192,559 CAMRA members

Press Release


Seaside Wetherspoon pub celebrated for its tasteful conversion

Wetherspoon’s Royal Victoria Pavilion is the joint winner of CAMRA’s Pub Design Award for Conversion to Pub Use

 For more information contact press@camra.org.uk or phone 01727 337 863

The conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub has been rewarded for its tasteful conversion in CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards.

A striking example of seaside architecture, this Grade II listed building had been one of the most at-risk Victorian/Edwardian buildings in Kent. It was built in 1903 as a Concert Hall and Assembly Rooms and later became a casino, however, it fell into serious disrepair following its closure in 2008.

Reminiscent of Kew Gardens from the outside, both interior and exterior have been skillfully smartened up thanks to designer K D Paine & Associates Ltd. The pub also boasts fantastic views across the sea.

CAMRA is celebrating the achievement just days before the launch of its Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going over the warmer months and celebrate the contribution of the great British pub.

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “The pub has an extremely majestic look. In order to maximise space for drinkers and diners, there is a mezzanine balcony with railings which leads to an outside terrace which affords wonderful views. This project would no doubt have seemed too daunting for most pub companies but Wetherspoon’s have literally picked a winner here.”

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are thrilled to win this prestigious award. The building was in a complete state of disrepair when we purchased it. We invested in restoring the building and bringing it back to its former glory. The pub is extremely popular and we believe it has proved to be a great asset to Ramsgate.”

A local presentation event for the pub will take place to mark the occasion on Saturday 15 June at 1pm.

Images of the pub are available here

The Pub Design Awards, run in conjunction with Historic England, recognise the very best in British pub architecture and design. This year’s winners include:

  • The Pilot Boat in Lyme Regis for a refurbishment project described as a ‘labour of love’ by Palmers Brewery which brought the tired and dated seaside inn into the modern era
  • The Royal Pavilion in Ramsgate for the conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub by Wetherspoons
  • The Slaughterhouse in Guernsey for the inspired conversion of a historic slaughterhouse into a unique and distinctive pub in the hub of St Peter’s Port by R W Randall
  • The Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent for Joules’ Brewery’s tasteful conservation of the historic tap house dating back to the 1800s
  • The Cardigan Arms in Leeds which was saved from closure by Kirstall Brewery, which turned around the pub’s fortunes

Pubs that were highly commended include:

  • The Sekforde Arms, London for its restoration after nearly 200 years of serving pints
  • The Butcher’s Hook, Thornbury which was left empty and derelict before significant investment brought the former butcher shop back to life
  • The Draughtsman Alehouse, Doncaster which was transformed from a disused storage area into a bustling micropub on platform 3b of Doncaster rail station