Fish & Kitsch: A Day Trip to Margate
Where, When & Why
Margate, UK // Summer 2018 // Delicious fritters & kitsch critters
Once a bit of a summer holiday punchline, Margate has experienced a boom in popularity over the last few years seeing it transform from punishment to primo hipster homestead. Sure, it's still a little rough round the edges but the fresh sea air, musical history & exceptional eats allow your mind to wander far from the brutalist eyesore greeting you as you leave the train station to embrace Margate's inner beauty. And so we step into a world of fairgrounds, contemporary art, and reggae.
Eat & Drink
If there is one thing Margate does really well, it's feeding her visitors. Shortly after the salty sea air hits your nose, the essence of salt & vinegar soaked fish & chips wafts up to greet you from the seafront. Cutting the crap, and while there are many tempting coffee shops on the jetty, Peter's Fish Factory is the one. Hearty portions setting you up for rolling home scoffed on the sandy steps is my idea of heaven. Veggie friends, try the pea fritter.
Every other storefront overlooking the beach is weighed down with sticks of rock, sickly sweet doughnuts, ice creams, & candy floss. Going down this traditional route or waiting until you get inside Dreamland for the boujie & boozy Naughty Floss. They take hyperactivity to the next level with their reinvention & combinations of many classics, hitting the sweet spot with gin & tonic, prosecco and even Cuba Libre flavours. Oh, and apparently a bunch of their flavours are packed with antioxidants. Does that mean their candy floss is a health food? I think so.
Want more inspiration from around the British Isles? I got you, boo.
Come dinner time, regardless of any rumbling tummies, step out of Dreamland & scale the stairs to Ziggy's Rooftop. Here you will find the most supreme jerk this side of the Caribbean. Hot & fresh out the kitchen and ready to be washed down with their signature Dark & Stormy as you take in the stunning sea views. Ziggy’s is the home of sunsets, rum, reggae & hip hop. Go here if you love fun.
See & Do
So, you're fed, you're watered, you're ready to get to some fun times. Margate is full of them - and Instagrammable spots too because we know who we are and are here to embrace our truth.
A few things are a must. Dreamland is one of them. What else would you expect from the heartbeat of Margate? Back in the day, the park measured 16-acres, included a zoo, miniature railway, & 2200-seat purpose built Cinema. On top of this they boasted a 2000-capacity venue once playing host to the likes of The Who, The Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones, T. Rex and Hawkwind. Bonkers.
After being saved & restored, Dreamland is back to its bad & boujie self. Do not visit here without riding the wooden rails, waltzer & dodgems. No, you will not find me at the Roller Disco, that shit is scary.
Getting your art fix at the Turner Contemporary is all well & good but do yourself a favour by venturing to the Shell Grotto. Flossy is all bark rather than bark so brave the carnivore's menacing teeth in order to fuel your inner Wednesday Addams in the Seance Room. Discovered in 1835, the origins of the Grotto have been debated ever since. Maybe someone should put the Seance Room to good use & end the dispute once and for all.
Even without the Seance Room there is particular eerie atmosphere as you descend to the depths of this subterranean grotto, still, we've all got to face our demons sometime. May as well be down a narrow passage ornately decorated in seashells while we do it. Right?
For those in need of retail therapy, Old Kent Market & Love Lane have you covered for homewares, clothes, & all your crystal needs - and you could always get your palm read while you're at it! Bonus!
Margate is a breeze to visit from London with trains running direct from St Pancras International. Get a return ticket for about £20 and be by the seaside in less than 2 hours.