience' and selection of drinks are noted, but drinkers would be well advised not to let their mobile phones ring while supping their pint. You have been warned!

Elsewhere Farrier in Manor Road wins plaudits for 'a friendly environment with a real community feel', and Ship Inn in Middle Street is described as an 'unspoilt, traditional inn' situated in Deal's historic conservation area.

Clocks go back on Sunday

Daily Express, 19th October 2020

This Sunday, 25th October at 2am, the UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by going back one hour, to 1am. This marks the official end of British summertime. The clocks always change on the last Sunday in March, and then again on the last Sunday of October. A useful way to remember the hour-change rule is "Spring forward, Fall back".

The Rose

Sunday Telegraph, 18th October 2020

Deal Pier Kitchen one of 'Kent's best supper clubs' …

Muddy Stilettos, 23rd September 2020

This fab eaterie at the end of Deal's iconic pier is one of THE best spots to eat in town with fresh, organic food and you definitely don't want to miss their new Steak & Lobster nights on Friday and Saturday nights. Featuring locally caught lobster and prime steaks from Chandler and Dunn, they are mega popular so book your table here. With tasty food, gorgeous views from the RIBA award-winning structure and a dedicated booze drinks list, why would you ever want to leave ?

Deal Pier Kitchen, the Rose and Frog & Scot 'top 10 foodie finds in Kent'

Muddy Stilettos, 11th September 2020

Have you discovered these yet? Check out these fab foodie finds that are off the grid, hidden away or popping up near you …

Deal Pier Kitchen, Deal

This fab eaterie at the end of Deal's iconic pier is one of THE best spots in Deal for brunch with all of the well-loved classics (smashed avo on sourdough toast and a very fine fry-up) plus loaded sweet potatoes, sweetcorn fritters and their DPK pancakes - we would also recommend checking out their new Steak & Lobster nights on Friday and Saturday evenings! You will not be disappointed by the view from this RIBA award-winning structure, the interior lives up to expectation too with wooden slatted ceilings and stunning turquoise tiles all around you - even with plates to match. With exceedingly good coffee, a tasty lunch menu and a dedicated Brunch booze drinks list, why would you ever want to leave?

The Rose, Deal

In the heart of vibrant Deal, The Rose is a very chic seaside destination with seriously good food. Stay the night in one of their eight uniquely styled rooms - we'll take Room 4 complete with a roll top bath and it was featured in The Times' 30 most romantic hotel rooms in the UK! Then dine in the sun with the Tuscan-style courtyard garden complete with a beautiful olive tree - divine!

Frog & Scot, Deal

A lively French bistro in the heart of the coastal town of Deal with a daily-changing exciting menu. In the past few months it has had a chic makeover with a separate cocktail bar, a contemporary deco-inspired feel and even a new head chef, Harry Johnson, formerly at the Michelin-starred La Bourse et la Vie in Paris.

John Corley elected Associate of the British Society of Master Glass Painters

Beth Robson, KentOnline, 4th September 2020

An acclaimed stained glass artist and founder of a successful gallery has been elected Associate of the British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP). This prestigious award is given to John Corley of Deal based on the quality of his work over more than four decades.

John Corley in his gallery in 2014 displaying his glass and art work.

Mr Corley is the founder of John Corley Stained Glass Studio at 57 West Street, Deal. Since 1978, he has conserved, restored and designed stained glass to the highest standards of artistry and craftsmanship. Clients include the National Trust, English Heritage, The Crown Estate, The Churches Conservation Trust, The Council for the Care of Churches, Church of England and Roman Catholic Diocese, Museums and Private Collections. He is also an artist and owns Linden Hall Studio in St George's Road, Deal which he opened in 2014 with wife Heather and son Myles who runs the venture. A statement from the studio said:

"We are extremely proud that the man behind Linden Hall Studio has received this great honour. In order to achieve this award, John’s work has been recognised to be of the highest standards of stained glass design and painting, as well as to preserve its invaluable heritage."

