nagging asking nicely, for what felt like eons, my other half’s need to take his lovely new (to him) car for a spin also fulfilled my little dream of visiting Whitstable. Though only an hour’s drive from London (the train from Victoria takes a little over an hour), it’s a place I read about in a brilliant book (Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters) some years ago and thus, I was instantly drawn to a place I’d never been! Famous for its oysters, mud flats and fish & chips, the charm of the place just got in my head and I knew I had to go there one day.
Well, this special day arrived a few weeks ago. The sun shone (though not too much), the sky was blue (and a bit cloudy) and off we went.
As we neared the centre, what struck me, apart from the quaintness and pretty little shops, was the families with young children. They were plentiful. Lazily meandering around, some with ice creams, some with little fishing nets, buckets and spades. It was really nice to see.
We parked up in a car park next to the sea. In our usual way of doing things, we easily stumbled upon a great little place on the sea front, where you could sit in the sun (or shade) with a cold beer, cider or wine, with fresh cooked fish & chips. It looked delightful. We walked on. For about the next hour. Checking all the bars, cafes and restaurants to see if we fancied any others as much. We took some lefts and rights, through the high street, off the high street, and past some lovely cottages. It was so pleasant. During our exploration, we happened upon some great kids shops such as Peekaboo Kids and Buttercup. Both full of fun and loveliness.
We meandered back to
my our original choice for the most delicious fish & chips at The Forge. In fact, Charlie of Man About Town Blog has also been to Whitstable recently and he went to the Forge too. Here’s what he had to say “The Forge is nestled in amongst the quays just off the beach and has a very rustic vibe. It’s a family run affair with Mother and Son serving up some of the finest oysters around, alongside some fantastic fish and chips.”
Afterward, we went for a walk on the beach. I noticed there’s a great choice of family friendly beach huts to rent. It really does seem a great place for a weekend get-away! I dipped my toes in the very chilly waters while my OH decided he needed a swim. I mean a full on swim. I sat, like Olivia Newton-John in Grease, and wondered how on earth he was going to manage to get dressed again without a towel when he came out. There was a small struggle yet somehow he did manage, and I watched on, feeling smug and much drier than he.
One highlight of the day was sitting in the sun watching a young family catch crabs ???. It was highly entertaining as two of the little nippers escaped (the crabs, not the kids!), one little girl screamed and stood on a table with mum trying to calm her down while the older boy tried dismally to catch the escapees again. As the crabs crawled off, I discreetly lifted my feet up in a very calm manner to be sure I didn’t get nibbled!
Ok, so the beaches aren’t super sandy, the water isn’t the shallowest. I can imagine it gets very busy in July and August. But it certainly lived up to my expectations and it really was such a lovely day out. Highly recommended!
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Until next time xx