Weekending in Whitstable

Whitstable I might be a South London girl but a part of my heart will always belong to Kent. I went to school here, and have very happy memories of weekends driving through beautiful countryside, stopping off at a local pub and picking our own fruit at one of Kent’s plentiful orchards. Canterbury Cathedral

Two years ago, my mother and her significant other moved to a village near Canterbury, into a gorgeous converted barn next door to a Tudor manor house (where it’s recorded Anne Boleyn once met Henry VIII). They live with a happy-go-lucky Labrador named Milo and a bad-tempered cat named Mog. She bites (the cat, not my mother). Mog

I love going to visit, and so this weekend I took the boyfriend and myself down on the train from Kings Cross to see her. We spent a very lovely sunny Saturday wandering around Canterbury, with a brief diversion to get our hair cut at the worryingly named Lunatic Fringe (which was actually very good). Having woken up today to a very grey Sunday, we decided that a trip to the seaside to boost our spirits was in order so jumped in the car and headed to Whitstable.Whitstable Oysters

Whitstable is famous for its seafood, and in particular the oysters. If you get the time and the inclination (and you really should), book at Wheeler’s Oyster Bar. It’s one of the oddest but most brilliant restaurants in Britain and is worth every penny.Whitstable Oyster Company

Otherwise in Whitstable, there’s an huge selection of dining choices if you like seafood, including the option of buying lobster rolls and eating outside amongst the seagulls. Tempting, but a bit too cold for today.

We headed instead along the seafront to the charmingly named Crab and Winkle. I lost my heart a little to the neon Crab sign. Not sure how it would work within my flat but somehow I’d make it fit. DSC_0123

We ordered an array of seafood including langoustines, battered oysters, cockles, rollmops, crab, hot smoked salmon and fresh oysters. The oysters were naturally the stars of the show but everything was pretty fantastic. Seafood platter

Completely full by this point, we chose to amble back along the seafront to a grey sunset, and the sound of seagulls hoping for some leftovers. DSC_0119

Past the oyster boats, the seagulls and the freezing tourists eating fish and chips on wooden benches on the sandy shore, we hopped in our car and headed back to London feeling full of chips and full of life. A little country weekend away is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

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