The BSMGP was founded in 1921 and is Britain's only organisation devoted exclusively to the art and craft of stained glass. From the outset, its chief objectives have been to promote and encourage high standards in the art and craft of stained glass painting and staining, to act as a locus for the exchange of information and ideas within the stained glass craft and to preserve the invaluable stained glass heritage of Britain.

Millennium Window in St Margaret's in Bethersden, Kent.

Old Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, Maughan Library.

Top 10 new restaurants and pop-ups on the Kent coast include Frog & Scot, The Rose and Eva's

Stephen Emms, The Guardian, Monday 31st August 2020

Kent's culinary revival is spilling on to the streets and beaches - with inventive seafood, tapas and Asian street food

Frog & Scot, Deal

This classy bistro was opened on Deal High Street in 2016 by Benoit and Sarah Dezecot, who are also behind one of the town's most atmospheric wine bars, Le Pinardier. During lockdown it enjoyed a rather chic makeover, creating more space for diners with colourful, comfier chairs, a separate cocktail bar and a contemporary deco-inspired feel, as well as local artists' work adorning the walls. They've also bagged a new head chef, Harry Johnson, formerly Michelin-starred Daniel Rose's right-hand man at La Bourse et la Vie in Paris. His daily-changing chalkboard menu might include pan-fried gurnard fillets with parsley, a blood-rare bavette and chips, roasted quails with a nutty almond and cauliflower purée, apricots and girolles, or caesar salad with guinea fowl and truffle.

• Mains from £20,

Eva's, Walmer

In 2016, long-established Kensington restaurant Whits moved to an unassuming parade in Walmer. Run by husband-and-wife team Steve and Eva Whitney, its combination of classical fish cookery, slick service and simple dining room won plaudits. Nine months after Steve's untimely death last autumn, the venue has just reopened as the eponymous Eva's, a laid-back wine and cocktail bar with antipasti menu and soon-to-open deli. There's also a charming rear courtyard that's a sun trap on a warm afternoon - perfect to linger with a Campari spritz over sharing plates, such as the burrata with roasted tomatoes and basil, home-made arancini, Italian meats and chargrilled vegetables with caponata.

Plates from £8.50,

The Rose, Deal

Since opening two years ago, this elegant independent boutique hotel and restaurant has become synonymous with the town for many younger visitors. Now owners Christopher Hicks and Alex Bagner have gone one stage further and hired Chiltern Firehouse supremo Nuno Mendes to create a new summer menu with 28-year-old head chef Luke Jeffery-Green. The results of this partnership are special: from an almost dessert-like bowl of heritage tomatoes with charred peaches, soft raspberries and marcona almonds, to Mendes' signature creation - the crab doughnut, which sells out daily. The beef tartare is an inspired reboot, its glistening cubes of ruby-red meat piled on a vivid green tarragon sauce and topped with crisped cabbage leaves. The reworked Tuscan-style courtyard garden surely has the biggest olive trees this side of the Channel.

Mains from £13,

Deal Pier Kitchen and Zetland Arms 'top waterside eats with a view'

Muddy Stilettos, 20th August 2020

Ahh, is there anything better than a stroll along a water's edge? Actually, yes - a long lazy lunch with some stonking views across Kent! Come on landlubbers, let's tuck in.

Deal Pier Kitchen, Deal

Not to be missed - this fab new eaterie at the end of Deal's iconic pier is one of THE best spots to eat in town with fresh and organic food PLUS it's dog-friendly.

It's one of THE destinations in Deal for brunch with all of the well-loved classics (smashed avo on sourdough toast and a very fine fry-up) plus loaded sweet potatoes, sweetcorn fritters and their DPK pancakes with bacon and maple syrup or Nutella and berries if you really want to start your day with a bang. You'll also not be disappointed by the view from this RIBA award-winning structure. With exceedingly good coffee, a tasty lunch menu and a dedicated Brunch booze drinks list, why would you ever want to leave?

