Sometimes there’s nothing I love better than escaping London for a bit, to head to the coast and grab some fresh air. Usually my preference would be to jump on a plane and have a little weekend city break in Europe, but that’s not possible as often as I like and there’s so much to explore within easy reach of where I live. I’ve always wanted to visit Whitstable so when my brother came to visit and was looking for something different to do, we ended up jumping in the car and heading down to Whitstable for a family day by the seaside.
As you can see it was typical British sea-side weather, a bit grey and moody, but luckily the rain stayed away until we were back in the car and heading back home. Despite the weather, it still felt so good to be by the sea, there is something I find so peaceful and calming about being by the coast. A little escape to the sea from time to time really helps me deal with my anxiety, when the daily London grind and being squished onto public transport like a sardine gets a bit too much.
Whitsable is the perfect little British sea-side town, with a cute narrow little High Street down to the sea, lined with picturesque little independent shops, tea rooms and restaurants, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice and will definitely leave full of delicious food.
Anchors Aweigh Vintage (63 Harbour Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AG) is a cute and quaint little vintage and antiques shop. I love browsing a vintage store and this one is a pleasure to visit. It’s full of vintage fabrics, trinkets, kitchen ware and home ware, not to mention one off clothing pieces, some of which have been refitted so you don’t have to get our sewing machine out. Definitely a fun shop to visit.
All the browsing and sea air left us pretty hungry so we went in search of a seafood lunch and came across the Crab and Winkle (South Quay, The Harbour, Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable CT5 1AB). The restaurant overlooks a working Harbour and the English channel with the sunset views from the restaurant said to be stunning and I don’t doubt it. Fish from the local boats are caught daily throughout the year and is sold both in the restaurant and the fish market below. Lunch was a great experience, the restaurant was full of diners and the atmosphere was great. The seafood was so fresh and flavoursome. It was great to sample the local seafood, freshly caught that day and if you visit don’t miss out on the local Samphire cooked in butter, so simple but amazing.
Frank (65 Harbour Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AG) is a beautiful little design and art shop selling the work of British printmakers, designers and craftspeople. Handmade prints, drawings and papercuts exist alongside ceramics, jewellery, stationery and books. The store is a lovely space full of natural light and colour; I love how everything is laid out. It’s the perfect place to pick up a postcard or print from a emerging British artist.
Just by Frank, we spotted this lovely cupcake shop: What’s Up Cupcake (64 Harbour St, Whitstable CT5 1AG) the ideal stop for an after lunch sweet treat. The cup cakes look incredible, beautifully decorated, our mouth was watering just looking at them. With flavours such as Mint choc chip, Oreo cookie, Cheeky Monkey (Chocolate and Smarties) and Banana and Chocolate, you’re going to want to buy all the delicious cupcakes, trust me!
The Cheese Box (59-61 Harbour St, Whitstable CT5 1AG) is a must visit if you’re a cheese lover like me. This shop sells all the cheeses! There are cheesemongers on hand to explain about each cheese and how they work together and they let you sample away as they want you to be happy with your choices, it’s amazing! All the cheeses are British Cheeses and are bought direct from their range of cheesemakers so they can learn first hand how the cheese is made.
Flory and Black (54 Harbour St, Whitstable CT5 1AQ) is the perfect store if you have a weakness for homeware. Oh my it’s a little treasure trove of so many lovely things, the unusual and interesting but always beautiful things. The perfect store if you’re looking for that little addition for the home, or a gift for a lucky someone with something to suit every taste and style.
If there’s one thing I can’t resist when shopping, its walking past a bookshop without going inside to have a browse, this is especially the case when it comes to independent bookshops too. Harbour Books (21 Harbour St, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AQ) was one bookstore there was no chance of me resisting, I mean just look at that amazing display! The store has all the current Bestseller alongside beautiful greetings cards, posters, postcards and a very tempting range of stationary. I may have picked up a couple little things….[insert angelic emoji here!].
The Sugar Boy (23 Harbour St, Whitstable CT5 1AH) transported me back to the sweet shops of my childhood. As a child (especially a new Type 1 diabetic) I’d marvel at the rows of plastic tubs full of all types and flavours of colourful sweets such as gobstoppers, pear drops, sherbet pips and foam shrimps and bananas so when we spied this store, we couldn’t just walk by without a visit and it was even better inside.
There were rows and rows of so many sweets, we didn’t know where to start and they were giving away samples, which was great, but made it all the harder to narrow down a choice (the best sweet shops always give away samples!). In the end though we got it down to four bags of sweets, perfect for the road trip home.
Sadly we didn’t get to visit Wheelers (8 High St, Whitstable CT5 1BQ) on this occasion, but it’s a restaurant so many think of when you mention Whitstable. The colourful display of blue an pink, make this one that’s incredibly hard to miss. Although I haven’t yet eaten at Wheelers, I’ve heard some really good things for those who love seafood, so I’d definitely like to reserve a table here come the annual Oyster festival.
What are you favourite sea-side towns?