DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated Alkham:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 2008

(Name from)

Marquis

Closed Jan 2019

(Name to)

Alkham Valley Road

Alkham

 

Previously called the "Marquis of Granby" it was completely refurbished during the summer 2008 and has now opened with the new look and title of the Marquis.

 

From the Your Dover, 17 September, 2008.

Marquis owners 2008

Pub joins the nobility as hotel and restaurant.

By MARJKE COX.

TWO businessmen have teamed up to launch an exclusive hotel with a touch of "boutique chic" in the heart of the Alkham Valley.

Hugh Oxborrow and Tony Marsden have invested 1.5 million and six months of their time turning the 200-year-old Marquis pub into a hotel and restaurant.

The former village inn now boasts five double ensuite bedrooms, a dining room, a wine bar and a meeting room.

Tony, who has lived in Alkham for five years, said: "I visited The Marquis when it was a pub and thought it had a lot of potential.

"I realised there was a gap in the market for a quality restaurant and luxury letting rooms in the area, which is why I decided to invest in this project and embark on a joint venture with Hugh.

"I'm delighted with the result and plan to make The Marquis a pilot for similar venues."

His business partner Hugh said: "The transformation is stunning.

"The whole building has been stripped to its original brickwork, extended, refurbished, decorated and furnished to provide contemporary style and elegance in a beautiful rural setting.

"Discerning diners and travellers want more than just a meal and a bed for the night.

"They're looking for good, personal service, a warm welcome and attention to detail, the kind of things you just don't find in a faceless hotel chain.

"The Marquis provides a touch of boutique chic in the English countryside."

Head chef at the hotel's restaurant is award-winning Charlie Lakin, who has selected a team of professionals from some of the best restaurants in Kent to help him.

He said: "I love to take old favourites full of robust, fresh flavours and give them a modem twist.

"Diners can expect some truly hearty dishes, from Alkham Valley rabbit pie and crisp pig's trotters to slow-roasted Kentish lamb."

For more information or to book see www.themarquisatalkham.co.uk, call 01304 873410 or email info@themarquisatalkham.co.uk.

The Marquis opened for business on Wednesday, September 10, with the official launch planned for the end of the month.

 

From the East Kent Mercury, 9 October, 2008.

Guests mark the launch of transformed venue.

DIGNITARIES, VIPs and business leaders from across Kent gathered to celebrate the launch of The Marquis, a new boutique hotel and restaurant in the Alkham Valley.

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception, including a tour of the hotel's luxury bedrooms and dining restaurant, and sampled food prepared by head chef Charlie Lakin and his team.

The Marquis was officially opened by Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, who complimented owners Hugh Oxborrow and Tony Marsden on transforming the old Marquis of Granby village pub into a "wonderful venue".

"They are to be congratulated for having the vision, dedication and commitment to deliver such an exciting project," she said.

"The new-look Marquis is a welcome addition to the hospitality sector in Kent. The county needs additional high-quality bed stock and The Marquis offers just that."

Hugh Oxborrow and Tony Marsden have invested 1.5 million to turn the 200-year-old Marquis pub into "a fine dining venue with luxury accommodation".

The pair have spent six months extending and renovating the19th-century former village inn, which now boasts five double ensuite bedrooms, restaurant, wine bar and meeting room-cum-private dining area.

Mr Marsden said: "I visited The Marquis when it was a pub and thought it had a lot of potential. I realised there was a gap in the market for a quality restaurant and luxury letting rooms in the area, which is why I decided to invest in this project."

 

From the Dover Express, Thursday, 16 October, 2008.

Enjoy a life of luxury at old pub favourite.

A 19th Century Alkham pub has reopened with a new look and name following a 1.5 million makeover.

The Marquis, formerly the Marquis of Granby pub, was first built in 1810 and has now been turned into a hotel and restaurant by Hugh Oxborrow and Tony Marsden.

Mr Marsden, who has lived in Alkham for five years, feels there is a growing demand for luxury venues which combine a restaurant with hotel rooms.

He said: "I realised there was a gap in the market for a quality restaurant and luxury letting rooms in the area, which is why I decided to invest in this project and embark on a joint venture with Hugh.

"We plan to make The Marquis a pilot for similar venues."

The Alkham Valley Road venue was officially opened by Visit Kent chief executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh.

 

From the Kent on Sunday, 11th January, 2009.

Tony and Lilian Marsden and Hugh Oxborrow

When business partners Tony Marsden and Hugh Oxborrow decided to invest 1.5 million in converting an old village pub into a restaurant with luxury accommodation, a few eyebrows were raised. Was such an ambitious venture the thing to do in the face of Iooming recession? But the two went ahead at the 200-year old Marquis of Granby in Alkham, near Dover, and it's been a success. They talk to KOS Media Business Editor Tony Patey about making the dream a reality, and how their project could become a template for similar ventures.

