If you’ve followed me on Instagram or Twitter (or have seen my latest review of GB Pizza Co) you probably haven’t been able to hide from the fact that I went to Margate last weekend and that I was very excited about it. I’ve wanted to go there for a long time now, and as my summer holidays this year have been pushed to August, I knew I needed to get some sea air before that.
Margate is located in the South East Coast of England, close to other popular seaside destinations such as Whitstable and Broadstairs (I actually think it could be fun to combine all of these for a longer weekend trip!). It takes about two hours to get there from London, and as the train station there is very central, you won’t have too far to walk to any of the main attractions either.
Even though we only spent about 24 hours in Margate, we managed to squeeze in quite a lot. I’ve compiled a little list of my favourite things below – hopefully it’ll be helpful if you’re planning a trip to the seaside too!
I know it’s so obvious, but I just couldn’t leave it off the list. If you could see all the pictures I took in Margate, you would realise that most of them were of the sea… I grew up in Helsinki, which is surrounded by the sea in most directions, and I miss it constantly when I’m in London. That’s why I always get so ridiculously happy when I get to do a little trip to the coast!
The shoreline in Margate is long, but it is pretty busy during the daytime. We found a bay just behind the Turner Museum that was completely empty (probably because we had to cross a little puddle to get there…) and it was nice to almost get this little bit of the beach to ourselves. However, if you don’t want to cross puddles to get a bit of peace and quiet (understandable), my tip would be to wake up early and go to the main beach then – it was much emptier at around 10am!
If I’m not completely mistaken, I believe the renovation of the Dreamland amusement park is one of the biggest reasons for the recent popularity of Margate. It’s free to get in and it’s such a fun place to have a little stroll and take in all the retro signs and colourful rides. There’s also quite a few food stalls selling things like soft ice cream, tacos and cotton candy, as well as an old fashioned diner selling American food. I didn’t go for any of the rides or other activities, but it was still really fun to walk around and take in the atmosphere, so I would definitely recommend popping in.
Margate has a plethora of independent shops to choose from, and most of them sell second hand or vintage clothes and antique furniture too. We visited quite a few (my friend actually even bought a lovely wooden coffee table for a very reasonable price from one of them!), but there was still so many left to explore. The shops are a lot cheaper than similar ones in London, so if you’re into retro clothes or furniture, they’re well worth a rummage through.
I have a confession to make: we actually went here twice during a 24-hour trip – it was that good!
Bow’s Kitchen is a super cosy Thai restaurant at the top of a traditional English pub called the Wig & Pen. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert in Thai food, but the cooking here seemed very authentic and the menu had quite a few different options too, not just your usual green and red curries (and this is coming from someone who really, really loves green curry).
I tried something I’d never tried before – a spicy noodle dish (I wish I remembered what it was called!) with peppers, sweet corn and lots of other veggies. And – my favourite bit – halloumi! It was so different from anything I’ve had before (again, I’m usually the boring one who has the same dish – the green curry – every single time…) and I absolutely loved it! I can’t wait to go back (for the third time) one day!
Margate has quite a few lovely looking cafes and places to get dessert in (still gutted I didn’t get a hot donut from one of the stalls by the beach!), but the one we tried has probably the cutest decor and crockery of them all.
The Curious Cupcake Cafe has a vintage look and serves cupcakes (of course) and other sweet treats from lovely mismatched vintage plates and cups. From the cupcakes we tried the lemon one (SO good!) and the red velvet one (loved the frosting but the actual cupcake was slightly dry), and my friend also had the scones with butter and jam (verdict: good with jam but weird with butter – would’ve preferred clotted cream!). Overall our experience was a positive one – the atmosphere was lovely, the decor right up my street and the sweet treats (mostly) yummy.
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