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24 hours in Margate

24 hours in Margate

4 August 2017 | Günseli Yalcinkaya

A short commute from the capital, Margate’s wealth of independent shops and cafes make it a popular getaway for Londoners hoping to get a bit of peace and quiet and an insertion of kitsch. Here’s how to make the most of this seaside sanctuary in just 24 hours.

Upon arriving in Margate, a seaside town on the coast of Kent, you are immediately met by the smell of salt sitting in the air. Brightly coloured cars stand in rows against a backdrop of yellow sands and families. Given the sunny weather, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d walked onto the Amalfi Coast or a remote Greek island. 

You need only to walk down the Promenade, a long street stretching across the coastline, however, to realise the quintessential British-ness of the whole ordeal. Fish and chip takeaways and pastel-coloured oyster bars are dispersed between traditional alehouses and pubs. This is a Martin Parr vision of British seaside, if ever there was one.

Kick start your day with a quick caffeine top-up from The Grain Grocer, a rustic dining room with a great selection of wholesome foods, books and velvety Monmouth organic coffee.
 

Image credits: the Telegraph

Peter’s Fish Factory is heralded by many locals as the ‘best fish and chips in Margate’, and considering the queue stretching out the door, this seems like an accurate presumption. The locally run takeaway joint has an extensive variety of produce, as well as a good range of vegetarian options, including veggie burgers and pea fritters.
 
Arguably the most striking building on the seafront, the Turner Contemporary was opened in 2011, placing Margate on the map as a key UK cultural destination. The architecture, built to resemble the masts of a ship, has given the town a new edge. Artists who have exhibited their work include Margate-native Tracy Emin, Barbara Hepworth, Paul Klee and Turner himself.




Image credits: the Telegraph

Refresh your senses with a pint or two at The Lighthouse Bar, located on the end of Margate’s scenic harbour arm.  Indulge in some tapas accompanied with wine, beer or a cocktail. The venue also hosts a range of live music and comedy nights.  As you leave, be sure to say hello to 'Mrs Booth', a sculpture and honorary nod to Mrs Booth, the painter Turner’s landlady and lover.


Image credits: the Telegraph

Dreamland, the oldest surviving amusement park in Britain, was saved from destruction by local campaigns last year – a first in British history. Since then, the park has undergone a miraculous transformation, successfully being restored to its former glory. The art deco building is host to a range of vintage arcade games, a cinema, a 1950s diner and a roller disco. Walk outside to discover the pastel-coloured glow of vintage kissing booths and ice cream stalls, as well as a great selection of rides.


Image credits: the Guardian


End your evening by heading down to the Ambrette, a Michelin-recommended Anglo-Indian restaurant located in a former hotel in the Old Town. Head chef Dev Biswal flaunts a diverse menu of locally caught fish, pork and contemporary plays on traditional Indian street food. An absolute must for anyone looking for a classy end to the day.
 

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