A rare opportunity to acquire a truly unique property enjoying breathtaking panoramic views across the Channel set on top of the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. This former Coastguard Station was rescued by the current owners and has been lovingly restored & converted in to a successful tea room/restaurant (34 covers & 32 outside covers) and luxury 2 bedroom holiday apartment. In all just over 1.1 acres.
St Margarets at Cliffe 1 mile
Dover Car Ferry 4.5 miles
Eurotunnel Cheriton 16.6 miles
Canterbury 20.7 miles
For several generations the land along the cliff tops around St Margarets was part of Lord Granvilles estates. The site where Bluebirds now sits was acquired in 1914 by the Ministry of War and two huts were erected and then used as a signal station for the Dover Patrol during and after The Great War. The obelisk monument was then erected in 1921 as a tribute to the sailors of the Dover Patrol who lost their lives during the conflict (there are two other obelisks, one on the opposite side of the Channel at Cap Blanc Nez and one in New York Harbour). It was in the late 1920s that the signal huts were replaced by a purpose-built brick Coastguard lookout.
With war looming again however, the significance of the site prompted the building of an underground operations room (35 ft below the building) with two anti-aircraft guns sited to the rear. The lookout played a significant part in the defence of the country throughout World War II, its position close to Hellfire Corner being central to the Battle of Britain. The operations room was used extensively to monitor and coordinate shipping in the Channel and its significance warranted two visits during the war from Sir Winston Churchill. After the war the lookout now a fully equipped coastguard station with radar scanner continued its role as the principal centre for monitoring what had become the busiest shipping lane in the world. Prince Charles visited in 1979. With the development of new technology and this increase in sea traffic the decision was made to build a new multi million pound Coastguard station nearer to Dover at Langdon Cliff. The old station was then decommissioned and in 1994 offered for sale by public tenure when it was acquired by the current owners.
The tea rooms have been operating since 1997 and has an established location and trade. Over the last couple of years the tea rooms have been let to a tenant to operate at a passing rent of £24,000 per annum and was open 6 days a week 10:00 16:00 and closed on Mondays; open all year round. There are 34 covers plus a further seating outside for 32 covers in summer months.
The two bedroom self-contained holiday apartment has been let via an agent being Hoseasons in the 2015 season and had a gross turnover of approximately £15,000 per annum net of agency commission. The property has also been let out as a film set over the years due to its picturesque location which adds extra income and can be quite lucrative.
There is potential to expand the tea room business by introducing evening meals as a bistro. In recent years the tea rooms have been known as the House of Hygge but the present owners or the previous tenants did not have a website for the business, with the majority of trade being word of mouth and/or local and due to its stunning location.
Currently the present owners do not let the holiday flat or run the tea rooms personally themselves or have a tenant so trading information cannot be provided to bona fide purchasers.
The building has undergone complete architectural renovation since it was first acquired by the vendors and has been refurbished and extended sympathetically. There are design references throughout which provide a nod towards its spectacular location with a large outside terrace on the first floor making the most of the uninterrupted sea views. Both the tea rooms and apartment are presented in exceptionally good order and are presented with style.
Grounds & Gardens
There can be no doubt that the White Cliffs of Dover are one of Englands most spectacular natural features, an official icon of Britain and have been a symbol of hope and freedom for centuries. The property itself is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the National Trust farmland that surrounds the property is a mecca for bird watchers. The property is set at the end of Granville Road, which in turn continues on to an unadopted track. The immediate property is surrounded by original iron railings, inside which the land has been laid to lawn. The remainder of the plot is open and left to attractive scrub, but we understand from the vendors this could be fenced provided gates are installed to provide access for walkers using the coastal path.
Surrounding Areas & Local Amenities
St Margarets at Cliffe (1 mile) is offers local shopping, pubs/restaurants, post office, doctors surgery, general store and primary school (Ofsted Outstanding). There are steps down to the popular bay of St Margarets and coastal paths which make up the ancient Saxon Shore Way heading east in to Dover, or west towards Deal and further on to the historic Cinque Port of Sandwich.
Being located within the popular Canterbury/Faversham/Ashford triangle, the property is well placed for access on to both the A20 London to Dover road, M20 and direct rail services to Ashford International via Charing station with HSR services to London (St Pancras 61 mins). There is also easy access to both Faversham and Canterbury.
Mains water & electricity. Drainage to private system (services not tested). EPC rating E.
Fixtures & Fittings
The property is offered for sale complete with all fixtures, fittings, furnishings and equipment required for the continued running of the tea room/restaurant and holiday apartment.
Dover District Council 01304 821199
Strictly by appointment via Humberts.
Visit YouTube for fly-through footage: http://bit.ly/2BOjzXy
Note: The location plans are for identification purposes only and should not be relied upon for accuracy. Photographs are not true depictions of fixtures and fittings. Wide angle lenses may be used. SLO180005|120218|v1