a little R+R – Refuel and refresh during the festive season
Folkestone is full of fantastic places to refuel and refresh during the festive season. Whether you’ve been shopping at our Festive markets, or supporting the wealth of local independent retailers, or need a place to meet up with friends to celebrate this year, Folkestone has the right place for you. Folkelife has curated a list of venues for a Christmas Tipple, or meal for the family.
the goods yard
The Goods Yard on the Harbour Arm is a venue that always makes you feel like you’re on holiday. Set back with stunning views of Folkestone and the English Channel, plus over to France on a good day, you can relax with so many different types of food on offer. There’s something for everyone. The traders are open from 4pm on a Friday and through the weekend. The Festive Marketplace will be running each weekend from 27th November until the 23rd December and Christmas Eve. Find somewhere to sit down and rest whilst shopping. There will be festive films for the family shown at the weekends, plus live music to really get you into the festive spirit.
Lighthouse Champagne Bar
Stroll to the end of Folkestone’s Harbour Arm to the most magical location for a bar in the UK. Think of it as Santa’s Grotto for adults with the toasting tree – a Christmas tree with corks on. Write a toast to friends near and far, and decorate the tree with festive feeling. Enjoy a hot chocolate laced with liqueur or a glass of Champagne to see in the New Year. Wrap up warm; they have extra blankets, and make an evening of it.
As you enter the Harbour Station, Bobbies Bakehouse is the coffee house in the Old Signal Box. You can have freshly baked bagels with delicious fillings, and exquisite cakes baked on site. Bobbies are also hosting a few festive dinners in this unique setting with 5 courses cooked by John Gratham – former head chef at Barclays, and served by his wife Alex. Whether you discover this treasure during the day or in the evening, it will certainly be a place you’ll return to again and again.
rocksalt with friends
Rocksalt is Folkestone’s finest restaurant with the best views over the harbour. Whether it’s low tide or high tide, the view changes daily. This is a fantastic place to treat the family for a special meal and a great place to go for pre-dinner drinks at the upstairs bar. You might want a different sea view at their sister restaurant Little Rock, on the beachside of the Harbour Arm. The Pilot Bar is also open for coffee, tea and hot chocolate during the day, and a warm place to sit for cocktails of an evening. The Rocksalt Group also owns a number of pubs, one being The Radnor Arms at the western end of town. This is a wonderfully cosy place for festive drinks and the food is as you’d expect – delicious.
pick up pintxos
Pintxos are exquisite dishes inspired by the Basque country in Spain. Similar to tapas, you share these morcels of quince, morcilla, anchovies, salted cod, Padron peppers and more with friends. Join Gianni and his team at his restaurant at the base of The Old High Street for a taster menu every Sunday running up to Christmas. Giles Coren from The Times reviewed Pick Up Pintxos as ‘the best pintxos this side of the Pyranees’. It really is one not to miss!
the harbour inn
Staying in the harbour area there is the seaside pub belonging to The Pullman Family. The Harbour Inn has a menu full of fresh fish and fantastic pub favourites. Venturing up The Old High Street you could visit one of the other restaurants in the family at Lubens – for freshly baked pizza; Market Square – bistro-style food during the day and the Market Square Food Market in the basement, and the original Pullman pub on Church Street with its wood fire and cosy tone.
coffee, breakfast and cake
If you have time to stop for a coffee whilst perusing the local independent shops on The Old High Street in Folkestone then we highly recommend Steep Street Coffee House – for their own blend of coffee and delicious cakes. Marley’s next door serves breakfast for Kings and Queens and is not to be missed. Folklore at the bottom of The Old High Street serves coffee, tea and the rest during the day, and by night is a cocktail bar of epic proportions. There’s something exciting happening 7 nights a week with Drag Bingo, the weekly table-top games night, quizzes and films.
Photo credits: Steep Street – Madaline Negrila