Set in the heart of Deal, in the middle of its conservation area, is this wonderful Grade II-listed cottage. Located on a tranquil street leading directly to the sea, the three-bedroom house is flanked on either side by mid-18th-century brickwork cottages. Redecorated by an interior designer, inside, it is defined by its box panelling that merges with exposed brickwork and an expressive colour palette. An expansive second-storey bedroom, formerly an artist’s studio, is wonderfully light and has views over the English Channel. At the back of the house is a lovely courtyard, which has a door to the street, allowing for access after a dip in the sea.
Setting the Scene
The middle of the Deal Conservation Area is characterised by Georgian terraces clustered around the centre of the town. Many houses on these terraces were originally smugglers’ cottages, the name Dolphin Street a nod to the town’s maritime history. Typical of many of the streets in the area, many of the brick-fronted buildings on Dolphin Street are punctuated by wide sash windows and doors surrounded by wide architraves surmounted by foliate pediments. The present house is believed to date to 1680, which would make it one of the oldest on the street. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
The front door, painted in the distinctive ‘Three Farm Green’ by Little Greene with a charming chrome fish-shaped knocker, opens directly to the sitting room, where floor-to-ceiling box panelling has been painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow and Ball. This moody shade is offset by the light that pours in through a tall 8×4 sash window. On the left, set against a wall of exposed brick, a wood burner is nestled in a wide curved inglenook fireplace with a rugged timber mantel. Next door is the light and airy kitchen, where the brick floor contrasts with pale grey walls. Mint green cabinetry cleverly conceals appliances and a fridge-freezer and is topped by pale oak; a wide butler’s sink with chrome tap work overlooks the courtyard.
A winding staircase, hidden behind a wooden door in the sitting room, ascends to the three bedrooms, the largest of which is on the second floor. Once an artist’s studio, the room has an exceptional quality of light, accentuated by a high ceiling with exposed timber beams. Walls are painted in the chalky ‘Arsenic’ by Farrow and Ball, and a large sash window has views along the street to the sea.
On the first floor, the second bedroom also has calming coastal views. Here, storage space is concealed behind cream-painted wooden cabinetry, and a feature wall is finished in the expressive ‘Psychedelic Pathways’ wallpaper by Feathr. A single bedroom with dark wooden flooring and muted green walls is situated at the back of the house. Next door is a family bathroom with a half-height butt-and-bead panelling, a freestanding bath and deep blue walls. The spaces are united by long wooden floorboards and characterful latched timber doors that attest to the history of the building.
The Great Outdoors
A glass-panel door in the kitchen leads to a neat patio, where brickwork is painted white, capturing the afternoon sunlight; plenty of space exists for potted plants. A white wooden door opens to the neighbouring street, handy for coming in after a long day on the beach.
Out and About
Dolphin Street is just a few minutes’ stroll from the beachfront and has marvellous views over the English Channel. It is also just a short walk to the centre of Deal, a cultural and culinary flourishing in the last few years. One of the most recent openings is the Rose Hotel, known for its excellent bar and restaurant. The Frog & Scot is also fabulous and has a lovely wine bar, Le Pinardier. Real Deal Roasters is a renowned coffee supplier, Arno & Co is the preferred coffee shops and deli, whilst Merchant of Relish is the favoured grocers. The Black Pig butchers and Jenkins & Sons fishmongers are also both noteworthy. There is also a fantastic Saturday farmers’ market selling local produce.
The High Street has many other independent antique, clothes, and homewares stores. Built in the early 1800s in the Captain’s Gardens at Deal Castle, it provides creative spaces for local craftspeople to work and offers workshops, talks, and events. Other local attractions include the famed Deal Castle, nearby Walmer Castle, and slightly further afield, Sandwich Bay and St Margaret’s Bay.
Sandwich, Dover and Canterbury are easily accessed by car via the A2 and A258. High-speed trains run from Deal to London St Pancras with a total journey time of 84 minutes, with alternative direct trains to London Charing Cross and London Bridge. Access to the continent is also excellent via the Port of Dover, the Channel Tunnel at Folkestone and Eurostar from Ashford International.
Council Tax Band: D
Deal was first mentioned in the Domesday Book. By the end of the 13th century, it had become a ‘limb port’ of the larger Cinque Ports nearby, and at one time was the busiest port in England. Its rich maritime history is complemented by its role as a key garrison town, as well as having a noted mining, fishing, and perhaps less salubriously, rich smuggling heritage. After its role as a resort town declined in the late 20th century, Deal has experienced a great renaissance as something of an artistic haven in recent years, with people attracted by the beautiful historic architecture within the town, the creative community and excellent independent provisors that centre around the High Street, and its position on the beautiful Kent coastline.
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