Published: 06:00, 24 September 2021
| Updated: 21:12, 24 September 2021
As popular as Wetherspoon pubs are, its rare the views they offer are quite as impressive as their beer prices.
But perch yourself on the terrace of the chain's biggest outlet in the UK - the Royal Victoria Pavilion on Ramsgate sea front - and it provides you with a vista which may make you choke on your £1.99 pint.
Celebrations get under way to mark the 200th anniversary of George IV's unique honour
Not only does it provide unspoilt, elevated views across the Channel and the town's sandy beach, but it's the perfect spot to admire the town's marina and harbour - which this weekend is hanging out the bunting to mark the 200th anniversary of King George IV being so taken by it he gifted it royal assent.
And it's been the only royal harbour in the country ever since.
The three-day celebration – starting on Friday and running until Sunday – will see a host of events taking place to mark the occasion.
But the harbour has more than just wooing a former monarch to its fame.
More recently, it saw the gathering and starting point for the many hundred little ships involved in one of modern warfare's most remarkable rescue missions.
It was there the motley collection of vessels set sail to rescue 331,000 British and French troops stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk in the Second World War.
Prior to that, it had also been an embarkation point during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century.
Today it is the centre piece for the town's hoped-for revival - a picturesque spot ringed by cafés and restaurants which regularly pull in the crowds.
The marina itself is often packed with yachts and boats ranging from the modest to the out-of-reach for many.
And its strategic position has always been at the heart of the town's development.
Named a Cinque Port in the 15th century - as what is known as a 'limb' of Sandwich, so not a fully fledged Cinque Port in its own right - its position was crucial for both trade and defence.
Work on constructing the town's harbour began in 1749 and an early landmark created was what is known as Jacob's Ladder - named, not after the Biblical ladder to heaven - but after Jacob Stead, the carpenter who built the original timber steps in 1754. They linked the top of the cliff with the harbour itself.
Over the years, they fell into disrepair - but after being rebuilt in stone in 1826, they remain in popular use today.
The harbour itself, given its proximity to mainland Europe, was a favoured departure and return point for King George IV who ruled between 1762 and 1830 - a man who enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle and ushered in the Regency era.
Also holding the title King of Hanover, he would make regular jaunts out of Ramsgate. And, so legend has it, he was so impressed by the hospitality he received at the Thanet port, he gave it royal ascent. Neither he nor the town could have imagined its marketing potential come the 21st century.
One of the key fundraising efforts during this weekend's special events will be to finally complete a bronze statue of the monarch which it is hoped will eventually stand beside the harbour as a permanent landmark.
Work on the 15ft statue was started by renowned sculptor Dominic Grant. He planned to gift it to Ramsgate once he had finished it. But he died in November 2020, before he could do so, leaving £60,000 still needed to complete the bronze casting and provide the site groundworks and plinth.
Mr Grant may be better known to many as one of the original members of pop group Guys 'n' Dolls who had a string of hits in the 1970s. Two of his bandmates at the time were David Van Day and Thereza Bazar - who would go on to form pop duo Dollar. Another member of the group was Julie Forsyth, daughter of Bruce Forsyth - and whom he not only married but then toured with, supporting the likes of Frank Sinatra.
The couple moved to Ramsgate 12 years ago.
Among those supporting the bid for the statue is the actress Brenda Blethyn - best known for playing TV detective Vera - and who has a home in the town.
And it is hoped another royal could unveil the statue when it is complete. Explains festival director Ralph Hoult: "When I received my OBE from he Queen, I took the opportunity to explain the 200th anniversary Royal Harbour festival and suggested it would be very special if a member of the Royal Family could unveil the bronze statue of King George IV once we have raised enough funds.
"We have been talking directly to the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent about whether we could get young Prince George to unveil the statue sometime after the festival."
He says anticipation is growing around the weekend's event.
He added: "We hope this historic event will give people a chance to make up for the tough times people have been through during the pandemic. This will bring together the whole community and people from all over the world to celebrate this unique milestone."
Also taking part in the event will be a number of the original 'little ships' from the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940.
From speedboats to lifeboats and pleasure craft, they were collected from along the Thames and taken first to Sheerness before sailing to Ramsgate where they departed on the legendary rescue mission.
Surely that's all worth raising a glass to while taking in the view at 'Spoons.