The Zetland Arms, Deal

Boasting an awe-inspiring location on the beach in Kingsdown, Deal, the Zetland Arms makes the most of its stunning setting - pairing spectacular ocean views with sublime local seafood. Walk along the promenade from Deal to Kingsdown and reward yourself with a bite to eat and tipple on this beachside pub. Run by the same couple who run the Coastguard pub at St.Margaret Bay, The Zetland has a reputation for good food and friendly service. Dogs also welcome - booking recommended as seating area fairly small and it does get busy (particularly popular with golfers as lots of courses nearby).

Staycation masterpiece of the week

The National Gallery, Friday 14th August 2020

Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordan Hill
John Constable (1816-17)

In this summer of the staycation, Constable shows us how to enjoy English scenery and weather. The Suffolk-born landscape artist never left Britain, even when he got a medal from the French king. Weymouth on the south coast was about as far as he got from his familiar childhood places around Flatford Mill, so this is the holiday art of a supreme staycationer. Constable, who never painted a clear blue sky, delights in the rough windswept clouds flowing overhead. This is a quietly revolutionary painting. Constable captures the immediacy and ephemerality of what he sees. It would take French artists in the age of Monet to build on the freedom of this – and when they did, modern art would be born.

Deal rated as the best seaside town in the UK

Sean McPolin, KentOnline

Deal rated best seaside town in the United Kingdom with two other Kent towns in the top 10. A table ranking the best 91 resorts across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland put three of the county's seaside towns in the top 10. Data from The Solar Centre, an eco brand which uses solar technology, placed Deal as the best seaside location in the United Kingdom. Deal was followed by Kent locations Ramsgate and Margate in fourth and ninth places respectively.

Figures were generated by looking at a range of factors people want for "a perfect day at the beach", including temperature, cloudiness, water temperature, fish and chips, parking, beaches and the price of a pint. Deal was given an overall score of 8.37/10, Ramsgate was given 7.61 and Margate received 7.26.

Director of The Solar Centre Brian Davenport said:

"While it is necessary to try and return the economy to a healthy state and keep tourism strong in the UK, it is also crucial that we take care when planning holidays. When choosing to take a trip to the beach, we must ensure the safety of others and act in a responsible way."

Results differ from a recent Which? survey, which only 10 days ago placed Margate and Ramsgate as the worst seaside towns in Kent. Deal, however, remains high on the list, coming in third place below Dungeness and Whitstable.

The peerless pleasure of a day at the seaside

Kathryn Flett, 26th July 2020, The Daily Telegraph

Kathryn Flett visits one of her old haunts and enjoys an 'on-point' lunch over the water.

I know a bit about piers. They're tricky to build and to operate, and they have an unfortunate propensity to burn very enthusiastically - and despite having all that water to bob around on, boats like to bump into them surprisingly often.

Piers fall into and out of fashion, too, subject to the slings and arrows, slots and chippies of changing tastes in seaside leisure. However, for obvious reasons, those bits of the Britsh seaside that aren't Devon and Cornwall, of which there are rather a lot, are almost certainly about to become more popular. Good news for piers !

For a few tears I was the trustee of a charity that helped to rebuild my own local pier. Originally designed by the Victorian engineer Eugenius Birch, aka the King of Piers, it burned down in in 2010. A new repurposed pier reopened in 2016 dividing local opinion (either 'the plank' or a 'masterpiece') and winning the Stirling Prize for its architects. However, it also very swiftly proved debilitatingly difficult to run. Eventually, it was sold to a local businessman, and despite remaining proud that it's a come-hither addition to the town's landscape, I haven't set foot on it since.

In the summer, however, piers are proper sirens on stilts, so I'll visit others. Eastbourne and Bournemouth - both Birch piers - are big and blowsy, as is Brighton. Worthing is wonky and Southwold stylish. As for Deal, originally also a Birch (built in 1864, before being hit by a stray ship in 1940 and rebuilt in 1957), it is made of concrete and maintained by Dover District Council.

Modishly skinny and mid-century groovy, Deal's pier offers little in the way of entertainment other than a fishing platform. At the end, however, is a newish and pleasingly woody-yet-airy Ark-like building with a spiky brise-soleil, containing - praise be ! - a casual dining destination, the Deal Pier Kitchen, about which good things have been heard, ever since its opening early last year.

