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Blog: Down To Margate

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I've lived in East London for just over 13 years but have never been down to Margate on a bank holiday... until now! For LO! on Good Friday myself and The Obtuse Reference In My Rhyming Slang got the High Speed Spanish (Spanish Main, Train) down to the aforesaid Margate in order to sample its DELIGHTS.

And the DELIGHTS were many, much to my surprise as I thought it would be more like other seaside towns in the area that I have been to also i.e. Not Salubrious. Maybe it was because it was such a LOVELY day but I thought Margate was NICE - there were big golden beaches, happy faces, lots of little cafes and a general VIBE that made it feel like we were all on the front cover of a Beano Summer Special.

Frankly it wasn't at ALL like the Thanet that you hear about on the telly, although whilst sitting in a CAFE having some rather exciting SUN RIPENED VINE TOMATOES on ARTISANAL TOAST (it is very much East London on sea!) we did see three big fat racists stomp by wearing England flags carrying some HORRIBLE placards. It made me Quite Annoyed, so I looked at them. STERNLY.

After that though it was all delightful all the way. After a quick visit to the Turner Contemporary (best bit: big windows) we set off on The Turner And Dickens Walk from Margate to Broadstairs, which turned out to be EXACTLY the sort of walk I like i.e. well documented on a MAP, reasonably well sign-posted, and not too long! We strolled across farmland (farm news: fields full of cabbages REALLY smell of cabbages), through The Longest Churchyard In Britain, past a restored windmill, and were just thinking "Wouldn't it be nice if we could find a pub?" when we stumbled across The Four Candles, apparently the smallest brewpub in Britain. I don't know if that's true or not but I DO know that it is one of the NICEST. Ooh it were lovely, we had a couple of DELICIOUS halves and sat outside in the GLORIOUS sunshine (as forecast by Tomasz Schafernaker on the telly and used by The Degrees In My Temperature to select the day of our trip). It was like SUMMER!

Eventually we had to tear ourselves away and stagger into Broadstairs Actual, which was noticeably POSHER than Margate with actual proper seaside-y bits that reminded me of Whitby and/or Cornwall. We had a mini-picnic on the front, watching an old chap stood on a band-stand singing to a backing track for a SIZEABLE crowd, and then wandered off along the cliff tops, where we ended up chatting to a MARVELLOUS lady who VERY proudly told us she was 83, walked this route every day, had worked at Hammersmith Hospital, had had two husbands and MUCH MUCH MORE, including slightly fuller than I would have liked details about losing her second husband. She was a) talkative b) GRATE!

We ended our trip with a look round the harbour before heading back to the High Speed Gene Kelly Singing In The, which took us back to the old East End, where we agreed that our Bank Holiday outing had been a SUCCESS. It was a GRATE start to a very long weekend!

posted 31/3/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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