Welcome to this awakening British beach town, and meet three lovely women who recently shipped out from London to the seaside…
Margate, a quaint Kent beach town that sits about 90 minutes from London, has been on my radar for a while. Every time I visit there’s a new independent shop or cute café to discover, and gorgeous pictures are popping up on my Instagram feed more often than not. It seems that the all the creative babes I know, who have the freedom to work from home, are getting the right idea and swapping their small (overpriced) one-bed flats in London for spacious apartments with a sea view. The stunning coastline views, beaches and sunsets have always been, but now Margate can add to its resumé: art galleries, a fashionable café culture, creative hubs and workspaces, thriving boutiques, a revamped retro fairground and a buzzing music scene. The guys and dolls who are now calling it home are incredibly passionate about the future of the town, and excited about what it will most likely become. I was lucky enough to spend a few days with some of them in the early September sun, visiting the local hangouts and discovering their new way of life by the sea.
Charlotte, Editor, Betty Magazine
I moved to Margate just over three months ago after living in North London for five years. I loved living in London, but rent prices were getting so crazy and I was finding living there a bit too hectic and busy. Margate had been on my mind after visiting many times over the past year, and then I just decided to go for it and make the move. The sunsets are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. I also love the slower pace which gives you time to think and create. People are friendly and have time to chat. You never quite know what’s going to happen next. I still head into London once a week, but I am very lucky that I can work from home.
My favourite places are:
Botany Bay – I almost don’t want to share this one, as it’s the most beautiful sea cove with striking chalky cliffs. If you head to Margate’s main sands in the summer, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of people; however, there’s a bit more room to breathe and catch prettier scenery just five minutes up the road at Botany Bay.
Etc – This is my favourite shop in Margate, selling the most inspiring homewares and plants. It is very hard to leave empty handed. You have been warned.
Fez – THE best place for a drink… there is so much to take in. Such an eclectic mix of found fairground rides (the waltzer seat is the best spot in the house) and vintage neon signs.
Dreamland – This fun fair has recently undergone a huge refurbishment and now is the first place I take most visitors. Complete with a Roller Disco, the oldest roller coaster in the country and a dose of kitsch every corner you turn, it’s an absolute feast for the eyes.
Kate Brighouse, Designer, Telegramme Paper Co.
I run a design and illustration studio called Telegramme Paper Co. with my partner Bobby. We made the move from North London to Margate in June to work full-time, together, finally. Our first visit involved seeing a sculpture by a friend — Alex Chinneck — in 2013 and, from there, we just fell in love with the place. We set up property alerts straight away and, seeing how much was happening in the town, we decided that we had to get down here. We found our dream flat earlier this year and now our home and studio are both situated about as close to the beach as you can get. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to swap a tube commute for a morning walk along the beach! We’ve only been in Margate for about 8 weeks now, but it already feels like home and has a great feeling of community.
My favourite places are:
Cliffs – A record store, coffee shop, yoga studio and soon-to-be hair salon, all in the most amazing building. What else do you need! These guys also roast their own delicious coffee on site, and we absolutely love heading here for our weekly meetings.
Margate Retro – Our work is hugely influenced by amazing mid-century design and this place, along with its other site, the Fort Road Yard, are treasure troves of beautiful furniture and wares, making it one of our favourite places in town.
Breuer & Dawson – A brilliant vintage shop. Whilst they do stock womenswear, this is more a tip for the vintage-loving men in your lives! My partner is a huge fan of vintage style but finds that menswear is particularly difficult to come across, so this is his dream shop and he loves it!
Plinth – Plinth is an art shop and gallery who stock and showcase many local artists and makers, along with lots of other amazing wares and unique pieces which make it a must if you’re in town.
Joanna Bongard, Photographer
I went to Margate for the first time on May Bank Holiday last year and, although it was awful weather and rained the whole weekend, I absolutely fell in love with its charm. I didn’t really know much about the town apart from a few vintage shops, but I found that there was loads to do. While I was there I fell in love with a building that offered flats for sale and, when I came back later in the year, a few were still available so I decided to go for it!
My favourite places are:
Mala Kaffe – I love all things Scandi so, when I heard they were opening a Swedish coffee shop, I was super happy. Mala Kaffe is my favourite spot to grab a coffee and cake and sit on the Harbour Arm watching all the awesome dogs go by.
Transmission Records – My boyfriend loves buying records and so, whenever we go anywhere, record shops are always first on his list. Margate hosts lots of vintage record shops but, earlier this year, Transmission Records opened. It sells all the latest great releases as well as brilliant selection of classics (new & used)… it also specialises in film soundtracks which is great if you’re after something a bit special or unusual.
Junk Deluxe – I love mid-century furniture, and I’m always on the lookout for bargains. Junk Deluxe is hidden away in the basement of Scotts, which is a massive antique warehouse. It specialises in mid-century furniture and homeware and I try to go in as often as I can to check out all their new finds. I purchased my sofa there and couldn’t be happier!
Thank you to Dreamland for letting us play!