The first time I visited this stretch of the Kent coast was back in in the mists, both literal and figurative, in the days when a seaside jaunt with one's partner was still legitimately described as a 'dirty weekend'. Possibly we stayed at The Royal, though I feel we were slightly closer to Walmer - the Hove of Deal, if you will - and our 'romantic retreat' tread underwhelmingly B&B) may have subsequently been replaced by a block of flats.

I recall the weather was bracing - it was early April, for my birthday. Deal in the mid-1980s was sleepy and charming, but for a pair of urban twenty-somethings living in Brixton, it was a long way from our comfort zone. These days, it's the DFLs (Down From Londoners) 'new Whitstable'.

Indeed, I'd been there for about 10 minutes before I spotted a well-known fellow hack meandering with his family; the High Street is a-heave with interiors boutiques and pukka bottle shops. A quck ambulatory glance at Rightmove (a terrible addiction, I admit) reveals I'm easily a decade too late to bag anything approaching a seafront property bargain.

Sandwiched between two perfectly bright and breezy blue-sky summer days it was, however, our luck to visit on a dank and drizzly cloud-hanger of a Sunday. At the end of the Pier, the anti-Covid show was in full swing with a lengthy single-file, socially-distanced drizzle-blown queue attended by a member of staff in a mask brandishing one of those digi-thermo-guns none of us even knew existed six months ago.

Names and phone numbers were taken and as the weather was just the right side of bracing, a 30-minute wait didn't feel onerous despite the the louring skies. By the time we were at the head of the queue, however, the rain was coming in sideways and the queue, stoically British, realigned itself underneath the potimistic brise-soleil.

Once inside, hands sanitised, it was arguably even chillier: "Sorry, we're having to have all the windows open !" explained a waitress from beneath her mask. A warming blast from the hand dryer in the loos helped a bit.

We dived into our bottled lagers, noting that, at 1:30ish we'd missed the breakfast-cum-brunch menu. No matter: what was left may have been short, but it was also casually on-point. For Him: the fish finger brioche sandwich. For me, a ham hock mac'n'cheese.

We shared sides of roast tomatoes and mushrooms, while on the other side of the glass the rain lashed the pier while the clouds descended over the horizon.

There was no queue - the day-trippers had disappeared - and low rise Deal hunkered down while, inside our little ark, we 40 diners were slightly, smugly warmed and cheered by the confident plates of comfort food emerging swiftly and efficiently from a buzzy kitchen.

"How is business ?" I asked our waitress. "Well, we're doing shorter hours with fewer covers" - they're down to 40 from the usual 60 - "but we're so pleased to be this busy".

This was casual dining to be sure, but it was four-start casual dining: chips well-nigh perfect, cod-finger batter crunchy; and the busy mac' n' cheese, replete with fat mouthfalls of melting pig hock, hit the spot.

Somehow I found room for an airy and celebratory I-do-like-to-be-on-a-pier-beside-the-seaside slice of coffee and walnut cake, too, because if there is a perfectly easy-going spot in which to ride out a thoroughly British seaside storm, either metaphorically or actually, then this is it. Which is also very good news for piers.

Beach Street, Deal, Kent CT14 6HY
01304 368228;

Kent's best and worst seaside towns revealed in UK-wide Which? survey

Lydia Chantler-Hicks, 18th July 2020, KentOnline

A survey has revealed the best and worst-rated seaside towns in Kent - with some ranking higher than tourist favourites including Brighton. In an annual poll by consumer choice website Which?, more than 4,000 readers were asked to rate seaside areas across the country based on their beach, attractions, scenery, peace and quiet, and value for money.

However, the review was restricted to a limited number, so many coastal areas were not ranked at all, such as those on the Isle of Sheppey. The survey - which rated 'more than 100' tourist hot-spots across the UK - saw Dungeness voted the best seaside town in Kent.

As well as receiving ratings out of five stars in each of the five categories, towns were given an average nightly hotel rate, and an overall town score.

