A Day Trip to Margate
Margate is a great destination for a seaside day trip from London. From a small, rather poor fishing village to a major seaside resort in Georgian and Victorian times, it has now become, after years of decline, a cultural hub full of charm and retro appeal. The opening of the Turner Contemporary in April 2011 has without a doubt contributed to the new influx of creativity and the seaside resort is a great example of a successful and brilliant culture-led regeneration.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the gallery offers amazing views over the North Kent Coast and this can be experienced through the current installation 'Atmosphere', by artist Edmund de Waal, commissioned specially for the ground floor gallery space.
Situated on the same site as Mrs Booth’s guest house, where Turner, the "painter of light" stayed when he visited Margate, every visitor can experience the same views and light he captured in his work. The current exhibition "Making Painting" explores Turner's works and juxtaposes them with paintings by American Abstract Expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler who died in 2011. http://www.turnercontemporary.org/
Near the gallery at the end of the charming Margate Harbour Arm, a bronze sculpture "Shell Lady" stares out at the sea. It represents Mrs Booth, Turner’s landlady, with whom he had a love affair in 1833 and with whom he lived until his death in 1851. Margate Harbour Arm includes many cute little cafes and bars. Lola offers a delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows and home made cakes.
Just across the road from the site of the Turner Contemporary is the pretty Old Town with trendy cafes, bars, boutiques and galleries. It has a nice village atmosphere.
With more than 13 vintage shops, the town is often referred to as "the mecca" for everything vintage. This certainly adds to the nostalgic charm of the place.
Stewy, the graffiti artist, Margate's sort of mini Banksy, leaves his stencil works on various walls of the Old Town shops.
This seaside resort also has an award winning Indian restaurant worth stopping for. The Ambrette is acknowledged as one of Britain's best local eateries and offers an excellent lunch menu at a very decent price. Don't leave the place without tasting the rose creme brulée.
An hour-and-a-half long trip on the high speed train from St Pancras International or two hours by car from central London, it's an easy commute! We will certainly go back very soon... We would love to bring you there, so contact us for more details.