Three Thanet businesses crowned best in Kent at Muddy Stilettos Awards

Chapel House Estate, The Sun Deck bar and Little Hair House are regional winners

Three Thanet businesses have scooped top places in this year’s Muddy Stilettos regional awards and will now go through to the national finals.

The Muddy Stilettos editors will judge who is the ‘Best of the Best’ in each category, announcing the national winners on 11 July.

Taking the top spots for Kent were The Sun Deck in Margate, voted as top bar; Chapel House Estate in Minster taking the top event venue award and Little Hair House in Broadstairs named as top hair salon.

The Sun Deck site was brought to life when it was taken on by the Bus Café crew in 2016.

Couples  Simon Lindley and Jodie Ellena and Alexander Muir and Lois Du Plessis transformed the derelict area, creating the café onboard the bus, street food vendors and, after gaining the alcohol licence in 2018 – the bar.

The Sun Deck Bar is a popular seafront hotspot with a marvellous mix of cocktails, craft beer from local brewers such as Time & Tide, Northdown Brewery and Xylo and carefully selected wines plus events and collaborations with Margate Arts Club and Margate Radio.

Bus cafe at the Sun Deck

Jodie said: “We are really excited and humbled that The Sun Deck has won Best Bar in Kent, in the Regional Muddy Stiletto Awards.

“When we started The Sun Deck seven years ago it was a fly-tipped, derelict area. We sent a proposal to the landlord to turn it into a street food and cocktail destination on the sea front and today, we are still here and won an award!

“We feel very lucky to have had such an incredible response and support from our community and beyond, We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited and voted for us! We couldn’t have done it without all you lovely folk! So a big thank you to you all!”

The Sun Deck is on Margate seafront, Nayland end on the Royal Crescent Promenade.

Photo by The Captured Picture Company

Chapel House Estate in Minster took the top events venue award

The estate, built in 1290, offers the perfect backdrop for weddings, corporate gatherings, and special celebrations. At the heart of the estate is the Chapel House, a large banqueting Thorne Barn converted from a malt granary.

It also boasts stunning gardens, a wild apple orchard, meadows and the award-winning No 9 Restaurant.

Owner Darren Ellis said: “As the custodians of such an important building, we are absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to receive the Best Event Venue Award from Muddy Stilettos, as the competition was stiff.

“This recognition is a testament to the passion and commitment of our entire team to exceed expectations and create memories that last a lifetime for our cherished guests.”

Chapel House Estate thanked patrons, dedicated staff, and everyone who voted for the venue.

Find out more about the venue at

The team at Little Hair House in Broadstairs were delighted with their win for best hair salon.

The business has been running for a little more than six years but new owner Millie Davies has been at the helm since October.

Millie, 29, had worked at the salon for three years when the opportunity to buy it from the previous owner came up.

The Cliftonville mum of two said: “I have been hairdressing for 12 years and I love and adore it, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

“I love everything about it, meeting people and hearing their stories and the satisfaction of giving someone that confidence back and making someone feel nice. I think we all struggle with our self-image either all the time or on and off so it’s nice to make someone feel like a goddess.”

Millie began in the hairdressing trade while still at school doing work experience at a small salon and then being taken on to work Saturdays, holidays and evenings.

She then did an apprenticeship at Tangles in Broadstairs before training in Margate and then working at Jaggs salon until it closed during lockdown.

Millie said: “I came to Little Hair House and ended up where I am now. I haven’t worked at lots of places, it’s quite nice that I spent quite a long time at each salon.”

Millie, whose daughters are 22 months and three months old, was at the end of her maternity leave when the news came through that the salon had taken the top spot at the regional awards.

She said: “I was in disbelief and was stunned that we won against big, incredible salons with big social media followings, big online presence and incredible, talented people. I was so happy that we got to the top five even if we didn’t win anything else!

“To find out we had won was insane, I’m so proud of the girls and our clients who are so loyal and took the time to vote and share. It is very humbling and heartwarming.”

Little Hair House has a team of five hairdressers and can be found at 72 High Street, Broadstairs.


  1. Congratulations to all the winners. There is another competition that will be announced soon its called “muddy potholes” KCC are in the final top 3.

  2. Why don’t they ever clean the roof on that bus? It can be seen from the pavement, and it is absolutely filthy… to the extent that it puts me off from eating in there

  3. Congrats to them all. Enjoy the Sundeck and Bus- Aldi attended a wedding at Chappell House – very good.

  4. Ms Pink. There is no way I’m climbing on top of a bus to eat a bacon butty. Yet another one of your daft ideas. Do they accept bus passes I’ve got one of those.

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