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MARGATE autumn 2017

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MERCURY

Modern-day Seaside Stories

FREE

Food & drink

business & entrepreneurs

ART & culture

time & tide

Discover Margate’s growing international food scene

Five Margate businesswomen and mothers share their stories

Saluting Margate’s drag icon Tracey Ermine

How beachcombing is getting everyone hooked


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Margate Mercury

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The Hotlist - the most awesome events this autumn

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Autumn News Eggy Dave Encounters

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The Scoop - the latest Margate news

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The Right Ingredients - Margate’s food scene and how to be a successful Margate restaurateur

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The World on a Plate - Margate’s international food scene

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Supper by the Sea - Annie Nichols gives us her take on the town’s secret supper clubs

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Let Them Eat Cake - the story of Margate café and institution Batchelor’s Patisserie

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Man in the Arms of Margate Sam from Samzine meets legendary Margate barman Jeremy Charles White

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Food Map - our guide to where to eat in Margate this autumn

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Picturing Margate - we meet two Margate artists interpreting the local landscape in their art

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Margate’s Clubbing Eras - the sordid and sozzled stories of Margate clubbing in the 70s, 80s and 90s

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The Business of Motherhood Rachel Bell meets five Margate mothers making it work

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10 Great Things To Do With Kids in Thanet - our round-up of the best activities for children this autumn

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Time and Tide - how the pastime of beachcombing is getting everyone hooked

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Free cut-out art poster ‘Sagittarius’ by Kirsty McKenzie

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Tracey Ermine RIP - saluting Margate’s drag icon

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Scandi Living on the Square a look inside a stylish Grade II listed house and stables

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Give Something Back to Margate & Classifieds Corner ‘Séance at the Shell Grotto’ by Claire de Lune

WELCOME TO OUR AU T U M N I S S U E From the Editor Clare Freeman

Photography Grey Hutton

It’s been a busy summer for the Margate Mercury - and set to get even busier this autumn. As well as trying to keep up to speed with what’s going on here (which is a challenge given the amount of openings and events), we have launched our own online shop selling products only made by people who live and work in Margate (margatemercury.com/shop). If you’re looking for a great gift - or just a treat for yourself - please try it out. As well as supporting our amazing local makers and craftspeople, we take a small commission from each product sold which helps us to continue to produce this magazine, including paying the brilliant writers and photographers who contribute to it. We created the Margate Mercury to be a community publication for and by the community. So I’m delighted to announce that later this year (we hope in autumn) we will be opening our own small community hub and shop - aka The Hub – on Northdown Road. The Hub will have a shop selling a super selection of magazines and books, as well as a space which everyone in the community can use for workshops, activities and events. There will also be a takeaway sandwich bar,

@pluckedandstuff

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@clarescullion

C O N TAC T @margatemercury margatemercury.com info@margatemercury.com Issue Six, Autumn 2017 (September to November) Founder & Editor : Clare Freeman Design : Lizzy Tweedale Sub-editor : Ros Anderson Intern : Charlie Cameron Front cover : ‘The Marriage of Tracey Ermine’ by Ollie Harrop Print : Mortons Print Advertising and distribution enquiries : info@margatemercury.com

Cyril’s (instagram. com/cyrilsmargate). We hope that The Hub will become an important and integral part of Margate life and benefit all in the community. For more information – and to give us your ideas or suggestions for it – please visit margatemercury.com/thehub. With so many mouth-watering restaurants and food outlets popping up in Margate (and, because I must admit, I’m a massive foodie) we thought it was time for a food and drink special. In this issue we meet the people bringing worldwide flavours to this town (page 10), discover Margate’s supper club scene with local culinary hero Annie Nichols (page 14), and learn about the fascinating history of Batchelor’s Patisserie, a café on Northdown Road that turns fifty this November (page 16). Bon appetit everyone! Clare x

@missamyzing

@margate_vocal_studio

CONTRIBUTORS Writers Anna Hart Annie Nichols Bob Chicalors Dave McKenna Rachel Bell Rachel Jones Ros Anderson Twinkle Troughton Sam Simmons Zoe Walker

Photographers Clare Scullion Frank Leppard Gabrielle Hall Jo Bridges Ollie Harrop Sam Wiles Illustrators Clare de Lune Jade Spranklen Lizzy Tweedale

Published by Margate Mercury © All rights reserved Copyright 2017 Margate Mercury


The Hotlist SEPT

Greg Davies You Magnificent Beast

Art’s Cool Present Chastity Belt with Gang

Greg Davies, BAFTA nominated star of Cuckoo, Man Down, The Inbetweeners and Taskmaster, is back with his first stand-up show in four years

A performance from American punk female band Chastity Belt 4 September 7 pm The Dug Out facebook.com/ olbyssoulcafedugout

A Midsummer Night’s Dream A performance of the Shakespeare play from The HandleBards, the world’s first cycling theatre company 6 September 7.30 pm Theatre Royal theatreroyalmargate.com

Undercover Festival An independent and alternative music festival with punk, ska, dub, reggae and more 8 & 9 September Dreamland undercoverfest.com

The Cliff ’s Edge Monthly Retro Videogaming Social Cliffs and The Micro Museum present a vintage videogaming emporium with retro games from the eighties and nineties 13 September

7 - 11 pm Cliffs cliffsmargate.com

15 & 16 September 8 pm Margate Winter Gardens margatewintergardens. co.uk

Spelunking : Intro Section An introductory session for ‘Spelunking‘, an 8-week videomaking project led by artist Benedict Drew exploring the subterranean world. Free entry. 15 September 11 am - 6 pm Open School East facebook.com/ OpenSchoolEast

In Our Hands An innovative puppetry show about the story of Alf, a trawler fisherman 17 September 2 - 3 pm Dreamland dreamland.co.uk

Belly Dancing Family Fun Night A night of belly dancing for all the family 23 September 6 pm The Old Kent Market theoldkentmarket.com

Roundabout Festival A unique, intimate pop-up theatre with a variety of shows and performances 21 - 24 September

Marine Gardens, Margate theatreroyalmargate.com

TEDx Margate

SPHYNX

An independentlyorganised TED event with thoughtprovoking talks from local speakers

Esoteric sounds from artists Thirsty Kirsty and Alex Bloody Alex

16 September 10 am - 2 pm Turner Contemporary ted.com/tedx/events/21077

WE ARE... Paul Camo invites a few of his friends to come and play exceptional music. With DJs Bullion (Deek), Lukid (GLUM), Tic (Young Turks) and Paul Camo (NTS) 16 September 8 pm - 2 am Margate Arts Club margateartsclub.co.uk

For up-to-date information on events this season please visit our online calendar at: margatemercury.com/thehotlist

23 September Margate Arts Club margateartsclub.co.uk

OCT Menstrual Cycle Workshop A workshop to understand your menstrual cycle, identify your emotional patterns and plan the month to perform at your best 1 October 10.30 am - 5 pm Margate Arts Club maisiehill.com

Lulu - All About the Music Tour A performance from Lulu, acclaimed singer, songwriter, and actress 5 October 7.45 pm Margate Winter Gardens margatewintergardens. co.uk

Big Foot A funny and impassioned portrayal of becoming a man with Guyanese folk stories, grime, roti and raucous energy 12 October 7.30 pm Theatre Royal theatreroyalmargate.com

By the Sea Festival

PRAH

A music festival with artists, DJs and performers including Metronomy and The Libertines

PRAH returns to Margate Arts Club. Curated by Stephen Bass. A night of sounds to excite your ears

29 September - 1 October Dreamland bytheseafestival.com

14 October Margate Arts Club margateartsclub.co.uk

Little Opry

Art’s Cool Present DUDS

A performance from band Little Opry with old timey, bluegrass and related music 30 September Tom Thumb Theatre tomthumbtheatre.co.uk

A performance from Manchester five-piece band DUDS 15 October 7 pm Tom Thumb Theatre facebook.com/ artscoolclubnight

Sleeping Beauty - Vienna Festival Ballet

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An enchanting ballet for all the family with music from Tchaikovsky

The Book of Darkness and Light

15 October 5 pm Margate Winter Gardens margatewintergardens. co.uk

An evening of “atmospheric and creepy” spine-tingling tales and haunting live music on a violin

Screamland The region’s largest scare festival with interactive and immersive mazes, sinister sideshows and unlimited use of the rides – some with an unexpected twist 20 - 31 October 6 - 11 pm Dreamland dreamland.co.uk

Madam Juju A night to celebrate African culture with DJs playing Afro beat and high-life 21 October Margate Arts Club margateartsclub.co.uk

Transmission Presents Thomas Ragsdale Transmission Records presents Thomas Ragsdale playing dark, seething synth-based electronica 26 October Margate Arts Club margateartsclub.co.uk

It’s Magic! A Harry Potter themed videogaming weekend. Discounted entry fee of £2 for children dressed in a Hogwarts costume 27 - 29 October 1 - 4 pm The Micro Museum, Ramsgate themicromuseum.org

4 November 7.30 pm Theatre Royal theatreroyalmargate.com

Premiere: Spelunking Film Screening A screening of artist Benedict Drews’ video created from eightweeks of video making workshops 24 - 26 November Open School East facebook.com/ OpenSchoolEast

A/R/Tographic & Artifacts A pop-up exhibition exploring the value of visual arts education in secondary schools today 24 - 26 November Turner Contemporary turnercontemporary.org

M.O S. Panto Sleeping Beauty A fun all-singing alldancing pantomime 29 November - 3 December Margate Winter Gardens margatewintergardens. co.uk

The Nutcracker A performance of this well-loved traditional Christmas ballet 30 November 7.30 pm Theatre Royal theatreroyalmargate.com


Margate Mercury

AU T U M N NEWS & OPENINGS Writer

Clare Freeman

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Photography Sam Wiles

fter a busy summer in Margate, autumn is the season to wind down with good food and friends. Thankfully, the culinary and yoga offerings in town just get better. As well as the popular yoga venues Cliffs (cliffsmargate. com) and Hotpod Yoga (hotpodyoga.com), you can now practice your Vinyasa in the Kingfisher room above new shop Artisans and Adventurers (yogawithamie.co.uk), on the beach with Mel Cole (facebook.com/ MelColeYoga), or at Margate Yoga Den in their new yoga classes, including a latenight candle-lit yoga session every Friday (facebook.com/margateyoga). In Westbrook, Casa Pizzeria and Café is now open serving a small selection of Napoli seasonal pizzas

