I know I’m not alone in having an Instagram feed full of photos of Margate. The seaside town in Kent has suddenly become the place to head to for a weekend getaway, being only an hour or so on the train from London. It’s undergone renovation and gentrification to such an extent that it’s breeding hipster inhabitants at a rate of knots, but I was still skeptical that it would have much to offer.
We headed there one chilly Saturday as part of the hen party I’d organised. First impressions from the train station were a bit drab, but as we made our way down to the beach and started walking along the promenade, everything started looking much more inviting.
At first it appeared to be the seaside town of stereotypes, with stores packed with hen party accessories, sticks of rock and amazingly friendly locals. Fish and chip shops, some nutter swimming in the ice cold sea and the perpetual threat of rain even though the sky was beautifully blue.
But then we turned into the Old Town area and it was such a surprise. Reminiscent of historic cities like York, there were winding streets full of leaning houses, quirky boutiques, vintage curios and lazy coffee shops. It was calm and quaint but didn’t feel outdated or try-hard which was kind of what I was anticipating before arrival. I could’ve browsed the stores full of knick-knacks, home decor and fashion treasure troves for hours, but I was reserved. Mostly.
After having a pit stop at The Greedy Cow where we chowed down on doorstop cheese toasties and raspberry milkshakes, we wandered away from the chilled out weekend brunchers, stopping for Instagram perfect pics and a strategically hidden bottle of prosecco because after all, it was a hen weekend!
But of course, a trip to Margate wouldn’t be complete without visiting the iconic Dreamland. This is retro realness at its peak; full of saucy postcard innuendos, pastel colours and old school rides that are made purely to test the strength of your stomach. I chose to be the designated bag looker-after, popped a mini bottle of prosecco and watched as some of the girls went hurtling around some spinny-whirly horror show thing.
We had to hot foot it back to our train to make it home for the surprise life drawing class I’d booked for the evening, but we saw so much in our few hours in Margate. I’ll definitely be joining the droves of Shoreditch folk come summer to spend too much money on ice cream and vintage finds.