We had such a lovely time discovering dog friendly Margate! It’s a town nestled on the southeast coast of England in Kent – one that has seen a revival as a sought-after seaside destination.
For years, this town has seamlessly blended traditional British seaside allure with modern arts and culture. We were drawn to its magnetic charm, and our recent visit reaffirmed why it’s a must-visit. A snapshot into dog friendly Margate is here:
Turner Contemporary: A Modern Art Haven
Starting off our journey, one of our first stops was the Turner Contemporary, a beacon of modern art on Margate’s seafront. Named in honour of the 19th-century artist J.M.W. Turner, who was enamoured with Margate’s unique light, this gallery showcases a plethora of contemporary visual arts from global artists. Interestingly, with ever-changing exhibitions, there’s always something fresh and intriguing to witness.
Dreamland: A Nostalgic Adventure
Following that, another highlight is Dreamland, a vintage amusement park that has graced Margate since the early 1900s. After undergoing its recent restoration, Dreamland now boasts retro rides, roller discos, and lively music events. The park’s nostalgic ambiance captivated us, especially the iconic Scenic Railway wooden rollercoaster. It’s an absolute must-ride!
Margate’s Seaside and the Enigmatic Shell Grotto
Transitioning to a more relaxed vibe, strolling along Margate Main Sands was a serene experience. This sandy beach, ideal for sunbathing and swimming, is complemented by a promenade dotted with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. However, the real surprise awaited us at the Shell Grotto. Discovered in 1835, this subterranean passage is adorned with intricate seashell mosaics. The grotto’s origins remain a mystery, making it an even more intriguing attraction.
On a side note, our experience here was a hit on social media – check it out!
Old Town and Dog-Friendly Spots
Initially, we couldn’t resist exploring Margate’s Old Town, a treasure trove of independent shops, galleries, and eateries. The best part? Moreover, the best part? Most of these spots are dog-friendly! Our little Westie, London, was more than happy to accompany us, basking in the sun and enjoying the warm ambiance of the town.
A Sunset to Remember
Subsequently, we wrapped up our Margate adventure with a breath-taking sunset, echoing those at Cafe Mambo, Ibiza. Along with many others, we perched on the newly constructed stairs along Margate Harbour’s seafront, absorbing the mesmerising hues of the setting sun.
Margate boasts a plethora of activities, establishing itself as a perfect getaway. Its art galleries, beaches, and the enigmatic Shell Grotto cater to diverse interests. If you seek dog-friendly spots, Margate delivers. We eagerly anticipate our next visit!
Ibiza, an island renowned for its vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and rich history, has always been a top destination for travellers. But there’s a unique way to experience the island’s magic that many might overlook: boat tours. We recently embarked on such a journey, and our experience was nothing short of magical.
Setting Sail in Ibiza
The moment we set sail, the atmosphere was electric. The Mediterranean’s crystal-clear waters stretched endlessly, with the sun casting a shimmering trail across the waves. The boat was filled with an enthusiastic crowd, all eager to experience Ibiza’s magic. Laughter, dancing, and the clinking of glasses set the tone for the day.
One of the boat’s standout features was a slide that plunged directly into the refreshing waters of the Mediterranean. Imagine the thrill of diving into the sapphire sea right off the deck of a party boat. It’s an experience that’s hard to replicate.
Discovering Hidden Gems
The boat tour wasn’t just about partying and enjoying the sea. It was also an opportunity to explore parts of the island that aren’t easily accessible by land. The stunning rock formations, hidden coves, and pristine beaches were a sight to behold.
One of the highlights of our journey was a visit to Cala Bassa Beach. Known for its luxe beach clubs, outstanding DJs, cozy sunbeds, and top-notch restaurants, Cala Bassa is a must-visit. The beach’s atmosphere was described as vibrant, fun, and electric. It’s a place that truly needs to be seen to be believed.
During our time at Cala Bassa, I had a chance to chat with a German lady who visits Ibiza every season for work. We both agreed that the island’s magic is undeniable. The beach, with its golden sands and azure waters, was a testament to Ibiza’s natural beauty.
A Day to Remember
The boat cruise lasted for about five to six hours, covering some of the most popular beaches around Ibiza. It’s the best way to see the island! The experience was enhanced by the company of new friends, all excited to explore Ibiza’s hidden treasures. And of course, topped off by the magical Ibiza sunset.
For anyone planning a trip to Ibiza, we have this important piece of advice: don’t miss out on a boat cruise. It offers a unique perspective of the island, allowing travellers to discover spots you wouldn’t necessarily see otherwise.
Ibiza is more than just parties and nightlife. It’s an island filled with natural wonders, hidden gems, and unforgettable experiences. A boat tour is a perfect way to immerse oneself in its magic. So, the next time you find yourself in Ibiza, set sail and let the island’s beauty captivate you.
