Since buying a house in Margate (and the ongoing media obsession) I have been inundated with requests for recommendations for visiting DFLs and beyond. So, to avoid repeating myself on a regular basis, here is my guide to some things to do and see in Margate.
Where to Stay
The Reading Rooms is the most luxurious B&B I have ever stayed in – in fact it’s better than most high end hotels and I have stayed in a lot of amazing hotels on work trips around the world.
A beautiful Georgian house located in a garden square, there are only three rooms – each one is on a separate floor. Simply, but beautifully decorated, with a huge comfy bed and the best breakfast (which is brought to your room) I have ever eaten, this is the place to stay if you want to get away from it all and treat yourself.
In fact I’m tempted to check in and stay there this weekend – as we have no cooker, fridge or chairs to sit on in our old peoples bungalow!
The Walpole Hotel & Museum is the opposite of the reading Rooms in terms of comfort – in fact if you stay here, try to book single beds if you want a good nights sleep. But the view from the terrace at sunset with a G&T is amazing and you can nose around the building and find the vast array of napkin art (be sure to see Tracey Emin’s) and the original 1920s maple sprung dance floor.
If you like swimming in the sea, the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool is five minutes away – if not, turn right on the beach away from the pool and head to Botany Bay, which is breathtakingly lovely.
What to Eat
Roost is within walking distance of The Walpole and the Reading Rooms (in fact you can more or less walk everywhere) and is great for lunch or an early dinner (they stop serving at 9pm). They specialise in rotisserie chicken, as well as burgers, slaw etc and they also allow dogs even at dinner – which is nice – if you like dogs.
Where to Shop
If you are in need of some indulgent retail therapy, pop into Haeckels, next door to Roost. A natural skincare and fragrance brand, whose products are hand crafted from seaweed harvested from Margate beach. The shop is worth seeing for the graphics and interior, as well as the lovely products. There is also a treatment room at the back of the shop, offering seaweed based body wraps, massages and facials.
The Old Town is where most people head when first visiting Margate and it’s pretty easy to navigate, as there are only a few streets. There are interesting vintage shops, a great new lighting shop The Light Keeper and a hand made dog accessory shop.
The High Street is the victim of an large out of town retail park and is a sad state of affairs, filled with pound shops and Costa Coffee. But the recent opening of Ruskin– a family run men’s and women’s fashion store will hopefully change this. Offering a carefully edited range of quality brands such as Folk, Sunspel and Kestin Hare – it’s the kind of shop every good High Street should have.