Postcards from Margate
We have been dreaming of visiting Margate for a while and with fewer appointments in London this season (we’re seeing most of them in Paris in March), and some much needed sea air and space to breathe after the crazy Christmas period, we hopped on the train down to Margate for 24 hours by the sea - here’s what we got up to…
We always love to visit towns and cities with a great, truly local independent shop scene, and with its winding lanes and creative history, Margate has been on our agenda for a while. Home of renowned British artist Tracey Emin, the Turner Contemporary gallery and newly reopened Dreamland amusement park, Margate has a truly British charm.
I’m a sucker for faded British seaside towns (ice cream, chips, arcades and windswept walks). After the boom of the 50s, Margate experienced a decline as people favoured package holidays abroad to their British counterparts, and many businesses suffered. However, Margate is experiencing a resurgence in recent years. A new generation of independent shops, restaurants and coffee shops are opening, and with the expense of London (just 1.5 hours on the train) rising, young people are looking to Margate for a more affordable, creative yet bustling town that feels like home.
Towns on the up are always exciting spaces for new retail - affordable enough for young independents rather than big chains to move in. Places like Brighton are becoming too expensive for new businesses, and so Margate offers a refreshing, inclusive alternative.
One of our skincare brands that we stock, Haeckels, is a true Margate love story. Founder Dom Bridges began the business, harvesting seaweed on the shores of the beach, and using it in soaps and products. Seaweed is one of the most sustainable plants to use as its abundantly washed ashore, and for skincare its naturally hydrating and full of vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
We have visited them in London in the past, but this time we met at their flagship store to see where it all started. The seafront store, inspired by the film The Martian, is a high tech, futuristic, sensory space, in which you are immersed right within the making and trying of the products.
Haeckels were kind enough to talk us extensively through the scents, creams and candles, as well as show us their in-house spa, before taking us to Haeckels House - their lab and HQ, a stone's throw away from the store and the beach where it all started. This is where everything is made, in house, and new formulations and concepts (hello gut health shots!) are dreamt up. We can’t wait to share with you the stunning new look and feel of Haeckels 2.0!
Seeing behind the scenes is so important for us for true transparency for our customers. We want you to be able to invest in quality products, knowing the origin and story behind them, as well as how they weave sustainability into every part of their practice.
On the brilliant recommendation the Haeckels team, we stopped at Forts for food and coffee to fuel up before exploring the town further! Beautiful shop fronts from fellow independents lured us in, including those of Albion Stores, Positive Retail and legendary vintage shop Bruer and Dawson (fun Fact - our founder Elizabeth was sent to Margate from London and back in a day many years ago when interning at Dazed, to collect true vintage band T shirts from B+D for an XX music video!)
Before leaving we managed to catch golden hour (a holiday right of passage?) along the beachfront, right by the Turner Contemporary museum! A few cute selfies later and a swift half in the local brewery XYLO, that almost cost missing our train home, we were on the long road back up to Manchester, already making plans to come back, asap!
Our Margate Picks!
Food and Drink:
- Forts: Amazing coffee, great design and the best lunch for under a tenner!
- The George and Heart: Cosy pub and restaurant in a Grade II Listed building.
- Xylo: Craft beer with a beautiful sea view
- Positive Retail: Carefully curated preowned fashion
- Albion Stores: A boutique in Margate's Old Town selling a mix of contemporary clothes and shoes, jewellery and accessories, music, art and homewares.
- Margate Bookshop: An independent bookshop situated in the heart of the Old Town offering a selection of new and second hand books.
- Haeckels: Natural skincare brand born in Margate.
- Bruer and Dawson: An extensive collection of historical items, specially curated using decades of experience in the vintage fashion market.
- The Beach
- Turner Contemporary
Shop our Margate Wardrobe
- Jakke Vera Coat: Ideal to stay cosy in the seaside breeze! Perfect for packing light due to their reversible nature. Final few in sale now!
- Miista Malene Boots: Ride or die! Perfect for stomping round a new town, we didnt need to pack another pair of shoes. We are yet to find an outfit they don't work with.
- Glynit Molly Bag: Perfect size for daily essentials and elevates every outfit.
- Sandwith Studio Balaclava: A perfect wardrobe piece for that chilly sea breeze.