In celebration of Harvey and I’s third anniversary, we decided to forgo anything wildly fancy and, instead, venture to Margate for an overnight staycation.
Our anniversary just preceded Father’s Day this year so we only stayed for one night but it was the perfect taster for this seaside town that I’ve come to absolutely adore. In fact, we had such a great time that we want to go back as soon as possible and I already began furiously tapping away into the Notes app of my phone to create this very blog post.
Here’s our 24 hours, distilled into a simple travel itinerary:
Arrive in Margate by train. Margate is easily accessible from London, taking around an hour and a half on the fast service from London St. Pancras. We encountered a few delays so arrived later than expected, but it didn’t really matter.
Walk along the beachfront to your destination…
Check in at BeetBeds, a decidedly adorable two-bedroom guesthouse tucked just behind the High Street. It’s the UK’s first vegan hotel and we booked it completely by accident, as our original plans to stay in Bournemouth fell through. The hotel is charming, with two guest rooms hidden up above the terrace (simply furnished with great showers, soy creamer for your coffee and guides to Margate), and below is BeetBar, a delicious vegan café who do the tastiest breakfast. But more on that later.
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Once you’re all checked in, head straight out towards the Old Town for an after-dark stroll. This area is atmospheric, steeped in history and full of adorable independent shops. Although every shop had already closed for the day, it was lovely to wander around and spend time together in beautiful surroundings.
Make a reservation at The GB Pizza Co. Delicious pizzas with a vegan option, prosecco and wine on tap, but likely to get super busy as it faces the seafront. We reserved a table for 8.30pm and then popped back out…
Next door, you’ll find The Two Halves, a micropub run by a husband and wife duo. They specialise in local ale and cider, and have an extensive gin menu to boot as well. Order and then sit on their benches outdoors to soak in the lovely sea air.
Grab pizza and prosecco at The GB Pizza Co. In the summer, the sun sets at around 9.20pm in Margate and you can get a delicious view of it from the restaurant. Better yet, eat your pizza in super speed time and meander down to the beach steps where EVERYONE gathers for sunset.
Head back to the hotel for a shower and to get into cosies. There’s nothing more peaceful than hearing the seagulls and nothing else, in Margate.
Pop Love Island on +1. Go on…!
Wake up and enjoy a slow morning. I’m a huge advocate for slower mornings; they always lace a certain magic to my days. BeetBeds has a kettle in the room and a bowl of instant coffee and Yorkshire tea provisions, along with little capsules of soy creamer. What a thoughtful addition!
Breakfast at BeetBar downstairs begins at 9.30am which the owner says is typical of Margate, and I am here for it. There’s nothing worse than wanting a lie-in but having to get up before breakfast stops at some ridiculous hour.
Order the BeetBar Breakfast, Avocado on Toast (it comes as a trio with a free dessert!), the Berry Beautiful smoothie and a Bounty smoothie. We shared all of this between two and it was the most delicious breakfast EVER.
Meander through town! We stuck to the Old Town, which is full of gems. Little Bit is a colourful, kitsch lifestyle store full of adorable trinkets, gifts and tidbits for kids. For books, The Margate Bookshop is wonderfully curated and still stocks bestsellers and new releases, although Book Buoy is also worth a look-in. The interiors were seriously dreamy.
It’s also a treasure trove for antique lovers. Margate Retro is full of hidden gems and old signage from Dreamland, while Story and the stores just beside it are places I could spend hours. For clothing, Peony Vintage and Handsome Freaks are great for discovering second-hand clothing you’ll instantly want to add to your wardrobe. And if you’re into natural, holistic beauty and wellness, Moksha Therapies is your one-stop shop. I LOVE it in there.
We didn’t visit Shell Grotto on this occasion, as I went last summer, but be sure to drop in if you’re visiting. It’s genuinely fascinating.
By now, I’d assume you’re suitably hungry. Pop to Peter’s Fish Shop – there’s almost always a queue outside – and pick up some chips to eat on the beach.
Then, pop into Old Kent Market, a vivid pink building full of ye olde market stalls. Cross the road and head to Turner Contemporary and catch an exhibition, or, make like us and head to their pier and discover a wealth of galleries, cafés and even a little pub! Be warned: it’s very windy!
Hop back on a train home!
Have you ever visited Margate? Let me know your own recommendations below in the comments!