Arts & Crafts
A few minutes away, on the seafront, is Nice Things, a shop packed with interesting, unusual things made by independent makers, both local and national. A bit further into town is Blue Swift, where you can buy prints, ceramics, jewellery etc, York Street Gallery for local art, and UpDown Gallery, where London meets East Kent, with original and limited edition art by up-and-coming names, as well as great masters, such as Picasso and Matisse hang on the walls, with not-so-scary price tags.
Retro & Vintage
Showtime Retro, under the arches, is a fab place to potter. But Margate is the place for all things retro and vintage. The Old Town and the High Street are peppered with shops, such as Madam Popoff and Breuer & Dawson for vintage clothing, Paraphernalia, Rough Trade, Junk Deluxe and Hunky Dory for retro objects, Danish Collectables for midcentury Scandinavian furniture and accessories. And many more…
Amidst the antiques and the retro, are a few independent contemporary lifestyle shops. In Ramsgate, pop into The Saltworks, which has everything from interiors to clothing, everyday and luxury items, and gifts. Papillon in Margate has great contemporary designer items for the home, and Qing in the Old Town is a delightful shop specialising in antique and contemporary Chinese furniture and home accessories.
Scott’s in Margate has been bringing Londoners in search of a bargain for years – a real must for antique lovers. Another gem in Margate is Fontaine Decorative, a beautiful shop full of French antiques. Further along the coast in Westgate, is Brocante, another great place to potter and discover. In Ramsgate you can visit the arches down at the harbour and find all manner of aged furniture, trinkets, paintings and artefacts.
Fruit and vegetables by local farmers can be found at farm shops, but there are
also wonderful local food and drink producers, who you’ll find at the Thanet Farmers’ Market and the award-winning Cliftonville Farmers’ Market. Quex Barn, in Birchington, has an extensive farm shop, which includes local fish and meat. The attached restaurant uses all local produce.
Don’t miss a visit to Haeckel’s in Cliftonville, where Dom Bridges makes fragrances and beauty products from local seaweed.
You can find high street fashion anywhere, but it’s particularly satisfying to find small boutiques, selling hand-picked clothes and accessories. In Broadstairs, try Arrowsmiths or Vassoulla. In Margate, The Secret Wardrobe and in Ramsgate try Archive, a new addition in the arches down at the harbour-front.