Renowned for its wide, open landscape, Dungeness scored a full five stars for its 'peace and quiet', as well as four stars for both its beach and scenery. With a score of 78%, Dungeness came just 16 places behind St Mawes in Cornwall - a tiny town with a population of less than 1,000, which came top in the country, scoring 85%.

It beat other popular seaside spots including Whitby and Brighton, the latter of which came in with 66%.

Whitstable came second in Kent, with 73% - scoring three stars in every category, albeit just two stars for its shingle beach. Hot on its heels was Deal, with 72% - achieving four stars in all areas, but again just two stars for its beach.

According to the results, a night at a hotel in Dungeness would set you back £125; Whitstable £127, but a night in Deal just £79.

Next up was Broadstairs, which scored a respectable 70%, including four stars for its beach, quietness, and scenery. It was followed by Herne Bay, with 62% and Folkestone, with 61%.

Herne Bay scored just two stars for its beach, but made up for this with a four-star rating for its peace and quiet. Meanwhile, Folkestone scored three stars for its beach, but just two in terms of its value for money.

Ramsgate managed to just nudge ahead of Margate, with a score of 59%. Although it only recived two stars for its beach, attractions and quietness, it scored three stars for its scenery and value.

Coming in last in Kent, with a score of just 55%, was Margate. The town, famous for attractions such as Dreamland, which has hit the headlines recently after photos showed huge crowds of thousands of people packed onto its beaches during the lockdown, received just a one-star rating for its quietness, along with two stars for its value for money and scenery.

Skegness took the title of the UK's worst-rated seaside town in the survey, with a customer score of 44%. It scored one star out of five in all categories but one.

Kent seaside town ratings summarised:

Town Rating Average nightly hotel rate
Dungeness 78% £125
Whitstable 73% £127
Deal 72% £79
Broadstairs 70% £101
Herne Bay 62% -
Folkestone 61% £52
Ramsgate 59% £80
Margate 55% £92

Click here to view the Full Which? survey.

Top places to live in Kent

Muddy Stilettos


Definitely one that's on the up-and-up. While recent years have brought artists, gentrifiers and Londoners aplenty there's still a salty-old-sea dog ruggedness about the place. Think trendy coffee shops alongside higgledy-piggledy seafront houses. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.


Located on the south Kent coast between Ramsgate and Dover, Deal is a worthy contender for being one of the coolest beach towns in the county. Think colourful buildings, seafront promenade, lots of indie shops, antique stores and handsome Georgian properties in the sought after conservation area.


No shortage in fine-food options here. Technically closer to France than London, it should come as no surprise that there is a deli in Deal selling a mouth-watering selection of French cheeses, olives, cold meats, freshly baked breads and quiches - called the No Name Shop.

Alternatively, head to Pop Up Café further down the High Street, known for its specialty coffee and freshly baked sourdough bread. Want to push the boat (and waistline) out? Then book a table at Frog & Scot, a French bistro situated in the heart of Deal. Or we also love Victuals & Co for cool, contemporary dining.


Do not miss the Hoxton Store to browse a wide range of fabulous home wear items, including Moorish rugs and brightly-coloured velvet cushions, plus they are also specialists in Vintage style lighting and components so you can create your own unique lighting arrangements.

Mileage, a vintage emporium, is also a must-do for browsing as it contains a treasure-trove of items that you really didn't think you needed until you clocked eyes on it in this dusty showroom full of electric pieces. Or for bespoke jewellery designers, Rees and Rees are a father and daughter collaboration with over 25 years' experience.


In true Kent-coast, hipster-style Deal has a lively art scene with galleries and exhibitions, modern restaurants and café culture. You've got Deal Castle and a particularly lovely trail is from Deal to Walmer, six miles of a gentle coastal walk suitable for all ages and abilities, taking in beaches and castles along the way.


Average house price: £291,594 good estate agents include Mr & Mrs Clarke and Miles & Barr.


For independents, you've got the wonderful Wellesley House (read the Muddy review here) along the coast in Broadstairs or Dover College that goes right the way through from 3 to 18 years (read the Muddy review here).

There's also Northbourne Park School - a Day and Boarding prep school for Nursery to 13-year-olds - just outside Deal itself.

