A taste of Mediterranean life at Kebbells seafood bar and restaurant in Broadstairs

Head chef Craig Mather and Kebbells owners Sarah and Richard Kebbell Photo Dave Stillman

A conversation on a bus to Margate planted the seed that grew to become a Harden’s guide listed Mediterranean-style restaurant in Broadstairs.

Kebbells seafood restaurant in Victoria Parade has a laid-back, holiday vibe with a menu of fresh seafood plus meat or vegan offerings and the skills to adapt so customers with dietary requirements have as much choice as everyone else.

The long counter/bar, in addition to the tables, means diners who want something informal, or perhaps are alone, can eat while watching their surroundings and have a chat with staff or other diners.

The venue is the creation of Sarah and Richard Kebbell, whose lives have taken a completely new direction since buying the property in 2019.

The pair bought a holiday home in Broadstairs some ten years ago, with Richard having spent many childhood visits in the town and Sarah’s dad living in Ramsgate since she was 12.

Both families were also frequent visitors to Spain and it is a combination of those experiences which provide the base for Kebbells.

Richard, who owns an office refurbishment company and Sarah, who has worked in the IT industry for some 30 years, decide to sell up their home in Surrey and make the move full-time to Broadstairs for their new venture.

Sarah said: “We were down here for my birthday and were chatting to Sally from S P Homes when she said Boswells was available.

“Then we were on the bus to Margate and started talking about a fish restaurant and the conversation got exciting. We found Dory’s and had lunch and it escalated from there.”

One of the prompts for Sarah’s dream to run a restaurant was the couple’s difficulties finding somewhere nice to eat that also catered for her coeliac – which means she is gluten intolerant.

This has been built into Kebbells with sourcing of ingredients and Sarah’s knowledge meaning any intolerance can be catered for.

The couple took the plunge, gained the keys for the property in December 2019 and moving in on New Year’s Eve.

However, there was a hurdle no-one saw coming – the covid pandemic.

Richard said: “We were due to open in June 2020 but then the lockdowns came. No-one knew how long it would last and so we couldn’t make an opening date until the restrictions started to lift in May 2021.”

The time was not wasted as Richard, Sarah, their children and family all pitched in to help renovate the site. The frontage was created by Richard and the interior is also their own work.

Sarah said: “It was a massive family project.”

Richard added: “We put our heart and soul into it and decide to sell our house in Surrey to help fund it and enable us to finish it properly.

“I was coming up to 60 and wanted a change of direction and something we could do together. It meant getting out of London, coming to Broadstairs, changing our lifestyle and spending time together.”

The result has proved hugely popular since Kebbells could finally be opened on May 19, 2021. The fresh produce and homemade food are a draw as is the relaxed atmosphere and talented team.

Sarah said: “People can forget about their worries, it is al about the food and the conversation, it feels like you are on holiday.”

Central to the restaurant is its sharing menu which enables people to have a selection of foods without a hefty price tag.

Sarah said: “One of the things I love doing is parties or big tables and creating a menu with them. We also understand people’s allergies and how important it is to be able to read the menu and be able to have all of it rather than just a little bit.”

The team has recently been joined by Craig Mather, formerly of the Little Ships and Empire Room, who is also bringing in skills and sharing ideas as head chef.

The menu alternates with whatever is in season and features everything from mussels and oysters to pork chop, chicken, roasted pumpkin, cauliflower steak, homemade ice creams and fabulous bread made on the premises.

Upcoming plans include a new Mediterranean brunch menu due to start in time for Mothering Sunday and new offers.

The restaurant is also dog friendly.

Find out more about Kebbells here

Nine Thanet venues listed in 2023 Harden’s restaurant guide

Help us to continue bringing you Thanet news with a donation towards our running costs. Donate at https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=YF7BH2EF4UG2N

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.