AUTUMN NEWS

alongside wine, Italian coffee, pastries and paninis (the owner’s cousin has flown over from Naples especially to be the pizza chef, so expect great things, casapizzeria.co.uk). After a successful run at The Old Kent Market, Viet Vibe will be opening a 60-cover permanent restaurant on Northdown Road this season serving new Vietnamese street food dishes alongside plenty of vegetarian dishes (instagram.com/vietvibemargate). And if you fancy something healthy head over to The Sundeck where there’s a new organic juice and smoothie bar The Juice Project (facebook.com/thejuiceprojectmargate); a café, Chalk, serving tasty vegan burgers, kebabs, salads, pasties and cakes (instagram. com/chalkcafe), and Po’ Boy, a hut serving delicious Creole fish and chips, sandwiches and more (instagram.com/poboymargate). For a spot of great retail therapy, head over to the lovely new Artisans and Adventurers store on King Street (artisans-and-adventurers.com) which sells ethical and handmade products from around the world, or to Little Bit, a new shop in the Old Town selling bright and fun gifts (littlebitmargate.com). And if you don’t feel like leaving your sofa (which might happen with the onset of autumn weather) we have also launched an online shop selling fantastic products made only by people living in Margate (margatemercury.com/shop). Margate is a haven for artists, so it’s great to

see new art spaces and facilities springing up. On the outskirts of town (behind B&Q) Strasbourg Street Studios, a new artists’ community, has been set up by Hedley Roberts and Sian-Kate Mooney, both artists and senior academics at the University of East London, in a vast warehouse space (facebook.com/strasbourgstreetstudios). Or if you want to see an artists’ studio with the ‘wow’ factor check out Northdown Studios - opening this October on the top floor of the former Bobby’s department store on Northdown Road - with its jaw-droppingly vast 2,000-square-foot ‘social space’, wraparound rooftop terrace and nine studios for 12 artists (northdownstudios.co.uk).

exchange for a few washes (linen, not sponge baths - we’re not that kind of establishment), before it eventually evolved into greeting guests and offering them a Tunnocks Teacake and assisting them upstairs to their affordable yet charming rooms. The introduction of a complimentary Tunnocks Teacake to every guest who crosses the threshold will ironically be the defining feature of my tenure, my foilwrapped legacy if you like. In my opinion, the key qualities of a good hotelier are: resisting Basil Fawltylike urges, falsely smiling and of course giving the odd recommendation. The ageold question, “Anywhere nice to eat?” has never been so easy to answer as it is today in Margate. A decade ago this question would have been as difficult to answer as it is to act interested when a DFL tells you why they moved to Margate. The culinary cruise around Margate then was an entirely different prospect. Options were limited to say the least. This was the noughties remember - if you were to swan into an eaterie and request gluten-free food back then you would have been punched in the face and served a carrot. On the seafront there was the classy allyou-can-eat Oriental Buffet. Here customers were offered stunning sea views as well as salty spring rolls. My favourite visit was on one bastardly bitter winter afternoon, when me and my three siblings - with parental consent -

were granted freedom to eat as much of the fried fodder as humanly possible. The only other customer to overdose on the oriental food was a down-on-his-luck gentleman, who had obviously had a splendid turn of fortune as he was both indoors and eating whilst sinking a few pints. Other options were Pizza Hut (on the High Street above Pillow Talk, once a sex shop, where GB Pizza now serves up salami). There was also Bar Barcelona, where the Black Cat café now operates. They served tapas as well as Mexican food in its adjoining restaurant, Chicos. I, sadly, was unaware that Chico time was to come to an end and never made it in. A less gastronomic experience was available at King Rooster, not an actual giant bird, but Margate’s answer to KFC in the noughties. Many a £2 meal deal (burger, chips and a can of foreign fizz) was enjoyed here before it closed down and changed its name to PFC. What did the P stand for you ask? Pizza of course. Yeah, this is not fake news, this is genuine journalism. We had a fast food chain called PIZZA FRIED CHICKEN. Along with being wrong on every level, it made no sense and neither did their decision to put their prices up. PFC is not missed.

Robert McKinen from The Juice Project

“‘Anywhere nice to eat?’ has never been so easy to answer as it is today in Margate”

a dose of margate life from a local with an egg-shaped head Writer

Dave McKenna

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Illustration

Jade Spranklen

his will be my twenty-eighth summer managing our familyowned guest house, a fruitful fate I could have only dreamt of when I spent over £15,000 and four years on higher education. I’m glad the gamble paid off. How did I end up as captain of this seasonal ship? I’m not really sure to be honest - first it was free accommodation, then it became free accommodation in

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Margate Mercury

THE SCOOP

THE SCOOP

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You heard it here first

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Writer

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Clare Freeman

Artists’ studios opens in the former Bobby’s department store

Architecture firm takes over the former Thanet Gazette Building

Academy FM launches a free broadcasting training programme

Luke and Amy - owners of Margate Arts Club - are opening a new artists’ studios on Northdown Road this October, Northdown Studios. The vast 5,000 square foot space - at the top of the former Thornton Bobby department store - was a former tea room for the store and will feature a huge 2,000 square-foot open-plan social space and lounge area, project space, nine studios for 12 artists, a kitchen and a wrap-around roof terrace with its own greenhouse. northdownstudios.co.uk

The former printworks for the Thanet Gazette newspaper on Union Row has been purchased by architecture firm Liddicoat & Goldhill currently based in Clerkenwell, London - that plans to renovate it into flexible serviced studios for themselves and other businesses. The building was most recently used as a GP surgery and will also feature a first-floor café from Curve Roasters - accessed from the street via a spiral staircase - a rooftop terrace, yoga studio and a rentable pop-up exhibition space for artists. unionrowmargate.com

Ever wondered what it’s like to work as a radio presenter? Or want to learn more about news reporting or audio production? Thanet’s local radio station Academy FM is launching a new free course in broadcasting skills and communication this autumn. The course has been created thanks to a recent grant from The Henry Smith Foundation, one of the UK’s largest grant givers, and is open to people of all ages with no previous experience or knowledge. If you’re interested email patrick.foster@academyfmthanet.com

‘Glamping’ comes to Margate

Fine dining restaurant to open inside former Post Office

Artists’ community Strasbourg St launches

The former headquarters for the Post Office on Cecil Square will re-open as an elegant, luxury, fine-dining restaurant this autumn. The restaurant will serve modern British cuisine using simple, seasonal ingredients, locally sourced where possible from organisations such as Windmill Community Gardens. The plush interior will feature an impressively ornate bar serving cocktails and champagne, soft lighting, a marble fireplace and a grand piano. The perfect spot for a celebration or special occasion. instagram.com/theoldpostofficemargate

A new artists’ community is being formed inside a vast warehouse space in the Westwood Industrial Estate. The space, created by teachers and artists Sian KateMooney and Hedley Roberts, currently houses four artists - including ceramicist Luke Eastop and portraitist Felicity Allen - in a 1,700 square-foot space. Sian and Hedley hope to expand the space to a possible 10,000 squarefeet this October to create a community of ‘like-minded, working artists’. The pair also plan to have an artist residency programme with visiting artists from countries including China, Turkey and Croatia. facebook.com/strasbourgstreetstudios

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The Chamomile Clinic in Cliftonville is bringing glamorous camping (aka ‘glamping’) to Margate with their two new secluded eco-cabins. The cabins - located at the far end of their ‘healing garden’ - can sleep up to eight people and feature full-size beds with all bedding and towels provided and complimentary organic teas. Guests are also treated to a delicious organic and healthy breakfast of their choice - think gluten-free bread and eggs from the local farmer - and the option of having a treatment from one of the clinic’s many therapists. chamomileclinic.co.uk/margate-glamping

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Margate Mercury

FOOD & DRINK

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right ingredients Writer

Claire Hargreaves / Larder Lout

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Rachel Jones

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argate has a burgeoning food scene, building on a base of well-loved and popular establishments, ranging from delightfully complicated cheese combinations at Cheesy Tiger to traditional pub grub at The Hoy. You can enjoy a daily changing fresh menu at Hantverk & Found, a fully vegan selection at the newly-launched Chalk or a totally plant-based menu at the Beet Bar. While being a traditional seasonal seaside town, with all the expectations of cuisine that brings, all the restaurateurs I spoke to agree there is a rough formula to running a successful restaurant here. The first being that freshly made, familiar and satisfying food - some may say ‘comfort food’ - is key. Kate de Syllas from the everpopular and well established Hantverk & Found says, “we mix in globally-influenced flavours but we always try and balance the menu so there’s something for everyone.” It’s a formula that must be working as after many years of filling their compact dining room a welcome expansion is in the offing. Nothing that’s super-clever or over -complicated is a rule that the new Store Burger is also sticking to. After a successful pop-up on the Harbour Arm in 2014, Mark Beneyto and Charmaine Hawthorne opened a permanent space on Marine Gardens this July. “We’ve spent a long time getting our product right and we’re doing just one thing and doing it well. We’ve also spent time developing a vegan version and are happy that now we offer a simple range centred around one product.” Seasonality and freshness comes next in the formula, with successful restaurants often using as many local suppliers as possible, many with a CT9 postcode. De Syllas explains that she “devises a daily menu from the fresh options available that follows the seasons. For example, we work directly with the fishermen and we don’t often serve fresh fish on a Monday as it’s not readily available.” Angela’s Café is working with The Windmill Community allotment to source their fresh produce whilst Store Burger is working closely with a butcher near Canterbury to get their burgers exactly right. Lisa Richards of the

seafront stalwart GB Pizza - which opened in 2012 - uses only British and fresh ingredients, and has noticed a “definite swing towards more challenging toppings” with crab being a current bestseller (a topping which she says would have never sold a few years ago). They like to change their menu regularly, but have to be careful that it matches with their customers’ tastes. “We recently tried to remove the pear and blue cheese option and there was uproar so we had to put it back on the menu,” she tells me. “Our customers are definitely vocal!” Community is the next rule. Anyone who lives here can tell you what an amazingly supportive place Margate is and all businesses have a sense of dependency both on each other and the camaraderie of the town. “Food to me has always been about coming together with friends and family, especially after 10 years in Italy” says Melanie Mountfield, Head Chef and owner of Roost, a former chicken and now street food restaurant. “Since opening Roost, family has been replaced by community. Margate has such a vibrant and positive community and I am proud and fortunate that Roost is part of it.” Similarly, Richards of GB Pizza says, “here’s a real sense that people want new businesses to succeed and we’re very supportive of one another. We often recommend each other’s businesses to customers and we have a simple delivery set-up where customers at The Bottle Shop or

The Glass Jar can order from us.” Hantverk & Found also runs as a commissioning art gallery and hosts regular collaborations with friends such as Urchin Wines and Annie Nichols of Hot Meals Now. Being part of the community is integral to the future success of the newly-opened Angela’s Café on The Parade, who are making every endeavour to be as sustainable as possible. “We’re planning to share delivery drops with our neighbours who use the same suppliers. We use as many local suppliers as possible so we can pick up from them and reduce packaging,” says owner Lee Coad. “We’re also using minimal electricity by utilising a charcoalonly Harrison Oven to do the majority of our cooking” (hand built locally in Ramsgate). There is a caveat to all this and that’s pricing. There isn’t a lot of money in Margate yet so any new food establishments need to be careful to reflect this. “Convincing the local market that our product is worth the price is a challenge we are both aware and confident of,” says Beneyto of Store Burger. “The provenance of our food is worth shouting about and educating people on.” Angela’s Café is keeping their meals fairly priced by splitting the menu options into mains and sides to allow for a broader range of budgets. There are a growing number of exciting and quality food places emerging in Margate amongst the well-respected and well-loved favourites. A positive sign and exciting times ahead for Margate’s masses.