I’m not going to lie: I’m into all things ‘Royal’, and having the chance to attend a Royal Garden Party back in 2019 was a privilege and an honour.
We have a lot of traffic on this site to posts about the garden parties held at Buckingham Palace and similar venues. A question we’re asked quite a bit about is what’s the deal with Royal Garden Party attire? How should a guest approach styling for such an event?
Now that the future of the Royal Garden Parties under King Charles has been confirmed, people around the UK and Commonwealth have started receiving invitations! Exciting :)
Here’s what you need to know about the fashion dos and don’ts!
Royal Garden Party attire – what to wear to a palace
If you have been invited to a royal garden party, there is typically a specific dress code that you should follow. The dress code for a royal garden party is formal, but not as formal as a black-tie event.
Guidelines we adhered to:
A formal day dress, cocktail dress or a skirt and blouse is appropriate.
The dress or skirt should not be too short.
Avoid showing too much skin, so a sleeveless or off-the-shoulder dress is best avoided unless you’re balancing up your style in different ways. That said, over the past two years, ‘cut outs’ have been in fashion, so use your best judgement – if in doubt, don’t.
Hats or fascinators are traditionally worn, but it’s not mandatory.
A suit or a blazer and trousers with a tie is appropriate.
It’s recommended to wear a light-coloured suit, such as grey or beige.
A morning coat or tailcoat is also acceptable if you have one.
Top hats are typically worn but it’s not mandatory.
Here’s how we addressedit:
Wear comfortable shoes because it is a garden party, and you will be walking on grass. I wore low chunky heels which worked out well as the grass was a bit wet and soggy. Even the Royals can’t control the weather.
Speaking of, keep an eye on the temperatures. While England is generally cool, occasionally summer days can be extremely hot. If you strike one of those days for your visit, you’ll want to keep cool as well as classy.
Avoid wearing anything too casual or too flashy. Elegant is the way to go.
Many people stick to conservative colours, such as navy, black, beige, or grey, but if you can pull of classic red, blue or green, go for it – just keep it stylish and classy.
Overall, the dress code for a royal garden party is formal and traditional, but not as strict as a black-tie event. It’s important to dress respectfully and conservatively while still maintaining a sense of style and elegance.
Royal Garden Parties: a special and rare affair
Our Royal Garden Party experience was truly exceptional.
With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022, I’ve been thinking back to the Royal Garden Parties she hosted. In 2019, Cooper and I were exceptionally lucky to be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party.
As it happens, this was one of the very last of these events the Queen actually hosted. The following two years saw this special event cancelled due to COVID. When the Queen’s Garden Party returned in 2022, she was already beginning to get quite frail and did not attend.
Royal Garden Parties: What does the future hold?
During the past week as the Queen’s funeral unfolded, I have been contacted a few times on LinkedIn with enquiries about our time at the garden party. Our Royal Garden Party experience was truly exceptional and we felt so honoured to be invited.
There’s a lot of interest around how to get an invitation to the Royal Garden Parties in England and Scotland. I was even approached by Business Insider to share my story about this!
Image courtesy royal.com
The question remains though, will King Charles continue the tradition of hosting such events? At the time of publishing, there’s not a lot of detail around how this will look in 2023.
What I can tell you, is to keep an eye on the Royal website for updates on events in 2023. As these are summer events, I would suggest that the schedule would be set around February.
You could also do a little research to see if your country’s High Commission or the like, extends offers to apply or be nominated to attend. The Mirror in the UK published a little advice on the topic in 2022 too, read here for more details.
You could also keep an eye on active ‘royal watcher’ blogs like this one that shares updates and goss as it becomes available. If you can find your way into a royal event, it’s well worth it. The Brits really know how to make an event fabulous!
While we will miss the Queen, I hope King Charles continues the tradition. I hope that you have the chance to attend too :) In the meantime, if you’d like a little more insight into what expat life is like in London, travel on over to our YouTube channel and look for the living in England playlists.
Important update: 2023 dates announced
This post was originally published in 2022. The dates for the 2023 Royal Garden Parties are Wednesday 3 May and Tuesday 9 May. This coincides with all the wonderful events that will surround King Charles’ coronation happening then too.
Many local councils and organisations across the UK have already nominated people to attend the garden parties this year, but you could do a little research in the area where you live to see if there are still opportunities available. Let us know how you get on!
Ibiza has struck something in us: there’s a magic here, and the Ibiza sunset certainly proves it night after night.
There’s an energy on this island, and it’s got nothing to do with the clubs or the music. Although I won’t lie, those are cool too. However, this is a place where people have gathered for a very very long time, to pursue a spiritual calling.
Around the island you’ll find mementos of times gone by: the Romans were here; we took part in a sunrise Yoga class by an ancient Phoenician tower… It’s rumoured the lost city of Atlantis is under Es Vedra which is just across the water. Ancient stories, tradition, culture – they all reference the sun as a source of energy. Here, there really is something very beautiful about the light, and everyone must see the sunset.
