A historic pub interior of regional importance
Listed Status: II1-5 Harbour Street
Tel: (01843) 602234
Real Ale: Yes
Real Cider: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: Broadstairs
Station Distance: 750m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Broadstairs) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
This landmark building in old Broadstairs was rebuilt as a pub-cum-hotel towards the end of the nineteenth century. It has been very much altered over the years, not least in a ‘modernising’ refurbishment in 2018-19 by Shepherd Neame which included the application of today’s ubiquitous pastel paint to the panelling. However, it is included here chiefly for the wonderful L-shaped servery with its lovely bar-back fitting and delicate turned shafts and coved cornice. The counter is also of some note with its robust detailing. Otherwise it has a small snug on the left and, on the far right, an entrance corridor with lovely etched glass screenwork. Incredibly, in 2016 Shepherd Neame applied to rip it and the other screens out but this was refused by Thanet Council, thus showing the importance of listed building protection. Eventually they were allowed to make alterations to the screen at right-angles to it, introducing folding doors and replacing the old high-level glazing with new glass.
Situated in the heart of Broadstairs this was originally a shop and public house from the late 19th century of brick with granite faced pilasters. It was refitted in c.1882 and retains most of its plan form and fittings from that date. On the front far left is the tiny bare wood floored private bar with a Victorian mahogany bar counter with deep detailing and at a lower height to the other counters, also a Victorian bar back fitting with mirrors, delicate columns holding up the shelves and at the top a coved frieze with swags. It has full height panelled walls and ceiling, just one table, an old bench and the odd bar stool.
A doorway width gap links the private bar to the public bar on the front right also with bare wood floor, a panelled Victorian mahogany counter with fluted pilasters with scrolled tops and the three-bay bar back fittings as the one in the private bar. Sadly lower shelves here have been replaced by fridges. It has full height panelled walls and bare slatted benches attached to dado panelling on the front window side. The front left window is curved and there is a ‘Public Bar’ etched window in the door. A canted, full-height partition wall / screen with double doors that are permanently open and glazed panels at the top leads to the rear lounge.
On the front right a door with a modern “Private Bar’ panel leads to a passage created by the partition wall. What is now the saloon bar was originally an off sales at the front and a smaller saloon bar at the rear. You can still see traces on the ceiling of where the partitions that created the off sales compartment were. It is hard to believe that the double doors in the remaining partition existed originally since off-sales customers weren’t intended to mingle with the rest of the pub.
The saloon bar retains its semi-circular Victorian mahogany counter with fluted pilasters with scrolled tops and a small bar back fitting with bevelled mirrors and at the top a coved frieze with swags. This L-shaped room has old bench seating and a Victorian cast-iron and wood surround fireplace. Hanging from the ceiling in the lounge is 'The Glue Pot'. The story in a frame tells of locals who lingered so long in the pub after work and before dinner led to several drinks and inevitably the men were late for their meals, "Sorry I got stuck in the Neptune" was their reason for being late so one year the wives got together and presented to the men 'The Glue Pot'.
A set of double doors on the front far left lead into a passageway with a door on the right into the private bar. A door at the rear of the passage leads into the dining room at the rear left and was the access to rooms upstairs for guests. A room on the right has been brought into use and has been both a games room and restaurant in the past. It was Grade II listed in 1999 after locals and landlord created a storm of protests about proposed changes.