I grew up in Whitstable and spent many years as a child skiing and snowboarding in the French Alpes, but Whitstable has always been my home. I love the town and the people, and I guess like most of us I love listening to music, especially Kings of Leon, The Eagles and of course Bon Jovi!…... So for me, starting an Après Ski Bar in Whitstable with music seemed a pretty sensible thing to do ... but then anyone that knows me will tell you, my idea of sensible is very different to most people.
After spending a few years doing different jobs, including some acting on Harry Hills TV Burp, I knew I wanted my own business in Whitstable, which involved meeting and socialising with people. Having my own bar was a dream for me at the time and I can remember spending lots of time on the other side of the bar speaking to Stewart at The Quayside, Tiff at The Smack and The New Inn with Roy and Becca, thinking what a great job they had ... Now it’s me doing it, I realise what a hard job they had!! BUT I LOVE IT!!
The idea wasn’t just mine. My mum Jill and step-dad Mark, now spend most of the year in France near Chamonix overlooking Mont Blanc, so the inspiration of a log cabin style, relaxed bar, where hopefully all ages can feel comfortable was a joint effort. We also have a Jack Russell dog called Skye, so obviously, it had to be dog friendly. Anyway, when the opportunity came up to take on the bar, we had to take a deep breath, keep our fingers crossed and go for it!
One of the hardest things was coming up with the name. We started with “Off Piste”, then “Surf The Piste”, but finally “The Rock Lodge” was born!
Anyway enough about me, but just a BIG BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU who have made this all possible, THE STAFF, particularly Andy and Rosie, as well as YOU THE CUSTOMERS.
In a year that sees The Rock Lodge, launch itself into being Whitstable's/Kent's most unique, quirky, bar and music venue...It celebrates its first year with a succession of events which have been crucial to its success. From its roaring successful music nights...Starting with our opening night, packed to capacity featuring Kelly’s Heroes, to our Charity Fundraising Event for Cancer...which was very well supported by local businesses...And all made possible by the very talented musician and songwriter Ry Robson who has been instrumental in arranging and promoting all our Music Events and booking top bands, such as the great King Ziggy, Rudy Warman, Funk Delux, Miles Cookman, Red Hot Retro, Love Cats and not forgetting our amazing DJ's James Summerset, with The House That Funk Built, Famous Ex-Ibiza DJ Joe Kelly and DJ Kazzel, to name but a few. We have also had some amazing new talent perform at our fortnightly Open Mic nights, which has all helped to put The Rock Lodge well and truly on the map.
Along with the Music, we have had some great Parties, and numerous Private functions, including Engagements, Hen Do's, 21st's, 50th's and 60th's, as well as works get-together’s, and last years New Year 80’s Fancy Dress, Rock Party. Now as we go into the Festive Season we are already getting booked for work Christmas Parties, and will also this year, be opening for Christmas Day Lunch.
WHAT NOW FOR THE FUTURE?
With The Rock Lodge going to dizzy heights in the last year (not to mention the Roof Garden, which is growing by the minute, and a welcome talking point for the locals, as you CAN NOT miss it !!) we are continually looking to introduce new experiences such as our new bistro tables and chairs seating area... a welcome addition during those hot, summer months to enjoy Alfresco Lunch and a drink.
In the last couple of weeks we have launched our new menus and are pleased to welcome
our new Chef Adam Wrench to The Rock Lodge, who I’m sure will delight and inspire us with his mouth-watering dishes. Adam is a top Chef and has travelled the world cooking as well as launching a number of new menus for top restaurants throughout Europe. This will bring a new level of dining experience to Whitstable.
And then to the UPSTAIRS AT THE ROCK LODGE … All we can say at the moment is it will be a cosy and relaxed lounge area, with a hint of luxury, where you will be able to enjoy fine wines, champagne and good food. To find out more see the next edition of The Alpine Times!