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.
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.
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
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
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.
RESTAURANT MAKES IT 20 YEARS IN A ROW
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
Great food still Winning plaudits
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
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
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."
OAKLEY Gavin 2007+