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GALLERY: Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes opens a cafe in Gravesend's Cyclopark

PUBLISHED: 14:04 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:04 06 June 2017

Dame Kelly Holmes with the mayor of Gravesham, Harold Craske, officially opening the Cafe 1809

Dame Kelly Holmes with the mayor of Gravesham, Harold Craske, officially opening the Cafe 1809

Archant

This is the second cafe the sporting star has opened in the county

Dame Kelly Holmes launched her ‘lifestyle cafe’ in Gravesend’s Cyclopark this morning, June 6.

The double Olympic champion opened Cafe 1809 in the park following the success of a sister cafe in her home town of Hildenborough.

She said: “I haven’t really been to Gravesend before, other than recently when I cycled from Hildenborough to the Cyclopark. I knew that I wanted another cafe in Kent, and that I wanted it somewhere where there’s activity going on. When the opportunity arose, I knew it was the right place.

“It’s been such a whirlwind as initial discussion to take over the cafe here, only began in late January, and I’ve actually only had the last five days to build all of this and create this space.

“It’s a lifestyle cafe, because the aim is to make everyone feel good, whether that’s physically or mentally. Some people just want to socialise, whether they’re lonely at home or isolated and just want to get out, and meet other people, we’re here to help with that. But we’re also based here for those who have similar sporting interests in cycling or running or walking, and want to meet here after a work out before heading home.

“I am now also thinking about opening another one - why not turn the cafes into a real brand. They’re all going to be social hubs for the community. At Hildenborough we’ve just started doing evening events such as a Mexican night, a cheese and wine night, a quiz night, and we plan to do the same here.”

Before the official ribbon cutting ceremony, the mayor of Gravesham, Harold Craske, congratulated Dame Kelly on her latest venture.

He said: “I’d like to give Dame Kelly a warm welcome to the wonderful Cyclopark. The park really is one of the jewels in the Gravesham crown, and it’s an honour for Gravesham that she has chosen our borough for this venue.

“The cafe’s taken its name - 1809 - from the number on her vest when she achieved her sporting victories. She’s an inspiration to the borough.”

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