Monday, 28 February 2011

Weekend in Margate (Yes! Margate!)

The reaction I received from everyone when I said I was going to Margate for my birthday weekend was "Margate? Why?" A sleepy seaside town in Kent, Margate's hey day was about 100 years ago as a beach vacation destination. Margate is one of the many coastal towns  in the UK whose former Victorian glory has long since passed. It's more currently known as the birthplace of Tracy Emin and the new home to the Turner contemporary Collection opening April of this year.

However, I was not daunted by the naysayers, especially because we had booked into The Reading Rooms! By far, my absolute favorite place I have stayed just about anywhere in the world, and would highly recommended it (as alone it is a reason to go to Margate.) We stayed into Room 1, but I plan on staying again in Room 3. Owned by the lovely couple Louise and Liam, it's a three bedroom B&B situated in a renovated Georgian townhome on Hawley Square and within walking distance of everything you would want to see in Margate. Sumptious beds with overstuffed pillows, yummy linens and a cast iron tub underneath a whimsical chandelier with definitely enough room for two! And Ren bath products which = happiest place on Earth.

Room No. 1

And the breakfast.  Sigh.  I will never forget the breakfast brought to your room every morning chosen from an endless and scrumptious list of all things brekkie! And as you could order anything and everything from the list, we did! 
This isn't even all of the breakfast. This is just the coffee and pastries!
So if you are craving a sleepy, romantic weekend with your sweetie in a slightly faded and curious place less travelled by the average tourist, then go to Margate!

Other places I recommend:

1. The Ambrette. Posh Indian food, exceptionally attentive service and recommended in the Michelin Guide.
2. Bebeached. Lovely cafe right on the harbour arm showcasing original recipes made from organic and local produce. Try the gnocchi and the Kentish cider then retire to the Reading Rooms for an afternoon nap. 
3. The Mad Hatter's Tea Room. Unfortunately, much to my dissapointment, it wasn't open for this weekend. However if you're in the mood for an eccentric, over stuffed Victorian parlor in which to take tea, I suspect after peering into the windows this is the place to go.
4. The Shell Grotto. Spooky and mysterious grotto of somewhat 'purposely' unknown origin made of shells underneath the city, with one very friendly tabby in residence. Great for taking spooky photographs and/or making sacrifices to pagan sea goddesses.
5. Junk Deluxe. Quirky vintage furniture. If you have the time to treasure hunt, there are bargains to be found. 

I would also recommend slowly making your way back to London by way of Whitstable for fresh oysters.

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