The Reading Rooms
The Reading Rooms is a luxury boutique bed and breakfast in a restored, Grade II Listed Georgian town-house in Margate, England. Built in the 1770s, the house has two spacious guest-rooms, each covering an entire floor, with windows overlooking the tree-lined Georgian square.
The Reading Rooms was the winner of Dorset Cereals best overall bed and breakfast in their 2016 awards. See the video here.
Situated in Hawley Square, The Reading Rooms is less than five minutes walk to the beach, the historic Old Town, vintage shops and Turner Contemporary.
Inspiration for The Reading Rooms' name comes from Margate's 18th-century heyday when visitors to Margate were entertained in a variety of spas and reading rooms throughout the town. There was a famous library on Hawley Square itself, called Bettison's Library, which housed one of the largest collections of the finest journals of the era.
Margate, is one of England's earliest seaside resorts, where 18th-century visitors enjoyed the newly fashionable health-giving properties of sea-bathing. Famed for its beautiful, sandy beaches and historic architecture, as well being a pioneer of British seaside culture, Margate is enjoying a renaissance.
The house was built as a guest-house for Londoners to enjoy the newfound benefits of sea bathing and the cultural offering of the Margate.
By 1960's, an 18 year old Bob Calvert was left the house, which became a bohemian hangout as he co-founded the band Hawkwind. By the 1980's the house had become ten bedsits, until the owner retired in 2007 when Liam and Louise bought the house. Together, they decided to restore it as a guest-house for visitors.
Partitions and layers have been stripped back to reveal the original Georgian proportions, architectural features and colours. The scars of the passage of time were left.
Louise & Liam
The Reading Rooms is owned and run by Louise Oldfield and Liam Nabb, originally from Sheffield and Manchester respectively. They met and lived together in Florence, Italy in the early 90s where Liam grew up. Liam juggled a career as a professional DJ and his architecture studies.
Together they spent years working together running clubs and organising events. They returned to live in East London at the end of the 90s, where they set up a creative design business. They moved to Margate in 2007.
Liam is responsible for all of the architectural design and specification of the house. They opened The Reading Rooms to guests in October 2009.