By Angela Cole
Globe-trotting pub and hotel manager Marc Duvauchelle honed his hospitality skills in San Francisco and learnt a love of Korean food in Mongolia, but now the Kent coast beckons in his new role with Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame.
For French-born Marc, running the historic Royal Albion Hotel in Broadstairs has the bonus of being closer to his native France as he can almost see it from the seafront site.
He brings to the Faversham-based brewer decades of experience running complex and busy hospitality businesses. He spent the last nine years working for Fuller, Smith & Turner, with whom he collected a coveted Griffin Trophy when the Old Customs House in Portsmouth, where he was General Manager, was named Pub of the Year.
Having joined Shepherd Neame in October, and moving home with his wife to Broadstairs, he is bursting with ideas for the hotel. He has introduced fire pits and blankets on the decked seating area overlooking Viking Bay and hopes to introduce more live music, including Sunday dinner jazz.
“I want it to be even more of a premium offering than it already is,” he said. “It is a beautiful building which has a glorious view. It has a dining area, a bar, a restaurant and fabulous outside space – everybody is welcome here. It is really important to make all the different elements work together.
“But my main passion is food and we will be creating new menus, focusing on the sea as we are right on the coast, created from scratch by our brilliant chefs, and pairing the food with the beer.
“Broadstairs is such a big town for music, so I think more live music is a must.”
Having originally trained in French and American law, Marc has worked in hospitality since leaving university, including at a Michelin-starred restaurant in France.
“Along with my passion for hospitality, I love to help people develop – I get such pleasure from it,” he said.
“People are Number One. I want people to crave a career in hospitality, and I am there to get them where they want to go. It is such a great profession to be in and I want my team to come in and enjoy every day.”
In his spare time, Marc enjoys sampling his favourite French and Japanese cuisines, cooking up a storm in his home kitchen; cycling and exploring with Buddy, his pet Shih Tzu.
Standing on the seafront since 1776, the Royal Albion Hotel was once a regular haunt of writer Charles Dickens.