A foodie weekend in Margate
A foodie weekend in Margate
If you haven’t already guessed, we are obsessed with food. So clearly we plan our holidays around what we can eat (see our Travel section for more inspiration)- no more so than with this trip. Gemma had seen Margate and its restaurants mentioned in various publications so when her anniversary came around it seemed only right to head to the Kent coast and celebrate Gills Gal style.
Angela’s is essentially our soulmate of restaurants. Dedicated to seafood, with a passion for sustainably and ethically sourced produce. We booked our lunch a few days in advance, and were so pleased we did as whilst we were there around twenty people either popped in or called asking for a reservation to be told they were fully booked all weekend. I sat there with our table of seafood feeling pretty smug.
A plate of local oysters seemed like the only way to start the lunch. We followed this with crab tart and a bowl of smoked prawns and aioli. The tart was a total revelation - the consistency of a custard tart, peppered with sweet crab meat and buttery pastry. On the side was a brown crab meat sauce, and this may just be one of the nicest things I have ever eaten. I will be going back for that alone. The prawns were sweet, smoky and beautifully fresh.
On to the mains. One turbot with celeriac gratin, and the other a thai inspired monkfish bowl. Once again both were utterly sublime - this food! The turbot was just falling off the bone, and when it did it was met with the creamy yet caramelised gratin. Heaven on a plate. The monkfish was fragrant, again perfectly cooked. Hands down one of the best meals I have had in a long time, and worth the trip to Margate for alone.
The Buoy and Oyster
Situated on the high street The Buoy and Oyster has a great view over the sea, which of course makes it a great spot for some seafood. In the summer they open up their terrace, but on a sunny February day it was still just as lovely to look out from.
Again it was time for oysters - one a trio of different dressings, and the other crispy and battered with a yuzu mayonnaise. So far so good. For mains we went for one plate of lamb rump, and the other halibut on mashed potatoes with a bisque. The first was pink, and served with celeriac greens and a croquette. The second has creamy, subtly saffron spiced mash with a moat of Broadstairs crab bisque. Colourful, fresh and just what you want to tuck into whilst looking out at a beach (even on a cold February day).
Fish, chips and doorstops of toast
Other places of note are Peter’s Fish Factory, down on the harbour front. When you think of fish and chips by the sea, what you imagine is this. Huge portions, crisp yet soggy batter, thick chips and served with lashings of salt and vinegar. Pete’s offers a selection of fish, which was music to our ears, as well as a fantastic curry sauce. In the summer you can expect to queue out of the door, and for good reason. Great value and a hit of childhood nostalgia.
The Greedy Cow Cafe is just off the main harbour, amidst a mix of antique shops, boutique clothing outlets and seaside pubs. A Full English here doesn’t hold back and the toast comes in huge wedges for lapping up the tomatoes and beans. It was clear that all of the produce was of high quality, the bacon and sausages were delicous - great value at £8 for the lot.
Whilst in Margate you must look around The Turner (if like us you want to feel cultured for an hour) and potter around the various antiques - one is even filled with ex fairground items! We spotted a neon fish and chip shop sign we nearly parted £500 quid for. The Shell Grotto is also well worth a visit, it’s a fascinating spot and also takes you out of the centre of town so you can get to grips with the rest of Margate. Dreamland was closed when we went in February but that is all the more reason for a visit back in summer (and any excuse to head back to Angela’s). If the weather isn’t your friend you can kill time in the various seafront arcades and be transported back to childhood. Finally, our AirBNB was an Instagrammers dream - pink, neon and beautifully decorated. A five minute walk to all of the attractions - it’s a perfect base for exploring the town.
Overall we loved Margate. We know this makes us a hipster but we have a total soft spot for the town - it’s seaside heydays of the past might have been and gone, but its reinvention we believe has something for everyone.