Danish-British writer, presenter and comedian SANDI TOKSVIG reflects on the unique charm of the North Kent coast and why sea swimming feels so good. Interview: Alex Reece
I worked a lot in Maidstone when I was starting in TV and people used to talk about the North Kent coast, although I didn’t manage to get there. Then I was taken by a friend to lunch in Whitstable and I completely fell in love with it. I thought it was the most wonderful place. I’ve now moved further up the coast.
I’m very fond of the area all around Reculver. If you bicycle along the coast with Herne Bay behind you and Margate ahead of you, there’s a moment when you come up over a hill which must be one of the most breathtaking views in Britain. It’s stunning, with undulating countryside and those two remaining towers at Reculver.
I love swimming in the sea and eight months of the year I go in about once a week. I just think it makes you feel good. I’m not one to take my time – I plunge in – whereas my partner inches into the water. I’ve taken up sea kayaking, which I really enjoy as well.
I do think Britain has got back in touch with its connection with the sea and you can now get some of the finest seafood in the world here. There is a fish market at Whitstable where you can buy glorious food to cook for yourself. I’m a true Scandinavian – I love herring and mackerel.
Some people say I like the North Kent coast because it’s as close to Denmark as I can get, living in Britain. In Denmark, we’re 500 islands, so you’re never far from the sea. And then we had a house on the Long Island Sound in New York, so I grew up sailing and swimming.
I never feel as calm as I do when I’m by the sea. I like the sound of it, the smell of it and the fact it alters from moment to moment. One minute it can be like a mirror, then the next it can be churning and quite aggressive, and I love that constant change.
"I love swimming in the sea and eight months of the year I go in about once a week. I just think it makes you feel good. I’m not one to take my time – I plunge in – whereas my partner inches into the water."