The Past

the Past

The Present

the Present

The Future

the Future

It goes back to...


The Holland Group Vision

John Holland, a visionary entrepreneur and builder, saw the potential for business growth throughout Dartmouth. His enduring legacy inspires our dedication to authenticity, innovation, and the continuous expansion of the Holland Group.

Sea Haven
John & Bessie Holland

The Holland Group Is Born

In the entrepreneurial saga of John and Bessie Holland, the narrative commences with the acquisition of 3 Newcomen Road on the 16th of March 1967. Initially, this establishment operated as a retail haven until 2019, when it transformed into a commercial lease with Bula assuming the tenancy.

Once known as Sea Haven, this charming locale specialised in the retail of boat and fishing equipment. This historical venture, akin to the refined beginnings of esteemed establishments, epitomizes a legacy founded on commitment and foresight


Purchases Riverside Court

John Holland's strategic acquisition, Riverside Court, purchased on March 25, 1972, initially functioned as a hotel. After a year, John transformed the building, establishing a stylish shoe shop on the ground floor and repurposing the middle section for multifaceted use, including holiday lets and a laundry. The establishment evolved into a leisure shop while maintaining the shoe shop.

Today, the upper floors serve as riverside holiday apartments and the Holland Group office. This transformation embodies John's entrepreneurial vision, blending leisure and hospitality in a concise and refined narrative.



A local gem added to the Holland Group


In 1976, John made a transformative acquisition - the Embankment Bistro, a site with a rich history as a former train station. Upon purchase, John wasted no time and immediately revitalized the space into a vibrant café/restaurant.

Dartmouth Railway Station, never served by trains, traced its origins back to 1864. Originally connected to the railway network through a ferry service from Kingswear station, it featured a unique floating landing stage instead of traditional platforms. Despite not having a conventional rail link, it served the town faithfully, particularly during the First and Second World Wars, providing essential transport for armed forces to Britannia Royal Naval College.

Station Restaurant

Station Restaurant

In 1976, following the closure of the station as a result of the heritage line to Kingswear, the building found new life under the ownership of the Hollands. John Holland repurposed it into the aptly named Station Restaurant, offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The establishment became a cherished part of Dartmouth, retaining the historical essence of a train station while introducing a classic dining experience serving breakfast and carvery.

Embankment Bistro

Embankment Bistro

Fast forward to April 2023, and the evolution continued as the senior team at The Holland Group unveiled the Embankment Bistro. With acclaimed chef Elly Wentworth overseeing the culinary experience, the bistro offers classic dishes in a comfortable, casual environment with outstanding estuary views. Positioned directly on the waterfront, it became a perfect destination for all-day dining, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Embankment Bistro not only reflects the rich history of the Dartmouth Railway Station but also stands as a testament to the Holland Group's commitment to culinary excellence and continual evolution.



Expanding THG Holiday Lettings

On December 10, 1991, the Holland Group acquired 3 South Embankment, consisting of three waterside apartments dedicated to holiday rentals. This expansion complemented their existing holiday rentals in Riverside Court. Fueled by the success of the Station Restaurant, the Hollands reinvested their earnings, enabling further growth of the Holland Group.

Capitalising on their prosperity, the Holland Group expanded once again, acquiring not only 3 South Embankment but also the Roseville Street Car Park. Today, 3 South Embankment stands as the harbourside apartments within the Holland Group. Notably, the recent makeover of Harbourside 3 marks the inception of our new brand, Dartmouth Escapes, epitomising luxury in the form of exquisite holiday apartments.


Purchased The Iconic Angel Restaurant

The Angel

Her legacy endured through the years, and in 2014, John breathed new life into the restaurant, retaining its historic charm while fostering a new era. The Angel underwent several transformations under different culinary maestros. From Joyce to Peter Gorton and Paul Roston, followed by John Burton-Race, Alan Murchison, and eventually Elly Wentworth, each chef left an indelible mark on the gastronomic journey of The Angel.

On February 21, 2014, John made a significant addition to the Holland Group by purchasing a historically rich establishment — a restaurant with two apartments above. Swiftly, he repurposed the restaurant, utilising it continuously. In 2016, the apartments underwent a comprehensive upgrade, elevating them to a higher standard and transforming them into sought-after holiday lets. The innovative approach of packaging these apartments with the restaurant was inspired. This historic venue, once known as "The Carved Angel," has a captivating narrative. Established in 1974 by pioneering chef Joyce Molyneux, it swiftly became a haven of culinary excellence. Joyce, one of the first UK women to earn a Michelin Star, crafted modern British cuisine with local ingredients.

Joyce Molyneaux
The Angel

After a period of silence, the Holland Group, in 2014, acquired the building, strategically renovating it into high-quality holiday apartments on the upper floors while resurrecting the ground floor into a fully operational restaurant. Elly Wentworth, the current head chef, took charge in 2018, following in the footsteps of Joyce Molyneux. Under Elly's leadership, The Angel has flourished, earning accolades and national attention. The journey, marked by the commitment to fine dining and a tribute to its illustrious history, symbolises the Holland Group's dedication to preserving and enhancing Dartmouth's culinary landscape.

The Angel

The Present

“We are incredibly grateful that we have the keys to a group of wonderfully located businesses that owners John and Bessie Holland had worked incredibly hard to build over a number of years. With a sensitive approach to their legacy, we are committed to developing this group of businesses which are both literally and metaphorically at the heart of this community” - James Pike

Embankment Bistro

As stewards of John's legacy, we embrace the responsibility of crafting an authentic Dartmouth experience in all our endeavours. The evolution from Riverside Court to present-day establishments, such as Embankment Bistro and The Angel, signifies not just a chronological progression but a commitment to seamlessly blend Dartmouth's history with contemporary offerings.

The Angel

John's entrepreneurial spirit is a vital core value within our business philosophy. We aim to perpetuate his innovation, ensuring that every venture in the Holland Group reflects the passion that has defined us for decades. This dedication is not just a nod to the past but a conscious effort to deepen the imprint of the Holland Group in Dartmouth's story.

The Angel

The Holland Group, firmly rooted in Dartmouth's soil, is more than a business; it's an ongoing testament to entrepreneurial spirit. We take pride in the establishments carrying the Holland Group name, anticipating continued growth and development. As we carry the Holland Group legacy forward, we aim to build upon its storied past, creating a future that echoes the entrepreneurial vision that defines us.