Earliest 1970s

Walletts Court

Open 2014+


St. Margaret's

Wallet's Court, St. Margarets Wallets Court, St Margarets

Above photos, circa 2007.


Another restaurant that wasn't originally in Barry Smith's agenda as this is not a pub, but certainly a premises with history, so I am adding it here.

The house is a  Grade II listed building and was in ruins in the late 70s. Bought by the Oakley family, they renovated it and opened it up as a licensed restaurant, hotel and spa.

The main house has a Jacobean staircase leading to one of the three traditional 4-poster bedrooms and across the courtyard there are 14 contemporary rooms housed in converted Kentish hay barns.

The complex contains a spa complete with hydrotherapy pool and treatment cabins set in the woods.

Also offered at Wallets Court is clay pigeon shooting with a professional or golf on top of the Cliffs.


From the Dover Express, 18 January 2007.

Hotel's royal link.

THE links between Queen Eleanor of Castile, who in 1254 married Edward I, and Wallets Court at Westcliffe near St Margaret's-at-Cliffe was the subject of a talk given to members of the Dover Society on Monday.

Lea Oakley, who with her husband owns the 16-bedroom Wallets Court hotel, provided evidence that the property known as Queen Eleanor's Palace was one of 250 estates owned by her.

But she admitted she would be "grasping at straws" at claiming the queen had actually stayed there.

Mrs Oakley said Eleanor was much loved by her husband Edward Longshanks and when she died aged 49 in 1290, he erected 12 crosses where her body rested on its way to Westminster Abbey for burial. Three crosses survive, the last at Charing Cross, where a replica now stands outside the railway station.


From the Dover Mercury 18 January 2007.

Wallet's Court Chef

Steven Harvey, second right, receives his trophy at the Restaurant Magazine awards presentations


Steak and chips are the best in Britain.

AN EAST Kent restaurant serves the best steak and chips in the country, according to a national award scheme.

Wallett's Court Country House Hotel, at Westcliffe, St Margaret's, won the accolade from Restaurant Magazine.

The honour went to chef Steven Harvey for his char-grilled fillet of miller's Speyside Aberdeen Angus marinated in ale and molasses, bacon lardons, wild mushrooms and chunky chips.

The judges described Steven as a "young forward-thinking chef" and said his cooking at Wallett's Court "continues to pay homage to the finest locally-sourced raw ingredients from the Garden of England".

They said the winning steak was "perfectly aged and beautifully cooked. The marinade added to the steak's flavour without overpowering it, the lardons giving a fine smokiness to the mushrooms. And the chips were great."

Mr Harvey has previously worked in some of the country's most prestigious kitchens, including Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

The Wallett's Court restaurant has been re-launched following refurbishment and together with Mr Harvey, restaurateur Gavin Oakley is planning some special events, including a Burns Night supper on Thursday, and a Valentine's Day special.

The award-winning steak and chips is among the dishes on the Valentine's menu.


From the Dover Express, 9 October 2008.


STAFF and management at "Wallett's Court Hotel" are celebrating appearing in the Good Food Guide for the 20th year running.

The four-star venue at West-cliff, St Margaret's, is one of 26 in Kent to feature in the guide. It has been recommended for its modern country house set-up, and the menu - created by head chef Steve Harvey - is described as “modem, but not aggressively so,” in the guide.

The hotel has already won two AA dining rosettes for the restaurant. Owner Gavin Oakley said: “Ask any restaurateur and they will tell you that to be included in The Good Food Guide is a real measure of achievement. I believe that one of the secrets of our success is teamwork and this announcement is a testimony to the skills, hard work and dedication of our kitchen team and the rest of our staff at Wallett's Court,” he said.

Mr Oakley has now invested £1.5 million to open The "White Cliffs Hotel" in St Margaret's village, which has already earned its first AA dining rosette.


From the Dover Mercury, 16 October, 2009. Advertisement feature

Great food still Winning plaudits

Interior of Wallet's Court

The restaurant at Wallett's Court, which has been Included In the good Food Guide every year since 1989.


THE award-winning restaurant at Wallett's Court, on the White Cliffs of Dover, has a long track record of delivering great food, earning an enviable reputation that continues to attract foodies and gastronomes from far and wide.

With two coveted AA dining rosettes and menus that combine modern, innovative dishes with traditional classics, it's no surprise that the restaurant has been included in The Good Food Guide every year since 1989.

The restaurant offers fine dining for every occasion, reflecting Wallett's Court's passion for locally sourced, organic, free-range produce - whether it's a romantic dinner for two or a big family celebration. For those of you who prefer to "graze", Wallett's Court has also created a Lounging Menu featuring anything from a full English breakfast or brunch to salads, sandwiches and Kentish cream teas.

Three courses from the a la carte menu (available Monday to Sunday, 7pm to 9pm) cost £40. There's also a Good Food Guide Menu offering three courses for £30 (available Monday to Sunday, noon to 2pm and 7pm to 9pm). Sunday lunch is from noon to 2pm and costs £19.50 for two courses. Call 01304 852424 or visit

What the critics say ...

"The beef, the star of the show, was masterfully cooked - a plump, juicy, sexy cut of meat" - The Culinary Guide.

"The old-school barman will proffer a champagne cocktail before you've even settled in the cosy bar, while the rarefied restaurant offers sophisticated menus" - The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.

"The wine list brims with exciting names from prestigious growers across the globe" - The Good Food Guide 2010.

• Available for pre-booked tables of four people or more only. GFG menu must be quoted at time of booking.


From the YourDover online paper, 4 November 2009.

Hotel scoops silver award.

"Wallets Court" Country House Hotel in Dover has scooped silver in the "Tourism ExSElennce" awards 2009.

The four-star accommodation made it to the final three and was awarded second place in the small-hotel-of-the-year category.

Owner Gavin Oakley was presented with the accolade by TV personality Giles Brandreth.

He said: "I am so proud of this achievement. I'm dedicating this award to our staff because our success is thanks to their professionalism, dedication and sheer hard work."


From the Dover Mercury, 5 November, 2015.

Afternoon tea not to be missed.

Walletts Court Calendar Girls

More than 60 people have booked in for afternoon tea with the Calendar Girls of Deal on Sunday, but there are still places remaining.

Wallett’s Court restaurant and spa is hosting afternoon tea in conjunction with the calendar’s stars to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now.

The hotel’s top of the range j Garden of England Tea will I be served in three sittings, at . 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm, at a discount price of £10 - 50% of which will be donated to the charity.

The girls who featured in the calendar, which was predominantly shot within the hotel’s grounds, will be selling signed copies of the calendar.

People who buy a calendar will be entitled to book a treatment with a 10% discount. Treatments range from hot-stone massage to crystal therapy and Reiki.

Calendar girl Kerry Rubins said “We were thrilled to be able to use "Wallett’s Court" for the calendar, and are delighted to be hosting an afternoon tea party to sell as many calendars as possible.” Taking a line from the famous 2003 film that inspired the shoot, she added: “Wallett’s Court has considerably bigger buns!”

Numbers are limited. To buy a ticket, contact Kerry on 07708913976.


From the Dover Mercury, 31 December, 2015.

Hotel log burner out of control.

Hotel workers dialled 999 after a log burner fire got out of control.

Firefighters from Dover were called at about 3pm last Wednesday to "Wallett’s Court" hotel in Dover Road, Westcliffe.

They used a thermal imaging camera and chimney rods to prevent it from spreading. It was cleared in an hour and no one had to be evacuated.




OAKLEY Gavin 2007+


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