The Cliftonville Townhouse, Margate
Run by: Simon Bell & Stephen Darrer
Cost: £££ (Med. £89 – £99 p/n for 2 adults)
Date of stay: Aug 2017
A 15 minute walk from the town centre, this gorgeous townhouse has three beautifully light and contemporary rooms up for grabs. All of the rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities as well as some yummy snacks (read Tunnocks teacake, which always trumps a digestive). There’s plenty of hot water, and if you book one of the rooms with a roll-top bath it’s perfect to come back and warm up after a cold dip in the sea. You have access to their Netflix and lovely Stephen was on hand throughout our stay to answer any questions and offer advice on the local area.
We stayed here last year for Pride, and on greeting us, I think the host Stephen was just as excited as we were and we were soon chatting away about the weekend ahead. Margate Pride is a relatively small one still and perhaps the solution if you find London Pride too huge and commercial. With only a handful of trailers in the parade and local businesses joining the march it’s a friendly and fun affair, in spite of the low key parade it felt as though the whole town had shown up to celebrate. This year it’s taking place on August 11th.
Don’t miss out on taking a dip in the Walpole Tidal Pool, minutes from The Cliftonville Townhouse, delightfully refreshing on a hot summer’s day or to cure a post-Pride hangover, and completely beautiful. Also a good size for a decent swim! Check your tide times though, it disappears incredibly quickly when the tide comes in.
Margate has a growing arts scene and is packed with vintage shops and antique stores, which are fun to browse if you love bargain hunting. We particularly enjoyed popping to Margate Arts Club, which was hosting an evening in celebration of Pride, with the absolutely brilliant Amy Grimehouse DJing. There was a relatively small crowd gathered, but a friendly queer vibe and it felt inclusive, so definitely worth checking out what’s on their bill.
Highlight: The Breakfast at Cliftonville Townhouse, lovingly made and delivered to your room by Stephen. Ours featured a charcuterie, freshly made smoothies, compote and granola, slow roasted tomatoes, fresh fruit, cheese, coffee and bread basket (Veggie option available.) Leave plenty of time to eat it. It’s huge!
Problems: We had none whatsoever with the Cliftonville Townhouse. One problem we had was finding a restaurant in Margate to eat at on Saturday night. They were all fully booked, and seemed to close quite early, so I would say definitely book if you want to be sure of somewhere good to eat.
Where else to Visit: Margate has plenty on offer. There’s Dreamland if you enjoy retro theme park type attractions, but if you’re on a tighter budget the Turner Contemporary is free to get in to and has lots of exciting stuff happening. Also take a wander along Harbour Arm and stop for a coffee, a beer or a freshly caught crab. We also enjoyed loved Cheesy Tiger (@tiger_cheesy) which specialises in cheese centred meals. It’s a lovely place to sit out and watch as the sun sets.