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Margate Mercury

FOOD & DRINK

Margate’s  international cuisine scene is taking off, with the number of good quality world food outlets growing rapidly throughout 2017. Zoe Walker visited some of the tastiest pit stops in town

Writer

Zoe Walker

Photography Sam Wiles

CURRY SHACK T H E S U N D E C K , R OYA L CRESCENT PROMENADE

PAN ASIAN CUISINE 1 4 B U E N O S AY R E S

Situated within a stone’s throw of Margate train station, Pan Asian opened in February 2017 under the watchful eye of proprietor Jakraphan Treepoca. Jakraphan describes the menu simply as “very traditional Thai food.” Hence, all the dishes you would expect are here – from salmon Thai fish cakes to Thai green curry – alongside more innovative creations such as Tom Kha Gai (coconut soup with herbs and tamarind sauce), Chilli Glazed Sea Bass or Laab Gai (a salad of minced chicken in a spicy dressing with smokey brown rice and herbs). Pan Asian is the second restaurant in Margate

for Jakraphan, who was former chef at Yama’s Thai Eaterie on the High Street. Jakraphan’s customers are a loyal bunch, and locals have followed their noses - and taste buds - to his new restaurant, knowing they can expect good things. The restaurant is also popular with day trippers and holidaymakers who can’t miss Pan Asian as they pass back and forth from the station, or visit the recently relaunched Dreamland. After running a BYO policy initially, Pan Asian now has an alcohol license. There’s a take-away menu offering starters like chilli calamari, soups, and a selection of stir-fried, grilled and steamed dishes like Pad Katiem Beef (stir fried beef with garlic crumble and coriander). The dining area is cosy but comfortable with an emphasis on good food freshly cooked at reasonable prices (£8.50 for a take-away Sen Chan Pad Thai).

Opening for business in Margate in early 2017, Seton Christian During’s goat curry hut joins an array of food outlets nestled at The Sundeck beneath the Nayland Rock Hotel. With its sunny position close to the water this tiny food outlet has become a popular dining spot for a tasty curry lunch or to watch the sun set. Starting out at Portobello Road market, Seton’s culinary passion is for curry, burritos and burgers. He currently offers a choice of just two curry options – goat curry and vegetable vegan curry – while the business grows. After that time, options will expand. Using a range of West Indian and Thai spices, he says that the base of his curries is African – for which the herbs and spices are much stronger. “I watched my mum and aunt cooking,” he says when asked where he learnt to cook. Hence, he prefers to experiment rather than cooking with recipes in order to get the flavour he wants. The curry is spicier and richer than Indian versions, with a heat that hits you a few minutes after eating. One of the growing crowd of Londoners fleeing the capital for the Margate lifestyle, Seton says he’s happier being so close to the sea in the summer and prefers the outlook at The Sundeck to his old perch in Portobello Road.


Margate Mercury

FOOD & DRINK

11

THE RIZ 49 NO RT H D OW N ROA D

Manager of The Riz and all-round Margate legend Paul Singh reiterates to me - several times - that The Riz serves South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Woe betide the person who presumes that this is simple Indian food – it isn’t. The spices are unique, the cooking style is too, and Paul’s very clear on that. “We use spices not just in the sense of hot, they have to be tasty hot,” he says firmly. “Our curries are very different here. They’re South Indian.” He’s right to be particular about making the distinction, of course - there is a definite depth and breadth of flavours to his delicious Mutton Varuval, brought out by the slow cooking process that allows the spices to permeate the meat. The monkfish and mango curry are also not to be missed, and it’s obvious why The Riz has established itself - mostly by word-of-mouth - as the go-to place in Margate for a great eat-in or take-away curry since its opening four and a half years ago. Paul knows what works best with what, so be prepared to receive guidance on your choice of dishes when ordering - this is part of the whole Riz experience. Take-aways are also popular and the great food (crab curry, traditional crumb-fried fish dumplings or Duck Chettinad) mixed with good value (£8, £8 and £9.50 respectively) has rightly brought this restaurant a loyal fanbase and accolades in the national press.

“We use spices not just in the sense of hot, they have to be tasty hot. Our curries are very different here. They’re South Indian”

VIET VIBE T H E O L D K E N T M A R K E T, 8 FO RT H I L L

Based opposite Bottega Caruso in The Old Kent Market, Tom Hoang, owner of the Vietnamese street food restaurant Viet Vibe, is a veritable dynamo of a man. Coming to Margate from Shoreditch, Tom worked for years in a number of restaurants on Kingsland Road (which is referred to as the ‘Pho Mile’ due to its heavy concentration of Vietnamese eateries). Since opening in June 2017, his fresh Vietnamese street food has proved a hit with visitors and locals alike. When we meet, Tom talks about his plans to open a “proper, 60-cover Vietnamese restaurant” ...“It’s great here at The Old Kent Market,” he says, “but there are certain Vietnamese foods we can’t cook as we have only an electric cooker - deep fried sea bass with lemon grass and pepper, for example.” On offer at The Old Kent Market are simpler dishes – such as fresh sesame rolls with dipping sauce or noodle soup. Whilst The Old Kent Market outlet will remain, the new restaurant - planned for Northdown Road - will offer a wider menu and he intends to work partly in partnership with East Kent College to train and recruit chefs. Tom is waiting for a friend to come from London to work as a chef for him so that he can be freed up to run his new business ventures. “Vietnamese cuisine is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world – it’s light, healthy and tasty,” Tom says.


12

Margate Mercury

FOOD & DRINK

MULLINS BRASSERIE 6 MARKET PLACE

Caribbean restaurant Mullins in Margate’s Old Town is more established than other international restaurants in Margate, having opened in 2010. After seven years in the business, their mix of what proprietor Maryanne calls “Caribbean-orientated fusion food” is produced by chefs in a kitchen presided over by her husband, head chef Antonio Forde. “Our food is either all-out Caribbean or European with Caribbean influences. My husband is from Barbados, so that is where the style comes from,” Maryanne says. Food ranges from simple jerk chicken with rice and peas for lunch to curried goat in the evening. The restaurant offers Caribbean set menu nights periodically (this August it was £24 for five courses including sweet potato and ginger soup, ackee and saltfish and coconut tart with ruminfused cream). The menu also boasts more adventurous Caribbean-European hybrids such as ‘coriander and garlic fillet of sea bass with a courgette flower stuffed with ackee and saffron served with eddo and celeriac puree, smoked herring caviar and finished with a paprika-infused Creole sauce.’ As new eateries move into the area, Maryanne has seen more people coming to Margate – day-trippers, holidaymakers and new residents alike, all helping to bring the town back to its best. “We opened just before Turner Contemporary,” says Maryanne. “And things have just got better and better over the years since then.”

“We opened just before Turner Contemporary. And things have just got better and better over the years since then”

MALA KAFEE UNIT 3, HARBOUR ARM

Famed for its great coffee, Mala Kaffee, a tiny café which opened in mid 2017 on Margate’s Harbour Arm, also serves tasty Scandinavian sandwiches, toasties and brunch boards. “I moved to Margate a few years ago looking for a new lifestyle,” says owner Carey Mann. “I already had a coffee shop in Hackney Wick, so it was a natural progression to open another business after moving to Margate.” Carey describes Mala’s fare as “a fusion of Scandi-Brit sandwiches along with brunch boards, such as the herring board and Copenhagen brunch board. My husband and I decide on the Scandi sandwiches and Liberty – my manager – is really creative when it comes to our ‘toastie’ menu. The hummus, avocado and sundried tomato on ‘wild bread’ sourdough is my favourite sandwich but our signature dish is the home-cured gravalax on homemade rye bread and the herring board.” Carey says she is appreciative of her great neighbours on the Harbour Arm - including the popular Cheesy Tiger restaurant - who “all offer something different and of great quality.” She also approves wholeheartedly of the burgeoning international cuisine scene, saying: “I love Bottega Caruso for Italian in The Old Kent Market or The Riz when I fancy a curry. Margate is always changing. More friends have moved here and new and exciting businesses are opening. I think it’s a fantastic place to live.”


Margate Mercury

FOOD & DRINK

13

BOTTEGA CARUSO T H E O L D K E N T M A R K E T, 8 FO RT H I L L

TASHI’S PANTRY 3 MARINE DRIVE

From pop-up stall to The Old Kent Market trader, Marjory Edmonds is now running her own African Caribbean eaterie on Marine Drive. “Yes it’s hard cooking everything myself, but it’s worth it when I see people licking their fingers. Then I think: ‘I did something good here,’” she beams. Her eaterie - which opened in Easter 2017 and boasts one of the best sea views in town serves homemade Caribbean staples such as curry goat with rice and peas and jerk sweet potato and bean curry. “We pride ourselves on the unique flavour of our food, and recipes passed down from family and friends,” she says. There are a range of vegetarian options, plus a couple of vegan dishes on the menu with tastes ranging from “very spicy to medium and mild.” “We have always loved the seaside and when we decided to buy our new home we chose Margate because of the beautiful beach and attractive house prices,” says Marjory. “Since moving to our current place on the seafront, business has been great. Our neighbours have been very welcoming and helped in promoting our business.” It’s possible to order food via the Tashi’s Pantry Facebook page or by phone to collect, and take-away is popular for beach picnics or those too busy to cook who want something quick and healthy to eat. “Local support has been great,” says Marjory. “People are surprised to find a restaurant like this in Margate.”

