Hello! How was your weekend?
We decided last minute on Friday that we should take advantage of our proximity to England's coastal towns and get away for the weekend. We picked Margate for no real reason other than having casually heard about it and then reading this article to seal the deal. I'm glad that we were feeling spontaneous because it ended up being a really fun and easy going trip.
Just an hour and a half from London via a high speed rail, Margate is noticeably making strides to reclaim it's glory days of being England's "Original Seaside." The revitalized Old Town is sprinkled with charming vintage shops, boutiques and cafes, the Harbour Arm boasts art galleries and dining options, and there's the beautiful new and modern Turner Contemporary. It was interesting to have our hotel be a ten minute walk from the all of the action because we actually got to see what the town is trying to revitalize itself from....let's just say that most of it still looks like a run down, semi-impoverished, and forgotten 19th century seaside destination. It's a shame because a lot of the rundown buildings are actually really architecturally beautiful.
Grungy stuff aside, Margate offered the perfect amount of things to do and see for a quick getaway. Saturday was all about shopping in Old Town. We particularly loved the retro shop Helter Skelter (pictured above) and the recently opened vintage store Paraphernalia. There's a handful of other tiny shops too, each with their own personality and attentive owner on hand. On Sunday we hit the boardwalk for some hot doughnuts (YUM!), a walk on the Harbor Arm and a visit to the Turner Contemporary. I'm glad that we saved the museum for Sunday because it was a good excuse to be indoors and away from the bone-chilling winds. However, the BEST excuse to be inside was having afternoon tea at the Mad Hatter's Tea Rooms, where every day is Christmas and the cakes are lovingly made by the Mad Hatter himself. It was what I always imagined a traditional and quirky English tea room to be and made for the perfect setting to wrap up our first visit to a traditional English seaside town. Let's just hope that next time we can make use of the beach :)
More photos here!