01 June 2023

A Caffeinated Walk from Broadstairs to Margate

When planning my recent day trip to the Kent Coast, I had earmarked two new-to-me speciality coffee spots to visit: Forts in Margate...and its sister location in Broadstairs. Better still, I could walk from one Forts to the other by following the Viking Coastal Trail along the beach. And because good things come in threes, I was also excited to pay a visit to Curve Coffee Roasters, an old favourite of mine, which had moved to a new location since I was last in Margate.

Forts Cafe

I arrived in Broadstairs on the train from St Pancras and it was a pleasant 10-minute stroll along the High Street to get to my first Forts of the day. Owner Will Pitts opened the Margate original in June 2020 — an even more challenging time to open a speciality coffee shop than usual, for obvious reasons, but the Broadstairs cafe made its début just a year later, in summer 2021. Both cafes have a very relaxed vibe and welcoming and knowledgeable staff.

I spotted the Broadstairs Forts' excess seating area (a few stools on the other side of Chandos Road) first and then headed inside. The ground floor location is small but has a beautiful, colourful mural on one wall and a striking terrazzo counter. There are a few seats at the window, where you can perch, and a bench outside, as well as more seating in the attractively designed basement.

The house espresso Forts is called Tastyboi — roasted by Origin, it's a blend of two Brazilian coffees, a pulped natural and a natural. Tasty by name, tasty by nature! Both cafes also feature a very well-curated selection of coffees from various guest roasters. In Broadstairs, I spotted beans from Old Spike, Plot and Red Bank, and for my piccolo, I opted for a natural Rwandan coffee from Bailies, which tasted superb with a little milk.

There's a food menu too but I had a date with the Viking Coastal Trail, so I got my coffee to go, taking a chocolate chip cookie for the road. The beach is a couple of minutes' walk from Forts and then it was an easy six-mile walk along the coast to Margate. My KeepCup was very happy!

The Margate Forts is in Cliftonville, a short walk east of the town centre and looking out onto the seafront. There is covered outdoor seating at the front, or you can pull up a pew inside where there are gorgeous marble-topped tables. The brunch menu looked excellent but I had already eaten so will have to save that for another visit.

As for the coffee, as well as the Tastyboi espresso, there was a batch-brew filter from Catalyst, cold brew, guest espresso from Luis Calderon and two guest pourovers from Special Guests. I was so caught up in the choice between the two guest pourovers that I didn't spot the tasting flight (espresso, piccolo and filter) at the top of the menu — another one for next time! My pourover was excellent, though: a naturally processed Ombligón varietal from Colombian producer Nestor Lasso. It had sweet and tart lemon and cherry flavours, especially as it cooled.

Forts Cafe is located at 1 Chandos Road, Broadstairs, and 8 Cliff Terrace, Cliftonville, Margate. TwitterInstagram.

Curve Coffee Roasters

I first visited Curve's Margate cafe and roastery five years ago, but have enjoyed their coffee at home and in other coffee shops many times since then. They relocated to a new Margate location in The Centre — a newly regenerated shopping precinct — last summer, although they now roast at a separate spot, halfway between Margate and Broadstairs.

Curve has also had a rebrand since my last visit and the soft, warm coral and orange colours of the new cafe fit perfectly with the new brand identity. It's bright and spacious inside with a variety of seating options — you can also sit outside if the sun is out.

They serve a wide range of their own coffees in the cafe. During my visit, you could choose from two single-origin espressos, a batch brew filter and two single-origin pourovers. I went for a naturally processed coffee from the Chinguel family in Peru. As a hand-brewed filter coffee, the rose and forest fruit flavours came through very strongly: a delicious treat. Pastries and cakes are also available — as well as bigger bites. You can also pick up a bag of Curve Coffee or browse their cool and colourful merch collection.

Curve Coffee Roasters is located at 12 The Centre, Margate. WebsiteTwitterInstagram

For other things to see and do in Broadstairs and Margate, check out my one-day itinerary

No comments:

Post a Comment