Bottega Caruso has become a popular and talked about dining destination since it opened this year in Margate’s Old Kent Market. The brainchild of couple Harry (British) and Simona (from Campania in south-western Italy), the restaurant was the next step for the enterprising duo who raised money via a crowdfunding campaign to expand their pop-up stall at the Goods Shed in Canterbury in to a permanent restaurant. Simona’s family are artisan pasta makers and she’s brought the traditional techniques and recipes learnt back home in Italy to Margate. “To get the right ingredients, I often give my parents a shopping list and they drive around the mountains in our region back home to get everything. Then they pack it up carefully and send it to us,” she says. You can watch pasta being made at their Old Kent Market stall – the experience is strangely therapeutic. There’s fresh ravioli, pasta, cheeses and porcetto, which Harry says is from “locally-reared, free-range happy pigs.” It’s possible to pre-order pasta or buy on the day (everything is made fresh) and pick up some tomato sauce at the same time – made by Simona’s family. Even the flour the pasta is made with is a traditional, Italian blend “from ancient varieties of grains” which gives it an authentic texture and flavour. Fresh pasta comes by the box, with a 180g box of pancetta, potato and summer herb ravioli priced at £5.25.


14

Margate Mercury

FOOD & DRINK

Supper by the Sea Writer ‘Veganvilla’ supper club at Cliffs

Annie Nichols

With surprising locations and innovative menus, supper clubs have never been so mouthwatering or exciting. Here Annie Nichols from Hot Meals Now gives her take on this growing Margate dining trend

Where to find a supper club in Margate • Bottega Caruso • • Cliffs • • Hantverk & Found • • margate Arts Club • • The Grain Grocer • • The London Tavern • • Tom Thumb Theatre • • Urchin Wines •

Bottega Caruso supper club

S

even years ago I attended a supper club on my own at Trolley Books on Redchurch Street in east London. I had no idea what to expect. It quietly blew my mind. The food artist Caroline Hobkinson had transformed the gallery space. It was filled with step ladders, and stacked gym boxes that you clambered up to reach your seat for dinner in the rafters. The table, set ready for dinner, was lowered from above. A whole jamón was ceremoniously carved by a waiter who appeared, up another ladder, through a hole in the middle of the table. Warm bunches of asparagus and a whole baked turbot made their way up to us via a system of pullies and chains. We ate with huge elongated forks. This is the sort of popup dining experience I love (the following year I choreographed a sensory dining experience for Caroline Hobkinson in a Masonic temple). In our gadget-obsessed world there has been an increased desire for a more handson experience. We now crave different ways of dining, seeking out something more physically immersive and new. We want to be challenged and entertained and we want an intimate, personal experience that can’t be repeated. Margate is a place of movement and change and is rapidly morphing into the unknown, which is terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure for those living here. A constant wave of new DFLs (the ‘Down From Londoners’ who have actually been coming here for the last two hundred years or so), and those from further afield, are arriving on Margate’s shore and are creating a hungry (pun totally intended), rapidly-expanding market in food and drink and - in more recent times - a spike in numerous supper clubs being held here. Cafés and restaurants are opening every week here, but it’s under-the-radar supper clubs that are offering more varied, exciting food and dishes that are not so easily available here. But the real joy of the supper club is that it is a unique shared experience, a social interaction between unknown people and space. Anticipation builds as you turn up at an unfamiliar location, (or a space that has been transformed, just for the night), to sit and share dinner with a bunch of strangers.

The space has been decorated and the tables laid. Your mouth is watering in expectation of the food. The, usually set, menu gives the chefs the opportunity to experiment with exciting new dishes and demonstrate their skills. All this for one evening’s pleasure and an unrepeatable experience. I’ve held three supper clubs myself in recent months. They are frantic but exhilarating affairs to run. A high-pitched excitement surrounds them. Totally fun.

“We now crave different ways of dining, seeking out something more physically immersive and new”

Of course not everyone can afford these delights, but what supper clubs can encourage is the cross-over between different local communities. I held one of my recent supper clubs at Cliftonville Bowls Club. Kate Harrison (a champion of community involvement in Cliftonville and Margate) suggested I held it there. She knew I was looking for a location, suggested the bowls club and took me to meet Sonny, the club captain. Sonny is a retired policeman, 65, and a massive fan of Meatloaf and motorbikes. Born and bred in Margate he speaks Romanian and Hungarian. I would suggest that Sonny is not your average bowls club captain. He was a joy to work with and he said he enjoyed it as much as we did and other club members liked the ‘new blood’ that the supper club brought in. It also raised some much-needed cash for their fund to keep the club running (as it’s volunteer-run) and a large group of the diners went back a couple of weeks later to play bowls for the evening. This is the sort of community interaction that needs to be going on here, a mixing up of communities through the potent power of food.


Licenced activity cafe for all the family A range of hot and cold snacks including fresh waffles and warm chocolate sauce Hot chocolate, tea and coffee Stunning sea views 2-14 High street Margate CT11 1AT

pizzeria & cafĂŠ

B UOY AN D

OYSTE R

We’ re open! Napoli-inspired pizzas and rich Italian coffee. Eat in or take away from our brand new in Margate.

20% OFF! Bring this advert when you eat-in and get 20% off your pizza!*

British restaurant & cocktails by the sea www.buoyandoyster.com Buoy and Oyster @BuoyandOyster

89 Canterbury Rd, Margate, CT9 5AX 01843 226 852

casapizzeria.co.uk

*Offer valid until 31 Dec 2017. 20% off eat-in pizzas only. Drinks, starters, desserts and other menu items are not included in the promotion. No photocopies accepted. Maximum 4 pizzas per coupon. Coupons can be used once and will be collected once redeemed. Vegans & vegetarians welcome!


16

Margate Mercury

HISTORY

50

Let Them Eat Cake 50

Writer

Anna Hart

Photography Jo Bridges

For fifty years, Batchelor’s Patisserie has been treating locals and visitors to Margate with a sugar fix. Anna Hart toasts to a Northdown Road institution

50

A

t the heart of every British community is a café. Sure, the menus have morphed over the years, as almond milk flat whites replace pots of Earl Grey, and fashionable donuts and macarons usurp old favourites like scones and Battenberg cake. What hasn’t changed, however, is the role that a perfect local café plays - as a community hub, a tourist destination, and a vital component of any healthy high street. This November, Batchelor’s Patisserie on Northdown Road celebrates its fiftieth year as a cherished Cliftonville institution - because despite Margate’s socioeconomic ups and downs over the last five decades, sweet treats and smiling staff have never gone out of fashion. The residents of Cliftonville all know we’ve got a good thing going with this gorgeous patisserie. When the large, gleaming Costa café opened up right across the road back in July, Batchelor’s had their busiest Saturday in over five months. As part of the 1920s Bobby’s department store block, 246 Northdown Road was originally a drapery, before a brief incarnation as a photographer’s studio during Margate’s heyday as a glamorous seaside retreat. In 1923 it reopened as the Southern Railway Ticket Office, during the golden age of travel, when tramlines ran up and down Northdown Road and Londoners could sail to Margate harbour by paddle steamer. In 1967, Norman and Maria Batchelor opened Batchelor’s Patisserie, inspired by the fashionable patisseries of Paris. In 1972 it was sold to Janet and Franz Ottiger, whereby Franz began adding delicacies from his native Switzerland to Norman’s menu of sweet treats. The Ottigers ran the business until 2004, when Richard and Claire Veitch took over, and in March

50

2015, the current owners, Gillian and Stuart Turner, bought the business. Stuart and Gillian are both ex-airforce, but share a vision for an excellent patisserie that also serves as a social hub. “We’re building on a wonderful heritage here, and we both felt it was important to respect tradition, while bringing Batchelor’s up to date and catering to the new crowd of young creatives,” explains Stuart. The Turners still use many of the original recipes perfected by Mr Batchelor and Mr Ottiger, but have added to and updated the menu. Stuart and Gillian see huge potential in this gloriously retro, lived-in and thoroughly comfortable space, and they’ve previously organised gin afternoon teas (harking back to the days when housewives would conceal their gin in teapots) and cabaret nights starring Tracey Ermine and Tommy Poppers. Perhaps this is the ultimate marker of a perfect café, one that evolves with, and responds to, the community around it. As Batchelor’s turns fifty, she’s preparing to let her hair down, with plans to open later in the evenings with a bar menu, live music and 1960s vinyl on the turntable. Happy birthday Batchelor’s. Life begins at fifty, right?


A open! We’re really excited about opening our new shop, and to celebrate we’ll be sharing some little surprises in store. little bit; gifts, treats and stationery in the heart of Old Town. Little Bit | 1-3 Broad St, Margate, Kent CT9 1EW | 01843 297288 | Open Tues-Fri: 10-6 | Sat and Sun: 11-5 | littlebitmargate.com

Margate Glamping with

The Chamomile Clinic

Stay with us in our private garden setting, with two glamping cabins, available via Airbnb. Welcome to Margate Glamping, here at The Chamomile Clinic, just 5 minutes from the beach! Our quiet and cozy wooden cabins can sleep up to 4 in each. A double bed / futon comes as standard with two singles and a cot available. Organic, gluten and lactose free delicious breakfasts available. Book a treatment and turn your stay into a healing retreat! Treatments, Therapies, Workshops & Courses Herbal Medicine • Aromatherapy • Massage • Hypnotherapy • Hypnobirthing • Pilates • Body Balancing • Reflexology Shiatsu • Baby Shiatsu • Acupuncture • Reiki • Sound Therapy • Shamanic Healing • Creative Body Talk Therapy Chromatology • Nutrition • Mamas & Papas Baby Retreat • Red Tent Full Moon Retreat

60 Harold Road, Cliftonville, Margate, CT9 2HS • 01843 299439 • 07814 430 690 • www.chamomileclinic.co.uk


M

Y

M

MY

Y

MY

K

[yoon-yuhn] noun 1.

Derived from the Sanskrit Yuj, also known as Yoga.

2.

A society or association formed by people with a common interest or purpose.

3.

A collective space devoted to Yoga, Pilates & Dance opening in Margate, Winter 2017.

Union Row, Margate www.unionmargate.com

Horsebridge Centre ad July 2017.pdf 1 14/08/2017 05:55:09

Whitstable Seeking innovative exciting artists for our 2018 programme

Last few spaces remaining

email: info@thehorsebridge.org.uk Tel: 01227 281174

Charity Number: 1099570

imageŠHarriet Gifford 2017

C

Union.

