The smell of fish and chips combines with the iodine aroma of the sea, but disappears as soon as you delve into the intertwining narrow streets of the old town. All around the town people cruise around in gleaming Nissan Figaros, marvel at the Victorian buildings - some built in brick and others not - and above all dander along the sea front, from the town centre to Botany Bay. Springtime here is a dive into icy water, eating oysters on the harbour steps, days divided between vintage shopping trips and museum visits.


The Grain Grocer

This hidden gem of Margate-style bohemian bourgeoisie, bathed in gentle light from floor to ceiling, is home to a grocery store and coffee shop. Two young girls with rosy cheeks, wearing mini skirts as seems mandatory in the United Kingdom, scurry frantically throughout the store in search of precious ingredients for lunch or perhaps the perfect smoothie. Literature professors come to lounge around and read with a compulsory cup of tea or an organic granola.

95-97 Northdown Road

The perfect spot to enjoy some food with a breathtaking view, Roost is perched on the edge of the old barrier beach, of which all that remains is its iconic lighthouse overlooking the sea. The space, characterised by stone walls and concrete floors has retained its raw appearance, and having barely set foot through the door your taste buds are tantalised by the sublime aroma of roast chicken. Here, as the table d'hôte menu dictates, you share sides and choose your piece of chicken, quarter bird, half bird or the entire animal if you are a real carnivore. Mixing with the natives happens very naturally, especially in the evening when local families come to relax and mingle. This is one that is not to be missed.

19 Cliff Terrace
Shell Grotto

This is something we haven't seen anywhere else and it really left us speechless. At the back a gift shop selling shells, set back from the town centre and the shore, we discover an underground passageway filled with shells from top to bottom. All neatly arranged, in military fashion, forming a veritable shell grotto. A fabulous mosaic comprised of 4.6 million small shells, it has remained there, intact, since its discovery in 1835, illuminated by the natural light penetrating through the portholes in the roof. The experience is remarkable, and is worth the detour - especially if visiting the town as a family.

Grotto hill
The Reading Rooms

This sweet little Victorian house is transformed into a temple of perfection from the moment you open the little door. Louise and Liam have that je-ne-sais-quoi that we all love about the English - a style, a sense of class and plenty of stories to tell. Liam, who grew up in Florence, has decorated this B&B with an artist's touch, with its stripped back walls and old, creaking floorboards. Just one room on each floor - what luxury! The top floor, right beneath the rafters, is bathed in light and offers an unforgettable view over the town, its roofs and Hawley Square. You feel like Cleopatra in the XXL bathroom, in which you simply must indulge in a soak in rose oil - with the room's fantastic acoustics as an added bonus. Breakfast in your room, utterly stylish - here everything is perfectly nice.

31 Hawley Square

On Summer evenings the terrace of this very British pub is packed full - as one of the most fashionable and authentic venues in the local area. It seems like the whole town comes here to listen to the unmissable live jazz sessions - all with a beer in hand. The venue, still in all of its original glory, retains a historic charm, with its seascapes hanging on the walls, its craft beers and its regulars, glued to the bar, recounting local anecdotes in their wonderful regional accent. Each of the beers has an unusual name such as Elvis Juice or Hammer, and even the Deadpony. This makes ordering an amusing experience! God save the Queen!

1 Market street


You liked our tips? Subscribe to our newsletter for more!