Often overlooked for other sections of the Kent coast, creative Folkestone is a must-visit as the weather gets warmer, the skies brighter and the food scene of this town booms. Come visit before everyone knows about its charms.
Where to stay
In the warmer months we can wholeheartedly recommend TPS Overnight, a lovingly upcycled vintage Citroen van with comfy bedding and resident chickens. This adorable backyard offers a secluded oasis for a romantic getaway. Plus you’ll get to support David, owner of the eponymous The Potting Shed – more on that gem later.
If visiting outside of summer is more your thing – and we’re with you, quieter towns are all the better for exploring – we’d recommend another bar affiliated stay : Space Bar’s cosy offering. With a minimum 2 night stay, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the onsite bar and pizza oven while exploring the cobbled Creative Quarter outside your door.
What to do
Head away from the high street and wander down the cobbled streets to grab a coffee at the book-filled Steep Street Coffee House to fuel you for this town’s independent shops and art galleries. We particularly rate the vintage menswear at Ben’s Vintage and perennial favourite Bounce Vintage where, if you are lucky, the owner will offer you another caffeine hit before you brave a coastal stroll.
The stroll down to Sandgate is a brisk 45 minute walk, talking in some of the UK’s largest urban outdoor exhibition of contemporary art as well as the leafy park The Leas. Stop for some shots for the ‘gram and don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for a cake break with Orchard Lane Coffee House.
Heading back to Folkestone, walk along the train tracks (decommissioned!) to the Harbour Arm. Here you’ll find mini golf and a host of foodie delights including Greek food from a double decker bus and champagne at the lighthouse on the end.
What to eat and drink
Talking of food, if nothing on the Harbour Arm takes your fancy, Lucky Chip’s Folkestone arm will have you sorted with juicy burgers, sides and a cheeky cocktail or too in its divey but cosy bar.
Oh yes, drinks. In Folkestone you are never far away from a good drink – from beers at sunset overlooking the pebbled beach at The Pilot Beach Bar, to a DFL (derogatory term for a Down-From-Londoner, in case you didn’t know) pale ale from local brewers Docker at Space Bar or specialty cans from The Beer Shop.
And when it comes to cocktails, do we have a secret to pass on to you. The gorgeous homeware shop The Potting Shed holds a secret – a speakeasy through the, you guessed it, potting shed at the rear of the space. Email ahead to reserve your space in this Prohibition style space where drinks are unashamedly spirit-forward and your night is bound to be remembered forever, as long as you remember the password.
Insider tip: Leave time (and luggage space) to explore Folkestone’s charity shops and record shops. Plenty of gems to be found!