Margate House is a restored home-turned guest house offering eclectic interior design, shoppable artwork and breakfast in bed. Jenny Southan reports
Created by Will Jenkins, a visionary, entrepreneurial property developer from London, Margate House is his first hotel and occupies a previously derelict building that has been given new life as a trendy boutique bolthole on the Kent coast.
Located in Margate’s slightly down-at-heel Cliftonville neighbourhood, the hotel opened this summer with nine en-suite bedrooms and a “make-yourself-at-home attitude”.
Although the seaside town looks somewhat scruffy, many families and Gen Y and Z creatives are moving there from London, drawn by more affordable homes and a lively cultural scene with art galleries, restaurants and independent stores.
The interior design of Margate House exhibits a playful approach to colour and pattern, creating joyful, dynamic spaces with lots of dusty pink, terracotta and burgundy (the paint is bespoke), which nicely complements the exposed brick fireplaces and wooden flooring. Downstairs, the open-plan living and drawing room has a residential feel. There is an honesty bar where you can make your own drinks, cosy seating and a larder full of locally sourced snacks.
On the walls are eye-catching vintage posters from Projekt26, and paintings and prints from Henrietta Dubrey & Cavel Rafferty (in affiliation with local gallery L’Absurd). There is also an ever-changing preview of emerging artists in the drawing room – Jemima Rowe’s collection was the first to go on show this summer. Everything is for sale. A journalist for The Evening Standard wrote: “The artworks are lovely – I almost spend £700 on a painting by Margate artist Kavel Rafferty before remembering that I am, in fact, poor. The result is that the whole space feels like a kind of shoppable Instagram ad brought to life. It’s as if the saturation has been dialled-up to eleven — from the deep burgundy of the velvet headboards in the bedrooms to the pops of green and yellow in the vintage framed posters on the hallway — it’s hard not to want it all for yourself.”
The guest rooms come with Nespresso machines, free snacks, linen bistro curtains, scalloped lampshades, bespoke wavy headboards, vintage rugs, antiques, Roberts radios and bathrooms with Haeckel’s toiletries (made using seaweed handpicked in Margate). The largest bedrooms feature rattan easy chairs and bay windows with sea views. Stays cost from £155 per night (B&B). Breakfast in bed (delivered daily) arrives in a hamper filled with coffee, fresh juice and a daily bake from nearby Staple. Margate House has also partnered with the Good Egg to offer a bespoke menu exclusively for guests – offering options such as Challah French toast and salt beef pittas.