Published: 05:00, 23 January 2022
| Updated: 14:26, 24 January 2022
A long-awaited rooftop restaurant in the heart of Canterbury is poised to open for the first time this Easter.
Sitting atop the city's six-storey Hampton by Hilton, Socialite will cater for more than 100 customers.
Its launch has long been mooted by bosses of the St Margaret Street site, but while the 129-bed hotel opened last summer, the restaurant remained unfinished.
Now, however, an operator with a steak-led menu has been secured.
The new venue - boasting views across to the Cathedral and beyond - will be only the second Socialite restaurant in the country, with the other in Brighton.
Bosses claim the spot above the hotel is the "ultimate location for a new luxury dining experience" and cannot wait to open.
Adam Elliott, co-founder of Socialite, said: “We’re over the moon to be launching our second restaurant following the launch of our extremely popular first site in Brighton.
"Canterbury is a great fit for Socialite, with an up-and-coming thriving food scene, and we have been looking at locations that we believe guests will want an experience to go along with their dining.
“We promise the best view of Canterbury at night from our roof terrace, with a line-up of fantastic live music guest performances and DJs."
Eight covers are planned for the terrace, with other tables in an exclusive dining area looking into the kitchen.
The company says its restaurant and "globally-influenced menu" is designed for "business lunches, post-dinner cocktails and everything in-between".
Barry Vera, fellow co-founder of Socialite, added: “We pride ourselves on the beef quality for our steaks, and use as much locally sourced produce as possible.
"We use only grass- or hay-fed cattle from small beef farmers and look for a minimum of 30 days dry ageing or more, to ensure the meat is tender and flavoursome.”
The eatery's launch date is pencilled in for the Easter weekend, but has yet to be confirmed.
The restaurant, which will be accessed via a lift taking diners up to the top floor, will be run separately from the Hampton by Hilton hotel.
Meanwhile, two retail units on the ground floor of the building remain unoccupied and continue to be marketed online.
Zaw Htut, co-director of the development firm behind the entire project, is pleased to have secured a restaurant operator and says the hotel has been performing well in the current climate.
"We've suffered like everyone else in the leisure and hotel industry, but I think we're faring better than other hotels," he said.
"It's obviously quite quiet at the moment, that's a combination of the concerns with Omicron and the time of year. But January is usually a quiet spell for hotels.
"We've been doing well overall."