So just over a week ago I went off on an adventure with Eastpak to sunny seaside town Margate! We had a jam packed itinerary and having only been to Margate once before (on a very busy biker convention weekend) I was keen to see and do more whilst it was a little less crowded and also whilst I had the opportunity to spend a little longer by the sea. I was there along with three other lovely blogger gals - Ella, Jenna and Gabi and our adventure went a little something like this...
What We Did
Although Margate isn't the biggest town ever there is actually loads to see and do, and being on the coast there is probably nothing better to do in the Summer in Margate than hang out on the beach with a 99 in hand. We were super lucky with the weather the few days we were there as the sun most definitely had his hat on, and there was a hell of a lot of is this England orrrrr are we in Spain? Margate is pretty picturesque indeed and don't even get me started on the sunsets...
A second major Margate selling point is of course, Dreamland! Hailed as one of the UK's best loved theme parks in it's day (it dates back to 1920) Dreamland has recently undergone a huge revamp and only just recently re-opened it's doors after being closed for years. Now crowds swarm into Margate especially for a day at Dreamland and let me tell you, it's worth the train ride. They have a roller disco, arcades, bars, food trucks, live music, art installations and more rides than you can shake a stick at. Some of the rides are old school 1940's classics restored to their former glory and really give you that lovely nostalgic fun fair feeling. We had unlimited passes for the day, free to run wild on all the rides our hearts desired. So with my bum bag firmly strapped on, we did just that, ending our time at the park with a spin on the big wheel that gives you the most amazing views over all of Margate.
Another Margate must-see is Shell Grotto. This little hidden treasure down a back street is the most weird but amazing place. It's basically a little cave underground with the walls completely covered in shells. But not just shells here and there randomly, I'm talking every single inch is adorned with beautiful mosaic seashells that make up all kinds of patterns and pictures. I mean, talk about attention to detail. The grotto was discovered in 1835 but how, why or by whom remains a mystery. Oh and there's a dinosaur head on the wall made entirely out of shells too, ob-sessed. It's a must visit to spy for yourself with the naked eye, these snaps don't do it justice..
Next up is the Turner Contemporary, quite small but full of some amazing work it's definitely worth a visit and the view out to sea though the huge windows is bonus too. We saw works from Michael Armitage and Phyllida Barlow, as well as work by local school children as part of the TC's Art Inspiring Change initiative connecting the community with arts and culture to bring about positive change.
And last but by no means least on my to do recs - vintage shopping! As you all are probably well aware by now I just LOVE a spot of vintage shopping and Margate has such a great little offering. There's like a little huddle of vintage / thift shops all together which is good for just having a litlle rummage in all of them. Sadly Peony Vintage was closed as we were having a wander but I did take a peek through the window and there looked to be loads of little gems hiding in there so that's definitely one i'll be popping into next visit to Margate. I managed to nab a Lawrence Llywelyn-Bowen-esque ruffle blouse and the most dreamy embroidered maxi dress, yayy!
Where We Stayed - The Sands Hotel
Ahhh the Sands Hotel right on the seafront was the perfect stay, giving me all of the Wes vibes - that mint green, that font - it's a yes from me. It also did a great breakie, offered a good long (v. necessary when you're pushing 6 foot) bubble bath and had a super cute roof terrace you could chill on with a drink and a dreamy view out to sea, so after dinner on the Thursday evening we spent a few hours just chatting and watching the sunset which was a dream. The Sands is in a perfect location too, right on the seafront and slap bang in the middle of where it's all going on.
What We Ate
What didn't I eat really? I feel like I packed a hell of a lot of food into a two day trip but when there are so many great options it'd be rude not to,right?
On the Thursday eve we all went for dinner to a lovely little place called Roost which had a lovely relaxed and chilled out vibe, with an excellent menu too. I went for the Ultimate Pork Burger and i would say ultimate is definitely the right use of the word. It had a pork patty, pulled pork, smoked bacon and apple slaw all snug inside a brioche bun and it was everything. I had to eat it in two parts.
So beneath our hotel was Melt gelato and it does the most delicious ice cream and an excellent variety of flavours, toppings and sauces too. I got my fave mint choc chip, in a honeycomb cone with Nutella sauce atop - it was a taste sensation. I mean, has anyone ever been this happy with an ice-cream? Unsure.
We stopped by GB Pizza for lunch and well, it does really good pizza and it has a pink wall with a neon sign...need I say more?
Just before we jumped on the train back to london we managed to squeeze in some fish & chips, hurray, because you simply can't go to the seaside and not have fish & chips, and they ALWAYS taste better than anywhere else too.
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Margate is full of character with so many nooks to be explored, and perfect for a seaside adventure in the sunshine with backpacks and bum bags at the ready.
Thanks for the adventure Eastpak, and thanks for making England feel waaay more exotic Margate. I'll be back (in a non-Arnie-teminator voice...).
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