Tuesday 30 June 2015

The Margate Adventure

Join me on a 3 day trip back down memory lane as I revisit Margate for the first time in over 30 years. 

Click here for day 1

Click here for day 2

Click here for day 3

Click here for Dreamland

Click here for The Warwick Guest House

The Margate Adventure - Day 3

Having enjoyed another stunning breakfast at The Warwick Guest House (read about it here) we left for our final look around Margate.

Just around the corner we came across a classic car show, my Dad once owned a Morris Oxford.

Cars looked so much better back then.

I loved this Zodiac.

This confused us when we first saw it!

Alex Chinneck's £100,000 public art project called "From the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes"

No visit to Margate is complete without a visit to the Shell Grotto.

The story goes that in 1835 Mr James Newlove lowered his young son Joshua into a hole in the ground that had appeared during the digging of a duck pond. Joshua emerged describing tunnels covered with shells. He had discovered the Shell Grotto, its walls decorated with strange symbols mosaiced in millions of shells.

Is it an ancient pagan temple? A meeting place for some secret cult? Nobody can explain who built this amazing place, or why, but since its accidental discovery visitors from all over the world have been intrigued by the beautiful mosaic and the unsolved mystery.

Before leaving we wanted to visit the Turner Contemporary 

The Grayson Perry exhibition "Provincial Punk" was really good and entry was free!

My last view of Dreamland from the train. It was sad to be leaving but I knew we would be back again soon, I just have to ride the Scenic Railway once it's finally open! 

On the train back to London we ate some smoked pistachios we'd picked up from a food market. Really nice and available from Margate Smokehouse.

Back in London...

We headed straight to Brick Lane in search of some street food, with so many stalls we were spoilt for choice.

We finally settled for Japanese, a mix of noodles, rice, and chicken topped with gyoza.

Although I'd just eaten I couldn't resist looking at the window here, it smelt so good!

I 've been meaning to try a salt beef bagel from here for so long now...

You only live once! Succulent hot salt beef with mustard and gherkins in a bagel, you just have to try one of these if you're on Brick Lane, so delicious.

We searched high and low for somewhere to sit outside with a cocktail. In the end we admitted defeat and settled for an iced coffee at Costa.

Time to leave London and head home to Norwich.

The train home had refurbished first class carriages with plug sockets, the wifi wasn't working though but still a very comfy ride home.

They were fairly generous with the complimentary snacks too. A great end to an amazing weekend, thanks so much to my lovely wife for this amazing birthday present, loved it! x

The Margate Adventure - Day 2

Having eaten an amazing breakfast at The Warwick Guest House (read about it here) we headed into town in time for Dreamland to open. The sun was shining and there were some fascinating sights along the way including this tiny theatre.

This place looked like it had closed down but I'm sure many cream teas have been enjoyed here over the years.

We passed over Newgate Gap and spotted an adventure playground in the distance.

I couldn't resist having a go on the slide.

As we approached the old town we spotted part of a bicycle attached to some scaffolding.

We decided to follow the sign.

Fort Road Yard looked interesting so we went for a closer look.

The walls outside the yard.

Neon signs and other interesting things were for sale inside.

I loved this but it was a bit too big to carry back to Norwich!

At first glance I thought it was a record shop, it was being renovated when we passed though so time will tell I guess.

This graffiti got me thinking about seafood, I'd always wanted to try jellied eels so maybe I would later today.

I loved the traditional look of this cafe and couldn't resist peeping through the window.

I'm really glad that I did, formica heaven! 
I was definitely going to return here later once it had opened.

The sandy beach here is beautiful and on a day like this is was soon going to get busy.

I really wanted a whippy ice cream but decided to wait till I got to Dreamland, we were so close now!

I have so many memories of the clock tower and the lamp posts reminded me of those found beside the South Bank in London.

The moment I'd been waiting for had finally arrived, read my blog post on Dreamland here.

Having spent a good few hours in Dreamland we got our hands stamped and left to go for a walk around the seafront. The memories on the boarded up Arlington Square made me crave some fish and chips.

I once found a sausage outside WHSmiths in Norwich.

We walked around the edge of the boating pool, I last did this in the early 80's with my Dad. 

Marina Cafe that we had passed earlier was now open so we decided to stop for a snack.

This strawberry milkshake costing £1.50 tasted much better than the £7.50 black raspberry Russian I had at Morgan's last night.

I loved the plate and the chips here were fairly nice.

This shop sold no end of different flavoured rocks, we tried cookie dough flavour but it tasted of peppermint rock.

Just past the old town we found the Tudor house, it had closed 3 minutes after we'd arrived so we only got to see it from the outside.

Stunning original signage painted above Vera's Kitchen.

A great vintage shop but watch out for the dog out the back!

There was a seafood seller by Margate Harbour so I bought some jellied eels. Although a popular choice they just weren't for me, I scrapped the jelly off but still felt some in my mouth. As I bit into each piece I could feel the spine between my teeth, never again!

This bronze found at the end of the harbour is called Mrs Booth, named after the seaside landlady whose house had spectacular views over Margate Harbour.

With the sun beating down we sat down for a beer on the harbour.

The tide was starting to come in and the ferris wheel was now turning, time to return to Dreamland.

Back at Dreamland we hired some skates, great fun for 15 minutes and then I fell over so I handed my skates back again. We finally got to ride the Ferris Wheel before our thoughts turned to food again.

We were looking for somewhere serving fish and chips and also a decent vegetarian option. The Hoy close to the Harbour ticked all the boxes and they had a table outside too, perfect!

With the sun still beating down we ordered a jug of Pimms.

Fresh battered cod, chips and peas, delicious!

We decided to head back to the guest house, we were knackered! We spotted some pretty cool graffiti beside the Lido.

Once a hive of activity the Lido now stands derelict, the sandy beaches surrounding it are still very popular though.

The view out to sea from Lido sands.

Having walked over Newgate Gap earlier in the day we decided to walk up it on the way back.

The Blues Grill!

Click here for Day 3