Those heading to the Revitalisation Meeting in Broadstairs on what is set to be a sunny day at this wonderful seaside resort could be excused for getting distracted. So before you start enjoying all it has to offer, remember the meeting is this Saturday 30 July from 12 to 2 at Crampton Tower meeting hall in The Broadway (do not confuse it with the Cramptons pub close by).
The local Thanet branch of CAMRA is making special arrangements to lay on real ale and hopefully food for attendees, to make everyone welcome with a good pint or more to enjoy.
Broadstairs is brim-full of nostalgic, old-world, seaside charm. Sandy bays meet surf schools. Fishermen's cottages meet Charles Dickens connections. Retro ice-cream parlours meet chic shops. Relaxed and unspoilt, this is the perfect place for chilled-out, family-friendly fun.
The seaside resort boasts an impressive seven sand-filled beaches and bays including the harbour and cliff-top promenade.
There’s a wealth of inviting cafes, restaurants and bars - two 1950's ice-cream parlours Morelli's and Chiappini's provide flavourful scoops of nostalgia too. In the High Street, historic red-brick and flint-fronted buildings are dotted between a rich stock of independent shops. Look out for galleries including New Kent, Little Art Gallery and Broadstairs Gallery
Before or after the meeting there are several pubs in and around Broadstairs worth trying. Two of them, The Yard of Ale and Mind the Gap, will be discounting the price of their pints (Ale and Cider) to just £2.50 for card carrying CAMRA members.
Here's some of the pubs you might like to try:
One of the top four in last year’s CAMRA Pub of the Year Awards and so far has won East Kent Pub of the Year in the current competition. A micropub housed in the former stable block of the adjacent funeral directors in the village of St Peter's. Serves cask ales, real ciders and locally produced wines along with tea & coffee, handmade pork pies and Kent crisps while cheese boards are pub speciality. The bar floor is made of original cobbles and is often strewn with hay for that stable effect.
Smacks of olde world charm. Shuttered, leaded windows, flint facade and dates back to 1795, when it was called the Queens Arms Tap, though the building is said to be much older. Its current name was mentioned on documents in 1814, when it is reputed to have been used as an officer's billet.
Converted from a former shop to be a micropub. Frequently changing beers are dispensed from a glass-fronted cooled stillager cabinet behind the bar. It’s become a popular place for discerning local ale drinkers.
Four Candles St Peters, Broadstairs
Calls itself the UK’s smallest brewpub, with nice beers brewed in the cellar. Well worth a visit, just a small diversion on the way to the Yard of Ale
Mind The Gap 156 High St, Broadstairs
Thanet’s newest micropub, just down from Cramptons Tower, owned by the same people that run the Yard of Ale.
And a little farther afield..
Montefiore Arms Trinity Place (off Hereson Road), Ramsgate
Old-fashioned backstreet local run by Eddie Gadd of Ramsgate Brewery, offering well-kept and well-priced beers. A few minutes walk or a couple of Thanet Loop bus stops from the Brown Jug.
Broadstairs was Charles Dickens' favourite holiday spot. Explore a wealth of Dickens memorabilia and prints at the Dickens House Museum - also the former home of Mary Pearson Strong, who inspired the character Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. You can visit Bleak House an imposing, cliff-top building where Dickens holidayed in the 1850s and '60s, and wrote David Copperfield.,
Cliff-top paths link beautiful bays, just inland St Peter's village stages award-winning heritage tours, while the Crampton Tower Museum where the meeting is being staged provides an intriguing insight into Victorian engineering.
In June, Broadstairs had a week-long Dickens Festival where it was overflowing with costumed characters, talks, plays and beach outings.
If you fancy coming back to town to enjoy it more, in a week’s time the Broadstairs Folk Week brings Broadstairs alive. Later in August is the Broadstairs Water Gala is a family-friendly fiesta of sandcastle-building, teddy bears picnicking and fireworks. While in October, the three-day Broadstairs Food Festival is an irresistible celebration of locally-produced, fine food and drink.