Why a visit to Margate at the weekend is a must!

by Charlotte Kimber Website Manager

I have been a resident of “Planet Thanet” for almost a year now and although it was very hard to leave the bright lights of London, it was made a little bit easier by the fact there was a plethora of World Class beer on offer at our new local, The BottleShop. But why would you want to be amongst the many other DFLs (Down From London) that make the journey to Margate for a weekend? Well let me tell you …

There are lots of glorious places for breakfast in Margate, from watching the large container ships out at sea whilst shovelling a full English into your chops at Forts Café, to pancakes at The Greedy Cow. If you have been gluttonous, a nice walk along Margate’s sandy beaches, or if you’re brave enough a dip in Walpole Bay’s tidal pool (not for the faint hearted), will set you right.

The Turner Contemporary has some of the best art around, and it’s free to-boot! The current exhibition relates to T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, written partly in Margate. Whilst visiting make sure you check the tide times so that you can see Antony Gormley’s sculpture, it’s a throw over from Folkestone’s Triennial contemporary art showcase and will be exhibited till mid-November. I frequently walk out to say hello to Antony to see how he’s fairing in the weather.

After absorbing all the Modern Art, and if you’re not in the mood for fresh air, why not inhale some dust at Scott’s of Margate? It’s a rummage, and if you’re into antiques and cobwebs you’ll love it. You may also like some of the unusual notes from the owners, spotting them amongst the barley twist table legs, blemished mirrors and ornate vases is part of the fun. Expect to read signs such as “Someone keeps swapping the price tags so your purchase at the till may need to be checked, if they are found Terry will deal with them” or “Whoever is removing handles, you will be caught, the police will not be called”. Be careful that you only come out with what you can carry, but if you do find yourself leaving with a teak tea trolley and Edwardian book case, Scott’s do offer reasonable home delivery to London.

If you’re feeling peckish, or your feet are weary, we highly recommend Cyril’s or Cliffs both on Northdown Road. Cyril’s is also home to The Margate Mercury, a great read published quarterly, it will give you a peak into what it’s like to be a resident of Planet Thanet. Cliffs is a great community hub with an awesome selection of second hand vinyl, they serve the best coffee in Margate, yes they make REAL coffee outside of the capital. They roast the beans on site and even do roasting classes.

If in the mood for retail therapy, we have a plethora of independent shops in Margate Old Town from homeware to curated vintage clothing shops specialising in retro sportswear, most would not look out of place in Stoke Newington. If retail is not the sort of therapy you’re after we even have a bijou skincare and cosmetic brand Haekles, which forage for their ingredients in the local area. Experience seaweed wraps and mud masks in their treatment room or browse their products in the elegantly furnished shop.

Ah but what about dinner? Well, you can experience fine-dining in Margate with two particularly good restaurants. If you are looking for something special or intimate, we highly recommend Hantverk & Found as well as the recently opened Angela’s. If you are looking for something more laid back, of course a visit to the seaside wouldn’t be complete with a hot steaming pile of fish & chips! Peter’s Fish Factory found on the sea front fries from 11am-11pm most days of the year. They are spot on, especially if you take your chips like mine with an offensive amount of vinegar (I salute you!). There are a whole host of other restaurants that I could recommend from Cheesy Tiger to freshly made pasta from Bottega Caruso or GB Pizza Co (who offer a 10% discount off takeaway if you’re at The BottleShop, just a few doors down).

But wait, how do I squeeze in time to visit BottleShop: Margate, you ask? Well, there is no better time than as the sun sets. It is then that you can hark back to the times of Turner and experience those painterly skies awash with colour over a pint or two. Stu, Bea and Katie are our fabulous bar team at Margate and will be sure to give you a warm welcome with their #WorldClass beer selection and Bea’s epic cocktails. With 12 draft lines, monthly tastings and tap takeovers, there is a wealth of tasty beer treats for you to enjoy on your visit! Don’t forget to grab a few beers for your train home, that’s if you haven’t fallen in love with Margate by now and have spent your entire time in the bar looking at house prices.

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