Knowing we wouldn’t get a proper holiday away this year with money tighter than usual and a new baby due in the middle of Summer, we opted for a UK babymoon instead,a birthday gift to one another and a chance to rest and enjoy time together, somewhere new together before the chaos ensues. We both love exploring new places together but city breaks have been off the cards since having Maggie. It’s not impossible but I think I’d get a bit frustrated having limitations when I just want to explore and do a place justice. We shipped Maggie of to her Grandma and Tat’s house for her own little mini break and we booked a stay in Margate. There’s so much of the UK we haven’t explored and I was adamant I didn’t want to spend long travelling because that’s exhausting at the best of times, let alone preggers!
Margate is only about an hour and a half away on the train from St Pancras. I’d heard good things about this seaside town with creative pockets springing up and of course a delightful beach and fresh, sea air. To sum up Margate I would say it’s a curious but fun place to visit. It still exudes those typical, slightly run down, British seaside vibes. There’s all the tack of loud arcades, shopfronts that need a good few licks of paint, empty dance halls and the strangest souvenir shops. We even saw an abandoned Woolworths which looked like it had shut yesterday but in reality would have been sat there empty for what, 8 years?
Then amidst all that there are all these really quirky, independent shops and eateries, with amazing seafood (obviously) and a whole dose of playful, creativity that’s being pumped into the town. Both sides of it make it really charming. The views really are amazing and there’s none of that typical British stoney lark on the beaches, just pure, golden sand as far as I could see.
Where we stayed
We opted for our default and booked an Airbnb because I’ve not yet had a bad experience with one. I came across this
On top of that, the decor was so fun and quirky! I love staying places that aren’t the style I’d adopt for my own home but are really nice to enjoy for a break. The bed was amaaaazing and I don’t say that lightly! My largest complaint when we stay anywhere else is that I miss my own bed and usually have a pretty restless first night because of it, but this was just dreamy. There was even a bath that I made use of at 4pm on the Sunday. Nothing says holiday relaxation quite like that.
The Airbnb was in Cliftonville, a short walk to the main centre of Margate…totally fine for most people but felt a little like an epic hike for my pregnant self. All was made better when we discovered a bus route we could use if necessary. I would however suggest walking along the seafront from this place to the main hub when the sun is setting. We did that the first night and it was brisk but beautiful!!
Where we shopped
This cute, colourful shop, come café, come plant jungle was our first stop. It stocks lots of really interesting indie brands and an array of beautiful house plants and dried flowers. The cafe really is nice too and even sold kombucha so i was very happy.
This is another lovely indie store with a collection of stationery, home goods and furniture. I particularly enjoyed having a scout downstairs at some of the secondhand pieces, dreaming I could fit them in our suitcase to take home. Pop into
Oh this shop was just a delight! Filled with such an array of Spring like colours and well crafted pieces, you’ll come away with a spring in your step…except I didn’t actually buy anything so that made me a bit sad. I found the most beautiful mugs that I’d spotted in the Mar Mar café and was pretty much interested taking everything home!
Our favourite of all the shops we went into! It was like a local and more heartfelt version of Aesop. I loved the story behind all the
Where we ate
That famous neon sign and incredible thin based pizzas pulls in the crowds. We went early on a Friday eve and it was rammed so I’d advise booking
The Bus Café
A big red bus on the seafront?…obviously an easting establishment lay inside! Sadly it was just too warm outside to justify sitting inside the bus itself but either way there are gorgeous views over the sea. They serve up some amazing meals for breakfast or lunches. We’d recommend one of their delicious hash plates, top notch! Try
Storeroom by Curve Roasters
We had been recommended this for the coffee snob that is my husband and he was suitably impressed. He would say the best coffees (he had many) he’d had in Margate. Its has a lovely, light and airy vibe and I (the non-coffee lover) enjoyed cup of tea and the most delicious almond and orange cake I’ve ever had!
I was recommended
Buoy & Oyster
On our final night we headed to Buoy & Oyster which was a must as at this stage we hadn’t had any seafood yet! We opted for a platter to share and it was absolutely delicious. Everything tasted so fresh and it was nice to get a taster of lots of different things. We should have come a little earlier as they have an amazing balcony with ocean views which would be ideal for watching the sunset.
Other eateries we visited not pictures were
What we did
I feel like you have to visit this bizarre little attraction. I can’t really believe they just stumbled across this one day and haven’t really ever worked out who exactly made it/ had the time to stick this many shells into the walls, let alone source this many shells! You have to pay and it’s a really short walk around
This was the perfect place to hide out on Sunday morning when the whether was a bit grey and blustery. It’s free so even if you’re not the biggest modern art fan you aren’t losing much by walking around. I really like a lot of what I saw, particularly some of the installations. There was also ‘We Made This’ which was an exhibition curated by a group of people on probation, made up of artwork created by people in prisons, young offender institutions, secure hospitals and on probation in Kent and Sussex. It was really interesting and there was something amazingly free and uncensored about these pieces.
Obviously the Instagram hype that is