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Swap Ibiza for Thanet, says Tatler magazine

Holidaymakers looking for an island getaway have been told to swap party destination Ibiza for the Isle of Thanet - despite it having no nightclubs.

Lifestyle magazine Tatler - which is targeted towards the upper classes - says the district “is comparable in its artistic sensibility and reputation for a good night out”.

This beach is thought to rival those on Ibiza
This beach is thought to rival those on Ibiza

"What Es Vedra is to Ibiza, Thanet is to the south coast, and both team with BoBos - the bohemian bourgeoisie," the publication says.

Tatler highlights how the district is home to world-famous artist Tracey Emin, Fresh Meat star Zawe Ashton and jewellery designer Stephen Webster - while being a hotspot for socialites like fashion model Olympia Campbell.

The magazine names the Isle of Thanet as one of "society's seven favourite UK islands".

Hundreds of years ago the district was separated from the UK mainland by the 600-metre wide Wantsum Channel - but this gradually silted up and the last ship sailed through in 1672.

Despite it no longer being an actual island, Tatler says visiting Thanet rather than Ibiza can help people avoid “nightmare” airports.


It says the Spanish holiday hotspot “is known both as a global party capital and for its spirituality - particularly among creatives”.

But it states tourists in Thanet can visit places like Margate's Turner Contemporary and Carl Freedman galleries or the Haeckels spa for “a seaweed bath”, before dining “on fish caught from small boats” at high-end restaurant Sargasso.

“Margate is comparable in its artistic sensibility - and reputation for a good night out," says Tatler.

“Also stay at Fort Road Hotel. Purchased at auction four years ago in a state of decay, the building has been rebuilt and reimagined with distinctive colour schemes, carefully selected artworks and period furniture adorn.

“Enjoy the panoramic views form the private roof terrace and food.”

Sargasso Margate is named as a good destination by Tatler
Sargasso Margate is named as a good destination by Tatler

Thanet has no dedicated nightclubs, instead boasting boozers, swanky bars and live music venues.

In terms of value for money, analysis shows Ibiza wins hands down, with the average pint costing €3 - about £2.60 - whereas in Margate a pint will set you back £4.10.

When asked by KentOnline if Thanet was comparable to Ibiza, Tracey Emin said: “No, but there is some truth behind it.

“I’m at the New York Academy of Art at the moment, and people are talking in their speeches about Margate, saying they plan to visit.

“It’s good because it’s helping the economy. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it is a start.”

Fort Road Hotel, Margate
Fort Road Hotel, Margate

However some residents believe this kind of attention will hinder locals’ search for properties.

Labour councillor Helen Whitehead told KentOnline: “I have always loved Margate, and have loved it for more than 30 years now. But the reality is very different from what is portrayed here.

“It is not uncommon for me to be sent several eviction cases a day now.

“This is due to the displacement of families, as property values and short-term rentals increase with the portrayal of Margate as a playground for the wealthy.”

Another magazine, Time Out, recently named Cliftonville the eighth coolest neighbourhood in the world, beating places like Havana in Cuba and Santiago, Chile.

Some locals criticised the article for “glamorising poverty”. Its claim the area had plenty affordable housing was not well received by those unable to climb the first rung of the property ladder.

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