The Magpie Anthology

Margate: I’ve never been but they say it’s nice.

I’ve never been to Margate. I keep meaning to go. I’ve desperately tried to persuade friends and colleagues into coming with me. My husband just said no right off, so, I’m on my own with this. Margate keeps getting such a lot of press, it seems like there is a lot going on there right now, or is it the same as when you’re thinking of buying a new car and then all you see are those cars? I have been thinking a lot lately about how little I have actually travelled around my own country. I’ve circumnavigated the globe many times but I’ve never been to say, well, Margate for one.

I’ve done a lot of research about what goes on there, the boutique hotels that sound right up my street, spent quite some time looking on the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery website and decided that that would be my first port of call. Randomly heard about a brilliant craft space, I LOVE a craft space. I’ve looked into the best café and deli and would end my day with a bag of chips and local fresh fish on either Botany Bay Beach or go watch the surfers on Joss Bay Beach.

You see, I have it all planned, any takers?

So, I’m going to give you the benefit of my research right here lovely reader, should you be lucky enough to find yourself in Margate.

I’d stay here – it looks incredible : The Reading Rooms

The Reading Rooms is a luxury boutique bed and breakfast in a restored, Grade II Listed Georgian town-house. Built in the 1760’s, the house has three spacious guest-rooms, each covering an entire floor, with windows overlooking the leafy, tree lined Hawley Square.

Spanning a floor each, the three bedrooms look stunning. Flooded with light, each boasts three large windows overlooking the Square, with the top-floor vaulted room affording views across the triangular roofs of the Turner Contemporary out to sea. Super king beds are made up with luxurious linens and each room features a table and chairs at which to enjoy breakfast. The rooms are decorated in muted colours, with Penguin books adding a dash of colour as well as good reading material. The bathrooms are vast, each featuring a walk-in shower and freestanding roll-top bath, piles of fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers, and a generous selection of Ren Skincare products. The Reading Rooms was the winner of Dorset Cereals best overall bed and breakfast in their 2016 awards.

Situated on Hawley Square, The Reading Rooms is less than five minutes walk to the beach, the historic Old Town, vintage shops and Turner Contemporary. Inspiration for The Reading Rooms’ name comes from Margate’s 18th century heyday, when visitors to Margate were entertained in a variety of spas and reading rooms throughout the town. There was a famous library on Hawley Square itself, called Bettison’s Library, which housed one of the largest collections of the finest journals of the era. 

To view availability go to: THE READING ROOMS

Once you have managed to drag yourself out of the linen clad cloud you may as well head straight for The Turner Contemporary Gallery situated at 17 The Parade…

The Turner Gallery Margate
The Turner Gallery Margate

To quote The Daily Telegraph: “Margate is again fizzing with artistic energy, transformed into a key destination for art-lovers thanks to a cultural renaissance sparked by the opening in 2011 of The Turner Contemporary”

Time for lunch, go to the award winning GB.PIZZA.CO

GB Pizza Margate

GB•Pizza•Co’s founders have always been passionate about food.  Rachel Seed is a an award-winning chef (Best Gastropub in the South West, UK Food Pub of the Year) and a former food writer; Lisa Richards is a journalist who has travelled the world reviewing hotels and restaurants.

Rachel and Lisa moved to Margate from London (via Spain and the Cotswolds) in 2012 and fell in love with the beautiful Kentish coast. “We love coastal living, but we’re also very lucky to have London and its restaurant scene just over an hour away by train. We most definitely have the best of both worlds.”

GB•PIZZA•CO started life in the back of a 1974 VW Campervan. Rachel and Lisa travelled up and down the country with a “portable” wood-fired oven, serving their pizzas at farmers’ markets, festivals and outdoor events.  During the summer of 2012 they served pizza al-fresco on Margate’s Harbour Arm. This is when their love of Margate began. Very quickly afterwards, they found a site on the historic seafront and opened their first permanent restaurant.

The restaurant on Marine Drive, on Margate’s beautiful seafront, now in its fifth year, continues to amass accolades from well-respected and revered publications. In January of 2017, the restaurant was completely refurbished, using GB•PIZZA•CO’s trademark pink neon and greys. Book your table HERE

Or try Cinque Ports

”We serve food as good as you can get, simple bold flavours, classic gastro pub dishes with continental influences. Our menu is seasonal with local produce as we believe local tastes better. Roasted meats, seasonal vegetables, local fish and shellfish offered on a daily basis. Draught and craft beers at the centre of the bar experience with 13 different beers on tap. Anglo-Italian cocktails inspired by classic recipes alongside a spirits bar and locally curated wine list.”

50 Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1XJ – Book your table HERE

So, after all of the food and possibly beer, you may need a brisk walk on a beach, it’s the seaside after all, Botany Bay Beach and Joss Bay for surfing seem to be the ones to go to:

Botany Bay Beach, Marine Drive, Broadstairs, just along the coast from Margate

Botany Bay Beach Margate

This hidden gem offers stunning views of white cliffs and beautiful chalk stacks. 

When the tide is out it is great for fossils and exploring rock pools.  Plenty of exposed sand to enjoy when the tide is in but due to its shape at high tide the ends of the beach are cut off.  Located above the bay is a hotel with restaurant and café on the beach.

Really though, if you have been even a little inspired by this and are really planning a trip to Margate, can I come?

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