Sunday, 18 December 2016

Margate For A Wintery Seaside Staycation!

Some of you may already know that I spent many a childhood summer on the beaches of Margate and Broadstairs, and that as an adult I now take any opportunity I'm given to go back. With family living in the area, such opportunities are not hard to come by (or fabricate).

My grandparents live in Broadstairs and we won't be seeing them this Christmas because we're in Ireland with Ciarán's family. So we made plans to see them last week and exchange gifts, which also gave us the perfect opportunity to book into an Airbnb and do a little Christmas shopping in the wealth of independent and vintage stores that seem to be springing up everyday in Margate!

We checked into our Airbnb, a gorgeous basement flat about a 15 minute walk from the seafront and head straight out for lunch. We went to GB Pizza, I had already been before at my sisters hen do, but Ciarán hadn't. I wrote about this place in my last Margate post, so I won't go into it other than to say this- the pizza's are amazing, possibly the best pizza I've ever had with a perfectly thin and crispy base, and wonderfully unique toppings, blue cheese and pear anyone? Gen and Bon met us after lunch and we all wandered back along the blustery seafront to pop into the Old Kent Market for a mulled cider from The Little Prince, the smallest pub I have ever been into (maybe the smallest pub ever?). With the mulled cider warming our fingers we went straight to Scotts our favourite junk shop, any time I'm in Margate I cannot not visit this place, I will spend hours in there digging through rooms and rooms of furniture, pots and pans, glassware, records, toys, tools, fabric, old photographs, you name it Scotts has it! I usually find myself with my arms filled with stuff towering above my head wondering how on earth I'm going to fit it all in my tiny flat!

With minimal damage to my bank balance done, we popped back to the flat for a cup of tea and one of my Christmas cupcakes (...Yes by one I do actually mean 5), while we made plans for our evening. We settled on the chicken restaurant Roost. Oh boy, it is so much more than just a chicken restaurant! The food is beautifully cooked, the marinades are spectacular and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and relaxed. Looking out over the Lido it has lovely views and downstairs we were delighted to discover they have a ping-pong table and lots of squishy cozy arm chairs, so after dinner we bought a bottle of wine and migrated to the basement for a ping pong match! I was surprisingly ok at ping pong... weirdly I think we all got better the more wine we had!

Having seen the breakfast menu we all knew there was no way we were having breakfast anywhere else, and we asked if they could hold the window bar for us in the morning. We got in and ordered our coffee and pancakes and settled down looking out over the clear blue skies and sparkling sea. Our blueberry pancakes with  festive cranberry maple syrup were gorgeous and Ciarán's cooked breakfast looked and tasted great (for the sake of the blog I had to try some of his breakfast... you're welcome).

Filled to the brim with yummyness we popped next door to Haeckels, a natural fragrance and skin care shop, they use locally harvested seaweed to make many of their products. Aside from some truley wonderful scents, the presentation in the shop is stunning! I could have quite happily bought every last item in there! On the other side of Roost is Simply Danish which sells vintage Danish furniture and home accessories and is also well worth a visit.

Haeckels - Margate
When Margate's regeneration began, it was primarily isolated to the old town, and from what I can see from this visit, the migration of small business owners to margate is beginning to trickle outwards from the old town centre, up the seafront past the Turner with places like Roost, Haeckels, and Simply Danish. But I have also seen lots of new shops opening up on the High Street. Margate truly is so much more than a seaside town restricted to visiting in summer - I seriously recommend a winter visit wandering around the vintage stores and second hand book shops (there are two that I love The Old Bank Book Shop and Hooked on Books), grab lunch at any of the many wonderful restaurants, you could also don your wellies and take a beach stroll, nothing clears the cobwebs away like the fresh salty sea air!

I've always loved visiting this town even as a child, but one of the things delighting me at the moment is discovering something new every time I visit! I think with every stay I fall in love with this gorgeous town and community a little bit more.

If you want to see some of my other Margate recommendations then take a look at my post back in summer Margate Gen-do: ie My Sisters Hen Do In Margate.

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