The Princess of Wales pub in Tivoli Road, Margate gets new bosses as they make the move from the Northern Belle in Mansion Street


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The landlords of the oldest pub in one Kent town have taken on a new challenge by taking over the running of another inn and are planning a new year refurbishment.

Sharon and Ray Summers had spent six years behind the bar of the Northern Belle in Mansion Street, Margate.

Sharon and Ray Summers are the new bosses at the Princess of Wales pub in Margate
Sharon and Ray Summers are the new bosses at the Princess of Wales pub in Margate

But shortly before Christmas they moved across town to become the new licensees of the Princess of Wales in Tivoli Road.

The couple say the "olde worlde" charm of the Princess of Wales, which dates back to the 1860s and is four times the size of their previous pub, persuaded them to make the switch.

It is a youngster compared to the Northern Belle, however - that pub dates back to 1680. Both pubs are owned by Faversham pub giant Shepherd Neame.

Explained Sharon Summers, who runs the business after Ray retired: "We wanted a new challenge but to still stay in a characterful pub. The Princess of Wales isn’t as old as the Northern Belle, but as soon as we came to see it, I could see the potential.”

The Princess of Wales pub in Tivoli Road, Margate. Picture: Jason Dodd/Shepherd Neame
The Princess of Wales pub in Tivoli Road, Margate. Picture: Jason Dodd/Shepherd Neame

The couple, who have long experience in the pub trade, having operated hostelries in south London and Berkshire over the last 30 years, plan a refurbishment to boost its food offering.

Since taking on the pub they have already brightened the interior, and introduced DJ nights playing ska, soul and reggae. The next project on their to-do list is a kitchen refurbishment, which once completed will mean the introduction of bar meals.

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