Hello my dear reader pal – how are you? Mhm, mhm? Oh? That’s great! V glad to hear that, yes! This weekend just gone, I found myself in Margate. When I was small, we had a weekend in Margate. It was quite grey and our hotel had bars on the windows and a drunk magician. In the last few years, it’s become increasingly hipcats. With the opening of the Turner Contemporary and a rise in mircopub(e)s, plus the added lure (which later turned out to be a lie) of MEGA PINBALL, why wouldn’t we take a trip?
After a slightly wonky trip (accidentally avoiding tolls took us through London and tensions were high [from me, sorry K town] and it added like, two hours) we arrived at our house for the night. Air bnb is the best, affirmative.
So after dropping our bags and meeting our hosts for the weekend, picking up they key and having a HUGE wee, we(e) headed off towards the magic.
Only to be met with………………………mega disappointment!!!!!!!! For the pinball had up and left. The sky was grey, the pavements full of phlegm, the kids were gobby (we encountered some 18 year olds on the way to a house party and one was tearing open a pack of durex with his teeth……..in the middle of the street why? why would you do that? why?), and the PINBALL WAS GONE. Dreamland – why? Why would you do that? Why? WHY? Upon hearing the news, my little heart sank and Dreamland was grey and sad. We decided to come back with better spirits. Oh but we did see these brilliant people on a hen do omg.
We decided to stretch our legs and get some fortifying foodstuffs. Along the seafront was an INCREDIBLY CHARMING red building which turned out to be the Old Kent Market. Originally known as the Parade Cinema when it opened (in 1911!), it bounced between being a cinema, a raunchy cinema, a snooker hall, a social club, and finally in 2013 opening at the OKM. There are little lovely food places, and a WEENY pub called The Petite Prince, but we got some yumski grubcity food from “Tashi’s Pantry for African-Caribbean Cuisine” – it was V V V DELISH.
A stones throw from the Old Kent Market was the aforementioned Turner Contemporary – opened by Tracey Emin dontchaknow unless that is not true, in which case I am sorry I might have made that up – a lovely big grey boy. The current exhibition on was BRILL, entitled Seeing Round Corners, something my mum has been claiming she can do for a number of years.
Absolutely everything was ROUND, which is great as me and my big moony face blended in perfectly. Although I can remember absolutely nobodies name, I do remember a big beautiful blue cartwheel and a big orb that followed you around a small room. Beautiful. Did you know I have a 2.1 in Illustration? Yes srsly.
Next up we took a wander up the lovely curve along the docks, and found ourselves in the Harbour Arms for a spot of rummy, people watching and elderflower cider. It was brilliantly themed with an actual tower of crisp flavours. Oh yes, there was also this cuddly fella. And a tiny blond boy with a tiny boom microphone who allegedly took a wee on his pet cat (I listened into their convo sorry).
After a refreshing pintos, it was time to explore the old town. This was actually pretty poorly timed on our part as things were CLOSIN ALL AROUND US, but we scoped out some groovy things to look at the next day. WE MANAGED TO FIND ONE LONELY PINBALL MACHINE, IT WAS OLD AND LOVELY! However, I was somewhat reminded of the Margate I had visited as a 8/9 year old. It was grey and a bit sad and a bit gross in places. I kept waiting for the hipgroovycats to make themselves apparent. Where were they? We met a brilliant girl with sequinned trousers on who recommended a bar called Fez, they were having a beach night and there was sand everywhere. Oh yeah, and we had a dodgy curry but I will not say whERE or WHO because they were really nice about the whole slightly grim thing and there was an issue with monks and scallops but that’s all by the by.
Also, there were not just one, but TWO BEANO CAFES?! What does it all MEAN (Basil)?
And so we retired – the sea was so, so, so salty like no sea you had ever encountered before and I felt thirsty walking home. So salty.
Ok, so when we awoke on the Sunday, it was SUNNY. The sun had made itself apparent and I was so glad. Do you know what else made itself apparent? HUNDREDS OF INCREDIBLY HIP PEOPLE. THEY HAD ALL COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK. It was the strangest of days. So brunch in a diner which projected Happy Days, a piña colada milkshake, bacon and maple pancakes, several games of vicious connect four and a serious whopping of table football, we were ready to find Shell Grotto.
What ever is Shell Grotto you say? Apparently in 1835, a man was building a duck pond in his garden and uncovered a suspiciously queer thing – a temple? a tunnel? a whaaaaaat? Well, wait for it…
Wait for it…
Shell grotty from the outside perhaps, but inside there were hundreds of shell-related gifts, as well as fish knife that I wish I possessed now as it was brilliant. At £4 each for grown ups, it was cheap as chips and GCF.
Through the gift shop, and through a tiny museum with the history of Shell Grotto, was a doorway leading down down downy down, into the goldmine of shells that adorned the walls. It was very chilly, and very impressive. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of light, and I was mostly preoccupied with how amazing it all was. SOZ! I did get a few though. Fascinating! Margreat!
After the history and the mystery, it was time to head back to Dreamland. After getting over my Pinball Woes from the day before and the sun was fully shining it’s little socks off, we decided to have a gay old time!
Dreamland was reopened in 2015, after being the victim of arson several years previous. Since then, it’s had a retro reboot and has been filled with PLENTY of groovy stuff. Just look at this lovely man in his ice cream van – sorry about his fuzzy face, what happened in photoshop? I’m not sure. He was really nice though.
All in all, we had a brill time. I went on the scariest ride I’ve ever been on, in which I thought we could double up, but it turns out that was only for tiny people that needed accompanying. I NEEDED ACCOMPANYING. I spent the whole ride going oooOOOOhhohHH MMYyyyYYy goodoDO OH MY GOdddddd dD dD d dD ddDOHMYFODOGGOD pooooooooomysgod oghhghgggmmmffffyyyyy gooddddddd omgomgddddddddddd omggggGGGgggGq@@@!!!!!!!!!!!
After getting some stodgy fish and chips, we picked at jellyfish and oyster shells and cuttlefish, then we got into Kierens nippy car and nipped home. 8/10 weekend 100%.
I hope you had a lovely weekend!!!!
LOVE YOU BYE XXXXXXXXXX