Front of house pro Natalia Ribbe has made her mark on Margate


Natalia Ribbe’s Margate restaurant and wine bar takes its name from Sète (pronounced set), a buzzy port city in southern France. With a natural wine bar to the front and a restaurant to the rear serving a modern European menu with a heavy French influence, Sète is not directly inspired by its namesake city. 

The kitchen at Sète is overseen by Billy Stock, who previously cooked at The Rose Inn to considerable acclaim (prior to that he was at St John and The Marksman). With a tiny team - the kitchen can fit three at a push - the menu is brief yet finely tuned, majoring on contemporary takes on hearty French bistro classics including beautiful homemade terrines. 

Stock’s dishes are served alongside a regularly changing selection of natural wine. “I love the concept of low-intervention wine. It’s raw and real and there are some great stories behind the people that make it,” says Ribbe, who is skilled at directing guests to the bottle that is right for them and also operates a try-before-you-buy policy.

Originally from the US where she worked at a number of top restaurants, Ribbe is well-known in the industry as the founder of Ladies Of Restaurants, a networking group for women in hospitality. She is one of a number of talented operators to ply their trade in Margate, which despite its somewhat rough-and-ready reputation can now comfortably be called a restaurant hotspot.