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Chef buys 15th-century dining pub near Canterbury

19 December 2008 by

Experienced chef Steve Barrett is the new owner of the Abbots Fireside, a 15th-century pub-restaurant in the Kent village of Elham, near Canterbury.

The Abbots Fireside lies in the heart of the Elham Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is close to Folkestone, Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

Built in 1480, the building is reputed to have accommodated Charles II and Wellington (on his way to Waterloo) and was a rendezvous for fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain.

It retains a host of period features such as large fireplaces, leaded windows, wooden beams, and a 16th-century wood mural.

Along with six en-suite character bedrooms, the Abbot's Fireside offers a 45-seat restaurant with a large fireplace and wooden beams, a bar, a cocktail lounge with window seat and fireplace, and a huge inglenook fireplace in the reception with an open-fire spit roast that draws custom from as far afield as the Continent.

The top floor provides a private suite with a double bedroom for the owners, while outside facilities include a rear patio with tables and chairs.

The previous owners achieved annual net turnover of £325,000.

The Reading office of Colliers Robert Barry sold the 35-year leasehold (starting September 2003) off a guide price of £45,000 for a quick sale. Annual rent is currently £50,000.

By Angela Frewin

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