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.
About bloody time!! The Best location in Broadstairs & the worst food ever! it’s been absolutely rubbish for the last 20 years or more, Just young cooks with microwave ovens, I’ve returned more food in this place than I’ve ever eaten in there. Just kept giving them another chance because of the location but time after time they just let me & my friends down big time. Can’t even make a poached egg for breakfast.
I’ll try again now.
True, Paul. So often the restaurants and cafés in prime locations are disappointing. It’s as though they think they don’t have to get anything else right. They expected to get away with serving cold coffee and warm beer & white wine!
This is my favourite Hotel in my favourite location – all that’s lacking for me is an indoor swimming pool – that would make it perfection .
I feel the same way as Paul bit about another Shepherd and Neame pub restaurant , The Minnis Bay pub / brasserie which also has a magnificent location and views yet is consistently let down by the poor service and cold food and staff that don’t know anything about the food that they are serving
My other half who has hospitality experience has even written directly to Shepherd and Neame but got a very bland reply and nothings changed since her letter to them
They paid the previous owner Jason £2 million yet don’t seem to know how to run this business properly
Maybe they need someone like this experienced French gentleman to go in there and sort The Minnis out
In the meantime they’ve worn out our patience and we’re currently giving it a miss especially when look at the recent 1 and 2 star reviews on Trip Advisor
We were looking for somewhere to book a family meal, didn’t get further than the website for the Minnis as the menu looked so dull
With you on that Rockstar. Beautiful pub, Beautiful location. Rubbish service.
Good luck Marc, that place needs you.
What is the dress code ? can i wear my shepherd neame spitfire t shirt, which on the back says ‘no fokker comes close’ ?
Good luck with the venture. With a taxpayer-subsidised restaurant just up the road, competition in Broadstairs is always unfairly skewed.
Which one is that?
Might need to work on welcoming disabled people more. And on the definition of mulled wine – most of my friends think it should hot. But early days. Good luck!