Postcards from Margate
Margate has been for years a favourite destination for holiday-makers coming from the capital to enjoy the sandy beaches and the marine views. Notoriously the painter JMW Turner spent quite some time in this seaside town, attracted by the clear skies, the “loveliest in all Europe”, and the scenic open seascapes, featured in many of his paintings. To this day the town remains a point of reference for tourists and visitors enjoying a day out on the beach and around the town.
The Jubilee Clock Tower at the entrance of the Old Town is one of the very few in the world to feature a working time ball. The recently restored time ball drops at 1 pm every day. No need anymore, these digital and connected days, to know the precise time but originally in a busy harbour it would have been a very useful mechanism to have. The tower was originally. built in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Silver Jubilee.
A modern addition to the Margate waterfront and harbour is a new building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, hosting the Turner Contemporary. The art gallery is hosting a variety of modern and contemporary art exhibitions and is one of the catalysts of the town regeneration. The admission to the gallery is free and one can visit what is on display and enjoy the views over the harbour and the North Sea. Strongly recommended!
A seaside city is also obviously popular with seafood restaurants and Margate offers a wide range of them. During this recent visit, in the aftermath of the pandemic lockdown, most of the restaurant were not offering indoor service but some with outdoor space or terraces were doing the most out of them. The seafront square along the Parade has been turned into a lively space where nearby restaurants and cafes can offer table service. Of course, there are many more good restaurants in the rest of town, catering for the good amount of tourists flocking from the sandy beach. Some are still suffering the limitations imposed by social distancing. Hopefully the situation will go back to normal soon.