And for Secondary there's Sir Roger Manwood's Grammar School, up the road in Sandwich - it's a co-ed grammar which is both a day school and one of the few state boarding schools in England. There are also excellent Boys and Girls individual grammar schools in Dover.


Location for TV show Liar and while the storyline was pretty dark, there's no denying the rugged beauty of the landscape. Locals and visitors alike both love Deal Pier Kitchen, the seafront eatery with a view - they do great Supper Clubs too.


Fast trains from Deal can take you into London, St Pancras International, on the high-speed rail in less than an hour and a half, slower trains can take more like 2 hours.

Revised Pier and restaurant opening hours wef 4th July 2020

Foronda Smith, DDC Principal Facilities Management Officer, 29th June 2020

Revised Pier Opening Hours wef 4th July 2020
Monday to Thursday 10am to 5pm
Friday and Saturday 9am to 6pm
Sunday 9am to 5pm
Revised Pier Restaurant Opening Hours wef 4th July 2020
Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm
Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 9am to 4pm
Pier Telephone 01304 363815

There is no fishing from the Pier until further notice.

Public toilets in Dover district to re-open on Tuesday, 9th June

Dover District Council, Friday, 29th May 2020

"Public toilets in Dover District"

"As more people are getting out and about in the district, Dover District Council has announced today that it is reopening all its public toilets on 9 June."

"We are providing signage both inside and outside the toilets to remind people to protect themselves and others by washing their hands thoroughly, and to stress the importance of maintaining social distancing. We will also be making it clear to people how to report any concerns about supplies or standards of cleanliness."

"Since the toilets are unattended, we are relying on those using the facilities to act responsibly. We are confident that people will do so, allowing us to keep the facilities open, but we will check regularly and respond swiftly if any issues arise. Remember stay alert, control the virus, save lives."

Deal Pier re-opened on Monday, 25th May 2020

Dover District Council, 27th May 2020

Dover District Council confirms that Deal Pier was re-opened on Monday, 25th May:

"for people to walk along, but it is not open for fishing. This will enable those walking on the Pier to keep two metres apart. The toilets and café restaurant on the Pier remain closed."

The Council also confirms:

Dog bans on beaches and set public spaces in Dover District to be reinstated on Monday 1st June

Dover District Council, Friday 22nd May 2020

As more people are now getting out in the district, Dover District Council is reinstating restrictions on where people can walk their dogs from Monday, 1st June 2020.

DDC temporarily relaxed restrictions on where dogs can be walked, as set out in the Public Spaces Protection Order, (PSPO), following an appeal from the RSPCA. This was to help people stay local when walking their pets, to help prevent unnecessary travel and curb the potential spread of coronavirus.

The restrictions on where dogs can be walked in Dover District, as set out in the PSPO, will be reinstated from Monday, 1st June 2020.

Normally, dogs are not permitted on beaches where restrictions apply from 1 May to 30 September between set times. The reinstatement of the beach ban for dogs is in line with our neighbouring coastal authorities.

Cllr Nicholas Kenton, DDC Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said:

"As more people get out and about, it is important we consider the interests of everybody for the future of the district. We ask all dog owners to continue to act responsibly, respect the PSPOs, and take account of the needs of others visiting public spaces. We continue to remind everybody to follow government guidance on social distancing at all times."

For more information, including times and all sites under restrictions, please see our PSPO pages on the DDC website.

Map showing current PSPO areas in Deal

Clocks go forward on Sunday

This year the clocks go forward by an hour on Sunday,29th March, marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). BST will begin at 01:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), meaning that people in the UK will have one hour less sleep as 1am becomes 2am. The reasoning behind switching to BST is to have more daylight in the evenings. GMT resumes in autumn, on Sunday, 25th October. At 02:00 BST, the clocks will go back an hour to become 01:00 GMT again. This is so there is more daylight hours during the winter months. An easy way to remember how clocks change is the phrase: 'Clocks spring forward in spring and fall back in the fall'.

Seagulls prefer food touched by humans

The Times, Wednesday 26 February 2020