A pub with Something Special – The Radnor Arms
Folkestone is being renovated, and not just around the Harbour area. In the newly refreshed Radnor Arms, Folkestone, sits John Rogers patting his dog. This pub is in the West end of the town, part of the Bouverie Village.
The copper table tops glisten in the sun, and the sparkling French wine glasses are just waiting to be filled. But it’s 10am, and not time for the strong stuff just yet so settle for a pot of locally-produced Debonair tea.
John owns a series of pubs across the South East; the Radnor Arms is the latest addition to his Ramblinns company which comprises of The Woolpack Inn Warehorne, Five Bells Inn Brabourne, and the Globe Inn Rye.
An experience that makes you feel special
The idea behind all of the inns is to bring the pub culture into the 21st Century. “You have to work a lot harder now to get people out of their nice warm homes and enjoying hospitality in a place such as this.” John absent-mindedly scratches the ears of his dog as he talks. “People don’t want to come out to a dark and dingy, smelly old pub. They want an experience that makes them feel special, and warrants the journey. So that’s what we try to do. We’re open from 8 am serving breakfast and drinks right through until 11pm. We offer freshly made food with locally produced ingredients.”
“Our fish is caught off Dungeness beach by a local fisherman. We give him a certain amount of money a week and he catches what he does. He rings up my chefs and says ‘What can you do with a turbot?’ So that’s how we can offer a varied menu of locally-sourced produce.”
There’s attention to the tableware as well as the food. “A good wine glass makes it all the more special. People want to come out for an experience now. Gone are the days of spending each night in your local with a grotty tankard. Pubs cater for all the family, at all times of the day, and also need to offer something a little more than pie and chips on the menu.”
As you walk in to the Radnor Arms you are greeted by a table of nibbles for their ‘natter platter’. On the table today is a very large bowl of olives, a cake of dried figs and almonds and a rather large piece of cheese. It’s a mouth-watering selection you’d find in a proper delicatessen.
Breakfast time moves into lunch, and considering its location near the council offices, there is a steady stream of people wandering in. It’s also convenient if you’ve been for a stroll along The Leas.
The west end of Folkestone is offering something quite different to what’s available at the Harbour end of town, John thinks this is vital for the life of the town: “Folkestone is a gold-mine of hospitality ready to serve you!”