Shesells SeaShells – Fine dining on the harbour arm
SheSells SeaShells is a second to none dining experience on Folkestone’s Harbour Arm. This is the place to go to feel special, even if it’s for a weekday treat, or weekend meal. Alison and her family team have furnished the three carriages you see at the start of the Harbour Arm. Dine in, in cosy luxury, or dine out on the tables on the Arm for a truly delicious meal. Folkelife went to meet Alison.
Harbour Arm professionals
“We’ve been trading here on the Harbour Arm since 2014 with our other business Go Dutch. That’s worked really well. We serve poffertjes which are Dutch round pancakes and moules frites, keeping things simple. When these carriages were up for offer, various of the other traders suggested I should take them on.
“I want to sell nice food to nice people. Is that a terrible thing to say? We also use proper plates, cutlery and glasses too because I think it’s good to have a treat. It does mean that we limit ourselves to serving just in front of our carriages, and behind, so that we don’t have too far to retrieve the plates when things get busy!”
a local triangle
“My mussels come from Folkestone Trawlers and Boathouse Fisheries in St Mary’s Bay in Dymchurch. They’re not very far away, and that’s important to me. My wine is Chapel Down from Tenterden, and my soft drinks are Kingsdown in Deal so there’s a triangle of local produce served here. I also offer a local steak, because not everyone likes sea food. You can bet, in a group of 4, there will be someone…!
“All of the mussels we sell are rope grown, and because we know our stockists, we can trace all our food back to where it’s come from.
“Of the three carriages, I can fit 12 to 14 to a sit down meal in this one; the centre one has a bar in it and then the far one sells the sea food platters.”
“It’s a tough job but I had to go around to many different places, trying out sea food platters to make sure we were selling the best option. They feed two people very well, and have a good selection on them. There’s lobster, dressed crab, whelks and all sorts of treats for you.
“I am about to start selling oysters too. You can get some delicious ones from Colchester which is where we’ll start. This is something that people have been asking us to do, and it will work.
“The important thing about working on the Harbour Arm is having an idea that works. Simple and effective work. The pancakes and muscles work in The Goods Yard, and this dining experience with us at Shesells Seashells is again, really simple. Our menu is on the side, it’s delicious, local, something for everyone and open all weathers thanks to our beautiful carriages. I am the She that sells the shells!”