Visited on: Thursday 11th April 2019
Broadstairs could be called the Micropub capital of Britain. It’s a relatively small town and it has five. In addition there is a slightly larger pub that is run on micro-pub principles and another just outside the town’s boundaries.
Of course the micro-pub revolution began in East Kent when Martyn Hillier opened the Butcher’s Arms at Herne. The Phenomenon soon spread to the nearby coastal towns of Thanet, such as Broadstairs.
This example had only opened two months before my visit yet already had developed a strong base of customers in the short time. It gave me the impression that it had been there a long time.
The premises were formerly the Reef Restaurant, which specialised in British and seafood dishes. It is on Albion Street at its junction with St Mary’s Road. Albion Street is the last before the beach which can be reached by going down Dickens Walk opposite the pub. It is also very close to the Chapel pub which is run along micropub lines
The pub is operated by Nicola Munn and her business partner Will and they have created ambient place to have a drink. Entering from the corner door I looked around and spotted the bar counter on the opposite side of the room. It’s L-shaped and is made of carved wood. To the immediate right of the entrance door there is a large wooden table with bench seating below the window.
Along the right side wall, which is of exposed brick, I found more scrubbed wooden tables and chairs with a shelf along the wall that was of carved wood.
The end table seems to be the games area with many traditional wooden games such as table skittles, bagatelle, backgammon and many others.
The left side of the pub is mostly a window with a shelf under.
The bar counter is rather unusual, made of wood and L-shaped with built-in book shelves on the corner section. I might have been a piece of church furniture in a previous life.
On the far side of the L of the counter a narrow section of the room leads to the toilet. It has a shelf on one side.
Of note there is an electric chandelier made of beer bottles. There are many unusual features in this pub!
The bar sports three hand pumps and when I visited just two were dispensing beer with the other being used for cider. The two cask ales were Ramsgate Brewery Gadd’s (Broadstairs, Kent) Seasider (4.3%) and Skinner’s (Truro, Cornwall) Betty Stogs Bitter (4.0%).
As mentioned they also serve cider and offered three from Saxby’s of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Rhubarb (3.5%), Blackcurrant (3.7%) and Traditional (5.8%).
There is a wine list that includes Prosecco. Apart from the usual snacks in packets they also offer home-made pork pies and Scotch Eggs. Whilst I was there the lady that makes them delivered a batch of pork pies and they looked magnificent. They have merited many a comment on their quality and taste.
This is a great pub to visit and shouldn’t be missed if you are in or around the micropub metropolis that is Broadstairs.
Magnet, 37 Albion Street, Broadstairs CT10 1NE. Tel: 07515 957215
Hours: Monday-Thursday 12.00-22.30; Friday-Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 12.00-22.00
Broadstairs station is well served by South Eastern Railways with trains from London Victoria and London St Pancras. One train each hour uses the high speed line from St Pancras to Ashford making for a very quick journey.
There are many bus routes in Thanet including the very useful “Loop” route that passes many micro-pubs.
On arriving at Broadstairs station cross to the Ramsgate-bound platform.
Go down the station approach road. Turn left at the bottom and turn left into High Street.
Continue along it, passing the Mind the Gap micro-pub. The road heads downhill.
Continue to the end and turn left into Albion Street. The Magnet is on the left.