Art-lovers’ hotel gets dining room upgrade

A new southern European-style restaurant with a focus on fish and seafood launches next week at art entrepreneur Matthew Slotover’s boutique Fort Road Hotel in Margate.

Colina – Spanish for hill, a reference to its position at the top of the Old Town –  represents an early upgrade for the dining room at the hotel, which opened in 2022. The new chef, Portuguese-born Luis Freitas, is already known in Margate for his cooking at the nearby Pearly Cow.

Matthew, who founded Frieze contemporary art magazine and global art fairs, has branched into hospitality in recent years with restaurant Toklas in London as well as the Margate hotel.

He says: “We instantly fell in love with Luis’ cooking, and with Spain, Portugal and Greece being so often associated with some of the best seafood in the world, it made complete sense to introduce his Mediterranean palate to our waterfront hotel, adding another star to Margate’s crown of exceptional fish-forward restaurants. As far as we’re aware, there’s nothing else quite like it in the area – a place you can dip into at all times of the day, for a quick bite, early breakfast or full blown dinner and drinks.”

Colina’s all-day menu includes starters such as Soused Bream crudo and Crispy cod cheeks with lemon escabeche; mains such as Squid burger with green Romesco in a freshly baked bun; and a blackboard list of evening specials such as Grilled John Dory to share between two. Meat options include house-made Malfalde with slow cooked Oxtail ragu or Pork belly with peperonata, with Crema Catalana served with shortbread to finish. 

The wine list will predominantly focus on Italy, Spain and Portugal, with some French and New World favourites and a selection of organic and vegan bottles. Diners can start or end their meal with a drink in the hotel’s basement bar, decorated with work by Tim Noble, Tracey Emin and other artists connected with Margate.

Colina is open every day from breakfast at 7am until 9.30pm.

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