Ramsgate’s Royal Victoria Pavilion wins Pub Design Award

The terrace at Royal Victoria Pavilion

 The Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate has won a prestigious Pub Design Award from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

There were five winners across different categories ranging from refurbishment to best ‘street corner local’, and three additional pubs highly commended in this year’s awards.

The Royal Pavilion was recognised for the conversion of the dilapidated former casino site to a the bustling Wetherspoon pub.

CAMRA will be celebrating the achievement with a presentation event today (May 23) at the Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent.

The conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub has been rewarded for its tasteful conversion in CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards.

The Grade II listed building had been one of the most at-risk Victorian/Edwardian buildings in Kent. It was built in 1903 as a Concert Hall and Assembly Rooms and later became Rank casino but fell into serious disrepair following its closure in 2008.

In 2011  serious damage was caused by a fire and the building was  listed on the Victorian Societies’ Building at Risk Register in 2013.

Planning permission for the pub was granted in 2017 and a lease deal with Thanet council came soon afterwards.

Work at the premises began that September and included a new zinc roof installed on the large main roof, in keeping with the original building, and the reinstatement of the pavilion’s classic dormer oriel windows.

The grade II listed building has been carefully restored in a £4.5 million project, working to photographs and designs, keeping as close as possible to the original concept, designed by notable architect Stanley Davenport Adshead and originally completed in 1903.

Historical photos and details, as well as artwork and images of local scenes and characters of the area, are displayed inside, together with information boards about local history, including details on both the building and town.

Managers Chris Whitbourn and Charlotte Mason head up around 150 staff at the site, which has a customer area of almost 11,000 square foot, plus a ground floor and first floor terrace.

CAMRA is celebrating the achievement just days before the launch of its Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going over the warmer months and celebrate the contribution of the great British pub.

Photo Phil Bay

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “The pub has an extremely majestic look. In order to maximise space for drinkers and diners, there is a mezzanine balcony with railings which leads to an outside terrace which affords wonderful views. This project would no doubt have seemed too daunting for most pub companies but Wetherspoon’s have literally picked a winner here.”

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are thrilled to win this prestigious award. The building was in a complete state of disrepair when we purchased it. We invested in restoring the building and bringing it back to its former glory. The pub is extremely popular and we believe it has proved to be a great asset to Ramsgate.”

A local presentation event for the pub will take place to mark the occasion on Saturday 15 June at 1pm.

 A local presentation event for the pub will take place to mark the occasion on Saturday 15 June at 1pm.


  1. I Remember well the old Pavilion from after the 2nd World War days. That area of the harbour was a bustling place with fish stalls and jockey weighing scales and all sorts of entertainment.
    It is lovely to see a,revival going on now in the place of my birth although I now live in Surrey but come back at least 4 times a year to see my cousins.
    I’m very proud of being born here
    And seeing the town one alive again thanks to entrepreneurs like Tim and Weatherspoon.

  2. My mother used to work there as an usherette when it was a cinema years ago. Glad to see it restored to its initial splendour.

  3. It was a pleasant surprise to note some of the octagonal amber lights inside, which must have been salvaged from the Odeon cinema. And does anyone remember the Laughing Mirrors?

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