The Sandgate Hotel - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Kitchen Nightmares The Sandgate Hotel

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visits The Sandgate Hotel in Folkestone, Kent.

The Sandgate is a beachfront hotel with 15 rooms.

It is just across the Channel from France.

The hotel is owned by husband and wife team Peter and Lois Hamilton-Slade.

It is losing £2000 a week and Peter has had to go back to work as an engineer.

Neither Peter nor Lois have run a restaurant or guesthouse before.

Lois has gone from selling perfumes at the airport to managing a restaurant and hotel.

Gordon arrives at the hotel.

He stands at the reception for a while before catching the receptionist’s eye, who is on the phone.

There are three restaurants in the hotel.

They have a bar, terrace and a Japanese restaurant in the basement but they all don’t have any customers.

They say if they don't have a good summer they will have to close by winter.

They are on the line to lose up to £250,000 if the business fails.

They have the same chef cook for the Japanese restaurant and the other restaurants.

Stuart White is the head chef and he has a radio speaker for orders in the kitchen.

All together from all of the restaurants they have 168 meals on offer to diners.

Gordon sits down in the main restaurant.

He orders from the Japanese menu.

Gordon is told he must go to the basement for the Japanese meal.

The Food and Beverage Manager comes to inform him he will have to eat his meals in two different restaurants.

He then meets the General Manager, who okays him he is okay to be eating the meal in the main restaurant.

There are three managers, two waitresses but only four customers in to eat that afternoon.

The Japanese starter comes but the rice is underdone.

The a la carte chicken dish comes and looks like something out of a p*rn movie.

He also says "Excuse me waitress I'm missing my b*llocks" as he is missing potatoes with his chicken.

He tastes the chicken but finds that it is tough and does not taste of chicken.

It only tastes of the overwhelming tomato sauce running through the middle of it.

Gordon goes down to the kitchen and it is an 18-year-old assistant who made the rolls.

Stuart says he can't taste everything, but he agrees it is underdone.

He owns up to it and says that he is not an expert at Japanese food.

The owners have so many staff they don't know who is running the hotel.

Gordon starts an exercise at the beach to see who the staff think is in charge.

They have no idea and up to 5 people are selected.

Gordon says Lois as the owner needs to take charge and be more present as the owner.

So far, the hotel has lost £30,000 in the first 4 months of the year.

Staff say they were told to run the place like it was Peter and Lois’s lounge.

The owners admit that they do treat the hotel as such eating meals there every day.

On day three, they set up a portable barbecue grill outside.

Stuart is set to man the barbecue on the patio.

His assistants run the kitchen with radios for communication in between the two stations.

Gordon meets Kirstie, the General Manager, who is the owner’s daughter-in-law.

He finds out she is the one championing the barbecue.

Gordon meets with the kitchen staff.

He lets them know most of the complaints come on Stuart’s day off.

Gordon has Stuart and the Food and Beverage Manager order from the kitchen for the first time.

Kirstie acts as a server for the lunch service.

Gordon witnesses the chaos in the kitchen.

There is an over an hour wait before customers get their food.

A table leaves because their food never arrives after a very long wait.

The problem is that the food is too elaborate for the kitchen.

Stuart is so embarrassed with the service he leaves his restaurant.

Gordon takes Stuart and his assistants fishing and for some team bonding.

They open up and tell him the meals and the garnishes are too complex.

There are also too many dishes on the menu.

They don't also like the manic way the kitchen is run.

If meals were simpler, they can get food out faster.

Gordon brings the sea bass they caught to cook some local dishes.

They currently use up to 15 ingredients for a sea bass dish.

Gordon shows them a more simplified dish.

Peter and Lois love the meal.

They give Stuart bad news about losing an AA Rosette for the food guide.

Gordon tries to make them see it is an opportunity to start afresh.

The Japanese restaurant is costing more than it makes.

Gordon suggests they close it down, making it spill over space or for private dining.

The main restaurant has a food delivery problem using the dumbwaiter.

Jean-Baptiste, a Maitre'd, comes in to consult with the service staff to improve the service.

He bans the use of intercoms and points out dirty glasses and lack of enough water.

When speaking with Lois, staff enter through the front of the restaurant and go straight to the bar.

It is uncovered staff spend up to £2000 a month drinking at the bar.

The business is dependent on that money.

They make the change to stop employees from socializing at the bar in their free time.

Kirstie decides they need to lead by example and the managers should stop dining at the restaurant too.

To help Stuart regain his confidence Gordon helps him create a new seafood based menu.

They visit a local company with up to 1000 employees.

They give a free oyster tasting in the hopes of getting new business for the winter months.

Lois however is still not being strict with staff.

Gordon has her practice telling the staff their shortcomings and demanding respect.

She then has the courage to talk to Luca about the issues he causes.

For relaunch, they have an Oyster Eating Competition and the French team arrives early.

The restaurant is packed, the kitchen is busy but the service in the restaurant is bad.

Kirstie is sitting with guests and Lois doesn't ask for help at first till Gordon prods her.

The Oyster Eating Competition that includes shucking and eating them gets underway on the beach.

The English team wins the competition and it is hoped to be done annually.

Gordon checks in on Lois reminding her to take charge of the hotel.

She should stop treating it like her home and Stuart should stay confident despite the setback.

What Happened Next at the Sandgate Hotel?

Gordon revisits six weeks later.

Stuart had a vibrating system to let wait staff know when food is ready.

He is also expecting a child.

Lois says they are getting brand new customers.

They moved the till for better processing.

The seafood menu is selling out.

Turnover has doubled to £14500 a week.

Gordon sits down to have a meal.

He observes the staff improved service and enjoys his sea bass meal.

The Sandgate Hotel was put up for sale.

The Sandgate Hotel was sold by Lois and Peter in 2006.

They decided to take a break from the industry.

It closed for refurbishment.

The ownership has since changed hands another two times.

Trip Advisor reviews are mixed after Gordon's visit.

The Sandgate Hotel aired on February 28 2006, the episode was filmed in June 2005 and is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares UK season 3 episode 2.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Oscar's

Next episode - Clubway 41


  1. There is only so much you can do when your hands are tied... I worked with a boss like that, they always expected perfection but i had below par tools and was doing the work of 4 people.
    The BFG did well, im glad he can now work on his craft properly.

  2. I loved Stuart, the Gentle Giant. Glad to hear he is working in some good places, and has got his AA rosettes back!

    Most of the staff in that place were clueless - especially owner Lois, restaurant manager Luca, and DIL/GM Kirstie - but it did make for an entertaining episode!

  3. Jarf Jimmberger12 April 2017 at 17:23

    "Rumours suggest Lois to be working as a receptionist in a Dental Practice and that her and Peter are no longer together."

    Any news on this? I felt bad for Peter, spending all his hard earned Engineering cash on this poorly run hotel.

  4. Great chef - A gentle giant indeed! Glad to hear that Stuart has moved on and not only regained his rosette but added a second one on top of it.

    The owner Lois was a lovely woman but I fear that she was too soft for her own good. Her managers, including her daughter in law, took advantage of her and lacked any control.

  5. They sold it in 2006, straight after Kitchen Nightmares? - Looks like an easy out cash grab from the owners, leveraging the Kitchen Nightmares fame and not wanting to knuckle down and earn the rights to a wonderful location. (Business is business). Hope Head Chef Stuart is kicking goals, after his 2 rosettes, looks like he has a thick skin, and a wonderful personality.


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