As the sun hits the horizon, everyone cheers. It’s fabulous. We’ve seen proposals happen at that moment, and a roar of happy energy as thousands of people from all corners of the earth relish in one special moment.
Where to experience this for yourself?
3 areas where you can see the Ibiza sunset: our favourite spots
Restaurant el Carmen or beach areas opposite Es Vedra
Many people go to this area to meditate as the sun sets. That’s pretty special
Head for the beach areas opposite Es Vedra. Here you’ll witness the sun set over the mystical island. It’s one of the three most magnetic places on earth (alongside the North Pole and Bermuda Triangle).
Sirens, UFOs, and more mysteries surround it. This blog writes beautifully about sunset here – worth a quick read.
Sunset Ashram or Kumharas beach bars
Two excellent places listed in our round-up of best beach clubs Ibiza: Sunset Ashram and Kumharas are on the same side of the island. They’re not too far from each other, and you need to get over to this side of the island to explore all its lovely secret beaches, but you’re best to have a car to get to them.
Kumharas is set right on the beach. Sunset Ashram is stunning, surrounded by aqua and deep blue coloured waters! Enjoy non-stop music, great energy and a spectacle you won’t forget.
While there are plenty of great venues along Ibiza’s sunset strip, all the way from Wi Ki Woo, Cafe Del Mar, and Savannah to bars like Ibiza Rocks and Tulip around the other side of Sant Antonio Bay (Sant Antoni de Portmany), our very favourite is Cafe Mambo.
Here, a tradition has unfolded, where hundreds gather on the shoreline to watch the sun hit the horizon. There’s cheering, and the music kicks in. Live DJs (some very big names, I might add) do their stuff right there for all to enjoy.
It’s a brilliant experience if you want to be around people and are partial to a bit of dance music at its best (me!).
Have a tip or questions? Let us know in the comments.
The White Isle, a magical place on the Mediterranean. We love it 😃 Here’s our pick of the best beach clubs Ibiza you need to experience!
Cala Conta, San Josep
We wandered up to the front entrance not thinking too much of it. Of course, we guessed it might be kinda cool – we were standing on top of a small clifftop and ocean surrounded us, after all. But, we had no idea the spectacle we’d receive inside! Crystal blue and aqua ocean all around; diners, drinkers, beach-goers. And a DJ playing sweet house tunes. Blissful.
Sunset Ashram is a little out of the way so you’re best to get there in a car. But, you have to go at least once. The location is stunning. Just have a look in my Ibiza Insta Stories!
Not for the expensive part, but for the stylish bit.
This is your stereotypical up-market Ibiza beach club. Beautiful people laze about drinking Moet. The beach is sandy white and spectacular. Inside the decor is classy and breezy. A nice experience, if you’re into this scene.
Babylon Beach Bar
When you’re done at Wednesday’s huge hippy market in Es Canar, pop into Babylon. It’s about ten minutes drive away. We got there at lunch time and to our happy surprise there were places to sit, have a cool drink and enjoy the view. You do have to pay for the day beds though, which is where it gets pricey.
Babylon is more of a laid back yet stylish beach club in Ibiza, set in a peaceful cove. Definitely one of our favourites.
San Antonio Bay
In a fun little corner of Ibiza, not far from Sant Antonio, Kumharas is set right on the beach. It’s known for its hippy-chic vibe. Prices for food and drinks are comparatively better than other Ibiza beach clubs.
This is one for a ‘lil dance on the beach as the sun sets.
Stylish, secluded with serene ocean views – this one is set on a hot sandy beach ⛱ Start the day with Yoga at the far end of the beach, then settle in for a relaxed day filled with good vibes.
This option is more private – if you too love a secret beach, have a read here for more of the world’s best.
Playa d’en Bossa
Some may say it’s over-rated, but we had a brilliant time when we inadvertently stumbled into this beach club.
Bright colours, even brighter personalities, music, great cocktails and all set on the beach.
It’s easy to while away a few hours in bubbly bliss here.
These are 6 of our favourites. We’re aware there’s plenty more awesome beach clubs in Ibiza though. Ibiza Spotlight highlights a few more if you’re keen to look around.
Have other tips or questions? Let us know in the comments.
Welcome! We are Sarah + Cooper, Aussie expats living in the UK with our Westie dog, London. We like to inspire on how to travel for longer and to live and work from anywhere. Our most popular content here is about seeing the world with your pet, remote working & digital nomadism, and house + pet sitting. Create a global life of your dreams at any age! Subscribe to find out more :)
Grab our NEW 2023 guides:
Master House Sitting with Our Must-Have 101 Essentials eGuide! Buy It Here
And, 7 Essential Strategies for Maximizing Your Use of ChatGPT eBookBuy it here