Tuesday 18 August 2020


What a strange summer it has been. Far flung holidays have of course been out of the question and many planned European getaways were cancelled at the last minute due to the rather unpredictable (and in my eyes pointless) quarantine rules imposed at the drop of a hat by our government.

This did however result in a soaring rise in the popularity of the good old British seaside town, with thousands flocking to UK beaches as temperatures sky rocketed, with the aim to get even the smallest hint of a summer holiday and I myself couldn’t help but want to escape London’s heat and mundanity that working from home inevitably evokes even if it was just for the day.

I am of course a big fan of Kent seaside town Deal, still hidden from the masses, and recently returned there with my friend Leah for a day out at their pebbly beach, enjoying their wonderful array of culinary options (find my full Deal guide here) but I wanted more and Margate, a now rather hipster friendly seaside town also in Kent, had been on my list of places to visit for a while.

So, on a Friday a few weeks ago, actually as it turned THE hottest day of the year, I had taken the day off work and decided to go on a solo trip to Margate.

Sounds a little sad but actually it turned out to be the best day - I could do what I want, eat wherever I wanted to and ended up befriended locals and fellow day tripper so never felt lonely or bored.

Margate for sure is a little more buzzy than Deal and there were some rather loud and trashy characters that made for hilarious people watching as the day went by and their alcohol levels rose, but Margate’s sandy beach was wonderful, the quick journey time (under an hour and thirty from Kings Cross) a dream and their culinary options on parr with what you can find in London.

I urge to use the last few hot summer weekends this year to get yourself down to Margate, you won’t regret it and with a few of my below trips you won’t struggle to find some wonderful places to walk, eat and drink!

GETTING THERE: A off peak return is under £30 and you will get you there in about 1 hour and 27 minutes from Kings Cross - don’t be a dick and wear your mask on the train though!

FYI: Once you arrive, it is a short walk into town from Margate’s main train station and everything is pretty much in walking distance from there. There is a huge Morrison’s a 7-minute walk from the beach for all your picnic needs - though be warned they do not have a chilled booze aisle!



There are some pretty trashy pubs lining the sea front that will serve you up a decent pint but if you are after a bit more of a sophisticated tipple Little Swift will tick all the boxes!

There are Aperol spritz’s to take away, a fine selection of rosé’s and even better a fantastic selection of my new obsession (and that of just about everyone in East London), orange wine. Service is friendly and altogether Little Swift is the perfect spot to run to in-between beach dips for drink top ups.


After plenty of sun, some fancy fizz and crisps, I was in the need of a good lunch and my colleague Abi, who had more or less made my Deal seaside adventure with her amazing tips, had sang Bottega Caruso’s praises, so much so that I simply HAD to go!

And this proper Italian deli / restaurant was definitely worthy of her kind words. The menu is concise but confident and my burrata bruschetta was bursting with fresh flavours from the tomatoes, fragrant pesto, burrata and lightly toasted ciabatta, turning into something quite special - the sort of less is more confident Italian cooking that shines without having to try too hard.

Service was also outstanding with my waitress, having been stranded in the UK by Corona, not able to return to her previous job as tourist guide in Italy, being a total star and leaving me with a list of things to do and see before she sent me off one Aperol spritz and bruschetta happier.

Whether you go like me for lunch, for dinner or just for a quick nibble and drink, Bottega Caruso is truly a piece of dolce vita in the heart of Margate’s cobbled lanes - full of wonderful food, drinks and staff, leaving you altogether with a big smile on your face!


Now really, I should have had some traditional fish & chips or fresh seafood at Angelina’s, a bistro by the seaside which came highly recommend by my wonderful waitress at Bottega Caruso and my friend Olli who had been there the week before, but being by myself and it also being the hottest day of the year I wanted to keep things chilled and was after a takeaway of some sorts to eat straight on the beach instead.

Ahead of the trip I did some research and came across the Buoy & Oyster, a well-regarded fish restaurant, putting modern twists on classics at their sea front restaurant. Due to Covid they also started to do takeaway, offering some inventive seafood dishes like amazing sounding chilli garlic prawn loaded fries, build your own seafood platters, fresh lobster & crayfish rolls or what I eventually settled for - their utterly outstanding locally caught crab loaded fries with yuzu mayo and dill, a main course size portion, generously topped with crab, which was a total bargain £8, and was ordered online and ready to be picked up from their contact less collection point in under 30 minutes.

Indeed, I was a little sad, for the only time that day to be honest, to be day tripping alone, the menu sounding so good that I want to go back to Margate if only to try more of their outstanding offering. Not your average fried seafood to have by the beach and i am ALL for it.


Another insider tip from the best waitress Margate has to offer was Barletta, a slightly hidden rooftop bar, accessed just off the sea front, near the main train station, that had a real air of east London rooftop, yes, we are talking vintage vibes and DJs playing their tunes, but instead of London fields here you get a proper panoramic birds eye view of Margate’s coastline and the busy beach as the sun sets. 

A perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink and a place to get away from the crowds a little to take in Margate from a new perspective.


Make sure you take an hour or so walk towards the chalk cliffs along the Viking coastal tray and towards some way less busy stretches of the beach. No route needed just stroll for however long your legs will take you (and knowing you will have enough energy to make the same distance back).

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