Sort file:- Ramsgate, June, 2023.

Page Updated:- Friday, 16 June, 2023.


Earliest 1988

(Name from)

Churchill Tavern

Open 2019+

19-21/18-20 The Paragon


01843 587862

Churchill Tavern 2007

Photos taken on 4 May, 2007 from by John Law.

Churchill Tavern Churchill Tavern Churchill Tavern sign

Above photos by Paul Skelton 21 July 2012.


Built on the site of the Isabella Baths circa 1816, the venue was next a boarding house and later the "Paragon Hotel that gained it drinks license in 1869.

I also have reference to a pub called the "Van Gough" at this same address.

Further information supplied by Paul Wells shows the building being identified as the "Brittany Bar" but I am going to assume that this was the name of the bar inside the building.


Brittany Bar 1930s

Above photo kindly sent by Paul Wells, circa 1930s, identifying the entrance to the "Brittany Bar."

Thanet Times, Wednesday 31 May 1989.

Fear at the Corner local.

Dick Parkin 1989

Mr. Dick Parkin outside his damage pub.

Landlord's warning after series of accidents at Harbour Road blackspot.

A Ramsgate landlord, whose pub is being hit four times by lorries, believes the next crash could kill someone.

Mr. Dick Parkin, of the "Churchill Tavern" at the Paragon, which is on the corner of the main Harbour Road, is worried that masonry will fall on pedestrians.

He said:- "One day a truck is going to hit it and somebody is going to be walking by at the same time."

The latest impact caused 11lb of rendering to crash to the ground, narrowly missing passers-by.

Mr. Parkin has contacted Thanet Council and written to the county council highways department voicing his concern.

But he said he was told the corner was not dangerous.

Mr. Parkin wonders how many crashes it will take before it is seen as a potential killer.

Attempts to repair the damage have also brought problems for the landlord.

One builder refused to put up scaffolding, fearing that it could also be hit.

Mr. Parkin said:- "He wanted danger money to get up there."

He believes the only answer is a raised kerb to control the traffic flow.

Since Mr. Parkin became landlord in March last year, there have been four accidents.

The first was in October, when an articulated lorry mounted the pavement and struck the building, causing considerable damage.

In January another lorry hit the pub. The crash tore off the corner of a slate balcony floor, which fell to the pavement.

The third incident was in March, when a truck cut across the pavement and hit the corner.

The accident took off new wooden signs and cracked the slate bed of the balcony floor.

The most recent incident happened on 9th May, when the corner was hit again.


Thanet Times, Tuesday 14 November 1989.

THE CHURCHILL Tavern in Ramsgate has a long and varied history but is now earning an enviable reputation as the best country pub in town.

The building was originally the Isabella Baths, built in 1816 on land that was part of St. George’s Fields, with bathing offered in sea or fresh water at a variety of temperatures.

In 1868 it was converted to a boarding house and later the "Paragon Private Hotel," incorporating shops, a restaurant, a licensed bar and The Paragon Corner House tea rooms.

In 1961 Tomson and Wotton, the Ramsgate brewers, took over the Corner House and, refurbished in Victorian style, it became the "Van Gogh" pub. New owners in 1983 packed the pub with a vast array of junk and renamed it "Steptoes" after the TV rag and bone men.

Bought by the present management in 1988, the interior was taken out, and then reconstructed as a typical English country inn using only authentic materials.

Floors were raised and ceilings lowered, using oak beams some 200-300 years old saved from derelict houses and bams in the Weald of Kent.

By using the traditional craftsman's peg and wedge method, virtually no nails were used in the construction. The bar was assembled from oak pews from the Romney Marsh, believed to be over 200 years old, and the wall panelling was also constructed from pews saved from a disused chapel.

The bricks were all reclaimed from demolished houses, while the stained glass windows in the screens were remade from the original Victorian windows of the building which were found in the attic.

