Dickensian by Design

As well as being the Garden of England, Kent surely has to be up there as one of the best places for local festivals and days out… this weekend we headed over to nearby Broadstairs to catch the end of the Dickens festival.  You don’t have to squint your eyes too much to imagine that beardy gent heading out for leisurely stroll after putting the finishing touches to David Copperfield…

Back to reality, just after a visit to the fantastic Morelli’s Ice Cream bar who did we happen to see?  Miss Havisham no less… We saw the diminutive figure heading down a little alley and ran after her; as we turned a corner we walked right into a live street performance of Great Expectations.  You don’t even get this kind of thing on the Southbank in London! (unless you pay for the Globe).

We stayed for the whole performance and then headed for a bevvy.

Though made popular during the Victorian holiday boom, Broadstairs was already on the map, The Royal Albion Hotel first opened its doors in 1760, and still looks great thanks to a recent renovation by Shepherd Neame Brewery  of Faversham.  In 2010 they spent over £1millon bringing it up to date, we really enjoyed the new details, while there we spoke to the manager who told us they used Farrow & Ball throughout, its better stuff, so needs less coats and water based so its good for the environment too.