Although the word ‘summer’ usually conjures up images of lazing by the beach, pool or in a park, I feel like it’s a more appropriate to be full of exciting, adrenaline-fuelled antics – let’s face it, we only get a few weeks of sunshine, we should make the most of it. A couple of years ago, while recovering from a heart illness, I spent an entire summer lolling around Regent’s Park; lounging in the rose garden, finding shade beneath the sky high trees and watching the ducks float down the stream. It sounds idyllic but each day melted into the next and I don’t really have any stand out moments from the summer of 2013.
Instead of one long day at the park, summer should be filled with scream-filled trips to theme parks, spontaneous trips to the beach and nights spent dancing at rooftop bars til the wee hours – those special moments which turn into treasured memories. So when the team at Mitchum approached me to create some OMG Moments this summer, I jumped at the chance.
Last weekend, they whisked me off to sunny Margate, to gallivant in the recently reopened Dreamland pleasure beach as well as checking out the actual beach just across the road. The amusement park originally opened in 1880 and was officially named Dreamland in 1920 when the Grade II listed wooden rollercoaster opened. Sadly, the park closed in 2003 but it was reopened in June this year with a gorgeous new, Instagram-friendly Wayne Hemmingway-designed look and a bunch of new rides.
Fortunately, I chose a super sunny day to visit and Margate was bathed in gorgeous sunshine with blue skies and the odd fluffy cloud. The walk from the train station to Dreamland was short, with the beach on one side and industrial-looking buildings on the other – a very stark contrast to the colourful wonderland I was about to encounter. Dreamland is gorgeous. Bold shiny harlequin prints and stripes dominate, with Tracy Emin-designed neon lights adding a touch of contemporary cool. When I described it as Instagram-friendly, I mean that you will literally want to take pictures of everything.
One of my main challenges was to go on as many rides as possible; challenge accepted. I started off on The Big Wheel, to take everything in and get the lay of the land. Next up was Monotopia, followed by the Helter Skelter, the beautiful vintage Gallopers, the Cyclone Twist and the Hurricane Jets – 6 in an hour! The Hurricane Jets were my favourite, while most of the rides were fairly gentle this one was pretty scary and we both screamed and laughed our way though it twice.
My next challenge was to strike a post in the middle of Dreamland. Do I get bonus points for doing Tree pose and the Wheel?
Dreamland has a gorgeous food court so it would have been rude not to stop off for a quick bite to eat and to catch our breath from all of those challenges! We decided to go on some more rides before checking out the amusement arcade – we couldn’t resist the 2p slot machines and the incredible Zoltar fortune teller from Big. I wimped out of the challenge to have a boogie at the roller disco, the last time I was on skates I fell and broke my elbow – not the type of OMG Moment I’d like to repeat! I did complete the last one though; we enjoyed a cheeky icecream on the beach after our action packed day in Dreamland. Thank you to the lovely team at Mitchum for an amazing day!