Last weekend The Old Kent Market opened, opposite the Turner Contemporary in Margate.
After many months of loving restoration the building, which has previously been a music hall, a cinema, a snooker hall and for many years basically derelict, now makes a striking new contribution to the seafront, with it’s bold red frontage and intriguing exterior artwork but what’s in there? Visitors to Thanet will certainly want to go and take a look so we thought a blog post for those of you considering booking a holiday let with us in Broadstairs, which is just up the road, would be a good idea. We were amongst the first through the doors and it will be our pleasure to share with you our impressions.
Firstly, it’s important we explain that the Easter opening took place ahead of what will be an official launch of the Market. So we anticipate that there may be even more stalls and stuff to see from 1st May 2016 which is the big advertised Grand Opening.
Even so, there were Taiko drummers and a classic car display (a Jensen Interceptor) at Easter, outside the market, as well as plenty of action inside, when we were there. So our expectations for the Grand Opening and the summer ahead at The Old Kent Market are pretty high.
Artists have been employed since last year to decorate the exterior of the building. On the side there’s a huge, Old Dutch Master style, food still life mural. On the front the original theatrical faces in the stonework have been exquisitely recreated and hand painted in lifelike colour. The entrance double doors feature a built in kiosk selling newspapers and the like under a characterful copper dome.
The Market will be open seven days, so whenever you are in Margate you can go there and pick up something to eat or browse the non food stalls.
An old Routemaster bus has been installed in the main hall and turned into a cafe with seating on the upper level, looking over the rest of the market. You can sit on the bus and eat anything you’ve bought at the market. Great fun for kids and big kids alike!
Fresh bread is baked on the premises and you can see the baker at work behind glass. When we were there he was knocking out delicious hot cross buns and they were being snapped up as fast as he could bake them.
Smugglers Records have a wonderful off licence stall selling vinyl alongside craft beers and other yummy drinks.
The Cheese Box from Whitstable sell a great range of cheeses including many from Kent.
There’s also a well stocked fruit and veg stall, a wet fish stall, a flower stall, amazing looking cakes and more…
Expect plenty of surprises too – GB Bark Off’s stall, for example, sells beautifully made hand baked doggy treats and other goodies for your best four legged friend!
Street Food stalls, pop up stalls and entertainers are expected to be part of the experience on certain days too.
Some stalls were selling art, jewellery, electrical goods and clothing on the day we visited, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves and we hope it will keep it’s focus on food as that what makes it most exciting and unique.
The Market as a whole is a very welcome addition to the town which has sorely lacked fresh food shops, other than the giant Morrisons supermarket till now. Holiday makers in self catering accomodation, such as Beeches Holiday Lets in Broadstairs, will now be able to pick up the ingredients to cook up something tasty in their holiday home kitchens without having to set foot in a sterile supermarket environment. Day trippers can pick up treats to eat then and there, on the top deck of that bus perhaps or on the beach or steps opposite, just across the road. Shopping in the Old Kent Market promises to be a real pleasure and fun activity in it’s own right!
We should point out that while Margate town has previously lacked fresh food shopping outlets, Broadstairs High Street is a different kettle of fish entirely – two greengrocers, two butchers, three bakers, an award winning wet fish shop and two independent off licences – as well as many more super independent shops mean shopping in Broadstairs is easy and you are certain to find what you’re looking for here. But do go to The Old Kent Market too – it’s great fun and deserves all our support!
The area also has two excellent Farmers Markets which take place once a month – Cliftonville Farmers Market and Thanet Farmers Market.
A big congratulations to the team behind The Old Kent Market and thanks to them for creating something very special in our local area which both holiday makers and residents can really enjoy.
Visit The Old Kent Market website or find them on Facebook for more up to date information about their plans for the 1st May Grand Opening, the latest news about traders and future events. Tell them Beeches Holiday Lets in Broadstairs sent you!
Tags: bakerycraft aleFoodfood shoppingfresh fishlocal alesmargatemarketshoppingSmugglers RecordsThe Old Kent Market