I did it! I made it through what has felt like the most difficult revision and exam period so far. To celebrate finishing, my boyfriend and I escaped down to the Kent Coast with friends for a weekend. We stayed in Westgate-on-Sea, a stone’s throw away from Margate. I know what you’re all thinking – Margate for a weekend escape? But give it a go. There are some beautiful shops, cafes and restaurants to try, and let’s not forget the huge sandy beaches – and the fact that it’s only an hour and a half from London!
We were extremely lucky with the weather and had such a beautiful weekend that I wanted to share some our finds.
I highly recommend taking a stroll around the cobbled streets of Margate Old Town, home to some lovely little homeware and vintage shops, galleries and coffee shops.
Buoy and Oyster, 44 High Street, CT9 1DS
Looking out over Margate harbour, Buoy and Oyster offers stunning views, whether it’s a sunny summer’s day or stormy winter weather. This gorgeous restaurant serves seasonal fish and seafood with a modern British slant, as well as offering delightful-looking cocktails. The four of us ordered oysters (most of us trying them for the first time), a bottle of white wine and a main meal each, coming to a total of £29 per person, including service. Being used to London restaurant prices we practically skipped out of the restaurant, having enjoyed such a delightful lunch! I highly recommend the halibut on their current menu.
The Cupcake Café, 4-5 Market Place, CT9 1EN
Situated in a little courtyard, this café serves cakes, coffees and snacks all day. If you’re lucky you might be able to bag a table outside in the sun and people watch to your heart’s content! Next door is The Greedy Cow café, which we didn’t get to try, but about which I’ve heard very good things!
The Light Keeper, 8 Broad Street, CT9 1EW
A beautiful lighting emporium tucked away in Margate Old Town, this is definitely worth checking out even if you don’t need to buy a light fitting. The unique designs are fascinating and constantly updated.
Qing Interiors, 3 Lombard Street, CT9 1EN
Unique and bespoke designs sit next to exquisite vintage oriental home furnishings. I highly recommend a visit to Qing Interiors – it couldn’t feel further away from what you’d expect in an English coastal town.
Etcetera Interiors Ltd, 35 Hawley Street, CT9 1QA
One of many beautiful homeware shops in Margate, they sell minimalist designs. I had to keep reminding myself that I live in a small flat and that I definitely don’t need any more cushions/throws/plants…
Turner Contemporary, The Rendezvous, CT9 1HG
This art gallery is situated on the edge of the harbour and runs various exhibitions throughout the year, most of them free of charge. With a lovely coffee shop as well, it can provide some entertainment or a couple of hours.
Whitstable is an old fishing village, famous for its oysters in particular. Down by the harbour there are some fishing huts selling local crafts and sweet treats. If you walk further along through the harbour you come to the fish markets which, even if you’re not keen on eating fish, are well worth a wander round as they’re selling a huge range of produce. Many of the fishmongers may also be happy to let you try local delicacies such as oysters or cockles if you’ve never had them before.
The Forge, 1 Sea Wall, CT5 1BX
I’m going out on a limb here to suggest that this was the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten! The Forge looks like a converted beach hut but don’t be fooled. It serves the crispiest, fluffiest chips I think I have ever eaten with the usual selection of fish. The real secret of this place, however, is that it sells deliciously fresh oysters and lobster as well. The half lobster and chips with salad for £13.50 was such a treat! Eating it on the beach in 23 degree heat felt as though we were truly on holiday!
I also recommend taking a wander round Whitstable village and having a look in the shops or admiring the beautiful cottages. And if pretty cottages and the beach won’t suffice, Whitstable Castle and Gardens are well worth a visit.
In case you hadn’t noticed, we tended to veer towards homeware shops on this trip – early twenties going on middle-aged, clearly! This is by no means an extensive list of what’s available to see and do in Margate, and this post is not sponsored – just a selection of our favourite finds from last weekend.
I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the sun – let’s hope it lasts!
Main photo: @edenmorse21