Celebrating mum’s birthday at The Harbour Garden Café, Whitstable

Whitstable beach, with a cloudy sky

"Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside…"

And that’s exactly where we all met up to celebrate mum’s birthday last month at the end of July. My brother organised it all and decided upon an afternoon in Whitstable. He booked a table at The Harbour Garden Café, which was utterly gorgeous – and also a surprise, mum had no idea where we were going.

This seafood restaurant has a really lovely outdoor dining area, which was ideal given the weather we had been having. It’s a good job we booked, as there were queues down the road – and I’d imagine, a lot of people were left disappointed that they didn’t have a reservation. Anyway, we were able to bypass the queue and immediately be seated. We had a wonderful corner table, with benches and seating, and it was right next to the specials boards.

I’m glad I looked at the specials boards though, as I had my eye on the market fish of the day, which was seabass… and on the drinks special, there was a frosé! Although the frosé was no match for what Alfie ordered.

Aptly named ‘Shark Attack’, it was a blue raspberry slushie in a fishbowl style glass, complete with a shark rock dummy, and even a Haribo freaky fish at the very bottom. He loved it! I’ve never seen someone with such a blue mouth – it was everywhere!

Little boy with a blue raspberry slushie, holding a giant rock dummy

Sadly, there was no more seabass available, and the alternative was plaice. I wasn’t too fussed about having that and so, panicked when it came to taking my order. Everyone had ordered the lobster roll (from the main menu) or the crab roll (on special), and I followed the crowd – choosing the crab roll.

I ended up going halves with mum, who had opted for lobster – and wow. The meat was so fresh, flavoursome, and delicious. I decided to tart both rolls up with some citrus and tabasco – and what a difference that made. Both were served in brioche buns, so nice and light – as well as a fryer-style pot of seasoned skin-on fries. It was so tasty.

Crab roll in a brioche bun with a fryer-style pot of french fries

We also shared a bottle of wine – I think it was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, I can’t remember now. I do know the wine list isn’t overly extensive but supports English vineyards. One thing I do remember is that there’s no dessert menu. No bad thing, of course – and we were all feeling quite full. So instead, an after-dinner drink was on the cards… roll on a round of frosés! While listening to some great live music. The atmosphere was so chilled throughout.

After settling the bill, we went for a nice long walk, passing the converted Fisherman’s Huts (mum said she and dad stayed in one before) and the RNLI Lifeboat Station – before stopping off at a gelateria, which was just dreamy.

It was a really lovely day, which was helped by the weather. Alfie even got to spend some time on the beach and enjoyed collecting shells and stones – before throwing the latter into the sea. Ash also tried to show him how to skim stones, while we just watched on.

There’s something about sea air – it’s good for the soul!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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