The lispy charm of Whistable


Where I go, Jamie Oliver follows.

Huts on the beach

As if.

But 2 months ago, I was at Whistable on a day trip from a weekend in Canterbury. A seaside town on the east coast of England, although never heard of and no tourist literature ever speaks of, it’s a place where Jamie Oliver might go on holiday this summer.

Beach huts

I don’t think anything screams more Britishness than this little town.

Beach huts and bike

Green huts by the beach? A British flat tailing a mommy/daddy and kiddie bicycle?

Beach hut family

And more families by more colourful beach huts underneath a very typical blue-grey sky?

Rocky beach

Impossibly pebbly beaches?

Restaurant and bar

Love these signs. What would a British holiday be without a BAR? Perhaps they should change it to PUB.

Between huts

I apologise for the abundance of beach hut photos, but seriously, in the many beaches I’ve been too, I’ve never before seen beach huts like these.

But then again, I suppose only the fair British weather would drive people to take shelter in a hut when on a beach…

Strawberry man

Handsome British man strikes a pose with his very British strawberries.

Oyster girl

And this my comrades, is the only other reason, other than to experience the quaint British charm of the town, to visit Whitstable.

After we gorged on oysters from this stall, we stumbled onto the next one to find that we were “ripped-off” here. The next stall sold them for only 50 pence each!

I say “ripped-off” in quotation marks because in London, they cost an extortionate £1.50 each.


The crisp icy coldness of the juicy flesh…it will make you revolt if you hate the stuff, or like me, the thought of it still makes my mouth water. Mmmm…

Fish prices

Coming here made me realise why the British doesn’t indulge in seafood as much as other seaside populations: They’re too expensive.

Fish stall

I haven’t had proper Cantonese-style steamed fish since I got here, so we bought a whole sea bass to cook at home. It cost us £10. Might as well eat out!

Whitstable high street

As pebbly as the beach was, I wasn’t sure it was worthwhile to venture beyond the rows of beach huts onto Whistable’s high street, expecting that, like any other high street here, it would be lined with the same big name chain stores and ugly corner shops that have taken over the rest of this country.

Whitstable dog

Instead, to my delight, High Street was full of colourful, personable independently-run shops. Be them hair-dressers, cafes, book-stores, clothing shops, souvenirs and trinklets. There wasn’t even a charity shop in sight!

Sweets shop

This old-style store-front of a sweets shop says it all.


Oysters and fishmongers, a seaside market place, and a boat called Danny Boy II – it’s like stepping back into a time when Britain was just a sleepy fishing village, and when city bankers haven’t yet been born.

I highly recommend a visit just to be charmed by all its Britishness. Socks in sandals and the small country lisp of the early Jamie Oliver and all. It must be one of the, to use a British term, loveliest, and most relaxing day-outs I’ve had here. :)


5 thoughts on “The lispy charm of Whistable

  1. Hahaha…that’s me trying to embrace my inner communist heritage. (!!!)

    One of the many very un-PC stereotypical things Nasty and I say to highlight my (un)-Chineseness. ;)

  2. You’re right, I’ve never heard of Whitstable, but it really does look awesome from the pictures and the way you described it. I’m definitely not a fan of seafood though, so I’d be hitting the high street for pizza lol. I’ve never even seen a beach hut before even though I went to several English seasides. I feel ripped off now!

  3. Po, I guess I haven’t been to enough yet! I’d love to hear if Whistable is any different to all those you’ve been to. You might come back going “ugh, another one of many”. heheh…

    Sarah, really? I thought beach huts are an institution in this country! Hmmm…

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