Postcard from Margate, Kent


Summer so far - Life Lately on Hecticophilia

Hi friends, I hope that Summer has been treating you well. Where are you staying these days?

Here in London it’s been a little schizophrenic, with days as heavy and humid as tropical weather and others gusty and grey, the skies hanging low and groaning with the threat of thunderstorms. From the upper deck of the bus, I feel mischievous watching the City workers hurrying to safety like clumsy ballerinas skidding on the slippery sidewalks, their satchels or the Evening Standard held high above their heads in an attempt to protect themselves from the outpour. I am a typical Southerner and I romanticise the rain – can you tell?

Of course I love it too when it’s gloriously sunny. When I last wrote for instance, we were on our way to Margate with exceptional temperatures. I never thought swimming in the sea would actually be on the cards that weekend and it was as close to a summer holiday as you can get when you only have a couple days off. We loved it there. Loved it so much in fact that Rob and I half-seriously joked about moving there in the future.

Margate Weekend

Have you been to Margate before? All of it appealed to me: the charm of the Old Town, the golden beauty of the Sands, the luscious Winter Gardens, the arty vibe of the Harbour Arm. I have to say the liveliness of it really surprised me, I don’t know what I was expecting, some sort of faded grandeur perhaps, but there really was so much to see and do. There is a strong cafe culture, retro bars with musicians playing every night, and lovely antique and independent shops – if you’re interested in the latter you can take a peek at Cat’s guide which is a lovely read.

Really, Margate stuck me as a very buoyant community where people are enjoying themselves, taking it slow, going out. And the Turner – what to say? Majestic inside and out. I loved learning more about the subversive, playful work of British artist Grayson Perry and his tapestries in particular I found fascinating. On display for the exhibition were some of his ceramics, sketchbooks, and super-8 films too. There was also an installation by Mexican artist Carlos Amorales with suspended cymbals hung up on a mobile in the foyer that people played at various times of the day. An arresting piece, both peaceful and cacophonic.

Carlos Amorales Installation

July is galloping ahead because I know I am going home to Provence at the end of the month. Since childhood I have had that internal clock of the Summer holidays being June to August anyway, so even though I have been at the office these last few weeks, my evenings and weekends currently consist of Mint Juleps, terrace picnics and a whole lot of reading.

On my bookshelf lately I have been burning through the whole Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths (seven books!), started a new series with “A Share in Death” by Deborah Crombie, and I’m just finishing “My Salinger Year” by Joanna Rakoff. I’m also watching the delightful Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix and not feeling an inch guilty about it.

I’m not obsessed with crime fiction but it’s a Summer tradition for me, dating back to those long scorching days spent at Mediterranean camping sites growing up, with Mary Higgins Clark as companion, while the more extravert kids played tag and volleyball in the burning sand.

What about you: what have you been doing this Summer, when are you going on holidays? What are you reading, watching, loving at the moment? I would love some recommendations so please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment section below.

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12 Comments

Lisa
July 8, 2015

I fell a little bit in love with Margate when we went last year, so much so that I am currently on the look out for a house there as a weekend retreat/holiday home! Have fun in Provence!

Jesse
July 8, 2015

Oh Lisa, how I understand! That's really exciting for you and I hope you find something lovely (and much more affordable than in London of course). Thank you for commenting x

Flick @theycalleditthediamondblog
July 8, 2015

I spent half my childhood growing up in Broadstairs which is next to Margate. Margate's really come on lots. Broadstairs will always be the gem of Thanet but the other towns are great too. Contrary to popular belief not everyone who lives there is like Nigel Farage, although most of us like a drink in the local pub! Visit the Chapel if you ever go to Broadstairs for a bookshop pub!

www.theycalleditthediamondblog.com

Jesse
July 8, 2015

Hi Flick and thank you for the kind comment, which I'm just reading on the bus! I yet have to see Broastairs, Ramsgate and Whitstable too but they're all on my list for August and September. I completely agree with what you say about popular belief and this was a good lesson for me not to be so unconsciously influenced by media depictions. Thank you for your recommendation of the Chapel too x

Posh, Broke, & Bored
July 9, 2015

I've been curious about Margate ever since LK Bennett made a 'Margate' tote bag, and Henry told me that it's a formerly hip seaside town that's being regenerated back to its glory days, and your post shows me that Margate is definitely a not-so-well-kept secret that I should visit! It's on the list now!

Travel wise, I just got back from Helsinki and am very much in London now, that is, till I go to Russia in August!

Reading: I have a stack of books I keep meaning to read but forgo for lifestyle magazines like Cereal and Monocle haha.

Watching: Guess who finally got a Netflix account and never wants to leave the flat? Yup, me.

My favourite thing about Summer in London is either: Staying in to do sweet nothing, or leaving London to travel haha! x

Jasiminne / Posh, Broke, & Bored - Luxury lifestyle blog

Jesse
July 9, 2015

Definitely not a well-kept secret Jasiminne, especially since the reopening of Dreamland - I think all the major newspapers were on it like bees around honey. I also read a piece in Vice I think that called Margate "Shoreditch-on-Sea" :) I think it's a lovely escape for London for a weekend so I definitely recommend you and Henry visit, you'd love it. Especially the long walk around the shore which takes you to Broadstairs and Ramsgate in two or three hours, it's called the Viking Coastal Trail. What are you watching on Netflix? Before Mrs Fisher's I watched the Good Wife, such a wonderful show. I'm off to read your Helsinki post for some wanderlust - thank you for commenting x

Posh, Broke, & Bored
July 9, 2015

Jesse, I'm watching Horrible Histories (ask me to sing Do The Pachacuti! I've memorised the whole song) and binge watching historical dramas AND documentaries. Such a nerd haha!

Shoreditch-On-Sea...NOW I HAVE TO GO AND SEE THIS FOR MYSELF! x

Jasiminne / Posh, Broke, & Bored - Luxury lifestyle blog

Hannah
July 9, 2015

Were you in Margate in time for when they updated their fairground? It looks great and I really want to visit!

Jesse
July 9, 2015

Hi Hannah, I was! They opened it mid-July and it's so lovely in there, deliciously retro and some great design across the website and venue. Attractions are opening one after another as they get ready and tickets are £14.95. You can go in the arcade inside at the front for free too and it's just darling: there's a roller disco, tons of old games and a few food stalls. I got my fortune told and that was interesting! They also have plans to renovate the ballroom and cinema so that's going to be a pretty great even space overlooking the sea. All the upcoming events are listed on www.dreamland.co.uk you should have a look, there's a fair bit of music gigs planned. Finally, just at the entrance they have set up an exhibition of sorts with lots of old photographs, it's so nice to see the smiling faces of visitors from times past. Go! It's a great project to support I think. Thank you for commenting x

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