A word from ian

A word from Ian (1 May 20)

Takeaway and collection by car
Available from Thursday to Sunday

We’re continuing to offer you a great takeaway menu of hot food (pizza, fish & chips) and pre-prepared, chilled dishes that are ready to cook at home.

Available Thursdays & Fridays 4-8pm | Saturdays 2-8pm | Sundays 12-4pm – please make sure that you select your preferred collection time when ordering online.

Order online or give us a call – 01474 812154.

New table spacing

Boris’s ‘Menu of Options’
A neighbourhood restaurant solution?

In preparation for being permitted to reopen Bartellas within Government guidelines, but above all with common sense, we are proposing the following approach:

  • Just 30% of usual capacity; 42 seats in the main restaurant and 16 in The Orangery, with al fresco tables available on the terrace
  • Minimum spacing of two metres between tables, with a maximum of four guests to a table (see images above and below)
  • Open daily for lunch and dinner, by reservation only
  • Tables laid once guests are seated
  • A smaller selection of food, disposable menus and wine lists
  • Wall-mounted hand sanitisers throughout
  • One designated entrance, one designated exit
  • Take away / car park collection service continues
  • Contactless payment
  • Maximum of two people in the toilets at any one time

A different dining experience, but one that we hope will be much more civilised, convivial and safer than being ‘up close and personal’ in the supermarket aisles or other retail environments.

Your thoughts and suggestions would be most welcome – please email me.

Ian Eldridge, Proprietor
[email protected]

New table spacing

A word from Ian (10 Apr 20)

Happy Easter – hope that you are all keeping well and staying strong.

This has probably been the worst three week holiday of our lives, so we’ve really cherished the uplifting and regular messages of support from you all who, like us, have sorely missed the craic of the restaurant and, in particular, Meopham life. It’s not quite the same shouting across from the other side of the Wrotham Road when out for exercise.

With Boris bouncing back, our staff eager to return to work and assuming that everyone follows the necessary regulations as instructed, it looks like we may be permitted to open the restaurant in some format from mid-May. No problem with perhaps vertical drinking at the bar being outlawed, likewise an insistence on suitably spaced, clothed tables, serviced by certified staff, with reservations only – stuff we’ve always offered.

We’ll be cranking open the kitchen for a limited oven-ready style takeaway menu for collection from Thursday 16th April so that we’re relatively up to speed come the day. Menu, pricing and opening hours will be up on the website soon. In through the front door, pick up your order in a waiting area of spacious solo tables, out through the back. We’ll also be happy to bring your food to your car in the car park if you prefer.

Hope to see you soon – meantime as Poirot, who we’ve all been watching, would say, à bientôt!

Ian Eldridge, Proprietor
[email protected]

A word from Ian (21 Mar 20)

Hasta La Vista

With just the 15-minute warning from Boris before service on Friday 20th March that we must close that evening it was certainly a night to remember, with so many familiar faces turning up to wish us well along with a steady takeaway trade too. Thank you for all your support.

Good to have some clarity at last and, with Rishi’s pledges, a mighty relief too for our fantastic staff. Still much to do in the restaurant to put all on ice for now, but rest assured we will be back.

Take lots of care – we’ll keep you regularly updated throughout the inevitable lockdown and look forward to seeing you again.

Ian Eldridge, Proprietor
[email protected]

A word from Ian (16 Mar 20)

Crazy and testing times for us all but the spirit among our Club members and you prudent people out there has been fantastic.

Our staff from abroad are acutely aware of what’s been happening back home, but their frustration at not being able to meet up with their loved ones translates into a determination to do their very best at Bartellas with all the necessary personal hygiene and sanitising precautions ever paramount on their minds.

If anything we are busier than ever with our clothed tables continuing to be well spaced, fresh linen minimising any spread of viral infection, wall-mounted hand sanitisers outside the loos and at reception – so a safe environment for you all to dine. Take aways and collections of most of our menu items are always available if that is preferable.

Mothering Sunday 22nd March is a huge hit again this year – the only tables available now are from 19.00, maximum of ten people per table. Good Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th April we are open all day and night plus the Bank Holiday Monday.

Usual offer of a complimentary bottle of wine to the value of £40 when dining from the a la carte menu, one bottle per member per duration of the offer please, valid until Monday 13th April.

Meanwhile, please stay safe and well, hopefully no offence if our usual salutations are toned down somewhat. Together we will combat this latest challenge and emerge stronger and healthier than before.

As ever,

[email protected]

A word from Ian (Jan 20)

Christmas and New Year all done and dusted. Thanks ever so for your fabulous support throughout and for your rave reviews and constructive comments- they really do help make all the hard work and long hours rewarding. Always my concern though is how we may be able to improve on those achievements but with over 100 repeat bookings already for Christmas Day and NYE we’d best get cracking!

The appeal with the Parliamentary Ombudsman on my extortionate and just plain wrong business rates rumbles on. At least they agreed before Christmas that the ‘unfit for purpose’ Valuation Office Agency and subsequently The Adjudicator’s Office have made the wrong decisions dating back to 2010. Whether they now take real ownership of the gross error and repay me for what I have been forced to cough up, we’ll have to wait and see.

