On our last full day in Kent, we finally hit gold, and the sun graced us with its presence! Miracle of miracles. We decided to celebrate with a day by the seaside. However, first up we had to pay a visit to one of the nerdiest attractions on the face of the earth: the Hornby Museum.
Yep, this is possibly one of the saddest things known to man! For those of you fortunate enough not to know what this is, Hornby are the company behind model trains and cars, and my dad has a small collection of them at home. He’s always been a fan of steam trains (and their models), so we couldn’t not visit. I entirely understand if you want to skip over this part, but I promise there is minimal train involvement!
The museum itself contains Hornby and Corgi models and Scaletrex, laid out in various exciting ways. I’ll spare you the details and just give you a few photos to spare you the boredom! Suffice to say that if you have an anorak in your life and you find yourself in Kent, I’m sure they’d enjoy a visit!
And that’s the end of the trains, promise!
Next up, we headed to Broadstairs, a pretty little seaside town which my dad and aunt went to on a family holiday when they were just children back in the 1950s. I doubt it’s changed much since to be honest, although these days it looks to be a favourite sort of town for OAPS. HAving said that, we all really liked it (the beach has real sand and everything, not just a few inches of it by the shoreline and a mile of shingle in between!) Some of the Kent seaside towns we passed through (Margate, Ramsgate, I’m looking at you) were a bit washed out and tired, but Broadstairs still retains its charm.
Broadstairs is a very quaint, pretty little town, full of tea rooms and cafes, nautical sounding pubs (Neptune’s Rooms, The Dolphin), and with a large number of furry inhabitants, who were also all enjoying the sunshine.
As Kent was so close to mainland Europe, it was the first place that the Romans marched through and really established roots on arriving in Britain in the first century. The fort came about as a result of this, and parts of the walls are still standing to this day (all hail epic Roman building skills). It is situated on a slight hill, and when you look around you all you can see are sweeping vistas of flat green fields.
Once we had had our fill of the fort, we meandered slowly back to Whitstable for dinner. We had reservations at a rather posh looking fish restaurant on the seafront for our final night, and as an early Father’s Day treat for Dad.
The Whitstable Oyster Company is lovely inside – clean, bright and white, accentuated even more so by the sunshine streaming through the windows. This view out of the window nearest to us was wonderful, but the only problem was that it lasered directly into my eyes, so I had to wear my sunglasses indoors during dinner – until I gave in and moved to sit next to my sister on the other side of the table to avoid getting sunburnt indoors. That would have been a new low…
For the main course, I went for the Lemon Sole with parsley and lemon butter. It was light considering the amount of butter, although obviously the lemon helped to balance it out and give it a tang. It was a fresh and delicious dish.
Dad went for the Pan Fried Local Skate with butter and capers. We tried some of that as well, and it was really nice. In fact all the fish was top notch, and it’s clearly all fresh in, with as much of it sourced locally as possible.
My sister and I both managed to find space for dessert, but mine was the only one that got a photo, as my sister wolfed hers down as soon as it was placed in front of her. She went for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Pot, and swapped in salted caramel ice cream for the cream it originally had. It was epic. I had the lemon curd ice cream, which was delicious and refreshing without being too sharp and tangy.
After a monster dinner, and with it being such a glorious evening outside, I chose to walk back to the hotel from the restaurant rather than take the car. The half hour stroll was lovely – it was a nice temperature out and a gorgeous sunset, and if I’d had the time I’d have lingered by the beach all night, just for more views like this.
And that’s that! A whirlwind few days in Kent with my much-loved family, and we all returned home Thursday to our normal lives. Typically, it was glorious sunshine on Thursday, which we didn’t get to enjoy half as much as we’d have liked. However, I think we made the most of our holiday, regardless of the seesawing weather conditions! I always have a fantastic time with my family, and my sister and I were already planning ahead to our next big family meet up – a joint birthday collaboration for her, me and my aunt at the end of the year. Watch this space – if it happens you’ll definitely see the highlights here!
Have you been to Kent before? Have you got any favourite sights from this suburban county? I’d love to hear about it, or any other family holidays you’ve had or have coming up. Fill me in!