We came from the south (I had been out in Surrey at a wedding), the North (the proper north ie further than Manchester), the West (west London) and the East (also London). As usual there was the crazy scramble to make the train but I secretly quite enjoy the drama of the race to the ticket barriers and then on to the beeping doors- although I only enjoy it when I make it!
As the doors slammed shut I could feel myself start to relax. The relaxation was briefly ceased by one of those are we in the front of the train, or the back dilemnas? Will we end up winning the train dividing gamble and going to Whitstable or will we lose and go to Dover and be sad (I'm sure Dover is lovely but we'd not booked to go there!).
However we were in a good carriage and all was well. On arrival in Whitstable we took a taxi (4 women going for 3 days obviously equalled 8 bags, not including handbags). The taxi was £3, £3 imagine that in London. £3! (I continued to exclaim £3 throughout the holiday, without explanation- I would say, this ice cream is amazing- and a taxi is £3, or wow Dallas is coming back- can you believe that taxi was £3!).
We stayed at a gorgeous self catering apartment and very appropriately for this summer it was named Bunting. We had everything we could need and it was so relaxing we all kept nipping off for afternoon naps (holiday heaven!).
Whitstable is an independent and very chain free sort of spot- we got all our supplies from local shops- a great off licence, a fabulous cake shop and so on- but they do have real coffee and we went to Costa each morning for Americanos to take back to the apartment.
Whitstable is brilliant at all budgets- there are lots of quite pricey eateries for sure- but you can also have fresh oysters and a local beer on the beach for next to nothing- and of course it couldn't taste better.
We particularly liked the Pearsons Arms by Richard Phillips.
The restaurant is upstairs and looks out over the beach to the sea- it's wood lined and a mixture of cosy but chic. The fish was delicious- I had salmon and monkfish but I very much wanted the scallops in ginger foam too! The do a great value lunch offer and I only wish we'd found them in time to have their Sunday roast- it's a good reason to go back!
Then for pudding I highly recommend Sundae Sundae (where I had this boat full of rose and lychee ice cream topped with popping candy- yes it was as good as it sounds!).
We were all very sad as we waited for our taxi to the train (£3 again!). Whitstable is the kind of place you go to to be restored, it's not enormous so I think a mini break is the ideal length of time- but it certainly left me wanting more (oysters, ice cream, scampi, afternoon naps, beach walks....)