Sunday 30 July 2017 / London, UK

A Cottage Stay In Whitstable

If you saw my post about Margate, then you'll know that I'm a BIG lover of Kent and it's adorable seaside towns. So as it was my Birthday a few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to do what we do best to celebrate (I regret to admit that it was not shotting jagerbombs off a bar at 2am in London) and headed to the adorable seaside town of Whitstable for a weekend away. I knew what I was after and that was a chilled cottage vibe, with the evenings spent either relaxing in the cottage with a glass of wine in hand, or an evening spent watching the sunset on the beach and that was all I asked for and Whitstable, you certainly did not disappoint! Whitsable isn't the liveliest of places and that was absolutely fine by me and you wouldn't want it any other way to be totally honest, as that's what makes a weekend in Whitstable that bit more special. It's still yet to be commercialised and is predominantly a fishing village with it's oyster farm being it's claim to fame. That means there's no chain restaurants or shops in sight, but instead just individual, family-run businesses with a village-esque feel to the town where everybody seems to know everybody and that's just the way I like it! I highly recommend Whitstable for a relaxing weekend away in the Summer - probably wouldn't recommend going in Autumn/Winter as there wouldn't be much to do at all - and with it being just a 30 minute drive away from Margate, if Whitstable's just that little bit too quiet for you and you want a bit more of a buzz, then you can pop along to Margate for an afternoon/evening to liven up the weekend up.

As Whitstable is a small seaside town, the below isn't a travel guide as such, but more of a photo diary of the adorable Airbnb we stayed in and what we got up to. Enjoy...

- STAY - 

The cottage we rented through Airbnb was perfectly located down a residential street which was lined with cottage after cottage and was literally a stones throw away from the beach, restaurants and shops. Our host was an artist which was pretty apparent as soon as we stepped foot into the cottage. His artwork was displayed in every place and on every wall possible and his eccentric character was displayed perfectly through the cottage's unique furniture and sculptures. Once we'd unpacked our bags, it took us a good hour to wander around the cottage, exploring every nook and cranny, to truly fully take in the cottage. I have never stayed somewhere bursting with so much character before and there were so many little personal touches seeping through the cottage, that I honestly felt as if I were a guest in somebody's family home. The cottage belonged to the host's late Mother, who clearly had a strong love for literature and poetry, as there were books in every possible space in the cottage. And as a girl with a background in literature, it's fair to say that I was in my absolute element...
The kitchen was absolutely crammed from head-to-toe with knick-knacks and I honestly felt like I was cooking dinner in a museum. With no TV or speakers in sight, what the cottage did have was an old-school CD player (throwing it right back) so we took it right back to basics and cooked dinner and chilled in the cottage both evenings with Lana Del Rey setting the scene in the background. I love old-fashioned Airbnb's without TV's and awful Wifi, as it truly makes it that bit more special and unspoilt by social media obsessing and TV watching. It was honestly so nice to just sit around in armchairs chatting and cooking with no distractions. 
The beauty of staying in an artist's house is that you never truly know what to expect. Every corner of the cottage offered something totally unique, whether that be a hand-painted portrait or a handmade lamp or a metal sculpture. Every room was completely different to the next, yet similarly all bursting with character. A book of poems from the 1930's? Yep, the cottage had that. A book about fairies? Yep, the cottage had that too. Antique vases? Yep, the cottage certainly had those too and constantly being surrounded by such precious antiques and handmade knick-knacks, meant me being the clumsy bitch that I am, had to make a real conscious effort the whole weekend not to touch or break anything. I absolutely loved my stay at the cottage and it's homely, cosy feel meant that it was so hard packing up and saying goodbye! I've linked the Airbnb listing below incase any of you are planning on visiting Whitstable...


Similar to Margate, the shops in Whitstable are independent and adorable as hell. There's no Topshop in sight, and the closest thing thing I found to a chain was Boots, which I had to hobble into to get some plasters, thanks to my sandals crucifying my feet. If haberdashery is your thing, there's an independent fabric shop alongside gift shop after gift shop, all offering you things you definitely won't find on Oxford Street. Granted the high street is about as long as the queue to get into London Bridge Station at 5pm on a Monday, but you can still spend a good hour or two perusing the little boutiques and of course stopping off for an ice-cream in Sundae Sundae. The best thing about Whitstable, is that it is so, so easy to get your bearings. It's impossible to get lost as everything runs parallel to the sea, with the high street with all it's shops and restaurants all literally a stones throw away from the beach and all on one stretch.

- EAT - 

As you can see from the above (vomit-inducing) photos, Whitstable is famous for its oysters. It's working harbour means that fish is at the core of the dining experience throughout Whitstable, with the seaside town's restaurants all dominated by seafood. Now, although I myself can't stomach seafood and my phobia of slimy objects means oysters are my idea of a one way ticket to hell, I could still appreciate the freshness of the fish on offer in Whitstable and my friends (who don't wretch at the mere sight of oysters) confirmed that they were the best oysters that they have ever tasted and compared to the extortionate prices that they are used to paying in London restaurants, at around £1-£3 per oyster (depending on the breed), they are an absolute bargain.

If you've never tried oysters before and don't fancy embarrassing yourself attempting to knock one back in a fancy restaurant, then just take a stroll along the beach and sample one or two to take-away.
If you do fancy embarrassing yourself, then Whitstable's most sought after restaurant is Whitstable Oyster Co. People book weeks in advance to secure a table at this spot and it's reviews certainly validate it's reputation as the best restaurant in Whitstable, so if you're planning on visiting, then do pre-book a table as far in advance as you possibly can. Other restaurants worth visiting in Whitstable are: The Lobster Shack, Wheelers Oyster Bar & The Crab & Winkle

Whitstable, you were beautiful and everything you'd want from a weekend away at the British seaside. No pavement races or sullen Londoner faces, just beautiful cottages, relaxed residents, beautiful, spacious beaches and chilled vibes. I will be back...

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