 

Q. What did the project involve?

The renovation took six months and the 19th century former inn now boasts five luxury double en suite bedrooms, a dining room, wine bar and meeting room-cum-private dining area.

The transformation is stunning. The whole building has been stripped back to its original brickwork, extended, refurbished, and decorated and furnished to provide contemporary style and elegance.

We have also created 20 jobs in the process.

There have been plenty of teething problems along the way, but we are both absolutely delighted with the end result.

 

Q. What promoted you to get involved in the project in the first place?

We believe there is a growing demand for intimate, luxury venues which combine a first-class restaurant with boutique-style hotel rooms.

Tony remembers the first time he visited the Marquis when it was a pub and he was struck by its potential.

He realised there was a gap in the market for a quality restaurant and luxury letting rooms in the area.

 

Q. How important is the restaurant to the success of the Marquis?

The restaurant is the bedrock of the business and head chef is award-winning Charlie Lakin, who is leading a team drawn from some of the best restaurants in Kent.

Charlie trained with a Michelin-starred chef and has earned numerous accolades in his career. His menu has an emphasis on locally-caught fish and locally-sourced produce.

 

Q. Is there a niche in Kent's hospitality market for a venue like the Marquis?

We think so, but don't just take our word for it. The Marquis was opened by Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, and she hailed the venue as a very welcome addition to the hospitality sector in Kent.

She said Kent needs additional high-quality bed stock and the Marquis offers just that. She also said Kent needs to continue attracting visitors from the Continent, especially at a time when the euro is so strong against the pound.

 

Q. What are your plans?

Our restaurant is developing an excellent reputation, attracting diners from across the county, and we'd love to see our hard-working team earn recognition by winning AA dining rosettes.

We're also committed to introducing innovative new menu ideas, which will reflect our passion for locally sourced, organic, freerange produce.

Tony has also established a vineyard in Alkham, planting 10,000 vines in 2007 - a mixture of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Menure grapes.

He expects to have the capacity to produce up to 30,000 bottles of sparkling wine, which could be on sale in the Marquis by Christmas 2010.

We have already discussed the possibility of using the Marquis business model as a template that will allow us to find and develop similar high-quality venues across the region.

 

From the Dover Express, 25 February 2010.

MARQUIS MAKES MARK IN MICHELIN.

Report by Eleanor Jones.

Charlie Lakin and Ryan Tasker

THE Marquis at Alkham has gone one better than Gordon Ramsay after only 15 months in business.

While the celebrity chef lost the one-star rating for his Claridge's restaurant, the Alkham hotel and restaurant has been awarded Rising Star status in the latest Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland.

Only three restaurants in the country were given the mark, which is effectively a midway point to a star rating.

Marquis manager Ben Walton said: "This is great for us because it's so good for business and hopefully other firms will benefit because it'll bring more people into the area.

"For us to get to this level took very hard work and dedication, because it's consistency that counts. He testers come quite a few times - we don't know how many - so it's about reaching that standard all the time."

The Rising Star category was introduced by Michelin in 2005 as a way of identifying restaurants in line for star ratings in the future.

The guide's blurb says: "These restaurants are the best in their category and could move up to the next once they have demonstrated greater consistency over time and across the entire menu.

"They are the gourmet dining stars of tomorrow."

When a restaurant achieves the status, it has two years to be upgraded to one star.

It is therefore seen as a window of opportunity for further achievement.

Derek Bulmer, editor of the guide said: "If the rising star only meant 'better than the average', we might not see changes.

"Within the one-star category there is quite a lot of variation, from those that have just received one of those that sit solidly in the middle and those that are pushing towards the two-star mark. The rising stars show readers who's at the top end of each category and gives them a little bit more information."

Mr Walton says he, chef Charlie Lakin and sous chef Ryan Tasker will not be resting on their laurels.

He said: "We haven't been out partying at all because more business means more work.

"We're just going to keep our heads down.

"But we're really happy - it can take some restaurants years and years to get this far and we've done it in 15 months."

Mr Walton cited reasonable ambition as one of the secrets to his success.

He said: "It's about keeping it simple - not trying too hard but making sure what we do is achievable.

"And we just serve fresh food that's been thought about."

 

From the Dover Express, 16 December 2010.

RESTAURANT GO-AHEAD

Marquis restaurant

THE "Marquis of Granby" (now known as the "Marquis") has been granted planning permission to carry out various building works.

The Alkham Valley restaurant, pictured, had applied for extensions to replace Halton Forstal, build a replacement refuse store, extend the car park and create a turning area.

 

From the Dover Express, Thursday, 24 November, 2011. 60p

NEW ROOMS READY FOR HOTEL GUESTS

Directors Hugh Oxborrow and Lilian & Tony Marsden

A 400,000 project to build five new rooms at the "Marquis" at Alkham restaurant and hotel has been completed.

