The Chapel micro pub and bookshop
I recently spent a lovely day catching up with my good friend, Sue, in Broadstairs on the Kent coast. Broadstairs is an unspoilt, quintessential seaside town that is lively and vibrant, attracting many families to the beautiful town and sandy beach. It was a gorgeous sunny day as we walked by the beach, even with the stiff sea breeze. There were even brave wetsuited surfers catching the waves!
In the picture below, the building at top left (brown brick, white window frames), is Bleak House. Overlooking Viking Bay, it's where Charles Dickens used to stay for summer holidays, in what was then known as Fort House. It's long been disputed as to whether this building was the inspiration for his novel, Bleak House. Some argue that the motivation came from further afield. Nevertheless, Dickens is known to have favoured Broadstairs and spent a lot of time here. Bleak House is now a luxury Bed and Breakfast and wedding venue!
However, what I really found amazing this time in the town, and had no idea it existed until Sue showed me, was The Chapel. This extraordinary old building was once a church chapel before becoming a second hand book shop. It has now metamorphosed into a micro pub inside this second hand book shop! Virtually every wall space is crammed full of books, from floor to ceiling. Upstairs are nooks and crannies, and armchairs to sit with a good book. You can browse, read to your hearts content or buy. It's wonderful. Apparently, the Thanet (Broadstairs) writing group use The Chapel as their weekly meet up place - heaven I would say if not a mite distracting!