I don’t know what it is, but I have the urge to tour all of the British seasides right now. It’s like my camera is automatically drawn to beach huts, nostalgic signs and shops that sell everything under the sun. Even though I’ve travelled the world (ish) and love experiencing different cultures, it’s nice to get a taste of a traditional sort of seaside holiday that was commonplace back in the 50s. The fact that a lot of the places are a little rough around the edges just adds to the appeal and Margate was no exception. It’s carving out a tongue-in-cheek sort of identity for itself, thanks to the Dreamland posters all over the town and a lot of creatives seem to be opening up shop. These are just some of the discoveries I made before my train back to London was calling!
All the chicken
Now this probably isn’t the most original kind of guide with one of those newfangled chicken places complete with perfect font usage and mismatched chairs. When I heard that Roost was in town, I managed to cunningly steer the girls to this particular area in order to compare it to my faves Chooks and Chicken Shop. There’s a bit of a create-your own vibe with the menu and the chicken is ethically sourced from nearby Faversham. I had a bit of a sauce overload (definitely go for the Barbeque flavour) and did envy Lucy’s mac n’ cheese situation slightly, but it was still up there with my chickeny faves. Definitely try and mix and match with friends! The founders also have a pizza place on the seafront, which seems to crop up on every city guide going, so I’ll add it to my ever-growing list.
Not your typical kind of souvenir
Next, we have a retro paradise and the kind of homeware store that introduces you to things you never knew existed. The area around King St is the best place to head to if you’re looking for quirky independent stores. Paraphernalia manages to draw you in with Instagram-able bits on the street and before you know it, you’ll be wondering whether you need something like a 60s pinball machine in your life. If only I had space for more furniture in my flatshare. Etcetera has a few smaller bits and bobs that will give any sort of house major Kinfolk vibes, as well as leafy bouquets added for good measure.
Culture on the seafront
Exhibitions aren’t usually on my schedule but as soon as I heard about the Grayson Perry show and spotted one of his striking tapestries, I knew I had to check it out. Photography isn’t allowed, so without the extra pressure of trying to figure out my ISO from my aperture, I took the time to read every little inscription on some of his maps and watch the time-lapsed film where he creates one of his signature ceramic pots. I guess I was more aware of his public persona, rather than understanding his work, which uses traditional methods to offer outspoken commentary on modern life. It’s on until the 13th September at the Turner Contemporary, another kind of destination where the branding is on-point (I rarely say that, but it seems apt in this case) plus entry is free. The location is pretty spectacular, with a modern exterior and gorgeous sea views inside. Hopefully it’ll help another generation of local creatives to thrive.