I’ve always loved exploring. As a child my Dad pretending to get lost on a country drive excited more than my Atari ever could. Not knowing what lay ahead made me into an adventurer. Thirty or so years on I still get that same feeling, it’s just harder to find- ironically, now we’ve got GPS. I guess this means that new discoveries have an increased impact on me, and maybe that’s why this week I’m writing about Westgate. How did I miss it? Has it been there long? Have Thanet District Council been hiding it? What a place. I think I may be falling in love: it’s got an independent cinema. A station at its heart, so I can come and go as I please. There’s Angelo’s Deli that bakes fresh bread. I can learn to line dance at the Westgate Pavilion. The people are welcoming and the property represents remarkable value. But more than anything, there’s the Regency Tandoori. It may have taken 6 months of living in Thanet to find a take-away that I truly enjoy, but it was worth the wait. The King Prawn Dhansak, Chicken Pathia, Vegetable Korma, Sag Paneer and Onion Bhajis were some of the best I’ve tasted. The Peshwari naan could have done with being 50% bigger but then I’m a greedy git. The staff were friendly, our food good value and the throng of take-away customers would suggest that most of Westgate’s residents are patrons. I say we quash this conspiracy to keep it to themselves and tell the rest of Thanet about my amazing discovery. Spread word of Regency Tandoori (7th Wonder of Westgate) to everyone that will listen. Be sure to tell them not to pop down on a Saturday though as I’d rather nobody came between me and my new found treasure.
9 Station Road, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, CT8 8RB, 01843 831412.
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Since the early 70’s I’ve been coming to Thanet for days out, weekends and the occasional half term. I caught my first fish, Eric, in Ramsgate harbour. Smiled as my photo was taken with a smelly monkey on Margate promenade and more often than not sat in the sea wearing nothing but my pants and a thick coating of cream. During those 35 years I’ve also enjoyed Morelli’s on a regular basis and have surely devoured just as many flavours. Amazingly though it was only on Saturday afternoon that I finally got round to trying their Mint Choc Chip. I think it’s because my mum bought MCC on a regular basis and as such I was always keen to try something different when given the option. Even this first encounter wasn’t planned as I’d opted for a scoop of Honeycomb and a scoop of Rhubarb and Custard in a tub (£2.60). It was only in an attempt at silencing my friend’s son, who repeatedly told me his was better than mine, that I even put a spoon near it. He was right though. It is one of the finest things I’ve ever tasted, ice cream nirvana even. I can now spend my Sundays gardening or putting up shelves, as men of a certain age should. Great. So if it took me this long to find mine then it’s probably best you start right away and don’t worry they have a good selection even in winter. If, however, you are insane and ice cream isn’t your thing then the coffee is excellent, the teacakes enormous and the 50’s interior alone makes it worth a visit. And please, if you ever find yourself moaning about how good things used to be, then get yourself down to Morelli’s where they still are.
14 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 1QS, 01843 862500.
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As I drove happily through Birchington I really had no idea what to expect. That small thrill sped quickly away when the ugly picnic tables, littering the exterior of Minnis Bar, came into view. On arrival I circumnavigated the car park in search of the missing / stolen pay ‘n’ display machine and couldn’t help but contemplate the fate awaiting me? Gulp. Once inside it appeared newly decorated and completely at odds with the outside. Books and covers instantly sprung to mind. It was also very busy for a freezing cold Sunday morning. Impressive. A friendly waitress came over and greeted us with a welcoming smile. Maybe I was wrong. She then sat us next to the Wall of Chef. Oh dear. I’ve never seen so many signed photographs of cooks, foodies and other culinary Gods so pointlessly gathered in one place. The Michelin adorned wallpaper must have wept star after star as they endured a relay of employees decant industrial quality jam and marmalade into cheap porcelain. The accompanying toast was great but sadly it had to share a wicker cradle with some frozen butter packs that made us both shudder. The food itself was of average quality and was just about value for money considering the view and the pleasant staff. Regrettably though I do feel that this youngster will be forever teetering around in Mummy’s heels, no matter how much lippy it applies.
The Parade, Minnis Bay, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9QP, 01843 841844.
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