Maintaining the authenticity, the walls were hung with an interesting collection of genuine old agricultural implements and rural craft tools and on cold days the open log fire adds a warm glow to the atmosphere.

Dick Parkin is the landlord. Originally from Yorkshire, in the late 70s he ran the popular Ramsgate restaurant Burner's Bistro. He then went to Canada to work for Crock and Block restaurants, famed for their high levels of customer service.

He ran a 280-cover family restaurant in Ontario until November, 1987, when he returned to Ramsgate, determined to use his Canadian experience to ensure that the "Churchill Tavern" would become renowned for its high standards and friendly atmosphere.
It is now obvious to everyone who walks into the pub, whether for the first time or the hundredth, that he has succeeded.

David Haddaway is the senior barman and keeper of the real ales for which the "Churchill Tavern" earns justifiable praise from connoisseurs. These real ales, while quite different in character, are all brewed traditionally and not pasteurised or filtered to destroy the live yeasts.

So, for two or three days after delivery, the beer continues working and improving in the cellar, which David carefully maintains at an ideal 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Only when he judges a barrel to be in peak condition does he serve it and there is often much smacking of lips and learned discussion when customers first sample a new barrel.

David's cellar includes HSB from Gales Brewery, Horndean, Hampshire, which is one of England's strongest beers (OG 1051), with a rich full bodied fruity flavour; 6X from Wadsworth of Devizes in Wiltshire is a splendid malty bitter (OG 1040); and London Pride from Fullers Brewery in Chiswick, London, with a rounded hoppy taste (OG 1042).

David is also proud of his collection of single malt Scotch whiskies, of which he has over a dozen, each with its own individual taste and character. Highland Park from Orkney; Glenmorangie from Ross-Shire; Glendronach from Aberdeenshire; The Glenlivet and Tam-navulin from Glenlivet; The Macallan and Glenfarclas from Speyside; Blair Athol from Perthshire; Tobermory from Mull; Isle of Jura; Laphroaig and Logavuliun from Islay.

David says that although some customers sample all his real ales in one evening, no one has yet managed to do the same with all the malts!

Dennis Mason is head chef. Originally from Forest Gate in London, he started his culinary career with the RAF. Golfers have been the main recipients of the products of his tremendous talents — seven years with the Radyr Golf Club in Cardiff and another seven with the Chelmsford Golf Club, Essex.

Dennis insists on cooking absolutely everything himself. He bakes his own bread, rolls, cakes and doughnuts. He makes sausages to his own special recipe and even his own burgers and the buns to put them in.

And as for his melt-in-the-mouth apple pie and lemon meringue pie — once tasted, impossible to resist.

The "Churchill Tavern" offers a fine selection of fresh home-made dishes at a very fair price — normally between 2 and 3.50. Dennis's specialities include chicken and mushroom pie, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, cheese and vegetable pancake, home-made burgers, roast lamb, seafood pasta, ragout of beef, lasagne and vegetable lasagne and different varieties of omelette.

The "Churchill Tavern" is open all day Monday to Friday (1 lam to 11pm); on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm and from 6pm to 11pm; and on Sundays from 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 10.30pm.

Meals are served at lunchtimes between 12 and 2.30 and in the evenings from 7.30 to 10. Parties are gladly accepted and the club-room downstairs is available for private hire — marvellous for birthdays, weddings or any other good excuse for a celebration!

The "Churchill Tavern" is truly the country pub in town. If you like the atmosphere of country inns why drive out into the sticks — you need go no further than the "Paragon" in Ramsgate.

The pub has a mellow, timeless feel about it — a civilized place to pass a pleasant hour or two.

The customers are a varied lot — locals from round the comer, promenaders, students of English language and sailors from the harbour. Sometimes there may be someone knocking out a tune on the piano or a folk singer with guitar.

All in all, a great atmosphere at the country pub in town where you can be sure of the warmest welcome.

Churchill bar drawing 1989

Above drawing showing the bar 1989.



PARKIN Dick Mar/1988-89+


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