Thursday, 3 September 2015

Mug #14 - Broadstairs, England

A few weeks ago, on my return to London from Croatia, where I holidayed for 10 days - visiting Split, Vis and Pula - I found myself missing the sea. And so although it's not quite the same - I'm really sorry British seaside enthusiasts, as lovely as some of our beaches are, even on the rare occasions that we get the weather (usually for a whole day haha) it's simply not possible to have quite the same experience - as soon as I had a day free, I thought a trip to the seaside was in order.

The organisation of our trip - I went with my lovely girlfriend Liliana - was left up to me. Which is not necessarily always for the best. However, on this occasion I think that I did an ok job. Not that there was too much to plan. All I needed to do was to chose a beach and find a way - by which I mean book a train - to get there.

So where to go. Somewhere nice, with a sandy beach - something I found nigh on impossible to find in Croatia - which was easy and fairly quick to travel to from London. First I thought about Brighton. I like Brighton but it's a pebble beach and I've been there several times before. And so, although I don't have a Brighton mug, I really wanted to visit somewhere for the first time.

Next I thought about visiting Margate. Not least because of one of my favourite Only Fools And Horses episodes: The Jolly Boys Outing. I'm a huge fan of Only Fools And Horses. In a "knows all the words to every episode kind of way". But googling Margate - with all due respect to Margate - I thought that we might be able to find a better beach to visit. So I carried on my search and that's when I found pictures of Botany Bay. Now there is a beach I want to visit! Be sure to Google it and see for yourself. However, without the use of a car, it's not all that accessible from London. Therefore, in the end I decided upon visiting Viking Bay in Broadstairs, Kent. The main reasons for this being that it looked quite nice and was reasonably easy and cheap to get to on the train from Kings Cross St Pancras. And I'm glad that I did. I think it was a pretty good choice.

Viking Bay has a really lovely beach:

And we had a really lovely time there.

Now as is almost traditional now, these adventures tend to start with running and or a bit of a panic. It's bad enough when I'm on my own but this was only magnified by the fact that neither myself or Liliana are particularly punctual people and so - although it was due more to a lack of communication than being late - unsurprisingly we managed to miss the train I had planned for us to take. However, the trains from Kings Cross St Pancras are pretty regular and if anything the one we ended up taking was a little more direct and therefore took a little less time. Getting to Broadstairs took around 1hr 30mins and then for some reason it took around 1hr 50mins on the way back.

Upon arriving at Broadstairs station we followed the crowds - and even though it was the middle of the week and most people were working away in a stuffy office somewhere, there were a lot of people there, I don't want to imagine how busy it gets on weekends - down to the beach which was around a 10 minute walk from the station.

Broadstairs is very much your typical British seaside town and I mean that in both a positive and negative way. But I liked it - I think we both did? - and we did really have a great day there, walking along the beach, eating rock and taking lots of pictures:

Taken by Liliana Seca Santos

Taken by Liliana Seca Santos

After all that walking and picture taking, I found myself feeling a little peckish and although I was definitely a little tempted by the traditional fish and chips. Instead we managed to find a nice little place where I was able to enjoy one of my all time favourite dishes; whitebait:

Taken by Liliana Seca Santos

And of course, we also found enough time to purchase the all important mug:

I really liked Broadstairs. I personally wouldn't want to live there or even really stay there for more than an afternoon haha but it's a great place for a day trip out of London on a sunny day.

We had a lovely time - as I seem to keep repeating - and were back in London in time to celebrate my good friend Dom's 30th birthday - the one in the "birthday" tie - at this really nice pizza restaurant near Covent Garden called Homeslice Pizza:

Although this picture was actually taken in a bar around the corner.
Ps. for some reason I'm sucking on ice. Probably something to do with my bright red face?

And look at the colour of me in that picture! That's not a filter or anything. That's the actual colour my face was haha. Because in Broadstairs I managed to get something I didn't get while in the 35 degree sunshine of Croatia for 10 days... sunburnt haha.

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