Over Easter weekend, Kemey and I had a really fun time visiting Margate. It was the first time down that way, but it’s safe to say we’re both now keen to return. Already fans of a few fantastic destinations in Kent (Whitstable, Folkestone and Canterbury in particular), we were so glad to say we could add Margate to our list of preferred places within easy reach of London – about 75 miles drive or an hour and a half train ride from Central London).
Here are some highlights of our trip:
Rendezvous, Margate CT9 1HG
An opportunity finally to get round to check out Turner Contemporary museum was the anchor cause that led us to set out to Margate. We were not disappointed. Although it should be noted that if you were actually in the mood to immerse yourself the tumultuous wonder of Turner landscapes, you’d be best advised to stay in London and roam the galleries of Tate Britain. Two installations by Yinka Shonibare (running until 30 October 2016) were exceptionally riveting. Joachim Koester’s trippy The Other Side of the Sky (closes 8 May 2016) was a hoot to meander through. The views of the sea alone make the museum worth poking one’s heads in. Admission is free.
Fort Road Yard
Fort Rd, Margate CT9 1HF
For low brow browsing, retro décor, and all sorts of unusual accouterments head to this quirky makeshift market across from Turner Contemporary. Fans of street art, vintage fare and conservation starting tidbits will be in delighted. I especially enjoyed viewing the works on display by local artist Charlie Evaristo Boyce at his self-described “most medium sized gallery.”
Marine Terrace, Margate, CT9 1XJ
We didn’t have a chance actually to visit the amusement park and ride the rides (God, I wanted to take that classic wooden roller coaster for a spin though!). Nonetheless we got a kick out of our quick breeze through Dreamland’s arcade/diner/roller disco.
Hantverk & Found
18 King Street, Margate CT9 1DA
The big seafood flavours on offer at this tiny Old Town café and edgy art gallery impressed mightily. Kemey loved her crab. I adored every bite of my scallop BLT. We both found immense pleasure starting off lunch sharing a serving of Colchester oysters. Prices for most main courses hovered around £10-£12; serving sizes were ample. I teetotaled my way through Easter weekend, but a look at Hantverk & Found’s wine list had me second guessing my decision for a brief moment.
Aside from the outstanding seafood, pretty much all other aspects of Hantverk & Found did the trick for me. Colour scheme, nautical theme, odd art encountered en route to the toilets, friendly service, a casual air (maybe tabling customers and keeping track of reservations could have been better organized, but the folks running the show seemed genuinely overwhelmed by a bigger rush of custom than expected).
If I lived in or nearer Margate this place would be my go-to.
Peter’s Fish Factory
12 The Parade, Margate CT9 1EZ
There might have been a purchased of cheeky chips during our visit as well. Just across the street from the beach, Peter’s seemed to be the place to queue up for fish and chips. A mere one quid for a “kiddie size” cone of chips from Peter’s Fish Factory was an obligatory seaside indulgence that was as inexpensive as it was super yummy.