@TOMTHUMBTHEATRE WWW.TOMTHUMBTHEATRE.CO.UK WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/TOM.THUMB.735 INFO@TOMTHUMBTHEATRE.CO.UK


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Our definitive guide to where to eat in margate this autumn

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Food on the go | Cheap eats

Unit 7 - 8, Harbour Arm

71 - 73 Godwin Road

Batchelor’s patisserie

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BeBeacheD

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Café | Breakfast | Brunch Harbour Arm

Beet bar

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Vegetarian & Vegan friendly 25 High Street 5

Bernie’s chocolate bar

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Dining with a view | Treat yourself 2 - 14 High Street 6

Buoy and Oyster

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Dinner | Dining with a view 44 High Street 7

Casa pizzeria & CAFÉ

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Group dining | Dinner 89 Canterbury Road 8

Godwin Fish & chips restaurant

21 The Parade

246 Northdown Road

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Group dining | Treat yourself

Café

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Cheesy Tiger

Group dining | Dinner

Chalk cafÉ Vegetarian & Vegan friendly The Sundeck, Royal Crescent Promenade

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Cinque ports

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greedy cow

Dinner | Group dining

Group dining | Breakfast | Brunch

50 Marine Terrace

3 Market Place

Cliffs

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Hantverk & Found

Café | Breakfast | Brunch

Dinner | Treat yourself

172 Northdown Road

18 King Street

curry shack

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London Tavern

Food on the go

Group dining | Dinner

The Sundeck, Royal Crescent Promenade

Addington Street

Dalby cafÉ

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Mala kaffee

Breakfast | Cheap eats

Café | Breakfast | Brunch

4 - 6 Dalby Road

Unit 3, Harbour Arm

Eata pizza

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Mannings seafood stand

Food on the go

Food on the go

88 Northdown Road

The Parade

fORT’S

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masala gate

Dining with a view | Breakfast | Brunch

Dinner | Group dining

8 Cliff Terrace

10 Duke Sreet

GB Pizza

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mullins brasserie

Group dining | Dining with a view

Dinner | Group dining

14a Marine Drive

6 Market Place

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t.stall

Dinner | Group dining

Food on the go

Cheap eats | Food on the go

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24 Marine Gardens

18 Lombard Street

pan asian cuisine

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The ambrette

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tashi’s pantry

Dinner | Group dining

Dinner | Group dining | Treat yourself

Dining with a view | Food on the go

14 Buenos Ayres

44 King Street

3 Marine Drive

parkers diner

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the bangkok thai

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turner contemporary cafÉ

Breakfast | Brunch | Cheap eats

Dinner | Group dining

Café | Dining with a view

3 Prices Avenue

1 Prices Avenue

Rendezvous

peter’s fish factory

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The Bus cafÉ

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Vera’s kitchen

Food on the go

Breakfast | Brunch

Café

12 The Parade

The Sundeck, Royal Crescent Promenade

11 Broad Street

po’ boy creole fish hut

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the cupcake cafÉ

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viet vibe

Food on the go

Café | Breakfast | Brunch | Group dining

Dinner | Food on the go

The Sundeck, Royal Crescent Promenade

4 - 5 Market Place

Old Kent Market

proper coffee

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the grain grocer

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Woody’s

Café | Breakfast

Café | Food on the go | Vegetarian & Vegan friendly

Dinner

37 High Street

95 - 97 Northdown Road

16 The Parade

Roost

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the hoy

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Yama's thai eaterie

Dining with a view | Dinner | Group dining

Dinner | Group dining

Dinner | Group dining

19 Cliff Terrace

10 Fort Hill

121 High Street

Sands hotel

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the riz

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Ziggy's rooftop bar & bbq

Dinner | Treat yourself

Dinner | Group dining

Group dining | Dining with a view

16 Marine Drive

49 Northdown Road

49 Marine Terrace

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22

Margate Mercury

ART & CULTURE

Picturing Margate Writer

Twinkle Troughton

Photographer Gabrielle Hall

Thanet’s rugged coastline is not only impressive for its vast sky-scapes and chalky cliffs, but also for the iconic landmarks along the way, be it ones made with human hands or by nature herself. From Margate’s Brutalist Arlington House, to Cliftonville’s nostalgic Lido and on to Botany Bay, here we meet two artists who seek not just to interpret the landscape, but highlight such landmarks

N I C O L A TAY L O R Painter & Artist

N

icola Taylor takes the landscapes of Thanet and paints them using dynamic shapes, forming mosaics of vivid colour depicting familiar landmarks like Margate’s Lido or the chalk cliffs at Botany Bay. instagram.com/taylorartnicola Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a local Margate artist who has been inspired by the Thanet landscape, with its incredible skies and ever-changing coastline. I mainly paint seascapes and landscapes using acrylics. My work is bold and colourful. I love playing with colour and shape. I am constantly looking for patterns and angles in the world around me. Have you always been an artist? I have always loved art and started painting at a young age. I have always painted as a hobby and it is only recently that I have

started selling some of my work. I am a full-time primary school teacher and enjoy painting whenever I get a spare moment. What brought you to Margate? I married a Ramsgate man and fell in love with the area. The unique coastline with the sunsets and sun rises are inspirational! I’m forever taking photos, mesmerised by yet another dramatic sky. Which local galleries would you recommend we visit? Thanet is full of lovely galleries and creative organisations; Lovelys, Margate Gallery, The Pie Factory, Broadstairs Gallery, Nice Things, McGillan and Woodell and New Kent Gallery to name a few. Also the fabulous Bernie’s Chocolate Bar that exhibits the work of a different local artist every month.

Do you have any future shows you’d like to tell us about? I will be doing a solo exhibition at Bernie's Chocolate Bar from 27 October to 23 November 2017. I have also been contacted by several local shops and other galleries so it is a very exciting time for me. Watch this space!


Margate Mercury

ART & CULTURE

23

SHERADON DUBLIN Photographer & Artist

S

heradon Dublin specialises in creative portraiture and commercial photography. With Margate’s architectural icons as his muse, he also creates bright and bold graphic prints which he exhibits frequently around the town. sheradondublin.com Tell us a little about who you are: I’m a commercial photographer and graphic designer based in Margate. I shoot for creative businesses and individuals, which is something I love doing as every job is different and I get to meet a vast range of people. What drives you creatively? A number of things: modern architecture and typography, to the iconic work of Helmut Newton and Norman Parkinson. I have always liked the way things were designed in the past, especially the midcentury period, which often finds its way into my work.

How has Margate influenced you? I lived in London until quite recently, and I’ve been inspired by the amazing light, the wide open spaces of the coastline and rolling fields of colourful farmland. I’m still seeing Thanet through the eyes of a tourist, pulling the car over at any given moment and jumping out with my camera. The Arlington building in particular was the starting point of my Margate graphic series, with the other landmarks following shortly after.

Do you have any exhibitions coming up? I have a show at the Good Food Store in Margate until 22 September, and also have smaller pieces in Bernie’s Chocolate Bar and the Fox & Spindle in the Old Town.

What opportunities has Margate provided for you? Thanks to the creative community in Margate, I’ve been able to get my studio at LIMBO up and running, from the paintsplattered shell I inherited to trading within weeks. I have been extremely fortunate to work for some of Margate and Kent’s larger businesses, shooting behind the scenes at grand openings and backstage at concerts.

“The Arlington building in particular was the starting point of my Margate graphic series, with the other landmarks following shortly after”


24

Margate Mercury

NIGHTLIFE

margate's clubbing eras Writer & Photographer Dave McKenna

O

ur seaside town of Margate is blessed with many an asset that the residents of yesteryear (BT – Before Trendies) couldn’t have imagined. Such as, well, tourists for a start, a reborn amusement park, as well as things they didn’t even know they wanted like a melange of museums, gangs of galleries, many a merry micro-boozer, international cuisine, double decker buses that Morrissey would have happily jumped in front of, retro retailers, seaweed sellers, and even a place where you can buy your dog a tuxedo. However we are without one staple of any civilisation worth its existence, the necessity that is the big nightclub. I spoke to three locals who recall their sordid and sozzled stories of Margate clubbing in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, when the local clubbing scene looked rather different.

◄ 1960's Dreamland Poster


Margate Mercury

60s & 70s “I’d drive down from Herne Bay every weekend in my Ford Anglia. On occasion I’d have as many as nine people in the motor. You’d have to angle yourself into the Anglia. Driving with nine people hanging out of your car back then wasn’t an issue. If the police saw you they probably just assumed ‘oh there goes another one off to Dreamland’. If you didn’t fancy driving back immediately you’d take a deck chair and kip on the beach. B&Bs were cheap but deckchairs were cheaper. It was always packed, young people from all over Kent and beyond would come down for a dance and the ballroom was

80s “It was way back in 1981, I had just qualified as a school teacher and I moved into Ethelbert Terrace in a basement flat. By accident I’d ended up in the centre of all the clubs in Margate. Fine by me, cause it meant no taxis and I could easily roll home. What was more recently the gallery Plinth was previously known as ‘Charlottes’. Before that it was a gay bar, ‘Scandals’ and prior to that it was called ‘Crackers’. I used to love it. It was like being in a Soft Cell video, it was that sleazy. It was famous for having the worst toilets in all of Margate – basically a piece of guttering nailed to the wall. My friends refused to go with me which made me love it even more.

90s ‘’’Going out? Or going out, out?’ It was the 90s when I started going clubbing. I remember using my fake birth certificate. No problems. Escape, or Buzz as it was then, was the first one I went to at about the age of fifteen. You could still use your real ID to get a child bus fare on the way. My weekly routine was something like this: Punch & Judy (now Cinque Ports) on a Wednesday; Thursday, Buzz for 50p drinks; Friday, Caprice and Saturday everyone was so sick of Margate we’d go Broadstairs. Buzz was the place to be though, it was rammed on all three floors. There was a time when it was free drinks, it was that lucrative.

NIGHTLIFE

THE place to do so. Every week there was a band – The Yardbirds, The Who, Status Quo, The Small Faces… The Kinks were booked once but they didn’t turn up. I remember the announcement, ‘sorry The Kinks will not be coming’. Everyone was having too much fun to care and we were all refunded the £5 entry fee on the way out. The place itself was grand, and always heaving. The large dance floor was situated in the middle, a railing marking the perimeter then a walkway, with booths at the edges. The lads would walk clockwise around the walkway and the girls anticlockwise. The aim was to meet up with a girl and then take them to the dance floor. There was one girl, stunning, with long dark hair who I’d see every week. She was with a group, I was with a group and we’d have a snog every single time we passed on the walkway but we never made it to the dance floor. I wonder if she’s gonna read this.”

