Tuesday, 8 October 2013

a feast by the sea

We took a train to the coast on Saturday afternoon, sleeping most of the way. Waking up in Broadstairs, we found our way to our hotel - pastel pink with dark windows, overlooking a golden beach.

We'd come to the Kent coast for dinner. East London restaurant Bistrotheque had decamped to the seaside for the weekend, commandeering Belvedere Place, a delightful hotel set back a few streets from the water.

We ate oysters, local fish stew and floating islands. Drank a lot of wine too.

I'd really recommend Belvidere Place. It's owner Jilly was the perfect host.

Viking Bay, Broadstairs.

On Sunday, with sore heads, we headed to nearby Margate and paid a visit to Turner Contemporary; a beautifully brutal building, all grey steel and concrete, with incredible views out to the North Sea.

The Turner and Constable exhibition is most definitely worth seeing. Highly inspiring. Great poster too... I love the lemon yellow text on those soft blues.

We wandered around Margate for an hour or two and came across something most strange: the Shell Grotto, an ornate subterranean passageway and grade I listed building. Its walls are covered in mosaics created entirely of seashells. 4.6 million, in fact! It was discovered in 1835 but its age remains unknown... After emerging from the darkness of the grotto (a little dazed and confused), we bought some hazelnut ice cream and took a walk along the harbour before jumping on a train back to London.

The British seaside. So good for the soul.

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