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  • Writer's pictureMary Smith

Browsing in Broadstairs

Broadstairs' much-loved independent traders are breathing an audible sigh of relief. Now that lockdown measures are well and truly eased, it's time for all shops to open up again in one way or another. Our town-centre retailers must be feeling both daunted by having to approach this with caution and eager to provide a tip-top service to their new and returning customers. Strolling down Broadstairs High Street you will find plenty of unique shops to choose from. Broadstairs Apartments can think of a few to get you browsing.

Let's start at the top of the High Street on the Broadway, only 5 minutes' walk from Broadstairs Apartments. Here you will find artisan shop Three Graces, a beautifully-presented and creative Aladdin's cave. An imaginative range of handmade Fair Trade and ethical  products from all over the world is there for the choosing. Their window displays are always gorgeously put together and change to fit the season, a real feast for the eyes. Hand-crafted traditional children's' toys are a speciality here, so that you can gift the little ones something special.

Next stop down the hill opposite historic Pierremont Park is Plantlet, which was set up last year by a mother and daughter team with more than a penchant for the botanical. The shop itself is very cute, a compact and bijou delight of indoor plants and sustainable accessories, including a huge selection of cacti and succulents to peruse. A range of beautiful silver jewellery crafted in house with designs taken from the natural world complements the plants. You'd be surprised how much time can be whiled away in a small shop like this.

On Charlotte Street,Kit Lifestyle has set up a really greatcollection of modern, stylish clothes for all the family. They stock some interesting brands such as Nooki, Religion and Compania Fantastica to ensure quality tailoring and imaginative fabrics. The pieces often have a breezy, sophisticated and relaxed feel about them, very fitting for a holiday inBroadstairs. Great frocks, snazzy summer menswear and a cute kids' wardrobe keep its loyal customers returning.We also noticed some dapper-looking raincoats, just perfect if you get caught in an unwelcome seaside downpour (we'd be lying if we said it's always sunny down here!)  

And so to Arrowsmiths, also taking pride of place on Charlotte Street. As browsing experiences go, here is a jewel in the crown of slow shopping. The original Edwardian apothecary fixtures and fittings are still used to optimum effect, all polished wood and glass display cabinets.  Enchanting handmade jewellery with semi-precious stones sits behind the glass and the shelves are full of exquisitely chosen clothing one-off's with gorgeous accessories. They also stock a wide range of whimsical baby wear that gets you cooing before you can say matinee jacket. Everything will be beautifully wrapped and packaged too, making you feel really indulged. 

Just around the corner on Albion Street sits Broadstairs Book Shop, a labyrinthine treasure-trove of vintage hardbacks, paperbacks, comics and postcards just asking to be pored over. A gamut of books piled high on two floors is enough to keep even the most dedicated browsers amongst you busy. The shop's proprietor has encyclopaedic knowledge of his stock and can direct you to the whereabouts of any topic with ease. With so many bookshops having gone by the wayside in recent years, this place is a true asset. 

That's just a few of the brilliant independent shops opening up again in Broadstairs, make sure you come down soon to see them all. As the town slowly gets back to its usual vibrant and bustling self, it's good to know that our trusty shopkeepers are all taking such good care in making the new normal a safe and friendly one. With clear instructions on the doors, signs inside showing you which way to go and what hygiene procedures have been undertaken,  it's all easy to navigate despite the restrictions. We suggest you contact shops individually to find out exact dates and opening hours. Have fun browsing and buying!

As we all adjust to a life with Covid-19, please make sure you adhere to the up-to-date government guidelines.

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