The flint and brick extension was opened on November 10 and celebrated with a champagne tea for guests.

The six-month build brings the total number of guest rooms at the Alkham Valley Road property to 10.

The work also include staff facilities and an extension to the kitchen.

The new two-storey building and interior design is the creation of Guy Hollaway Architects, the London and Kent-based firm behind Mark Sargeant's new restaurant Rocksalt in Folkestone.

Since the restaurant opened two years ago it has been tipped as a rising star in the prestigious Michelin Guide.

General Manager Ben Walton said: It's testament to all the hard work done by the team, above all our head chef Charles Lakin, that such a young business has achieved so much in such a short time.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we would be announcing details of an extension so soon after opening.

"We are delighted to be able to add to our existing guest accommodation and create five such delightful new rooms."

The design of the rooms has been the work of Lilian Marsden, owner of the "Marquis," and Zoe Newman, interior designer for Guy Hollaway Architects. Each room is named after a local historical figure or area.

 

From the Dover Mercury, 15 March, 2012. 80p

AND THE PRIZE FOR BEST RESTAURANT IS GIVE TO...

AN Alkham pub has been named as the best restaurant of the year in Kent.

The "Marquis" picked up the title at the Taste of Kent Awards in Maidstone.

Ben Walton, general manager of the "Marquis," said: “It is fantastic to be recognised with such a great award. Local suppliers are the cornerstone of our business and we are so lucky in east Kent to have such a range of farmers, fishermen and foragers to provide us with the quality produce we need.

“We hope this award will raise awareness of our restaurant and, in turn, the suppliers we use to create the dining experience our customers enjoy.”

Julie Monkman, manager at Produced in Kent, said the awards celebrated the county's food, drink and farming heroes.

She said: “It's been wonderful to recognise the outstanding food and drink producers, the food retailers, farmers' markets and best dining experiences in Kent and for the first time the farming community too.

“We applaud the role they play as pro-active custodians of the Garden of England and it is little wonder that the two key reasons people visit Kent is for our outstanding food and views."

 

From the Dover Express, Thursday, 15 March, 2012. 65p. Report by Sam Inkersole

TASTING THE BEST OF KENT'S CUISINE

Marquis Staff 2012

BEST IN COUNTY: Staff members of the Marquis at Alkham, with General Manager Ben Walton at the front

Award-winning eatery

A RESTAURANT in the Alkham Valley recently given a rising Michelin Star has now been recognised as one of the best eateries in Kent.

The Marquis at Alkham, owned by Tony Marsden, scooped the Kent Restaurant of the Year prize at the Taste Of Kent Awards held in Maidstone two weeks ago.

Mr Marsden took over the former Marquis of Granby pub when it closed three-and-a-half years ago and has transformed the venue into a five-star hotel and wedding venue as well as the award-winning restaurant. He paid tribute to his hard-working and dedicated staff for winning the award.

Rewarding

He said: “I am delighted that the "Marquis" has been recognised - it is a very prestigious honour. I let Ben (general manager) run the show up there and he has done fantastically well. And our head chef, Charles Lakin, is going to be a Michelin-starred chef in the future - he is fantastic. We are very much a local restaurant, sourcing local produce and employing local workers.

“We couldn't be happier with this award. Hopefully, we can go on from here and win many more awards, the future will hopefully be very rosy.”

General Manager Ben Walton was equally enthusiastic about the team at the "Marquis" and added that this is just the beginning.

He said: “It is fantastic to be recognised with such a great award.

The local economy and suppliers is the cornerstone of our business and we are so lucky in East Kent to have such a range of suppliers who provide us with the quality produce we need.

“We hope this award will raise awareness of our restaurant and, in turn, the suppliers we use to create the dining experience our customers enjoy.”

 

From the Dover Mercury, 7 March, 2013. 80p.

RESTAURANT WINS AWARD FOR SEASONAL TASTES

A RESTAURANT in Alkham has become the first in Kent to passed a sustainability test with flying colours.

The "Marquis" has been awarded a two-star rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) joining the likes of River Cottage and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

The "Marquis" scored well in all sections of the SRA's sustainability rating that helps restaurants operate more responsibly and helps diners make more informed decisions about their dining destinations.

The assessors were particularly impressed with the "Marquis's" commitment to sourcing local and seasonal fish as well as high welfare meat.

Plans to grow a significant proportion of its fresh produce in an on-site smallholding will further enhance the restaurant's local sourcing.

General manager Ben Walton said: “We are delighted to have achieved a two-star rating.

“We value our environment and local economy highly, but we know there is always more we can do to increase their sustainability.

From a business point of view, most of the improvements we need to make will save us money, so it's an absolute no brainer to try to get better at it!”

