Everybody’s moving to Margate for the affordable Victorian stock. Absolutely admires this recently refurbished terraced house and adores the cottage.
Words Pendle Harte
The Turner Contemporary art gallery opened in 2011 and Tracey Emin recently moved back to her home town to set up a foundation: Margate is very much on the map. Londoners have been moving here for the affordable property, the thriving art scene and the quirky boutiques and bars, and what used to be a rundown seaside town is now a stylish destination.
Westbrook Bay House is a good example of the area’s fine Victorian housing stock, renovated with a contemporary aesthetic designed to appeal to weekending visitors.
It’s a large house, cleverly arranged to provide five bedrooms with the entire lower ground floor knocked through to create a large open plan kitchen/dining and living area with access to a decked garden. There are bay windows at the front to the street and a comfortable sitting area features Ercol daybeds and mid-century shelving displaying plants, battered old Penguins and shell collections that nod to the beachside location. Next to the original Victorian fireplace are artfully placed pieces of driftwood and an outsize potted cactus; on the walls are framed posters and a deer’s skull and antlers.
Interior design-wise, we’re very much in Instagram territory, and the house has all the hallmarks of somewhere that’s designed to be photographed. There are Anglepoise lamps, plants, science lab dining chairs, round mirrors and filament bulbs. The kitchen is painted black and the units are wooden, the floor polished concrete and the shelves filled with enamelware.
Upstairs, bedrooms are all white walls, bare floorboards and pebble-painted original doors, with comfortable beds and crisp waffle sheets. Classic black radiators add style, and the bathroom features a large free-stand rolltop, claw-footed tub as well as a spacious and efficient shower. Staying here is like stepping inside a photoshoot, in a good way.