Sweet Yesterdays: A nostalgic trip.
This shop is so much in character with Broadstairs, you'd almost think it was a pastiche. It is a brilliant sweet shop of the sort prevalent when I was a boy. Large jars of every kind of sweet imaginable jostle on the shelves with all sorts of licourice, lollipops and just about every other thing guaranteed to rot your teeth! It's absolutely brilliant.
Hands up then, who remembers acid drops? Army and Navy lozenges?
Go and indulge yourself.
Update August 2013.
I have just come upon this entry whilst updating my Broadstairs page following a recent visit for the wonderful Broadstairs Folk Week and noticed that it was one of the earliest tips I created on VT. Consequently, it was pretty scant on details and not what I would hope to produce now. I have attempted to rectify this now (website details, proper address etc.) but what needs no amendation is the original text. Eight years on, this wonderful shop is still as well-stocked and evocative of childhood as it ever was.
Open 10am - 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am - 4pm on Sunday.
What to buy: Just about anything. If you can imagine a sweet, it's probably here.
What to pay: Prices vary.
- Family Travel
Sweet Temptations: Do you have a sweet tooth?
I have written elsewhere on this page, and some time ago, about an excellent old-fashioned sweet shop in Broadstairs. Well, it appears that the cravings of the good people of Broadstairs know no bounds. I recently revisited the town to play at the wonderful Broadstairs Folk Week I was wandering down High Street and came upon this place, another excellent looking confectioners, although it was shut as it was late at night. I made a mental note to drop in at some point and duly did a few days later.
Walking in here is like walking into a timeslip, a journey back to my childhood when all "sweetie shops" were like this and confectionery did not come in plastic bags from supermarkets. There is just about everyrthing here, including organic UK chocolate of all things. I did not bother with that and settled for some sweets instead.
Really, there is little to choose between this and the other shop, which is only a short walk away. I really do hope there is the custom to support the both of them. An excellent place.
What to buy: Any form of confectionery you could possibly imagine.
What to pay: About the same as you would pay in a supermarket if you could even get such things there, and much more fun.
M&G Music.: The best in town.
The principal reason I go to Broadstairs is to play gigs, specifically the Broadstairs Folk Week and the number of times Terry (the owner) has helped me out of a hole is unbelievable. They are really helpful, and have an excellent range of stock.
Well worth a visit if you need anything musical.
Update August 2013.
Wow, it is amazing how quickly your tips get out of date. I wrote this one a few years ago and only just came upon it now whilst updating other tips. Terry is still the owner of M&G, still as wonderful as he always was but just about everything else has changed! He has moved to new, larger and more central premises in York Street and I have amended the details accordingly as well as adding a website. I don't think I have an image of it so I shall leave up the old image as a bit of a nostalgia trip for myself. I really will have to check all my tips soon!
Further update November 2014.
As readers will know, I do like to keep my tips up to date as best I can and so, with a very heavy heart, I have to report that Terry has now packed up his tent and headed for pastures new, the premises is now a bric-a-brac shop. There is now, as far as I can ascertain, no specialist music shop in Broadstairs with the nearest being in Canterbury which is something like 17 miles away. A regrettable example of how British non-urban life is going. Such a shame but I did want to keep my pages up to date. I know I could simply delete this tip but I shall retain it as a memory of a very fine, musician-friendly shop that I recall with great affection and whose proprieter I am glad to call a personal friend, not to mention a pretty decent bodhran player!
What to buy: Anything musical.
What to pay: Given their monopoly position in the town, they are not expensive.
Butcher of Brogdale: A very fine butchers.
A relatively small town like Broadstairs seems to be extremely blessed with an excellent selection of butchers. I can think of three in the High Street alone, never mind the supermarkets in Westwood Cross. I do, however, particularly like this one possibly because they butcher all their produce from local farms so if you are interested in the subject of food miles, whatever you buy here is from very nearby and is definitely of an excellent quality.
The place is spotless and the butchers are friendly.
What to buy: Whatever you would normally buy in a butchers.
What to pay: Perhaps a touch higher than average but the meat is of very good quality.
- Food and Dining
Westwood Cross shopping centre.: Dream or nightmare.
This is not so much a tip about a shop as about an absolutely huge shopping area just outside Broadstairs called Westwood Cross, which has provoked very mixed reactions amongst the locals as do many similar out of town shopping centres all over the country.
Certainly Westwood Cross has got about anything you would ever want to buy and probably a load of things you would never want to buy but it has undoubtedly led to the demise of many small independent businesses in Broadstairs, and probably Margate and Ramsgate as well.
All the major retailers are in the complex and it seems to be busy all the time. Indeed,if you are driving, avoid the roads locally as they are often gridlocked. The road infrastructure really wasn't designed for the volume of traffic that visits here. If you do not drive, well you are in a bit of bother. Unless I totally misread the timetables you have to go all the way through Ramsgate on the Loop bus and the other bus that services Westwood only seems to go once an hour from Broadstairs. I went up there twice and walked it which was OK in August but perhaps not too much fun in the middle of winter.
If you are in Broadstairs and need a some retail therapy, this is the place for you.
What to buy: Anything you want.
What to pay: Usual UK high street prices. All the major retailers are represented.