New year, new à la carte, prix fixe menus, and a special Valentine’s lunch and dinner menu. For Club Bartellas members, a complimentary bottle of wine to the value of £40 now when dining from the à la carte. Offer valid until 1st March but not including Valentine’s Day – one bottle per member for the duration of the offer please.

We’re always on the lookout for personable and reliable front of house staff particularly those who are happy to work weekends. You know only too well the profile we generally hire and develop. So, if you know of any suitable candidates please send them our way ([email protected] / 01474 812154). We might even consider a small bounty for your introduction after their first three months.

Of late we’ve been asked to consider and have provided variations on what we ordinarily offer – drinks parties, lounge bar food, full afternoon teas and the like – so with extra staff on hand we’re more than happy to consider and accommodate where feasible your requirements.

As ever

[email protected]

A word from Ian (Jul 19)

Check out the forthcoming events schedule for the rest of the year including BBQs, soul night, Psychic Sadie and, back by popular demand, our pre ski season white weeker party – plenty of off-piste pandemonium. And yes, we even have the provisional Christmas Day and Christmas Prix Fixe menus ready for your consideration – the environmentally friendly but quality crackers have already been ordered!

Sadly we still have some members trying to play the angles rather too sharply when building their credit. It’s a very generous system, please don’t abuse it.

Business rates update: the bureaucrats at Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) summoned me into Court this week for withholding payment of our business rates this financial year – £546 per WEEK they’re now demanding. Left me in a stifling waiting room for three hours, not even a glass of water available, then up before the magistrates bench. No mention that GBC prompted by the not-fit-for-purpose Valuation Office Agency (VOA) actually owes my business £71,561 which they had blackmailed me to pay since 2010 – a blatant over-estimation and charging on my restaurant.

Members of the Bench, while respectful of the law, awarded them the liability order but with no enforcement action and no costs awarded against me so that together we can sort out the mess the VOA have created – a common sense judgement. More of you should join the uprising (enough is enough) still expect my money back though!

Thanks as always for your support as well as your kind and helpful comments – our mantra continues to be “always room for improvement”.

As ever

[email protected]

A word from Ian (Jan 19)

Fox and Hounds

2019 greetings to you all- hardly a happy and prosperous New Year so far out there with the country, county and even our parish continuing to brood on Brexit and beyond. All good our end at Bartellas though during December and early January – many thanks for your continued support plus the fave comments and reviews.

Bring on Mexit I say along with a local Sheriff and a posse to sort our streets and services! I’m still waiting on Gravesham and/or Government to return the overpaid £50,000+ and now owing to me after I was vindicated in my Business Rates battle – maybe I should take them to Court?

Meanwhile, Valentine’s bookings are being received thick and fast for the Thursday night. We’re also offering a Valentines Prix Fixe luncheon with a glass of Prosecco – call or email the restaurant for further details.

Working with The Bear Kitchen people to feature some healthy options on our menu and showcase them shortly on a Club night – details to follow.

As ever

[email protected]

A word from Ian (Jan 17)

So, you ask, was 2016 all that we had hoped for? Anything we could have done differently? Hindsight, what a wonderful ingredient, I must put it on the menu! And what does 2017 have in store for us? The truth is none of us really know for sure, we’ll simply have to work with whatever is thrown our way and make the best of it – I guess it will be much more of the same.

Our biggest challenge for 2017 is that the Valuation Office Agency is still proposing a whopping 42% increase on my business rates from a ridiculous and unaccountable £500 per week to over £700 per week. I was previously quoted when up before Dartford Magistrates Court for holding back the increase then that I’d rather pay the Mafia – they’d at least dine with us and look after me and my staff!

Moving on though, loads of other stories to share with you from the festive period, our plans for 2017 too, but I can tell you more when I see you.

Sadly, Antonio & Chiara, after nine years with us have decided to return back to Sicily in February for some quality time with their families. They will be missed by so many, staff and customers alike. Both of them have played such a major part in the development of Bartellas and I hope that they take with them many cherished memories of their time here.

As ever

[email protected]

A word from Ian (Oct 16)

Wonderful to see so many of you already booked in over December and in particular on Christmas Day when we will be serving into the early evening. Nothing worth watching on the telly, so increasingly we find members enjoying the day at home with family, neighbours and friends over a glass or two and some simple nibbles before the big turkey dinner at Bartellas without all the hassle. Make a note now for next year but you’ll need to book in December 2016 to be sure of your place for 2017.

Brexit ~ fascinating to monitor the Tesco v Unilever Brexit backlash. Most suppliers have tried it on in recent months and if it’s not Brexit it’s ‘the Chinese have bought everything’ or ‘the Chileans/Indonesians have buggered up their fish stocks’. I was even told that the waters in Scotland were too cold! We’re changing our house wine to a Spanish variety because Italian producers have tried to enforce unreasonable increases and expect us to simply pass it on to you, which we won’t do.

Business rates ~ set by the Valuation Office Agency, is once again rearing its ugly head in time for April 2017. They’re proposing a 47% increase over and above our existing absurd and appalling value for money rate of £500 per week – we don’t even get a bin emptied for that.

Club Bartellas ~ please remember that we can only credit your account with the 15% retrospective discount on food and drink that you have paid for and assuming your membership is up to date.

As ever

[email protected]