Margate – Small hotels, posh food, micro pubs and a sunset…

I recently had a couple of days in Thanet to enjoy some sea air and sunshine. The weather was ok, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting first Margate (overnight), and then Broadstairs. Although I prefer Broadstairs, I wanted to see how Margate was looking these days. I’d heard about the resurgence of micropubs, the cafe culture, the art gallery showcasing new and funky pieces juxtaposed with Turner’s seascapes, the retro shops and vibrant vibe of the Old Town. I was, therefore, fascinated to view the cultural renaissance for myself.

Unfortunately, The Sands Hotel was booked so stayed in a grand looking ‘boutique hotel’ on the sea front. The bedrooms online looked glorious. However, when I arrived, I quickly realized that ‘boutique hotel’ meant small, with smaller bedrooms and ridiculously small sinks and bathrooms to match. It looked so flipping splendid online and I was a bit disappointed, but not really surprised. They always make everything look amazing and glamorous online, don’t they?

Anyway, I enjoyed the micropubs and thought Margate Old Town was rather nice with a selection of cafes, pubs and obligatory gift shops. Enjoyed a couple of beers in the Life Boat micropub after a jolly good breakfast in the corner café. Looked in the gift shops (didn’t buy anything) and wandered to the harbour/beach area to enjoy a small libation in the Harbour Arms and enjoyed the views in the sunshine.


Margate has a very pleasant ambience, but could still do with some improving. Why can’t business owners pick up the litter in front of their premises? Particularly important if they are eateries! However, it has certainly retained some charm and the people are very friendly. The Turner Contemporary was fun to visit, although taking only a few minutes to see everything. The art wasn’t particularly impressive, but it was amusing and free admission is always welcome.

Unfortunately, many of the restaurants closed at 5pm and it was difficult to find somewhere interesting to eat. Eventually, a table was reserved for 7.15pm in The Sands Hotel which is a glamorous and luxurious residence. Why not treat oneself to a posh meal? When the waiter asked for an email address my husband told him, if you wanted to contact us, we will be next door in Fez, another micropub. He laughed and agreed it was a great place to go to.

Fez is amazing and by far my favourite pub. It is quirky, friendly, has delicious beers and quirky décor. We walked in and it was packed with people drinking, laughing, singing, and dancing to the blues band located in the corner. A lady asked me if I would like to sit down as there was a seat free. Later on she told me she had properties in Margate and there are a lot of investors coming to the area. She bought her first property when only twenty three years old while working “in the City”. We chatted for some time and it was great fun and interesting to find out about what was going on in the area.

As we talked, she confirmed what I had suspected about Margate. It is slowly relinquishing its reputation as a rundown seaside town and gaining credentials as an arty destination. If you want to visit you can catch a train from St. Pancras and the journey takes about 90 minutes. Also, once there, they have a fab bus service called the Thanet Loop so you can visit Broadstairs and Ramsgate too.
The meal in The Sands Hotel was delicious and we had a beautiful view of the evening’s sunset. I had salmon, guinea fowl a superb lemon pudding. Oh, how spoilt I felt.
After the meal, I went back to the pub next door to Fez, where they were playing 50s records on an ancient gramophone player. People were dancing and having a roaring time. Fantastic.

The next day we succumbed to our under cooked eggs for breakfast ‘scrape the snotty bit off’ and headed off to Broadstairs. We experienced more micro pubs, a lovely lunch and then a slow drive home. A great mini break.

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Grotty fruit smoothie…

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A few days ago, I was just thinking about leaving to go to Dorset for a mini break, and realised I’ve still got 3 grotty bananas. So decided I couldn’t eat them before leaving and gathered all the old fruit from my fridge and made a smoothie to freeze for when I return.

The end result was delicious. No need to waste old fruit or veg.  Just peel, chop and blend, blend and blend some more.  Only took a few minutes to prepare an amazing breakfast.

Another aspect of minimalism, is not have any waste so this is an enjoyable way of reducing waste and having a yummy drink for breakfast.

Recipe: bananas, peaches, oranges, almond milk and blend until smooth.

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5 reasons why you should take a mini, mini break…

Windy times on the beach at glorious Brighton...

Windy times on the beach at glorious Brighton…

The trouble with going on holiday in June, is you have to suffer everybody’s glorious, happy holiday pics, in July/August.

The best way to alleviate the envy is to take yourself off on what I call mini, mini breaks and enjoy the free time you do have.  To be concise the mini, mini break is daft language for a few hours off.  Do something extraordinary, explore and then explore some more. This mindset will endorse spontaneous action, not only for yourself, but also the family or friends that are accompanying you.

To get over the wish-I-was-on-holiday feeling, I recently went on a short trip to Brighton. I tend to go to Brighton, only once or twice a year, mainly because it is so flipping difficult and expensive to park.  (Next time I will go on the bus.)  However, Brighton is great for the quirky shops, pubs, galleries, restaurants and beach life.  It has a hippy, soulful vibe and the shops and stalls are fascinating due to independent traders and their array of talents and well, being Brighton bonkers with the erratic fashions and dreadlocks.  I found it a great place to spend time, wandering aimlessly, exploring the lanes, eating tapas in the Spanish restaurant and people watching.

The result, after recovering from the cost of parking fiasco, was super.  Invigorating in fact. If you feel fed up it revives you to have a day by the sea.  Or anywhere outdoors.  Like having a holiday without packing.  Also, the excitement does not dissipate (unlike long holidays).  Wander around the shops, have a glass of red and soak up the atmosphere as I did.  Or go for a walk in a local park, lounge by a lake or walk in your local woods.  Have a coffee in your local high street and watch the world go by.  But go outside, walk, explore and explore some more.  It will enlighten your life because you will be enjoying experiences and new adventures rather than wasting money on material objects.

A city break, even for a day or two, can be very satisfying and makes you feel you have been away for a week or more.  Doing something different lifts your mood, makes you happier and recharges your mind and body.

Here are the advantages of taking a mini, mini break…

  • Endorses spontaneity
  • Enables exploration
  • Makes you happier
  • Provides experiences (rather than material stuff)
  • Recharges your mind and body

Overall, it is good for your health and well being.  Where are you going for a mini, mini break?  Tell all in the comments section.

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