Margate, the British seaside town once known for its Kiss Me Quick culture and jolly boys outings is starting to attract a different type of daytripper, a daytripper with one thing on their mind – serious vintage shopping! Madam Popoff, who runs fab vintage Margate Facebook page Retro Margate, has this vintage guide to Margate.

Way before the Turner Centre opened (of which is fabulous and WELL worth a visit!) a few like minded people took advantage of the low rents in and around Margate and took the plunge of opening a vintage shop. The trend caught on and now Margate has 13- yes 13! – vintage shops, all of which are charming in their own little way¦ and much cheaper than their London equivalents. No wonder our beautiful seaside town has become a Mecca for vintage loving guys and gals!

The first stop for all vintage lovers has to be King Street, as not only is it home to my two-floor vintage clothes shop, but also to Breuer and Dawson, a really cool shop opened earlier this year by the dapper Mr Breuer and (you guessed it ) Mr Dawson. Full to the rafters of classic mens vintage – with a rail of lovely girls things too: lots of amazing leather jackets, Forties work wear and more.

Opposite these guys is my shop – Madam Popoff Vintage, where we stock ladies (and a little bit of mens) clothes and accessories dating from the Twenties upwards. We hand-pick everything we sell, from the stunning Twenties flapper dresses to the Seventies maxis and Fifties swimwear. And if we haven’t got it on the shop floor you can guarantee we can find it downstairs in our massive stockroom. We also sell online via Asos Marketplace and on Madampopoff.com.

Two doors away from us we have Paraphernalia – a fantastic store run by Andrew who stocks antiques, vintage and retro from 1770 to the Seventies. I bought some vintage vogue magazines here at £6 an issue.

Another few doors away we have Betty Bs, just perfect for all you stylish vintage mavens. Run by the beautiful Deborah, the shop specialises in Forties and Fifties clothing, accessories, magazines and paraphernalia. Well worth a visit!

Lets now cross the road and visit Rough Trade which is a collaborated trading space incorporating some amazing traders including House Margate who sell retro goodies as well as a cool collection of vintage Barbies in stunning vintage outfits, and also The Little Vintage Boutique who has rails of vintage goodies at low prices. Whilst there you might even be lucky to get your mop chopped by Ross at Mods n Rockers barbershop which is Margate’s answer to Vidal Sassoon.

Back to King Street and we are onto Showtime Retro, packed to the brim with covetable retro goods from statement lighting to a fabulous vintage pinball tables, all at affordable prices. Even if you don’t find something to your fancy, you can guarantee you will walk away with a smile thanks to owners Joe’s and Lous’s fantastic sense of humour.

Back through to the Market Square which has some great eateries including the Cupcake Cafe, The Greedy Cow and, only open at the weekends, The Mad Hatters which is an experience you will never forget. There is also a Bazaar held here every Sunday, where there are many stalls selling vintage and hand-made goodies.

Just left out of the Square is Helter Skelter, a boutique specialising in Fifties and Sixties vintage and retro clobber for mods, skins, and Teddy Boys! Well worth a visit, they had an amazing selection of books about subcultures last time I poked my nose in.

Now you need to head towards the bottom of the high street where you will find HunkyDory 24, which is full of quirky mid-century goods , some remarkable Trechikoff prints and a great selection of vintage bags as well as the occasional Fifties bar. They also sell ice creams!

Just a few minutes down Kings Street, opposite the peculiar and mind boggling Shell Grotto is R G Scotts “An Emporium of the Antique, Old Fashioned and Unusual” in which Junk Deluxe and 20th Century frocks reside. Junk Deluxe focuses on affordable modern design and specialises in British mid 20th century furniture, but also carries a good stock of Danish, Belgian, German and Dutch design.

Hidden within Junk Deluxe is  Twentieth Century Frocks, a ladies vintage clothes shop, stocking a fab range of wares, dating from the Thirties to the Eighties. And for the stylish guys of the world, there’s also Man about Margate.

So I hope I have tempted you to have a day trip down to our lovely Margate . Or why not make a weekend of it by booking a stay in the world famous Walpole Bay Hotel then you can watch the sun setting with a glass of champers without the worry of going back home.

If you come, don’t forget to pop in and say hi to me at Madam Popoffs, I’ll give you 10% discount if you add your name to my Facebook and let me know you are coming.

image: Nikki Darling

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