From left, manager Dean Nelson, Edwin O'Connell, Charlie Holdren, Claire Parks at the Bridewell, Old Town Hall, High Street, Gravesend.
British tapas may sound like a contradiction in terms but the Bridewell is hoping customers will give their mini mouthfuls a chance.
The restaurant has opened in Gravesend’s Old Town Hall in the High Street and is serving traditional British food and drink on a bitesize scale.
As well staples such as roast beef dinner and bangers and mash, diners can also tuck into smaller portions with combinations of dishes in threes, fives, tens and twelves.
Described as “miniature grazing” you can choose from a host of options including steak, stilton and whisky rosti or Yorkshire pudding with chicken and redcurrant marmalade.
The Bridewell serves as the reception area for the Old Town Hall as well as a restaurant and bar, and will cater for all functions, which hosts weddings, conferences and community events.
It is another chapter in the story of the historic building.
Designed by C Sloane, who also designed St George’s Church, the Old Town Hall as we know it today was erected in 1764. In 1836, the old front was removed and the present one, built in sandstone ashlar, was substituted by Amon Henry Wilds.
It has also been the County Gaol and was home to Gravesend Police Force from 1846-1942, and then served as a magistrates’ court until 2000.
The part where the Bridewell now is used to be a cell block for the neighbouring magistrates’ court.
A restaurant called Barbutis opened there in 2011, but closed last year.
The Bridewell is open Monday to Wednesday, 10am-5pm, and Thursday to Saturday, 10am-midnight. It serves tea room favourites such as sandwiches and cakes each day until 5pm while the British Bites Pick ‘n’ Mix is available until midnight.
On Sundays, it is open 11am-5pm but for roast dinners only.
The Bridewell is hoping people will enjoy their mini mouthfuls.
Steve Thompson, manager of Gravesend Old Town Hall, said there was an opening for a place serving traditional British fare.
The restaurant has only been open a few weeks but Mr Thompson hopes people will embrace their traditional cuisine.
He said: “We only opened the Thursday before Christmas and we’ve done a soft opening to make sure everything is right.
“It [business] hasn’t been bad, it could be better. We’ve been getting some nice people in the afternoons.”