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September 2023: The Margate Experience

NB: names shown in bold italics are linked to a website.

A few weeks ago our member in Margate, Carrie Webb of Webb & Gray suggested I might like to visit and spend a couple of days at their AirBnB. I haven't been to Margate for years and as I'd heard some interesting things about the place and a few days away is always rather appealing, I travelled over via Stratford International for what turned out to be a great couple of days by the sea in a truly fascinating area.

The town and sea are right in front of you when you walk out from Margate station so you instantly get the English seaside vibe on arriving. Carrie met me and I immediately noticed the water wasn't the only thing sparkling as she was wearing some incredible earrings purchased from the Shell Grotto, see them in the video (and grab your cards, they sell online too). We visited the Turner Contemporary where we saw the outstanding Turning Pages, a neon artwork by Sir Michael Craig-Martin (free to visit plus a great little shop) and a breathtaking art exhibition featuring the work of Rio de Janeiro's Beatriz Milhazes. The Old Town is charming with coloured shop fronts, historic architecture and lots of cool boutiques and eateries. Along the way we called into AARVEN, an 'ethical homeware and jewellery brand founded by two adventurers, inspired by our artisans around the globe', such a gorgeous shop. And no visit to Margate for any upcycling, lover of vintage type would be complete without time spent at Scotts of Margate, what a treasure trove.

We had lunch at Field Trip, a delightful brasserie and spa (part of the 'hotels in happening cities' GuestHouse Hotels group which includes Pearly Cow restaurants). Sitting on the veranda overlooking the sea, eating beautifully prepared food (including the most wonderfully mouth-watering cakes) was rather special. On day two we went on a walkabout to Carrie's local High Street in Cliftonville (which came in a very respectable 8th in Time Out's 2022 list of the world's coolest neighbourhoods), just a short walk from her home. The street has an ever-increasing range of eclectic shops and restaurants, some very intriguing secondhand and antiques emporiums and although I was sad to leave later that afternoon, it was just as well as I could have spent many more hours and pounds there.

In between everything else, we made sofa time for tea and a chat, covering a great many topics from paint brands to PR, Bill Nighy to biscuit-shaped coasters (George Clooney also 'popped by'). Set aside your coffee or tea time and watch the video, we hope it will inform and make you smile, then next time you're in the mood for a few days away, you can plan a to visit Margate and the surrounding areas - so many great places to see and things to do - and book yourself into Webb & Gray's wonderful AirBnB, you'll love it.

Brands mentioned in the video:

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