Despite being in such close proximity to London, I only visited Margate for the first time in 2019 for a weekend trip. But, since then, it’s drawn me back a number of times. While some parts could still do with investment and development, the charming,pocket-sized seaside town has become quite a popular ‘staycation’ destination, and it’s clear to see why. Cool coffee spots and stylish independent shops are scattered around the old town and, if you’re lucky, you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful pink skies.
During summer, I was invited to stay at a beautiful beach loft – Margate Galley – a stone’s throw away from the south-east coastline. The loft is conveniently close to the sea but positioned on a quiet road so you can rest easy. It’s owned by Julia and her husband who have spent time sensitively renovating it to retain the property’s original character, whilst adding a fresh, modern touch.
The interiors in the space are stripped back to reveal the flat’s natural and raw beauty, featuring rustic wooden floorboards and pink plaster walls throughout. The ‘unfinished’ theme is complimented with luxurious features like soft linen bedding, Meraki toiletries and a brand new, modern kitchen.
On arrival at the property, you are meet by a set of dimly lit stairs. But don’t let these fool you – the property quickly opens up to a bright and airy space that sleeps up to 8 people. A generous-sized bathroom greets you to the right – the perfect place to unwind after a busy day, plus you have the luxury of choosing between a powerful rain shower or the dreamiest freestanding bathtub. To the left of the entrance, are three bedrooms (two double and one with two single beds) that are all uniquely designed.
As you head upstairs, you’re welcomed into my favourite part of the house – the open-plan living and kitchen space. Every corner is meticulously thought out. The white wooden beams and large bay window brighten the overall space, yet the soft furnishings ensure it still feels cosy. My favourite feature is the rattan hanging chair, perfectly positioned by the exposed brick fireplace. The TV is cleverly hidden away in an antique cabinet, almost unintentionally encouraging you to limit your screen-time and curl up with one of the coffee table books instead.
The kitchen continues the theme of balancing the old and the new – a modern design, it includes a gorgeous Smeg fridge and a coffee machine complete with Grind coffee pods – but with the same raw materials like exposed brick and plaster walls. Also, on the upper floor, you’ll find the fourth bedroom with a small en-suite bathroom.
Julia and her husband have combined raw textures and luxury furnishings to give a true ‘home away from home’ feeling in this wonderful and welcoming space. We stayed during summer and were blessed with warm weather and beautiful sunsets but it would be equally charming during the winter months.
Not only is there plenty to explore and enjoy in and around Margate (see a few suggestions below), it’s also the perfect base to discover the other local seaside towns nearby – Whitstable and Broadstairs for example – as well as the beautiful Kent coast.
THINGS TO DO NEARBY
You’ll likely drive or walk past this on your way to the apartment so you really can’t miss it! Within minutes, you’ll be breathing in crisp, sea air. If the tide is low enough, head to the part of the beach by the Turner gallery, away from the crowds and enjoy a mindful moment taking in the view.
Ramsay and Williams
You can’t visit Margate without pottering around the numerous vintage shops, clustered around the old town. You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice and hopefully will find yourself a unique gem in the likes of Ramsay and Williams.
One of my favourite parts of a holiday is the book I’m reading at the time and the possibility of discovering and buying a new one. Margate bookshop is special as their ethos is to provide an inclusive environment for all and they do this by promoting under-represented authors and translated fiction.
Just a couple of doors along from the bookshop, you’ll find Wildes – a bright and colourful pink exterior, which will catch your eye and invite you in for a spot of lunch. Every corner was photogenic – I particularly loved the mustard yellow seating and pastel wall panelling – plus the food was delicious.
Even though the apartment is only a few minutes away from Margate beach, my tip would be to hop on the bus (or drive) and pay a visit to Botany Bay. The cliff edge views are dramatic and you’re likely to find a quiet spot to yourself.