Out of this traditional seaside resort, Margate’s nightlife has grown to feature some of the most exciting bars and pubs on the East Coast. We’ve picked out some of our favourites which range from haunted pubs to rooftop reggae bars. Pick where you want to start your session, then tick off the rest at your leisure.
Nightlife in Margate
Fez is an eclectic pub on the High Street. It’s like a bomb has gone off in a bric-a-brac shop, such is the mad mixture of furniture, decorations and characters you’ll find in this, admittedly, fantastic pub. It’s not all talk no trousers, though. As well as being a hipster’s paradise, the Fez boasts an excellent drinks selection, regular live music, great big tables for socialising, a supreme gin selection and a temperature controlled cellar for the ales and ciders. A lot of people will tell you it’s the best pub in Margate.
There are micropubs, and then there’s The Little Prince in Margate. It’s a pub so tiny it can only hold six people. You’ll find it in the Old Kent Market, which was already a must-visit for any newcomer to Margate. It offers great food, brilliant beverages and myriad great gift ideas perfect for picking up a souvenir. Given the large novelty factor of the tiny pub, the beer is very good and reasonably priced. It’s worth getting a pint simply to say you’ve drank in Britain’s smallest boozer.
Moving on to Old Town, the Lifeboat Ale and Cider House is an absolute gem on the Market Street. It’s an ancient looking pub with sawdust on the floor, tables made of barrels and a facade that feels like it’s survived too many winters. Whenever we visit, we half expect National Trust volunteers to appear out of the woodwork to start talking to us about the plague. It has all the hallmarks of a historic pub, then you look at the beer board and realise much of its wares are from the wonderful folks at Brewdog, the contemporary craft brewery that’s taken over the world. But that’s no bad thing, not at all.
The Lifeboat may appear old, but if you want the real deal, then visit The Northern Belle on Mansion Street. It’s Margate’s oldest ale house. It nearly dates back to the English Civil War. It’s a stonkingly good ale house where simple pleasures reign supreme. Expect good ales, darts, dominoes, cards, and a hat full of community spirit. The pub is named after an American ship that sank off the Kent coast in 1857. Timbers from the wreck were used to renovate the pub, and can still be seen today. It’s believed that the wispy white form of a woman in a veil, who drowned in the wreck, haunts the pub and its patrons to this day.
Margate’s bar scene is brimming with excellent options. The Glass Jar is a popular cocktail bar that’s practically on the sands of Margate Beach. It has great resident DJs, and a team of super-friendly, fantastically-talented staff mixing some of the best cocktails in towns.
The Clockwork Cocktail Company gives The Glass Jar a good run for its money on the cocktail front. The neo-Victorian, steampunk-style decor makes for a stylish setting. The menu has myriad marvellous options. Try to make the most of the drinks deals; most of the time it’s two for a tenner.
In the summertime, there are few more popular drinking dens than Ziggy’s Rooftop Bar. It’s the perfect place for drinks in the sun, with stunning rooftop views across Margate Beach and the open ocean. The dons behind the bar make a mean rum cocktail, while the DJs don’t half dish out some delicious reggae and hip-hop.
Lastly, a couple of honourable mentions go to the Margate Arts Club and 101 Social Club. They’re a couple of community clubs where you can find great, friendly vibes, good gigs, delicious food, solid drinks selections and some of our favourite club nights in Margate.