Thanet businesses scoop honours at Made In Kent awards

Thanet winners Dean Adams and Zara's (top Photo Rachel Evans) Olives&Umbrellas and No 9 restaurant (bottom Photos Rachel Evans)

Thanet independent businesses have taken a clutch of honours at the Made in Kent Business Awards.

A ceremony took place yesterday (April 18) at The Bromley Court Hotel, recognising the finest businesses within the food and drink sector across Kent. The event was a vibrant celebration of local entrepreneurship and culinary excellence.

Thanet winners were No 9 at Chapel House Estate, Minster, taking gold in the best restaurant category; Zara’s Café in Birchington which scooped silver in best eatery, gold for best customer serve and bronze for the café’s Patsy Bowers in best chef award.

Olives & Umbrellas mobile cocktail business run by Nickie Butcher  from Ramsgate took gold in the start up business award and Dean Adams of Dirtee Feast, based at Churchills in Ramsgate, took silver in the best chef category.

Organiser Matt Soper said: “It’s great to have so many amazing reasons to celebrate Kent businesses from the hospitality sector. Many businesses in this sector have had a tough time over the last few years, and it’s wonderful to see everyone coming together to celebrate the great work they do in Kent.”

The gala was hosted by popular Made in Kent Radio personalities, James Heming and Micky Gavin, with musical entertainment provided by Jason Allen Sway.

Awards were presented across 10 categories, ranging from social media prowess to top-notch dining experiences.

Photo Rachel Evans

Chapel House Estate in Minster is a luxury, family-run wedding and events venue based at a 732-year-old chapel and surrounded by 35 acres of land.

The site opened at the end of July 2022 and has fast become a popular destination for couples to wed.

Built by owner Darren Ellis, Chapel House Estate is in a lovingly converted old malt granary with a sympathetically restored 13th century chapel which now boasts five-bedrooms of accommodation.

The on site No 9 Restaurant has a changing locally sourced menu which provides catering for weddings and events, and there’s nine hideaway lodges, enabling up to 34 people to stay at the estate.

Patsy and Liz Photo Rachel Evans

Zara’s Café in Birchington is run by couple Patsy Bowers and Liz Baldry who took the reins of the Station Road venue on October 25, 2011, marking a complete career change for Liz and the fulfilment of an ambition for Patsy.

The pair took the plunge when the former owner decided to sell up in the September and they were in the doors and ready to trade in just a month’s time.

Liz is front of house and Patsy is the chef. She worked as a chef at Pfizer for 20 years before and had always wanted a café.

Photo Rachel Evans

Olives & Umbrellas mobile cocktail business is run by Nickie Butcher  from Ramsgate. She was prompted to create her business last year after holding garden parties last summer where guests went crazy for her cocktails.

Nickie, who works as a cleaner during the day, creates the event, taking along everything from the decorations, tables and chairs, glasses and ingredients needed for the cocktails and then takes guests through how to make cocktails with party games in-between.

Dean Adams, of Dirtee Feast, serves up everything from gourmet burgers and dogs and street food to Sunday roasts.

Dean is now based at the Churchill Tavern on the Paragon. He has spent most of his career in hospitality, from running pubs to being a front of house manager, but the covid pandemic prompted him to strike out on his own.

Dean, who is also chairman and head coach for Your Future not-for-profit football club, said his aim was to also give opportunities to those who might not otherwise get a foothold in the trade.


  1. Absolutely delighted for Zara’s of Birchington. Best breakfast and delightful hosts in Liz and Patsy. Throughly deserved.

  2. Chapel House Estate boasts five-bedrooms of accommodation with earning potential of @£460 per night = £2,300 per night and a massive £16,100 per week – Wowzer! that’s the way to make money – well done guys

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