Vintage shopping on King Street

While a healthy catch of vintage and antiques shops have washed up in many of the UK’s beachside towns – Brighton, Worthing, Lyme Regis – those in Margate are of a particularly good calibre. King Street is a mecca when it comes to retro rummaging. Try Peony Vintage for hand-picked womenswear and sustainable lifestyle goods or Breuer & Dawson for off-kilter British style. For furniture and curios, we love Paraphernalia.



Sitting opposite the Turner Contemporary in Margate’s Old Town, Môr (meaning “sea” in Welsh) is that breed of lifestyle store which inspires you to create a Pinterest board. Mid-century homewares share shelves with design-led stationery, chunky jewellery and avant-garde watering cans that would look just as good in a gallery as on your patio. 


The Margate Bookshop

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no words can do justice to a good bookshop. Set in a Grade II-listed former textile studio, this turquoise-fronted independent in Margate’s Old Town is the shop equivalent of a good novella – small but intriguing. It began life in 2017 as a pop-up in the Turner Contemporary during the Margate Bookie literature festival. Today, its woodchip shelves host cult titles alongside hand-picked editions from small publishers – choose wisely; a good tome will make great company when lounging on the beach. 



This luxurious local company has found a way to tackle Margate’s problem of surplus seaweed – by creating fine, natural skincare products with it. Haeckels’ wares are sold across the country but this exquisite flagship store showcases their dedication to local, ‘beach-harvested’ ingredients. Oils, lotions and scrubs are displayed in brown glass bottles on illuminated wooden cabinets, while their fragrances are lined up beneath glass cloches. Visitors can also while away a few hours in the treatment room at the back.



Accessories and footwear designer Rae Jones and trend forecaster Cynthia Lawrence-John are the lovers of natural fibres and pockets behind WerkHouse. Among its collection of modern utilitarian women’s clothing, you’ll find Bernstock Speirs hats, Mudlark & Co sandals and Buckitt bags as well as carefully curated vintage pieces. 



Knock elbows with the city’s cool kids at Cliffs, the shopping incarnation of new Margate, where a coffee roastery, record shop, café (the crumpets here are especially good), yoga studio, hair salon and occasional gig venue spill over three floors. If you prefer your vinyl without a hint of hipster, cross Northdown Road to Transmission Records – regularly ranked among the UK’s best record stores – for Japanese pressings, soundtracks, post-punk, electronics and metal.


If there was ever any doubt of Margate’s rising cool, ETC’s selection of potted cactuses, palm leaves, hanging plants, bamboo furniture and pre-distressed notebooks prove that there are plenty of hipsters in town in need of such essentials.


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