A Food Lovers Fucking PARADISE (Margate, U.K.)

Holy hell, did we stumble on the quirkiest little sleepy beach town. Margate is in Kent, which is on the coast southeast of London. We picked it just through browsing Airbnb - it was in our price range, the host's reviews were good and we figured it was near the sea - how bad could it be?

It turned out to be the most interesting clusterfuck of super ghetto arcades and casinos mixed with beautiful (though often trash covered) beaches mixed with incredible vintage shops and the most unbelievably amazeballs food EVER. And ridiculous sunsets.

Margate, England

If you're walking along the beach from Westgate-on-Sea, keep going past all the touristy shit until you get to the huge steps - the Turner Gallery will be in front of you, the Harbor Arm will be on your left, and the old town - with all the vintage shops and amazing restaurants - will be on your right (across the street). 

Starting with the beaches behind the Turner and going up and around the hill you'll find little pockets of sand where you can actually get some privacy away from all of the crowded main beaches.

Margate, UK

On the Harbor Arm is a well reviewed cafe called BeBeached. It actually turned out to just be an overpriced cafe - 12 pound burgers and the like. Next door is a hole in the wall pub only serving cheap beer and cider - we didn't go in, but it looked fun and they have tables overlooking the bay. On the end is the Lighthouse Bar where we went for ciders - they had super friendly wait staff and yummy looking bar food. You can also just walk out onto the Harbor Arm for the view alone. 

The Turner Gallery has a beautiful cafe that has to-die-for scones. Just don't order the afternoon tea. It doesn't come with scones, but instead with this gigantic hunk of nasty meringue that you're supposed to crumble up and put jam and cream on. GROSS. The tea is great though, and the view:

Turner Gallery, Margate England

For breakfast we tried Dot's Cafe - a super adorable family run place with a cute garden out back and super yummy English breakfasts:

Dot's Cafe, Margate England

We also tried the Harbour Cafe - the breakfast was just ok, but the coffee was fantastic, as is the atmosphere inside and out (lots of sidewalk tables). 

For lunch we went to Old Town T. Stall's, which is almost all sidewalk seating. They had juicy, tasty-ass burgers and sandwiches for dirt cheap. 

For dinner we tried Mullin's Brasserie - Caribbean food with a European twist.

Mullins, Margate UK

We stumbled in on one of the two nights per week that they have a 3 course pre fixe dinner for 17 pounds per person that was so worth it. For starters we had jerk chicken salad (juicy bits of chicken, mango salsa and veggies) & a prawn salad (giant prawns, mango salsa and veggies). For mains we had blackened swordfish & duck breast - both absofuckinglutely perfectly cooked, and for dessert we had a plantain tarte & ginger sponge cake. What a great find!

We also had fun at The Wig & Pen drinking our new favorite cider:

Wig & Pen, Margate UK

The next night we tried Yama's Thai Eaterie. A tiny hole-in-the-wall that is the only reason to venture onto the run down high street.

Yamas Thai, Margate UK

You're greeted by a kooky old British guy and immediately feel like you're just in his living room. The kitchen is open and there is one chef surrounded by tubs of fresh veggies with one wok cooking one dish at a time.

By chef I mean magician because this thai food wasn't like anything else I've ever put in my mouth. I had a creamy peanutty sauce with chicken over coconut rice and Kris had a fried rice dish that was layered with so many amazing flavors that shot off like fireworks in your mouth. The majority of the dishes were 6 pounds too. A goddamn steal. 

Another night we tried Masala Gate, which was so fucking delicious that we forgot to take any pictures at all. It was Indian food in an upscale setting with super friendly service. I had never had Indian food before. Like, ever. I had chicken korma, seemingly the most popular ad basic Indian dish ever, and it knocked my fucking socks off. Apparently I've been living under a rock for 29.5 years. Kris had a mixed patter which included fresh naan, tandoori chicken and loads of of other amazing bites. This was a little bit more spendy at 10-12 pounds a dish, but we licked our plates clean if that tells you anything. 

The only shit experiences we had were at the super touristy Mad Hatter's Tea room (bullshit, chewy stale scones and overpriced everything) and at a hole in the wall pub. Note to self: don't ever drink cider that comes out of a box stacked against a wall. Especially if they're out of ice. The microwaved onion tart and from-the-box mashed potatoes didn't help either. 

Another magical experience we had was stumbling into Lady Tesla's Loose Leaves & Mud - a gorgeous gourmet retail store for tea and accessories.

Lady Tesla, Margate UK

Lady Tesla also owns Rough Trade - a vintage shop right around the corner. We found such great shit in there - loads of old kitchen stuff, tea cups, hand bags, shoes, and tons of clothes all priced super cheap. 

But her tea shop….was pure magic. Lady Tesla has a knack for creating atmosphere as the whole shop makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. The overstuffed, upholstered arm chairs, the vintage cash register, the jazzy music playing in the background - it all invites you to get lost for a minute. 

Another not-to-miss stop is the Shell Grotto. Some dude was digging a duck pond in 1835 and stumbled upon this cave that is plastered floor to ceiling with 4 million + shells covering every square inch and arranged in perfectly symmetrical patterns. It's a huge mind fuck. And only 3 pounds to see. 

So, to sum it up, spend a weekend in Margate and leave in a food coma.

Side note: a weekend is PLENTY. We spent 4 nights and it was a bit too much. Also - take the National Express bus from London. It is a fraction of the cost of a train and just as comfortable.