7 November 2016

hunting out hidden gems in whitstable with Southeastern Railways

As a child my brothers and I would take frequent trips with my dad to the seaside as he has always had a slight obsession with the sea for someone who grew up in London, and I always felt like we had that in common. There is something quintessentially British about a seaside town that if you look closely enough is slightly rough around the edges but holds charm and character. When Southeastern Railway contacted me about finding ‘Hidden gem’ on their network, my first thoughts were to head to Hastings for the day, sit amongst the boats and enjoy the view. But my brothers reminded me of the old sweet shops and adventures we had had on hot summer days down in Whitstable.
Whitstable lies on the Ramsgate line out of Victoria or Kings Cross if you travel via the High-speed route. We opted for the slower train to give us both the chance to catch up on work and have a gossip. The Town of Whitstable itself is cute and had so many lovingly looked after shops and cafes. First stop after getting off the train was to have a mooch around the vintage shops and I have to admit I saw a jumper that caught my eye, but sadly being on a clothing ban I had to walk away from the cosy knit. We got talking to the store owner who told us of all the wonderful things to do in the area, but being limited to four hours of daylight kind of cut our list down a little.

As we strolled down the main high street, people were friendly, chatty and curious as to what we were snapping. We took a detour off the main high street and stumbled upon what truly was a hidden gem: The Windy Corner Store, an old shop turned into a beautiful café with amazing millionaires short bread and even lovelier staff, who recognised me from my blog. It’s always nice to have coffee when you know it’s lovingly made and is supporting small businesses.

 Outfit photos by Natasha Nuttall
After Natasha and I enjoyed a short and warming pit stop, we headed in search of the beach.  My memories are of small boats hulled up on the pebbly shore so I was really looking forward to dipping my toes into the sea. I can’t not go to the sea and put my feet in it, it’s a Masters tradition and even though it was freezing, it had to be done. Both hungry and wanting some warmth we decided to hunt out a chip shop and sit back on the beach with our fish and chips. Whilst we ate we were surrounded by seagulls which made for an amusing meal.

As Natasha and I chatted I whipped out my watercolours and sketchbook and did some quick doodling before the day’s light disappeared. It’s nice to be able to head back somewhere with fresh eyes and really enjoy what a town like Whitstable has to offer.

We enjoyed finding hidden gems and I would love to hear all about your favourite hidden gems with the hashtag #SEhiddengems.

sponsored post but all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own 


  1. Just beautiful Ella, these pictures are stunning! x


  2. A lovely post. Whitstable is a wonderful little seaside town. My hidden gem? Well its a few miles down the road, a place called Reculver, its close to Herne Bay and can only be accessed by walking from Herne Bay along the cliff tops are by car. It's an old abbey that's now ruins. It has a fab little pub and the wildlife centre is a little historical and nature loving gem. #SEhiddengems


  3. Gorgeous pictures lovely! I don't live too far from the seaside in Eastbourne. I really forget how stunning it can be!
    a life of a charlotte

  4. I live in Hastings. I have never been to Whitstable before, but I am off to Margate soon, somewhere I have never been but am totally excited to visit. This looks so fun and quintessentially British-Seaside-Town, y'know? I absolutely love it, and you look beautiful as always, and Hey Natasha!
    erin | the creation & the passion

  5. Whitstable has been on my must-visit list for so long, but it might have to wait until next summer....those fish and chips do look good though!

    Becky ⋮ a c c o o o h t r e m e n t s . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

  6. Ohh coffee and walking by the waters are super relaxing, and I love your outfit your wearing! x

    Kyia at WANDERLUSTGIRL// Come read my BLOGMAS posts!
    Let’s be BLOGLOVIN friends!


Thank you for leaving a comment, i read every single one. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask, i will endeavor to answer them in the same comment box. So remember to check back for an answer to your question....
thank you


© Illustrated Ella - The art of living | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig