Reading Time: < 1 minute The MV Tongham will offer customers a quirky experience
Reading Time: < 1 minute

A historic Royal Navy warship will soon house a yoga room, three music studios, and a cafe serving vegan food.

The ship, called HMS Tongham, was used to sweep military mines from shallow waters.

It has been bought by a civilian couple who will convert it into a commercial enterprise.


The ship – now known as MV Tongham – was bought by professional opera singer Janet Fischer and her partner Chris Beer, a marine engineer.

Janet Fischer, who is the managing director of Fulham Opera, told Forces Network: “We wanted to keep something that works within its [historical] context… [so Tongham will] keep almost all of her original features.”

The pair have been restoring the ship, readying it for its new commercial venture.


Ms Fischer, 35, said: “We both love the water and thought it would make a really interesting space that we could restore and continue to grow over time.

“It’ll be a bit of naval history for people to enjoy too. It’s a bit quirky and niche, and something you are more likely to find in London with the vegan menus and high-quality coffee.

“Our predominantly vegan-based menu will showcase the best of local ingredients but will still allow non-vegans to upgrade, or downgrade, depending on your perspective.”

Tongham will be permanently moored in Gillingham, Kent, next to the PS Medway Queen – a ship famous for playing a role in rescuing 7,000 men in the evacuation of Dunkirk, making a record seven trips.

The pair expect to open the coffee house for business from next summer.


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Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.