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  • Writer's pictureMary Smith

A Cosy Christmas by the Sea

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

©️ VisitThanet

December is fast approaching and it must be said that Christmas time in Broadstairs is a real treat. With its quaint shops, cosy pubs and fabulous seafood restaurants, not to mention the attractive 18th & 19th century architecture and picturesque sandy beaches, this year more than any other is a great time to spend some of the festive period in our little town.

© Kent Online

Still faced with some social uncertainties as 2020 draws to a close, none of us will be making elaborate plans. Instead, we are set for smaller, more intimate celebrations where we will need to make the most of the simple things in life, and Broadstairs is the perfect location for that. A post-lunch stroll along the beach, a glass of something special in front of a pub fire or a mooch around the pretty artisan shops and market stalls is simplicity itself.

© MSmith

With an imaginative array of independent shops and cafes, Christmas shopping on the Isle of Thanet is a pleasure. In Broadstairs itself don't miss the fabulous Arrowsmith boutique and its chic neighbour Home by SP, both on quaint Charlotte Street. Just opposite is the Bottleneck off-licence, stocking such an exceptionally well-chosen selection of fine wines, beers and top-of-the-range spirits that you can't go wrong if trying to spoil yourself.

© MSmith

Broadstairs also has a good selection of grocery shops for all the trimmings and treats. The Old Bakehouse on the corner of picturesque Serene Place, unchanged for centuries. can be relied upon for delicious cakes and pastries made fresh daily on the premises. Prentis, family greengrocers in Broadstairs since 1979, stock plentiful supplies of seasonal fruit and veg, including of course the ubiquitous stick of Brussels sprouts!

Love an outdoor market? Broadstairs Christmas Market will be taking place on Victoria Parade along the promenade above Viking Bay this year. A chance to get into the festive spirit, it's running from the 10th to the 13th of December with festive stalls displaying Christmas gifts, stocking fillers, delicatessen, decorations and seasonal foods and drink guaranteed to tempt you. On the same weekend, the Makers Collective Christmas Market will be setting up home in beautiful Pierremont Hall. Go along for locally-produced handicrafts of all kinds sold by the makers themselves for a personal touch.

© MSmith

Also within easy reach on the Isle of Thanet are Margate and Ramsgate, both with their seaside charm and plenty on offer over the winter months. Head to the Margate's Old Town for charming side-streets housing arty shops and vintage emporiums. Over in Ramsgate the boat illuminations on the Royal Harbour are there throughout December to brighten up the dark winter evenings.

© MSmith

Winter doesn't have to mean nothing to do - how about an afternoon at the bijou Palace Cinema? A vintage picturehouse that has been part of Broadstairs culture for decades, where both independent and blockbuster films are shown throughout the week. Follow that with a bracing seaside walk and festive drinks to warm the cockles. When it's time to take the weight off your feet - preferably in a cosy pub with a roaring log fire - look no further than the Tartar Frigate, down at the bottom of Harbour Street. With views out onto the little harbour and the bobbing fishing boats moored along the jetty it won't just be the single malt giving you a warm feeling.

If it's a bit of festive glamour you're after, try The Counting House bar at the bottom of the High Street. Here you can choose from all manner of delicious winter cocktails alongside the local ales. Formerly the Lloyds Bank building, the interior has been stylishly refurbished for ambience. A great place to spend some down time while Christmas shopping in the thriving town centre. Perfect for nipping out for those last-minute gifts!

© Harding-Lee Media

And finally, for a truly enchanting experience there's always Midnight Mass, held by several Broadstairs churches late night on Christmas Eve. The Holy Trinity on Nelson Place, just along from Albion Street. or Our Lady Star of the Sea on Broadstairs Road both hold traditional candlelit services. Warm and welcoming, this is another aspect of the community that comes into its own for Bradstonians young and old over the yuletide.

© Holy Trinity Church, Broadstairs

Whether it's browsing the Christmas stalls, cosying up in a hostelry or soaking up the atmosphere in a twinkling church, you will feel at home in Broadstairs over Christmas. The windy strolls along the sands and promenades will blow the cobwebs away and work off the festive indulgences. All within walking distance of Broadstairs Apartments. Have we tempted you yet?

Please check up-to-date guidance on the Covid-19 restrictions and make enquiries with individual venues before you visit, as they may be subject to change.

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