Tuesday 29th May
The run of great weather came to an end by Tuesday and we woke to cloudy skies and much cooler conditions. Mark braved it though for a bike ride but had to abort due to the worsening conditions. I survived a cold and windy walk and then spent the morning watching the markets in turmoil following fallout from the Italian Election situation.
The markets weren’t suiting my trading algorithm at all and so we decided to head out for lunch to, you guessed it, RVP. Following lunch we strolled the streets looking for a bottle shop but Ramsgate does not seem to have one! We asked the guys at the Ravensgate Arms where one goes to buy bottles of wine and we were advised…. Broadstairs. That is, if the local supermarket doesn’t have what you want in their range of 6 bottles! We tucked this information away and returned to our shopping. Mark had been keen to visit the local butcher, Rooks, and so we called in there and bought some supplies for dinner as we were dining in again.
The markets were still skittish when we arrived home and so we decided to head out for an afternoon drive to seek out a bottle-o, for want of something to do as much as anything else. We set our phone to guide us to the Bottleneck bottle shop at Broadstairs and were lucky to find the shop empty and with the proprietor keen to chat. He gave us a potted overview of Kent and informed us that the coastal regions of Ramsgate and Margate ,and even down to Dover and Hastings, are rather poor areas due to the lack of employment opportunity this far out from London. The prime coastal location does not boost tourism as locals would rather hop over to the south of France or Spain for a bit of seaside fun rather than treck out here. This all makes complete sense but we still think the prime coastal location, just one hour from London by train, will have to come into its own one day.
On leaving Broadstairs we thought we’d head out to Margate for a visit but on driving through this region, on this particular windy cold and damp day, there was little to invite us to stop and so we just headed home for our evening of dining in.
Wednesday 30th May
The weather was overcast and gloomy again this morning but the sun was forecast to make an appearance later on. We headed out for a walk and ventured up to the southern end of Ramsgate before winding our way back to RVP for our morning coffee. Mark then headed out to ride the Viking Trail which he completed but unfortunately this wasn’t event free; he got a puncture 15 min from home. I had finished what I wanted to do with my trading by the time he arrived home and so we decided to venture out to Canterbury for the afternoon.
Our Heritage Pass granted access to St Augustine’s Abbey and so that was the activity for this particular Canterbury outing as we had visited the Cathedral on a previous visit. We stopped off first for lunch though at The Foundry as this was highly reviewed on Google and it had the, all important, feature of craft beer on the menu. Access to The Foundry was via some narrow and winding lanes through old Canterbury but it was well worth the effort. The setting was lovely as was our lunch and so, too, the beer I’m told.
It was almost 3 pm before we set off to find St Augustine’s Abbey. Our sat nav took us to The Kings School by mistake which was forgivable given this is located on part of the grounds of the original Abbey. There were only a couple of other visitors apart from us but this is one place I’d say is a must see if you’re ever in Canterbury; along with the Cathedral of course. This was site where the Italian monk, Augustine, sent by the Pope to spread Christianity, built his Church in AD 597 and, as such, marks the site of the first Catholic Church in England. There are only ruins of the original Abbey left now but these are set in beautiful grounds with the majestic Kings School and Canterbury Cathedral forming a spectacular backdrop as one strolls around the historic site. It was rather humbling, yet again, to be walking on such historic ground where such significant characters of history had also strolled.
We set of for home after our visit to the Abbey as we had decided to walk down to RVP for a drink before heading on for dinner at a Turkish restaurant that we had spied on a previous walks along the waterfront. This would be our last night dining out in Ramsgate as Mark was off to London for a meeting tomorrow, our last full day in Ramsgate, and he won’t be returning until late so we’ll dine in for Thursday.
RVP was pumping again by the time we got down there around 6.00 pm and we tested sitting outside on the upper deck but it was just too cold. So, back down to our regular table it was; the same one each time we venture here for alcoholic sustenance. Morning coffees are at a different table altogether. We headed off to dinner at about 6.30 pm and our destination was just across the street at the Turkish restaurant in Customs House. We were the only diners there but this was the best meal we’d had in the UK since our arrival. We chatted with the owner for a while and left with promises to write a favorable review before heading home.