When In Winter…
Remember way back when, when I celebrated turning 30 with a gal’s trip to Margate? Well, I decided I’d like to go back and have a nice day with my friend Emma, who now lives there. Who said the beach was just for summer? I’ve been looking forward to this day for most of the month! A winter day in Margate was just what the doctor ordered, and I’d definitely recommend it! Sure, it’s popular in the summer (hello, Dreamland!) but Margate in winter is a totally different vibe. Emma and I had such a nice day!
10am: Off to King’s Cross
I’m a sucker for a good train journey, and King’s Cross/St Pancras is probably one of my fave stations. Plus, the high speed train to Margate leaves from St. Pancras so you’ll be there in no time at all. I had a book with me (I’m currently reading Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri), so the 90 minute journey was over in no time. Then it was all sand and sea!
11:30am: A Coffee at Storeroom
Our first stop was Storeroom, as I was a little desperate for a latte. Emma recommended it because they source and roast their own coffee. The menu changes based on what they’re roasting (as in flavors, not drinks available) too. It was nice and cozy and the coffee was really nice!
1pm: Lunch at Bottega Caruso
After getting our caffeine fix, it was time for lunch! I’d been to some spots in Margate before, but the one I’d heard many good things about was Bottega Caruso! It was mine and Emma’s first choice! We were so excited, we booked our table a whole month in advance. It’s a very popular spot, so if you care planning ahead, I’d definitely recommend booking a table!
Everything is made in-house, including their pasta, and lots of ingredients are imported direct from friends and family in Italy. It’s a very family oriented place and I’m here for it! Emma and I both had the gnocchi with rocket and sun dried tomatoes. It was so good… like ‘actively put your fork down so it lasts longer’ good! We split a tiramisu as well, and every bite was just… *chef’s kiss* divine!
2:15pm: A Wander Through Old Town
After our delightful lunch, we had a little wander through the Old Town of Margate. I remember seeing some of this on my last trip, but this time around we were able to see much more! That is the benefit of visiting Margate in winter. It’s much quieter! There are so many wonderful independent shops all over Margate, and a lot of them are in Old Town.
We popped into Little Bit for a few minutes, full of some wonderfully colorful bits (and an amazing AirBnB in the back)! We also popped into Margaux, a gorgeous homewares and lifestyle store… Peony Vintage was closed, but I could spy some cute bits through the window! Plus there are a lot of vintage shops in the area. Our final stop was a peek in Haeckels, which is all about natural skin care and sustainability. It smelled amazing in there, and a lot of the scents are inspired by (and even foraged from) the local area!
It is so nice that there are a lot of independent businesses to support, and you can definitely get a sense of the community vibe in Margate!
3:30pm: A Walk Along the Beach
You can’t come all the way down to Margate and not walk by the sea! There is the main beach, which I remembered from my summer visit. We walked further along, past the lido. It was peaceful and quiet, which was perfect really. Even though the sun disappeared, just hearing the waves and the cool breeze felt so refreshing! Had it been a nicer day, and I had no train to catch later, I would have probably walked all the way to Botany Bay!
4:30pm: Tea at Mar Mar
It was starting to get a bit chilly, so after our walk on the beach, we headed off to Mar Mar for a cup of tea. After lots of walking, it was nice to sit down for a bit! Mar Mar is a bit of an urban jungle too, as they sell plants as well as being a coffee shop! I might have even bought a few to take home… yeah, I totally did.
I remembered popping into Mar Mar on my last trip to Margate, so it was nice to go back for a little bit, and it was the perfect end to the day. Plus, it was just so nice to spend some time with Emma! I usually only get to see her at events and stuff! Having some proper downtime to catch up is always a joy!
6pm: Back to London
The only disadvantage to visiting Margate in the winter is that it gets dark a bit earlier. Granted, I can sense the days getting just a little longer, and honestly, walking back to the train station in the evening was still really nice. Margate in winter has a totally vibe than it does in the summer! I feel like I have a better sense of it as a place now! It’s fun in the summer, but it’s also busy!
Still, by the time I was sitting on the train back home, I felt calm and relaxed and so glad I’d decided to visit! Would I go back to Margate? Absolutely! I’d go so far as to say I’d head back to Margate in winter and in summer!