There were seven main clubs then, the ‘seven deadly sins’ and I’ve probably sinned in all of them. Imp’s, which is now the shisha-friendly Imperial Lounge and The Sugar Lounge, now Olby’s. Plus Fat Larry’s, which became Buzz, then Escape, and is now the fabulous rooftop bar Ziggy’s. Frank’s Nightclub was decent on a Thursday. It’s still standing today. Club Caprice is in similar limbo, still standing but extinct. Caprice had a legendary status due to its late closing time of 6am. It was nicknamed ‘grab a granny’ by blokes on their way home when all else had failed. For me it was famous for one musical accolade – me winning the karaoke. There were so many good singers that the judges didn’t know who to pick, so they decided to sportingly crown my rendition of ‘Red Lights Spell Danger’ by Billy Ocean as it was probably comically awful. Then there was the Lido which in the 80s

I also remember the three floors of Escape. The top floor was the stickiest and most horrible. It had carpet. Carpet! It was like walking through taffy. There was some good nights and good DJs, as anyone who recalls the Funky Monkey and Juicy Tunes nights will tell you. This was no doubt the era of Garage. A negative trait of Margate nightlife at that time was the over-zealous bouncers. Many people I knew took a ‘flying trip’ either down the metal stairs out the back or the concrete stairs in the middle. A&E would be filled with confused, injured revellers. These were the days before enhanced CCTV, mobile phones and InjuryLawyers4U.”

Poster images : Margate Local and Family History facebook.com/margatehistory

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“DREAMLAND was always packed, young people from all over Kent and beyond would come down for a dance and the ballroom was THE place to do so”

was known as ‘Hades’. They had a pink hearse that would drive around Margate that said on the side ‘Everyone’s dying to get into Hades’. What made it special was

“There were seven main clubs then, the ‘seven deadly sins’ and I’ve probably sinned in all of them” the Northern Soul weekenders. It had three floors, the deepest being the one I’d always known as the ‘Snakes Pit’. I couldn’t tell you the songs but it was absolutely awesome. You’d come out at three in the morning and you’d be like a tea bag. Absolutely drenched.”


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Margate Mercury

BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURS

the business of motherhood Writer

Rachel Bell

Photography Jo Bridges

Margate is a melting pot of creative businesswomen who also happen to be mums. Rachel Bell meets five mothers making it work

Leona Thrift-Ola INSPIRING WOMEN TO FOLLOW THEIR C R E AT I V E D R E A M S

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aving run several businesses since the age of 23 - including Shoreditch shop, Superette, and a travelling vintage tea room - Leona, now 40, set up Lucky Dip Club, a crafts and design monthly subscription box enterprise, in 2014. From it, a global following of creative women grew – the Girl Planet community, a testimony to Leona’s heartfelt affinity for social media, communication and skill-sharing. Leona moved to Margate with her partner in November 2016 and has one daughter, Lola aged one. “I like to look at retail trends and saw that subscription boxes were a huge growing trend in America. A community formed around it in the first six months and I totally hadn’t anticipated that. People always say on Instagram, ‘Oh you’re great, you always reply to everyone’s comments. But it’s not a marketing strategy, I just love to chat. People receiving the boxes started taking pictures and following each other, and so, organically, an initial shared love of colour and fun led to a group of like-minded women coming together. A lot of our subscribers have grown with me, are in their thirties, selling on Etsy or something and want to take it further. I am very encouraging of that, very open, talk about cashflow and I think with social media there’s almost a demand for that transparency. I like being honest and I think my customers like that and that’s how we bond.

I didn’t take maternity leave. I kept Lucky Dip Club going in its original format for the first three months of Lola’s life and then one day I had a very public kind of meltdown on my Instagram page, saying I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was usually up breastfeeding through the night and working long days. I’d made quite a few mistakes and just felt that I was losing my grasp, my sharpness. We decided to stop the business in January this year and I spent a three month ‘break’ restructuring what was actually a very demanding business model. Now, with the relaunch of the website, there are more ways to interact with each other and most of the content is subscriber generated, so it’s become a lot more about the community as well as the products. In the Lucky Dip Club, what we talk about a lot – on social media and on the blog – is having the confidence to go for it and believe in yourself. A kind of exchange happened with the relaunch and my partner Glenn does the

lion's share of the childcare now. We have no family support here and are very much a team. I’m trying not to faff around him when he’s looking after Lola because he’s fantastic. It’s been hard to switch off from being with Lola, but we don’t think of gender at all when we’re bringing her up, we are just doing it together and I am very appreciative of that.” luckydipclub.com


Margate Mercury

Sarah Horan S H OW I N G T H AT S I N G L E MOTHERHOOD CAN R E S H A P E YO U R L I F E

BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURS

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arah Horan is founder of The Handmade Kitchen Collective, a team of highly skilled designers and woodworkers creating bespoke kitchens from concept to post-installation. Sarah designs the interiors and many of the beautiful handmade tiles that make her shop in Margate’s Beales Yard such a draw. With a boy aged 10 and a girl aged four, Sarah used her entrepreneurial mindset (she had her first job at 12!) to build a business that fitted around being a creative mother. “After breaking up with my ex, it was either commute to London for a half-decent wage, work locally in a low-skilled, low-paid job or set something up myself. My daughter was only two so I had to weigh up how it could work around childcare and school. I’ve always been massively into interiors, and tiles particularly, and learnt design on the job whilst doing Business Marketing at an interior design company. Doing my own house up in 2013, I noticed a need for more inspiring tiles on the market so I set up this business in 2015. When she isn’t at nursery, my daughter sometimes comes along with me to meetings on building sites and to London to do tile deliveries. My children will come and sit in the shop with me some days. I think watching me at work is good for them. My mum was a stay-at-home mum which was

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great for my security but I didn’t really have that aspirational mindset around me. My son said to me recently, ‘You’ve come quite far, you’ve worked hard and done really well.’ I want to show my children that women can be self-sustainable and as mothers we can still do whatever we put our minds to. My ex works away a lot and runs a business so I’ve always done the lion’s share of the childcare. Growing out of what we were accustomed to has been a very slow process. It’s been a real hard schlep for us all to get through this but I’ve grown and become much stronger as a result. I do feel like I’m only able to give a 60% effort to everything in my life - my children, my business, to my partner and housework. I never feel like I’m able to give 100% at anything. I think the only way of overcoming that is to just accept that you’re doing the best you can in the hours you have. I do find it quite isolating being a single mother and business owner. I’ve got a good support network – good friends and a good partner – but I’m sat here on my own, making business decisions on my own and I worry about our futures. It’s important for women to have solidarity with other women. Perhaps there could be a group set up for women who are in the same boat who get together and counsel each other over gin!” handmaderamsgate.co.uk

“I want to show my children that women can be self-sustainable and as mothers we can still do whatever we put our minds to”


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Margate Mercury

BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURS

“I have to tell them, ‘Sorry, Mummy’s working, we all need to work together on this’. It may sound harsh, but we have stuff to do!”

Cynthia Lawrence-John & Rae Jones BRINGING WOMEN E V E RY D AY C L O T H I N G T H AT ’ S C R A F T E D , CONSIDERED AND B U I LT T O L A S T

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ae and Cynthia’s womenswear pop-up WerkHaus opened this summer on Margate High Street, stocking their own utilitarian, vintage-inspired label and curated accessories – and marking the launch of their WerkHaus Margate brand. Trend forecaster and footwear and accessories designer Rae has two children age three and six, while Fashion Director, stylist, costume designer and founder of Volt magazine, Cynthia has a son, aged three. A powerhouse of fashion and design vision, both also teach and mentor in their fields. They moved to Margate less than two years ago. Rae: “The whole ethos of WerkHaus Margate is nicely made, crafted products that last and work well together. We’re starting with sweatshirts, T-shirts and holdalls and want to make the perfect boiler suit – that will be our

signature design, a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ let’s-gofix-a-car style. In our recent month-long popup we had a carefully-selected mix of vintage alongside our pieces, and then accessories such as my bag brand, Buckitt, eyewear from Hook LDN, sandals from Mudlark and hats from Bernstock Speirs. All future spaces will also have a making and craft workshop capacity – we’d love to get skilled craftspeople in the community coming in – and we hope to have a permanent location in the future. I have no support nearby. My partner is a freelance journalist and a bigger earner so, essentially, I do the childcare. One child is at school, the other at nursery four days a week, so I have my youngest one day a week. It was always a juggle - I got away with working more when they were babies and slept more, but now it’s game over. I have to tell them, ‘Sorry, mummy’s working, we all need to work together on this’. It may sound harsh, but we have stuff to do!’ Then I have to work out what country Cynthia is in.” Cynthia: “Yesterday I did a shoot for Vogue Italia, I’m back and forth to London – styling commercials is how I make the money. My ex-partner lives in Mexico, therefore childcare and general everyday help is not on the cards! I couldn’t do what I do without two very supportive females in my life – my elder sister and a friend who is also my son’s nanny. She lives in Margate so I know if I have to stay late at a shoot, I can call her. She’s like another

parent. It’s hard though and if it weren’t for those two people, I would not be sitting here now. I’d be lying on the floor crying! But then there’s no time to have a breakdown. People don’t want excuses. You cannot turn up to a shoot looking frazzled. It’s hard enough for women as it is. I’ve taken my son to many shoots and the assistants will play with him but I also work on a lot of commercials where the set is very male and people are ready to write you off if you are a mother – they think you can’t do it. As I’ve got older I realise the disrespect for the work the women on set are doing. You do need to be quite thick-skinned. And quite firm. Having a child has actually made me more efficient because you don’t have time for any faffing at all. When a client couldn’t decide, I used to say, ‘Ok I’ll get both for you’ whereas now I say, ‘Which do you want?’” werkhausmargate.com


Margate Mercury

Lucy Baker COACHING WOMEN IN CONFIDENCE

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ake-up artist Lucy Baker, 41, set up her own make-up consultancy, Makeup Mastery, to help women buy and apply the right make-up and “stop wasting money.” Expanding her business into confidence coaching was the natural next step, with a focus on giving female entrepreneurs the confidence to be more visible. Lucy moved to the area in 2015 with her partner and two daughters, aged seven and four. “I’ve been slowly building up the make-up consultancy around being a mum, fitting in what I can at home which is why Skype is so brilliant. The pivotal moment for the confidence coaching happened when I did the make-up for a female MD for a big engineering firm. We met in the Hilton in Kensington before she was doing her first ever speech in front of a large, wholly male audience. She was quite a young MD, in her thirties, and the first thing she said to me was, “I want to look older

BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURS

than I am, really sophisticated.” During our time together I was also confidence coaching her. Afterwards she messaged me to tell me how much my ‘pep talk’ helped. I realised I’d been subtly helping women find their voice in my 13 years as a make-up artist. I did a coaching course last year called Passionate Prosperity – a 16 week training and success programme for creative entrepreneurs. I learnt so much that I felt I could help other women with. A lot of confidence is to do with mindset, looking at what barriers you have put up for yourself in life. My main target is female entrepreneurs as they are increasingly visible on social media – Facebook live, video content, webinars, Instagram live – but my net has gone wider, to coaching women looking for a new job, or women who have lost their way a bit. I work with women to dig down and address what’s holding them back. So many businesswomen have incredible ideas but don’t have the confidence to be visible to do it. If I can do it with two kids running round my ankles, carrying on regardless on Skype, then I will help them find a way too. Of course it’s hard, and the school and nursery days are soon over, but I have to carry on. My partner Dan works in London full time, leaving at 7am and back at 8pm, so I’m literally on my own day in day out – doing bedtime alone. Some days I get up very early and do my work before my children get up. I learnt to do that from a coach I worked with last year when

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we talked about the restraints of running a business with kids. She said, ‘why don’t you get up at 5.30 am?’. I said ‘Really?’ But I can get two hours work done before the kids come down and can plan my day and get in the mindset for work. I’d like to do a talk at POW! Thanet 2018 for school leavers, to get them ready for the world of work and to encourage them to give their entrepreneurial ideas a go. Knowing your self-worth as a person, not just as an employee, would be really powerful. I see my kids, nothing holds them back, but women get knocked back when life gets in the way - redundancies, rejections, their confidence gets knocked. Life starts to define you and you can’t get back to that free, inner child. There are times in everybody’s life when they lose confidence. But when you understand it, you can get the confidence back again.” makeupmastery.co.uk

“So many businesswomen have incredible ideas but don’t have the confidence to be visible to do it. If I can do it with two kids running round my ankles, carrying on regardless on Skype, then I will help them find a way too”


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Margate Mercury

ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Ten

... To Do With Kids in Thanet

1. Seal-spotting

2. Sophisticated Soft Play

Elephants at Howletts, bears at Wildwood, dinosaurs at Wingham - we have a pretty good choice of animal parks around half an hour away. But if you prefer to see wildlife in its natural habitat and want to show your children the best of marine life, up to 25 October you can enjoy some truly magical moments seal-watching. Boats leave from Ramsgate Harbour for an hour and a half trip to see an active seal colony in a National Natural Reserve. seasearcher.co.uk

The Octopus’s Garden soft play area at Dreamland is a step up from your average tacky, sticky, manic, soft play nightmare. It’s got dressing up, a circus tent, a role play high street and beach huts to eat in. Heck there’s even a soft allotment, potting shed and a grassy hill for rolling down. No chicken nuggets here, just plenty of healthy options for the kids - and tasty cakes for you to enjoy too. dreamland.co.uk/octopuss-garden

6. Discovery Planet

7. Sundays at Turner

Sessions

Contemporary

Making science interactive, accessible and a lot of fun, Discovery Planet’s sessions are worth looking out for. Number one, think of the benefits – for girls and boys – of seeing talks from the really engaging, entertaining and smart female scientists. Number two, you will simply love watching your kids smile so much as they learn about anything from how wind turbines work to how science solves crimes. The lively, all-ages sessions take over different venues around Thanet with the next one at Resort Studios in September. discoveryplanet.co.uk

Every Sunday from 1 to 4pm, families can head upstairs to the roomy Clore Learning Studio at Turner Contemporary and get creative together in an activity inspired by the gallery’s current exhibition. With access to fantastic materials and experienced staff who are wonderfully enthusiastic and endlessly patient with children, the £4.50 charge is well worth it. Locals with a CT9 postcode can enter for free. turnercontemporary.org/whats-on

9. Broadstairs Halloween Trail Seeing Broadstairs High Street teeming with hordes of pint-size ghouls, witches, skeletons, draculas – and their mummies – is surreal when it’s 3pm and sunny but this is the muchloved-by-locals Halloween Trail that means children aged 2 to 11 can go trick or treating before bedtime. Buy a token (Expressions sell them a month in advance - see link below) and on 27 October little ones can trick or treat at the businesses of Broadstairs. visitkent.co.uk/broadstairs-halloween-trail

Turner Contemporary


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Margate Mercury Writer

Rachel Bell

Illustrations

Lizzy Tweedale

3. Revolution Skatepark

4. Getting back to nature

5. The ‘Animal Museum’

This child-friendly, indoor skatepark has welcoming young, talented staff who are naturals with kids, helping them to feel at ease, knowing everyone’s name and always being attentive if a child has a fall or feels shy. The climbing centre has an area for younger kids and with so many scoot and skate classes and sessions for all abilities, as well as closely managed holiday clubs and kids’ parties on offer, this place is a must-visit for young skaters of all ages and abilities. revolutionskatepark.co.uk

Windmill Community Gardens, a project run by Millmead Children’s Centre, hosts Cabbage Patch Kids every Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm – a drop-in for preschoolers, parents and carers. Children can get involved in crafts, cooking, pond-dipping, or harvesting fruit, or just roam free, making mud pies and lifting logs to search for creepy crawlies. Grown-ups can mingle with other parents, or buy organic produce from the shop. The annual Halloween event here is always a lovely autumnal pumpkin-fest. windmillcommunitygardens.org

Powell-Cotton Museum, located at Quex Park, is a fantastic museum for children. Aside from the manageable size that means you can’t lose your children, the hundreds of animal specimens spark as much wonder as any zoo. Collected by trigger-happy explorer Percy PowellCotton on trips to Africa and the Indian sub-continent, the mounts appear against backdrops of their natural habitats – creating dioramas, some unchanged since 1895 – that have children fascinated. Much like the many drawers of monster bugs and butterflies waiting to be opened. Head to Gallery 6 for the brilliant handling collection where everyone can get hands-on with objects from snake skins to skulls, draw at the easels or examine their finds under the microscopes. A mooch around the beautiful Victorian gardens always makes my day – and there’s plenty of sprawling ancient trees and logs for the kids to climb and go role-play crazy in. quexpark.co.uk/museum

8. Pick ‘n Paint A Pot Enjoy a few hours with your pre-schooler at the Play and Clay sessions every Thursday and Friday morning at Pick ‘n Paint A Pot on Northdown Road in Margate. Mugs, cereal bowls, Pudseys – your home could be filled with your child’s creations! There are refreshments on hand, and always lovely people. And if your little one isn’t the sitting down-type don’t worry - there’s a toy area and storytime at the end. picknpaintapot.co.uk

10. BMX Track

East Kent BMX

In the heart of the countryside and surrounded by fields, the East Kent BMX track offers a slice of escapism as well as 300 to 400 metres of bumps, jumps and ‘berms’ (aka banked corners). It’s free to use every Sunday (although do note, it’s unsupervised and unlit), as well as any day that there isn’t a club or pre-booked coaching session. The course features some fairly high bumps, or otherwise there are the cycling routes for all abilities and ages at Betteshanger Country Park near Deal. Find the Broomfield BMX track at Ford Road, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7AD or contact Kai for information on 07872 057473. eastkentbmx.co.uk

More great things in Thanet and elsewhere... The Viking Coastal Trail Tides Leisure Centre in Deal The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury Rupert Bear and Bagpuss galleries at the Canterbury Heritage Museum Whitstable Castle playground Kearsney Abbey gardens Baby Days at The Palace Cinema in Broadstairs For more ideas go to milkofmargate.com


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Writer

Margate Mercury

ACTIVITIES

Ros Anderson

Photography

Frank Leppard

The Nayland Rock is the perfect place to get a glimpse of Margate's history, one piece of broken crockery at a time. Ros Anderson finds out why beachcombing is getting everyone hooked

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olling beneath an umbrella can be restful. A session of beach yoga might help achieve mindfulness. But for me, the greatest way to relax on the beach is the age-old art of beachcombing - walking the edge of the land looking for traces of Margate’s history left by the retreating tide. Margate’s shallow waters, history of tourism and the huge number of wrecks that lie just off the coast combine to make it surely one of the most prolific areas in terms of beach finds. And a growing number of locals are getting into the art of uncovering them. “Get down there early and walk the tide out,” is the appropriately poetic advice I get from Steve Tomlinson, a Margate local and keen member of the Thanet and Sandwich Coastal Finds Facebook group. He spends three to four hours combing the Nayland Rock area in front of the Bus Café as often as possible, he tells me, and his range of finds is fascinating. Discarded crockery from the Victorian era, 17th century clay pipes, and even Roman pottery. A whole story of Margate is brought in on the tide twice each day. For me beachcombing is like a walking meditation. What Steve describes as “getting your eye in” I understand as a sort of relaxed looking, letting your eye drift across the sand in front of you without trying too hard. It’s amazing how effective the eye is at spotting anything not ‘natural’ – the colour of a decorated plate, the so-smooth stem of a pipe half-buried in sand. I walk at a snail’s pace, rather than my usual I’m-already-late scurry. Your focus narrows down at just a small

area around your ankles. Time and distance seem to melt away – I often find when I look up that I have walked much further than I intended and that two hours have somehow flown by. The detail of the sand, the shells, the rockpools and their inhabitants are utterly absorbing and restful. Like many addictions of course, it’s the highs that keep you coming back. “It is addictive!” laughs Steve. “And a real buzz when you find something.” The beauty of Margate beachcombing is that there is so much to find that any slow walk across the beach can be enlivened with little dopamine hits as you find this bit of crockery or that bit of glass. You don’t need any particular skill or expertise – it’s open to all, no equipment necessary, and kids can be some of the best beach hunters going. Having your eyes naturally closer to the sand can be a distinct advantage! Perhaps this explains the rapid growth of the Thanet and Sandwich Coastal Finds group, with members old and new posting their finds and sharing information each day. If you don’t know what you’ve found someone else in the group certainly will, and it’s a rich source of local information – and speculation – for anyone who is interested in Thanet’s past. Some people collect just driftwood, some glass and crockery, some look out for slivers of Margate’s war-time history (bullets dropped from the pockets of returning soldiers after Dunkirk for example), and some people just collect anything they find.