The "Marquis" was commended for its recycling policy including food waste which is composted on site.

 

From the Dover Express, 9 January 2014.

Ten miles for Marquis menu.

ALKHAM: The Marquis is celebrating the launch of two new menus with a special deal.

From January 1, the award-winning restaurant is offering Sunday lunch for a set price of 19.50 for two courses and 22.50 for three courses - and throughout January and February, anyone pre-booking a table for four will only pay for three lunches.

The Marquis is also introducing a special lunchtime “10 Mile Menu”, featuring a selection of small dishes made with ingredients sourced from within 10 miles of the restaurant.

Owner Tony Marsden said: “We source many of our ingredients from right on our doorstep, including meat from Sladden Farm in Dover, fish landed by the day boats in Folkestone, and eggs from Milgate Farm in Sandwich.”

 

From the Dover Express, 20 March, 2014.

New hotel boss at trade show.

ALKHAM: The "Marquis" at Alkham’s' new manager was thrust into the role last week, showcasing the venue to 3,000 visitors at a trade show.

The “restaurant with rooms” has appointed Chari Oberholster, who joins from one of Ireland’s finest hotels, Sheen Falls Lodge.

He was in Birmingham last week for the Best of Britain and Ireland Show at the NEC.

 

From the Dover Mercury, 9 April 2015.

Restaurant serving up changes with new team.

The Marquis restaurant in Alkham has appointed a new senior management team.

It is led by David Harris and head chef Andrew King.

Andrew King & David Harris

The pair have introduced new menus and a refurbished website since they joined at the start of this year.

Mr Harris said: "What has set The Marquis aside from others is our exceptional food and that remains at the heart of what we offer.

"And with the arrival of Andrew we are fortunate to have a chef who has the skill, flair and imagination to build on our excellent reputation.

"Supported by his dedicated kitchen brigade, he is certain to take The Marquis to a new level."

Mr King has worked in kitchens such as Michelin-starred Lucknam Park Hotel in Bath and Reads in Faversham.

He said: "My style is modern British cuisine and I'm enjoying introducing my own take on some classic dishes at The Marquis.

"I like to develop close relationships with suppliers that help to give us the edge when it comes to delivering the very best ingredients to our customers.

"For example, I will get a text during the night from a local fish supplier advising me of the latest catch coming in on their boat and that will be served to customers the next day.”Restaurant serving up
changes with new team
The Marquis restaurant in Alkham has appointed a new senior management team.

It is led by David Harris and head chef Andrew King.

The pair have introduced new menus and a refurbished website since they joined at the start of this year.

Mr Harris said: "What has set The Marquis aside from others is our exceptional food and that remains at the heart of what we offer.

"And with the arrival of Andrew we are fortunate to have a chef who has the skill, flair and imagination to build on our excellent reputation.

"Supported by his dedicated kitchen brigade, he is certain to take The Marquis to a new level."

Mr King has worked in kitchens

such as Michelin-starred Lucknam Park Hotel in Bath and Reads in Faversham.

He said: "My style is modern British cuisine and I'm enjoying introducing my own take on some classic dishes at The Marquis.

"I like to develop close relationships with suppliers that help to give us the edge when it comes to delivering the very best ingredients to our customers.

"For example, I will get a text during the night from a local fish supplier advising me of the latest catch coming in on their boat and that will be served to customers the next day.”

 

Currently closed for refurbishment from 1st January 2019 till 29th March 2019.

 

From the https://www.kentlive.news By Victoria Chessum, 18 January 2019.

The Marquis at Alkham has shut until March as it undergoes a major refurbishment.

The restaurant has not yet opened for 2019 - but says it will look to take bookings for the end of March.

Marquis January 2019

A countryside restaurant and hotel has closed its doors to diners while work to revamp the premises goes ahead.

The Marquis at Alkham, nestled between Dover and Folkestone , announced its closure on Monday, January 14.

Bosses said they had not opened to diners from the start of the year.

It has also been confirmed that the 200-year-old venue will undergo a name change this spring.

A statement from the Marquis said: "The Marquis is currently closed while undergoing an extensive refurbishment.

The Marquis is currently closed whilst undergoing an extensive refurbishment! Work is underway and we hope to reopen Friday 29th March as The Marquis Of Granby. Updates and pictures of the refurbishment to follow!

The premises had a major refit back in the spring and summer of 2008 and has featured in the Michelin guide in 2016.

TripAdvisor gives it four stars out of a possible five with one reviewer commenting on "outdated decor" back in September.

 

Reopened in April 2019 with the old name the "Marquis of Granby."

 

LICENSEE LIST

OXBORROW Hugh & MARSDEN Tony May/2007+

WALTON Ben 2012+

OBERHOLSTER Chari Mar/2014+

HARRIS David Apr/2014-Jan/19

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

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