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Exploring Margate in Kent

Margate beach

On Friday my friend Shelley and I set off for a day and night out in Margate in Kent. Apart from Brighton and a few hours in Bournemouth, I’ve never really experienced a British seaside town so I was excited. Our train got in at about 12:30 so we headed off to our Airbnb to drop off our bags, which was a lovely walk along the beachfront, and then headed out to lunch. What struck me instantly was just how big the beach is! And it’s a sandy beach, not pebbles like Brighton.

Margate in Kent

For lunch we ate at Hantverk & Found, which funny enough happened to be in the same road as our Airbnb. As it was such a gorgeous day, we were able to eat outside in their garden. The food was absolutely delicious. We chose a few dishes to share, such as asparagus and poached egg, hake croquettes (which were the star!), crab tacos and shitake gyoza.

Asparagus and poached egg

Crab tacos from Hantverk & Found
Shitake gyoza

The house-salted hake croquettes with piquillo peppers and tomato sauce were definitely the highlight. If you go and they’re on the menu – get them!

Hake croquettes from Hantverk & Found

After a delicious lunch, we went for a walk and looked at a few of the cool junk yards. If you’re ever in need of old retro funfair signs and paraphernalia, then Margate is the place to be. There were a few things I would have loved to buy but I exercised great restraint.

Margate retro junk yard

Shelley spotted some cane chairs and had to sit in one to see how comfortable it was – apparently it was very comfy. If you wondering, they do deliver to London.

Vintage shop in Margate

I enjoyed pretending to be attacked by a giant bear that was like something out of a 1950s Sci-Fi B movie. Fun times. (Did I mention I’d had two glasses of wine with lunch?).

Vintage bear

After the fun and excitement of exploring the retro shops and junk yards, we headed off to find ice-cream to eat on the beach. We found a little place that was part-vintage store, part ice-cream shop. The ice-cream is handmade and was an interesting texture – a bit like chocolate mousse. I managed to walk to the beach without it even melting.

Ice-cream on the beach in Margate

Margate harbour

After our ice-cream/chocolate mousse we walked along the seafront for a bit, passing the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery – which sadly we didn’t go in to (not enough time to do it justice!), the Winter Gardens and also past the Tudor house, which was really interesting and looks so out of place. It’s a Grade II listed building and was built in 1525 as a farmer’s house but was restored in 1951. You can go in and see it but it’s only open during certain days and times and sadly wasn’t open when we visited.

Tudor house in Margate

After a couple of hours exploring, we went back to the Airbnb to relax for a bit before heading out for dinner. We could see the sea from our lounge so it was lovely.

I’d asked around for restaurant recommendations before our trip and lots of people recommended Buoy and Oyster so that’s where I booked. We arrived early so that we could enjoy a drink on their terrace first as it was such a lovely evening. We even saw two people riding horses on the beach.

The food at Buoy and Oyster is, obviously, centred around seafood. We ordered tempura oysters and calamari for starters. The only way I can eat oysters is if they’re deep fried in batter! These were amazing.

Tempura oysters at Buoy and Oyster Margate

Shelley ordered the whole crab for her main and loved it, although it was tricky to eat! I had the Buoy bowl, which was divine but also quite heavy. All the food was delicious, the service was great and I’d definitely recommend it. It also won Kent Restaurant of the Year 2018.

Whole crab at Buoy and Oyster Margate

Our train the next day was just after 12 but we’d kindly been given complimentary passes to Dreamland so as soon as it opened at 10 am, we were there! Luckily it’s pretty much next to the train station so we could stay right up until 10 mins before our train departed.

Dreamland theme park in Margate

I’m not going to go into too much detail because I’ll write up a separate post for Dreamland but if you’re into theme parks then you’ll love Dreamland. We were also so lucky that the weather was fabulous.

Dreamland in Margate

I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to rides but I loved Born Slippy, which is a giant slide. We went three times! Great fun although don’t wear a dress…

Born Slippy ride at Dreamland Margate

We had such a fun time in Margate and I can’t wait to return and take my husband. It’s a really lovely seaside town with an interesting mix of cool, hip, funky and old-school charm. Next time I definitely want to spend some time in the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery as well as do the 6 mile walk along the coast to Broadstairs. There are some great top things to do in Margate in this blog post by CK travels – plus amazing photos!

Have you been to Margate? What other tips could you share for my next visit?

Exploring Margate in Kent, UK

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.



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