Margate Mercury

Some of the most frequently found pieces of crockery are plates branded with the livery of various steamer companies that brought London tourists by the hundred to a wooden jetty behind the Harbour Arm. Whether it was broken plates from the on-board kitchen, or a coffee cup dropped from a gloved hand on deck, many items from both the steamers and the jetty’s own tea rooms ended up in the drink, washing up some hundred or so years later. New Palace Steamers Ltd crockery by Leatherby & Christopher, with a distinctive green pattern, appears regularly, as does the globe logo of the General Steam Navigation Company. Steve shows me a brick-sized quarter of a Willow Pattern serving tray, probably from one of these dining rooms. “I’ve yet to find a whole one,” he smiles. Like fishermen, for beachcombers, the ‘big one’ is always still out there. Tales of pocket watches, pewter tankards and that perfectly intact pipe keep the ‘combers returning day after day. For me it is anything that links directly to Margate that provides the greatest thrill. White china bearing the chic black lettering of “Margate Jetty Refreshment Pavilion” is my number one want-to-find object. Similarly, bottles of lemonade, water or ginger beer bottled here in Margate are a highly coveted – though not that rare - find. Cobb & Co brewery and Reeve & Co are two brands to look out for. Cobb’s Yard once ran from the top of Fort Hill to King Street, and in the late 19th century Margate had a significant industry bottling mineral water for hotels, with Reeve & Co one of the big names. It’s hard not to find these echoes of Margate’s past casting new light on its present when wandering the rocks. Steve’s collection

ACTIVITIES

“ T H E D E TA I L O F THE SAND, THE SHELLS, THE ROCKP OOLS AND T H E I R I N H A B I TA N T S A R E U T T E R LY ABSORBING AND R E S T F U L”

includes an elegant, engraved Victorian fish knife, and an early comb made of bone. Speculating on the genteel Margate resident, tourist or visitor who may have lost these items brings the past of Margate to vivid life. As a way of interacting with the landscape here, beachcombing is also a beautiful hobby – walking out with the tide keeps you attuned to the rocks, the weather, the little changes in the shoreline that come with every tide. Unlike other beach activities, autumn and spring are the best times to go – big storms tend to stir up the sea bed and bring finds up onto the beach. Even better, it’s totally free and open to all so, as Steve says, “you just need to get your eye in, and get out there.” See you on the rocks. For safety tips, tide-times and a wealth of pictures and information visit the Thanet and Sandwich Coastal Finds Facebook page

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Margate Mercury

ART & CULTURE

35

Tracey Ermine RIP

2015 - 2017 Writer

Bob Chicalors

Photography

‘The Death of Tracey Ermine’

Ollie Harrop

This August saw the life, work and untimely death of Margate’s most famous drag queen, Tracey Ermine, commemorated at a wake held at Resort Studios. We asked close friend and confidant of Tracey, Bob Chicalors, to look back on her brief but brilliant life

‘The Marriage of Tracey Ermine’

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racey Roberta Ermine was born on Athelstan Road, Cliftonville where she quickly became a familiar over-painted face around town. She developed a unique performance style and wardrobe fashioned from Gaffa tape, beermats, Cats In Crisis cast-offs and miscellaneous items from Pound Planet. Her obsession with trashy pop music fused with contemporary art references, created iconic and absurdist moments of theatre. She crowd surfed to Britney Spear’s Piece of Me on an inflatable pizza slice while dressed as Klaus Nomi, and re-interpreted Yoko Ono’s iconic Cut Piece. She stumbled around Dreamland’s roller disco in a lampshade to Sia’s Chandelier and played an estate agent selling her tent piece titled Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (That I Can Remember The Full Name Of).

‘The Marriage of Tracey Ermine’

Ermine was part of Margate’s thriving and chaotic drag scene, having worked in collectives and splinter groups such as Dragged Up, Untucked and Flashy Drag. On hearing of her passing, long term collaborator Knox Hard commented, “she was just so... old”. As a regular at Sundowners she took part in many drag competitions in 2016, representing Margate as a semi-finalist in Drag Idol UK. Over her 55-performance career she performed all over Margate, from The Glass Jar and Morgans to Oddfellows, The Tap Room and The Belle Vue. She was a satellite member of Sink The Pink, frequently repping at the Kent events, competed in The Glory’s Lipsync1000 twice and spent two Glastonburys dancing at NYC Downlow in Block 9. Her last ever show took place at Tate Britain.

Ermine was united in holy matrimony to a pink stick of Margate rock on 28 March 2016 at the Sunset Rock Shop on Margate seafront. Although broken, Tracey’s widow has stayed strong and is pursuing his musical career and looking to form a band. Tracey was tragically discovered floating in Walpole Bay Tidal Pool sometime in July 2017. Before she was found washed up, her final words were reported to be “I must cease… and desist”. Tracey Ermine will be fondly remembered as the Walpole’s Princess.

Prints of the above and cover image of Tracey Ermine are available on request from ollie@ollieharrop.com


Margate Mercury

Scandi Living on a Square Writer

Clare Freeman

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Photography Clare Scullion

ocated in a Grade II listed converted house and stables just off Trinity Square, this minimalist and stylish apartment is owned by Clare Scullion, an editor for a global trend forecasting company based in London, who purchased and renovated it in 2016 and currently rents it out as a holiday let. Only a stone’s throw from the Old Town, and a short walk to Northdown Road, the two-bedroom apartment reflects Clare’s love for travel, with its minimalist Scandinavian interior dotted with one-off pieces and vintage finds (she also works part time in a lifestyle store that specialises in sourcing vintage rugs and ceramics from independent designers). The open-plan kitchen and living room is bright and calming, with a large Georgian window letting in plenty of natural light and a breakfast bar with overhead industrialstyle light fittings, cacti plant pots, and four stools made from galvanised metal and solid pine. Next door, a hallway leads to two bedrooms, both with windows overlooking a private backyard patio. One bedroom features wooden wall hoops sourced from Danish brand Hay, while the other has a wall-mounted hanging rail from German brand Fifti Fifti. At the end of the hallway a small yet stylish bathroom - complete with a bathtub and chequered black-and-white tiled floor - provides a quiet, restful space for guests. Behind the kitchen a door leads to a surprisingly large and private 40-square-metre courtyard, complete with wooden picnic table and benches - a fantastic treat for guests who want to enjoy Margate’s sunny evenings in privacy. And when they want to venture out Clare has prepared an eight-page booklet with her recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop. Although the flat is currently rented as a holiday let Clare plans to move into it permanently in the future. “I’m head-overheels in love with Margate” she says, “so I’m moving in as soon as work allows it!” For more information or to book visit airbnb.co.uk/rooms/17761050 or instagram.com/margate_ gardenhideaway

PROPERTY & INTERIORS

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Margate Mercury

Illustration

Jade Spranklen

organisations seeking You are GOLD! Getting On with Learning Difficulties (GOLD) is a project run by learning disability charity, East Kent Mencap and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. It provides free support to people with learning difficulties struggling with benefits, housing, debt and budgeting, as well as promoting volunteering, leisure activities, meeting people and campaigning. They are currently looking for volunteers for two of their groups. Their weekly Social Group meets every Wednesday to play snooker, crazy golf or go bowling. They are looking for someone who is fun, chatty and enjoys a joke. You don’t have to be good at snooker or bowling, just willing to throw yourself into things and have a go! The Women’s Group are seeking a female volunteer to support them in running the group. They are all women with a type of learning or physical disability who meet on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss a variety of issues and how they affect them. Often feeling ignored by society, the Women’s Group provides a chance to talk about things that are important to them with people that listen and who care. They are looking for someone who is friendly, outgoing, a good listener and who understands women’s issues and disability rights or is willing to learn. If you feel that either position may interest you, please get in touch at info@ eastkentmencap.co.uk, or phone 01843 224482 and leave your name and contact number. Potential volunteers will initially be invited to meet the group for an informal discussion.

YouCan, a Kent charity who offer support to young people who are aged between 10 and 35 years and who have been impacted by cancer, have recently opened their new house in Westgate-on-Sea, where these young people, their families and friends can enjoy a seaside break. They are currently looking for volunteers to help with gardening, housekeeping and fundraising. It costs around £500 per week to give a family a holiday away from the trauma of cancer so if you can help in any way, please contact hello@you-can.org.uk or call 07720432824 for more information.

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service is a vibrant, local charity that has been serving Thanet since 1994. We are currently looking for volunteers for our beautiful new boutique shop located at 170 Northdown Road. Do you have spare time on your hands? Would you like to give back to the community? Do you have a passion for fashion? Visit oasisdaservice.org/time for more information!

The Corner in Newington 1.30 to 3.30pm. We are looking for volunteers who would like to come and assist participants to join in with activities. Email Zest@brightshadow.org.uk or call 01227 467197

CLASSIFIEDs corner SERVICES Feeling anxious, depressed or just need to talk? If life’s events seem overwhelming right now, you might find having a place to be heard, supported and understood can help. Qualified counsellor Laura McCarthy MBACP, based in central Ramsgate, offers confidential, non-judgemental counselling and psychotherapy in a non-discriminatory practice for individual and couples. ramsgatepsychotherapist.com Too busy running your business to market it? We can help with anything from social media to events, PR and copywriting. Call Oakenshield Consulting 07252 030869 Women: Period Problems? A workshop to understand your menstrual cycle, identify your emotional patterns and plan your month to perform at your best. October 1st, 10.30am - 5pm. Margate Arts Club, maisiehill.com

Rob Stevens Plumbing & Heating, Thanet & London. All installations and emergency work carried out. No call out charge. 07836 794372 For all your alteration, repairs and sewing needs come to the Make Lounge. Vintage clothes, curtains, wedding dresses and now tailoring. Call 07752347006. Margate Make Lounge, Trinity Square CT9 1QD Can't check in your Airbnb guests? Let us! Each guest receives a copy of the Margate Mercury and our Margate tips. margatemercury.com/checkin

ACTIVITIES Fit Ballet Margate. Ballet/Barre/ Fitness. Ballet for everybody traditional ballet combined with barre fitness and body conditioning. For complete beginners or those with previous experience. Develop strength, flexibility, coordination and memory. Every Tuesday 6-7pm, JoJo’s School of Dance, Buckingham Road, Margate

Dane Valley Woods is run by volunteers on a former landfill in Margate. We raise funds and engage local people in creating, developing and managing a community green space for enjoyment, learning, health and wildlife. New helpers always welcome, practical task days on the last Sunday of the month. More details at danevalleywoods.org or contact us via Facebook and Twitter. Bright Shadow is an exciting local charity that works with older people and people living with dementia and those who love and care for them. We do this by providing inclusive arts workshops that use music, movement and story making to help people feel better about themselves. We run two groups in Thanet every other Thursday. The Birchington-on-Sea group meets at The Centre 10am to midday and the Ramsgate Group meets at

For the latest opportunities please visit: margatemercury.com/help-margate


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Margate Mercury

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Margate Mercury - Autumn 2017  

The Margate Mercury is a free quarterly magazine about modern-day life and culture in the up-and-coming British seaside town of Margate. We...