London - Fun. Food. Dance. Thrills! It is hard to think of a better mission statement. If the promise of all that doesn’t get you through the doors this half-term, then what will?
The tagline in question belongs to Dreamland, the extraordinary retro-amusement park which (re)opened this summer in Margate.
The Kentish resort has gone from zero to hero in a few years. In the Nineties the shabby town was not so much helping police with their inquiries (the late Mail columnist Keith Waterhouse’s famous description of Brighton) but convicted and facing a long stretch inside.
Now Margate is fast becoming the St Ives of the east, replete with trendy art gallery (the Turner Contemporary), a rash of coffee shops and gourmet pizza joints, a splendid beach (which was always there) and now Dreamland.
Dreamland really is a wonderful thing. The original amusement park closed in 2006 and its renaissance is the result of a concerted campaign, a substantial Lottery grant, private investment and the will of the resort-that-refused-to-die.