Despite the storm to end all storms overnight on Friday, there was no end to the heatwave and sunshine. I dropped the girls off at their mum’s and then headed home to leave the car at home and make the most of a sunny Saturday on my own.
I started with a walk across to the other side of Ramsgate to visit the first Ramsgate Seaside Fair. It was great to see the main sands busy with people enjoying the beach and sea as the warm breeze whipped up the waves, lending it an almost Mediterranean feel.
The fair itself was smaller than I’d expected, despite the large space it was situated on. It was predominantly food stalls which are always wonderful, but lacked the retro feel they’d promoted from their posters and the use of a vintage coach to transport visitors from the marina to the event. There wasn’t much for children either, only a balloon man and I think some face painting (although I didn’t see this, but spotted it in some photos later). The promise was good, but the reality was disappointing. Unless you were looking to spend an afternoon drinking local beers in a beer tent, there was little to tempt you to stay very long.
Despite this, I had a great pasty from Victory News in Broadstairs (a town centre village convenience store) and a health-boosting acai berry juice drink from Crown of Life Juices Ltd. I had a good chat with the owner and rued the fact I didn’t have business cards for my new venture yet as he sounded as though he could really do with some help promoting his juices through social media. It also made me wish I was rich and could offer to help for free! As there was no outdoor seating, I went and sat on the grass nearby, thankful it wasn’t damp!
I headed back, sipping my juice as I went to keep hydrated in the relentless sun. I wandered along Addington Street, which is becoming a destination in itself with vintage and retro shops, a wonderful café for vinyl fans, and a great pub hidden away from the main drinking spots of town. Edited to add: A fantastic looking boutique hotel will also soon be opening up here.
And then, back to the seafront and a walk through Albion Place Gardens, hidden atop the iconic Madeira Walk waterfall and stretching in front of the beautifully restored Albion House Hotel.
As it was still hot at 7pm, I finally decided to get my bike out and take a clifftop ride into Broadstairs to test my stamina. Unfortunately, most of the promenade is now labelled No Cycling which is a shame as the view from the road isn’t as pleasant, as there are too many parked cars. Once in Broadstairs, I realised why cycling wasn’t ideal as the promenade was full of people enoying the evening heat. Bizarrely, I don’t think cycling is banned on the busy stretch though, as I didn’t see any signs. A bit confusing, even for someone who is local.
It was great to see the seafront so busy though and I dearly wanted to stop and enjoy the live music in the Albion Gardens with a cool pint, but I’m still a bit too self-conscious to do that alone without the prop of a laptop or a book to give me that air of je ne sais quoi!
On days like this, I really cannot imagine why anyone would want to live anywhere else. Thanet is stunning in the sunshine and the beaches really are world class, with their golden sands and gently sloping bays. Despite all the bad stuff that’s been happening in my life over the past few months, right now I feel very lucky.