Thorley Taverns, the Kent-based operator of pubs, hotels and restaurants, has bought three pubs in Broadstairs for c.£3.5m. The firm has bought the freeholds of the Charles Dickens, the Tartar Frigate and The Captain Digby, reports the Isle of Thanet Gazette. Thorley Taverns now plans to refurbish the Charles Dickens, with a new larger kitchen and first-floor restaurant. Thorley Taverns boss Frank Thorley told the newspaper: “Originally we were looking to purchase the leasehold from the previous lessee. There’s no way we could have done all this work without the freehold. “It’s given us the opportunity to virtually start again.”