The Empire Room at the Royal Harbour Hotel

Tucked away in the basement of the Royal Harbour Hotel in Ramsgate you will find the beautifully decorated Empire Room restaurant, which captures the essence of an archetypal gentlemens club in the glory days of the British Empire. The restaurant has the look and feel of a special occasion venue but surprisingly with its set lunch (£17.95 for 3 courses) and set dinner (£22 for 3 courses) you won’t need to spend a fortune to have a lovely meal here.

The Empire Room certainly isn’t your average sea side town hotel dining room. The chef is well known in the area, he is Michelin-trained chef, Craig Mather the former head chef at the highly acclaimed and sadly missed fish restaurant Eddie Gilbert’s (one of his Eddie Gilbert dishes was Jay Rayner’s starter of the year a few years ago – which is praise indeed). Craig has for the past few years also been a Chef lecturer at East Kent College. So after reading about him taking over at the Empire Room Restaurant, we decided to go there for lunch. The set menu option is incredible value for money and we enjoyed some beautifully presented dishes along with a complimentary glass of house wine. The menu is seasonal and the highlight for me was the Fennel and Beetroot marinated Salmon with Potato mousse, a tasty and refreshing dish that was a perfect for the warm summer weather, as was the excellent ice cream served with biscuit crumb.

The restaurant has definitely upped its game since my last visit a few years back and is a great addition to the burgeoning Ramsgate dining scene.

The Empire room is normally accessed directly from its entrance on Nelson Crescent, but the hotel manager kindly let us exit via the hotel itself, which has a cosy lounge, attractive breakfast room and stunning sea views.

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The Empire Room – Majestic

The newly opened Empire Room is a majestic and photogenic restaurant located in the basement of the rather lovely Royal Harbour Hotel in Ramsgate. The decor is stunning, it very much achieves the Gentlemans club atmosphere it is seeking to emulate. It screams special occasion venue rather than hotel restaurant. It has a decent wine list and friendly attentive staff. The food is very much in keeping with a hotel restaurant though, it’s all a little too safe for my taste, but it’s new and it will be interesting to see how the menu evolves.

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What’s coming Next?

Christmas is on its way, so it’s time to organise the restaurants we are going to visit over the course of the next few weeks.

This year for a change and as a precursor to moving to Kent permanently, we are focusing on that area. We have a trip planned to what is probably the most famous Kent restaurant of them all (at least in the gourmet category) – The Sportsman a rather special Michelin starred restaurant located in an unassuming pub on the outskirts of Whitstable.

The other places on our list are less well known, they include favorites like Age & Sons and the Caboose Cafe plus we have plans to try the beautifully located Wyatt & Jones in Broadstairs, with its stunning views of Viking Bay (or at least they were stunning until the recent floods).  I sampled Wyatt & Jones food earlier this year at the popular Broadstairs Food Festival so am looking forward to seeing what the kitchen can produce, especially since they bake their own breads, smoke their own fish and butcher their own meats.

 

We are also keen to check out The Empire Room which is due to open soon in the Royal Harbour Hotel, Ramsgate.

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