I started this blog exactly 3 years ago on 6th February, 3 years and 2 weeks ago, wow!
It’s changed a bit but the aim is the same: what can we do, what new things can we learn to enable us to live our everyday lives while considering how the consequences of our habits affect the environment and our future? A mix of light and heavy stuff 🙂
Despite the lack of concrete new year resolutions, I hope to be travelling more in 2015.
A monthly trip somewhere new, locally or further away, would be great… I find visiting new places makes me love this planet even more… and makes me ever more passionate about doing what I can to live in a way that is sustainable.
I started off well with the first trip of the year in January to Broadstairs, which is on the almost-most-Eastern part of Kent, to see my lovely mate C.
I hadn’t even heard about Broadstairs until she told me about it and the great time she had at Folk Week 2 years ago, so I went there in August last year.
Folk Week is an amazing week-long festival in Broadstairs where tons of talented musicians, singers and song writers perform anywhere from small pubs to bigger venues such as the Pavilion. It is a week of celebration where this small seaside town is at its fullest and liveliest.
This year is Folk Week’s 50th anniversary, I bet it’s going to be ridiculously good!
But Broadstairs is a lovely town to visit any time of the year. Charles Dickens lived there for a while, so did JMW Turner; you can go on walks which allow you to discover the exact locations where they lived, wrote and painted around the town.
Apart from great music I was also happy to go to a great place for vegan food: The Intolerant Wife.
It’s right on the high street towards the sea front and caters for different food intolerances: it has many gluten and dairy-free alternatives, vegetarian and vegan options. The only thing is that the service is slow, but apart from that it has a wide variety of vegan food.
Back in the summer I had a vegan English breakfast there, it was really tasty and reasonably priced too.
On a different occasion, I went there for lunch and had a baguette with vegetables and houmous. They have many other dishes such as chilli, pasta, salads, jacket potatoes, pies…
They also sell many types of tea, milkshakes, cakes, cakes to order, chocolate, snacks, afternoon tea…
This time, we went back there for a coffee – they have soy, almond milk and Rice Dream.
We wanted to eat there too but the slow service meant we had to dash out before even getting a chance to order anything, so we crossed the road over to the Albion where I had sweet potato chips – sweet potatoes are just so amazing, I could have them everyday! 😀
If you get a chance, visit the Italian restaurant Posillipo: the bruschetta and the pizza there are, well, good enough for someone who grew up in Italy with high pizza standards 😀
The Botany Bay Hotel also veganised their artichoke, tomato and walnut risotto for me, it was delicious!
While hunting for vegan treats, one thing that was easy to notice in Broadstairs is that there are hardly any shop chains.
Except for a few supermarket chain branches, most businesses are independent and it makes the town feel even more of a gem. People support local businesses, whether it’s the bike shop, the bakery or…the trophy shop. Each is different and makes the town look diverse, rather than homogenised. There is a tiny cinema too, close to the beach …unfortunately it was showing Taken 3 when I went a few weeks ago, therefore I could not go.
Then my friend C told me that a Costa coffee is about to open in Broadstairs.
It’s odd, I felt there were quite a few places where you can get a coffee… so how come a chain shop like Costa is opening, what does that mean and what will it mean for other businesses and the general feel of the town? Is its opening due to the demand of the residents or people visiting the town?
Part of the fun of going somewhere new is also going to local shops that are typical or only present in that particular place, rather than going to a chain that is practically the same as in another town…that, together with the consciousness of supporting independent businesses, makes me think of the ways a town like Broadstairs may change with chain businesses.
Would Broadstairs be as lovely with a Costa coffee shop? Yes, probably.
Would it be as much of a different, fresh setting to enjoy for a few days away from London or indeed to live in if it was made up of a row of chains?
– I know this is not what’s happening, but the point is – I am just thinking and imagining different potential scenarios…yes, it’s what goes on all the time and town landscapes change progressively… but how do these changes shape people’s lives?
What experiences have you had of the opening of new businesses / closing of old businesses and their effect on their surrounding area?
What do you enjoy doing when travelling and visiting places you haven’t been to before?