This year I am fortunate enough to be doing a little travelling so I thought it would be fun to start a monthly series documenting some of the best things to do. Starting it off is my home town of Margate, a small seaside town on the Kentish coast. Over the last few years with the building of the art gallery the Turner Contemporary and last summer’s re-opening of the fairground Dreamland, Margate has been reinventing itself from derelict 50s summer holiday destination to a beachside escape only and hour and half from London.
Eat // Greedy Cow Deli A charming cafe in the centre of Margate’s old town, famous for its pulled pork which had always been sold out in previous visits but we finally got to try after timing our meal with the beginning of the lunch service. The pork was soft and moist, falling apart with every mouthful, and the coleslaw that came with it had the surprising addition of apple which leant a sweet note to the slightly bitter cabbage. I chose the grilled cheese made with their signature blend of cheeses. It was absolutely delicious, if not slightly oily for my liking. I stole Dan’s tangy sliced pickles to offset the grease which was the perfect side.
Drink // Lighthouse Bar Positioned at the end of the harbour wall, this bar is best visited in the summer when you can enjoy a cheap pint of good quality German beer in their outdoor seating area. Whilst the vintage wood burning stove offers some respite from the January cold, the ineffective chimney causes the bar to be filled with smoke. Its offering of locally produced bar snacks, great drink selection and unbeatable location make it one of the best places to stop for a quick drink.
Go Out // Walk Along The Coast You can’t visit the seaside without spending at least a little time gazing out over the water. I always take the opportunity to borrow my parents’ ridiculous dog and get a little exercise chasing him up and down the sea wall. Walk a little further round the coast and you come across the now abandoned lido. Once a seawater-filled swimming pool, where my mother amongst many other children learnt to swim, it is now boarded off and only visited by the odd hipster or two. Marvel at the white cliffs that line the coast, and maybe, if the weather is right, enjoy the feeling of warm sand between your toes.
Stay In // The Turner Contemporary When the Turner Contemporary was first proposed it promised to renew Margate as a holiday destination for those wanting to escape the city. I am rather fond of the much hated building. Its jagged roof resemble the yacht sails that fill sea throughout the summer and the grey blue panels subtly change to match the sky. The little gallery has been host to some big names. Tracey Emin, a Margate girl herself exhibited early on, but it has also shown work by Grayson Perry and even Leonardo Da Vinci. Later this year it will be showing work by its namesake JMW Turner who loved Margate so much that he based more than 100 of his paintings on the small coastal town.
Shop // Scotts Judging by the number expensive haircuts and designer shoes I saw in the unusually busy gem, this vintage store has been discovered by half of east London. A salvage yard and warehouse on the back roads in the heart of Margate is home to innumerable treasures with handwritten price tags, where you can find solid wood church pews, antique silverware and slightly stale linens all under one roof. Half of my styling props have been bought after afternoons sifting through stacks of plates in one of the musty back rooms. Climb up a rickety stairway and the attic is filled with classic wooden furniture stacked haphazardly towards the rafters.
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