31 October 2017

Feature: Wish you were here!

The Great British Seaside

Mums on tour – my oldest and dearest friend and I had been planning a few days away in the Summer with our gang – eleven years old, seven years old and three years old. Luckily for us my friend’s father has a large ground floor flat overlooking the beach in Westgate on sea, five minutes from Margate, with a heated pool which he was happy for us to camp out in– Result! He was also kind enough to stock both the fridge and cupboards with essentials; wine, prosecco, gin and chocolate! We packed everything we could get into the car including all three children, coats, sun cream, hats, wellies, sandals, board games, lilos, high heels, ipads, ipods, kindles, books and more booze (because really you never know what you are going to end up with weather wise – and you always need a lot of booze)

We were so fortunate to get four days of glorious sunshine and we planned to do a traditional bucket and spade seaside holiday and enjoy everything that Margate had to offer. A five-minute cab ride from the flat in Westgate on Sea meant we were near enough to all the seaside attractions. Trains run from London St Pancras, Cannon Street and Victoria to Margate and the train station is right on the front. It has always been a popular seaside destination and is enjoying a much needed renaissance.

Here follows a few of our highlights, with recommendations of attractions and eateries. My son said it was the best time of his life and it was a fantastic, affordable and highly entertaining mums
 on tour trip for two old school friends and their gang of children! If you get the chance to visit Margate then do – it really is lovely

·         Dreamland!!!! Recently revamped with all the old original vintage rides. Having spent time here as a teenager the nostalgia was overwhelming (mixed with the Pina colada slush puppies from the bar!) Helter Skelter, Chair Swing, Wurlitzer, Carousel and the famous Scenic Railway are all back and looking spanking. The park is free to enter and wristbands can be purchased for ride all day or alternatively rides can be paid for individually. Small people are £14.50 and big people are £17 a band. We spent 6 hours here and still hadn’t done all the rides – great selection of street food from local producers on offer all day too -

·         Dinner – GBK – On the seafront – thinnest crispest pizzas topped with fresh local produce – Kentish pear and blue cheese with local honey was my favourite– Buy 1 get 1 half price – and the sun setting over Margate beach!

·         The Shell Grotto – Hidden in a back street and discovered in … this underground grotto was discovered in 1835 although the original purpose remains a mystery. There are over 6 million shells adorning the walls and although this will only take up an hour or so of your time it really is a hidden gem of Margate -

·         Pit Stop– The cupcake café – Eclectic furniture, outdoor seating, your nans best china and the most divine cake selection – this was a hit for both young and old. Pistachio and rose layer cake was the hit of the day. The staff were fabulous and the lunch menu looked great too – I’ll be going back here –

·         The Turner Contemporary Gallery – Although I will admit to not being that open minded about art – I did enjoy the gallery. The building is architecturally interesting and Anthony Gormley s statue in the sea at low tide is worth a visit for alone. I think the children were more interested in watching the life boat go out to sea (I was too if I’m being honest) If you like art chances are you’ll love it here. I loved the bar though! -

·         Dinner – Giorgios – Quite simply the best service and real homemade simple Italian fayre. The children sat for two hours with no electronics or colouring, the staff were so attentive and the constant stream of food and drinks were wonderful. Amazing value for money and huge portions. This is in an underground basement of a building near the beach – seek it out and you will not be disappointed -

·         Finally – My son’s “best day of his life so far” moment – the penny arcades! Yes, they are still noisy, yes, your feet still stick to the floor but where else can you get two hours of entertainment for £3.50 each!

Margate – I am in love. Looking forward to re-visiting Dreamland (all year passes available for locals) and another trip around the old town is in order. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to go away with and we are already planning our next mums on tour trip so stay tuned to Bad Mum Magazine.

Written by Fiona @trixierich 


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