A Broadstairs-based former estate agent has worked with old school friends to create The Jetty, a family-friendly restaurant slap beside the sea that makes the most of delicious local produce.

It’s summertime in Broadstairs. The sea is sparkling and the little town, with its Victorian houses looking out over a sheltered bay, is busy playing host to a mix of locals, holiday-makers and day trippers. The air is warm and there’s that unmistakable tang of suntan lotion in the air…

Not surprisingly, the mix of salt, sea and sunshine (and – let’s be realistic – wind and rain) can be relied upon to sharpen appetites. For good food and wonderful views towards Broadstairs, over Viking Bay and towards Dumpton Gap, many are heading for Jetty bistro, with its enviable position right on the end of the pier.

Great British Life: View towards Jetty from the beach at BroadstairsView towards Jetty from the beach at Broadstairs

Until fairly recently, though, this was an underutilised space, a former café and take-away that was full of old furniture. ‘It had been on the market for a while but it was clear to me at first viewing that it had incredible potential’ says one of the men behind the building’s revival – and he knows what he’s talking about.

Up until 2020, Christian Miles was half of Miles & Barr, the Kent estate agency he’d built up over 20-plus years alongside his old school mate, Stuart Barr. Having sold the business, Christian had more time of his hands and was looking for a project. ‘Over my years as an estate agent, I’ve often seen places I’ve been tempted to buy myself – everything from amazing houses to old churches ripe for conversion – and I’ve done my fair share of property developing along the way – but this one was different.’

Great British Life: Christian Miles - keen to 'put back' into the Kent coast, an area he's always called homeChristian Miles - keen to 'put back' into the Kent coast, an area he's always called home

For Christian, it wasn’t just about developing a site, it was about starting a whole new career. ‘Going into the restaurant business was daunting – selling houses is all I’ve ever really known – but I’m all for ‘putting back’ into the community, and creating a great restaurant on what was then a pretty tired, run down part of the pier was only going to be a good thing, we felt. Plus I knew I had skills I could bring to the table.’

And how did Christian’s wife, Jane – who, after 25 years of marriage, might perhaps have been looking forward to seeing more of her husband – feel about the new venture? ‘She was right behind me. She knows I’m always going to be busy – plus she’s very into horses, so that’s her project. This was mine.’


Lightening the load was Christian’s business partner (and his friend and opponent on the squash court), Warren Roe of Roe Timberframe. ‘Warren’s a construction expert so of course it made sense for him to take on the refurb of the space, while I handled the ‘people’ side of things – that’s definitely a skill I’ve brought from all my years in estate agency.’ Was there ever any thought that Christian would turn his talents to the kitchen? ‘Absolutely not – I enjoy cooking, and I certainly know good food – but that would have been a step too far. I know my limitations!’

Warren’s refurb plans means that the once-cluttered space that the duo bought in 2021 is now a bistro area flooded with light, where a ceiling clad in wood, leather-look seating and tables set with sea-blue glassware combine to create a relaxed feel that’s ideal for seaside dining. ‘We did a fair bit of the work ourselves – it was blood, sweat and tears,’ recalls Christian. ‘I discovered talents I never knew I had – pouring concrete and having great fun with a hammer when it came to bashing up the zinc bar we put into the space, to create the ‘lived in’ look we were after’ – presumably quite good for getting rid of any pent-up frustrations, too.

Great British Life: Glass, wood and zinc combine to create a relaxed, seaside vibeGlass, wood and zinc combine to create a relaxed, seaside vibe

Christian’s strong links with his local community – he grew up in Ramsgate and has lived in this part of the world all his life – meant he knew just where to look when it came to recruiting his team. Front of house manager is another old friend of Christian’s, Mandy Morgan, ‘We’ve known each other since school days and she's a fellow “people person” – and full of energy.’ With a staff peaking in the summer of up to 45 and around 50 covers in the restaurant and alfresco seating area, plus a busy take-away section of the business offering street food to go, she and her team certainly need that energy.

Great British Life: Mandy Morgan brings her energy to front of houseMandy Morgan brings her energy to front of house

Key to Jetty’s success was always going to be its food, and from the start Christian and Warren knew exactly the route they wanted to take: ‘High-end, Michelin-starred dining is great, but we’ve always wanted Jetty to be somewhere that as many people as possible could enjoy – which means good, straightforward food and affordable prices. Warren and I have each got four children, so we know just how important it is to have food and an environment that you can all enjoy together. We’ve always seen Jetty as a relaxed, fun, family restaurant.’

Great British Life: Head chef Phil hard at work in the kitchenHead chef Phil hard at work in the kitchen

Overseeing the menu is Head chef, Phil Stocken, ‘I’ve known Phil for years - he brings with him plenty of experience in event catering and I knew he’d ‘get’ exactly what we were trying to achieve.’ Jetty’s menu features classics such as a Caesar Salad and a House burger, but there are surprises along the way.

‘People love our crispy belly of pork with its Korean barbecue sauce and our cauliflower popcorn has proved especially popular – guests always seem amazed such a familiar vegetable can taste that good!’ Guest can tuck into anything from a three-course meal to a bowl of snacks, washed down with a local beer, a glass of wine, or one of the in-house-speciality spritzers. Complementing the bistro is Jetty’s take-away offering of bacon baps, wraps, pastries and coffee: ‘we get a lot of business from customers who want just to grab and go and head back to the beach’ says Christian.

Great British Life: Korean Style Belly of Pork with pak choi, crispy rosti & Korean BBQ sauceKorean Style Belly of Pork with pak choi, crispy rosti & Korean BBQ sauce

Making the most of local produce and suppliers is another key part of the Jetty ethos. ‘Our meat is from Broadstairs’ Hogman’s butchers and Fruit de Mer provide our fish, our potatoes come from Birchington and our coffee from Whitstable-based Lost Sheep,’ says Christian proudly. ‘We have to keep things as local as possible – whether it’s about our clientele, our food, or our staff. Yes, we’re buzzing in the summer but the aim is to see this place thrive year-round, and for that you have to keep the locals coming back and supporting them in turn.’

Clearly something’s going very right thus far, as Jetty has just received the go ahead to increase in size, with a wine bar, a coffee area and more space in the existing bistro on the cards. The plan is to start the work in October and complete by next Easter.

Great British Life: The Jetty Brownie, complete with ice cream and honeycombThe Jetty Brownie, complete with ice cream and honeycomb

Sounds as if Christian and his team are going to have their hands full over the next few months. Then time to relax? Perhaps not: Christian’s got another project in the pipeline. ‘So many people have wanted a change of scene post pandemic and are looking for homes round here that it seems a good time to set up a property-finding service, so that’s what I’m turning my hand to next.’ The emphasis, says Christian, will be firmly on finding homes. Mind you, if he does have any clients looking for businesses to run slap by the sea, he’s certainly already proved he’s got a great finder’s eye…



3 more foodie spots with great sea views

Great British Life: Rocksalt, Folkestone (c) RocksaltRocksalt, Folkestone (c) Rocksalt

Deal Pier Kitchen

Right at the end of the bracingly Brutalist pier, enjoy brunch and lunch Monday to Sunday, plus Steak & Lobster evenings at the weekends; take-aways too. Dealpierkitchen.com

Rocksalt, Folkestone

Projecting out over the harbour, at Rocksalt you can tuck into local crab while enjoying panoramic views across the waters it came from. rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk

The Coastguard, St Margaret’s Bay

There’s a maritime feel to this pub – the nearest one in Britain to France – not surprising that it’s kept watch over the seafront for some 300 years. Good pub grub and fresh fish, plus plenty of outdoor seating