Heverlee 0623
Heverlee 0623

Iconic beachside pub gets a refreshed look and delicious new menu

22 January 2024

It’s a coastal icon, set right on Kingsdown beach, and now Shepherd Neame’s Zetland Arms has a fresh new look for a new year. 

The pub has undergone a stylish external redecoration in blue and white tones in keeping with its seaside setting, and has a delicious new menu inspired by its location too.

The changes are all thanks to the arrival of new licensee Chris Hicks six months ago, whose goal has been to make the pub a destination in its own right.

Chris, who, with his wife Alex, also owns The Rose, a hotel, bar and restaurant, and The Blue Pelican, a townhouse with Japanese-inspired dining, both in nearby Deal, wants everyone to feel welcome at the picturesque pub, which looks out on beach huts and lapping waves.

“It is a lovely pub,” he said. “I love the informality of this place. It feels like a pub institution, as everyone knows it, and it is here to serve the community. I feel very strongly about that – I want everyone to feel welcome here.”

He added: “People do come for its location, of course, but I want to make sure that the ambience of the building, and what we have to offer, make it somewhere you want to come, regardless of the view and whatever the weather.”

On top of the full internal refurbishment which he carried out in time for the summer, he now offers a menu throughout the day, beginning with Climpson & Sons coffee, Swedish breakfast buns and sausage rolls, followed by a fish-led menu including mussels with leeks, Kent cider and shallots which has won rave reviews. Other popular main dishes include The Zetland burger, Crown Prince pumpkin gnocchi, sage butter and roasted hazelnuts and beer-battered fish and chips. Customers can also enjoy a range of bar snacks and kids’ meals, and a delicious range of puddings. These include poached pear, fondant and ice cream; dark chocolate mousse, sea salt walnut and maple shortbread and almond tart with preserved orange and lemon curd. 

The informal nature of the pub has been enhanced with the introduction of a piano, which has been used for several recent impromptu singalongs. There are more music events coming up, including a Ceilidh, as well as a monthly pub quiz. 

Chris, who with his team, makes sure the open fire in the bar area is lit at all times during the winter months, added: “Our redecoration hopefully demonstrates our love for the pub, enhancing all its unique features and making it a warm, cosy environment for people to simply drop in for a drink while out on a dog walk or gather as a group for a meal.   

Manager Paul Claydon, who previously ran the Black Douglas coffee house in Deal, and has been friends with Chris for some years, said: “Kingsdown is a beautiful place throughout the year and we wanted to make The Zetland a place people think to come to, even when they’re not necessarily coming to hang on the beach. We have concentrated on the ambience inside and it feels fantastic.”

The menu is available all day, from noon to 8pm. When the weather is warmer, customers can also eat in the newly refurbished enclosed courtyard garden to the rear. There will also be a beach menu offering light bites and snacks for those dining on the many picnic tables at the front of the pub, which boast spectacular sea views. On a clear day, you can even It’s a coastal icon, set right on Kingsdown beach, and now Shepherd Neame’s Zetland Arms has a fresh new look for the new year.

The pub has undergone a stylish external redecoration in blue and white tones in keeping with its seaside setting, and has a delicious new menu inspired by its location too.

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Heverlee 0623
Heverlee 0623