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Restaurant Review

El Cortador Tapas Bar Folkestone

By 3 May 2014 Eating Out, Food, Lifestyle, Restaurant Review
El Cortador Folkestone Tapas Bar

Over the Easter weekend, rather than buying random stuff we didn’t really need, we decided to use some money than my grandparents kindly gave us as an Easter present on treating ourselves to some meals out.

Saturday lunchtime I tried to take hubby into the Lavender Tea House but it’s a bit too pretty for him. He actually said it was for old ladies! Their vintage/shabby chic charm is obviously lost on him. As we wandered down Folkestone’s Old High Street, we spotted El Cortador, the new tapas bar in town. We’ve been meaning to try it since it opened at the end of last year.

El Cortador is a small place with windows looking out on to the high street. Inside is all dark wood, wicker chairs and warm colours. We ordered drinks while trying not to order every dish on the menu!

El Cortador menu

Eventually we whittled it down to 6 dishes and ordered from the very polite waitress who must have thought we were right piggies!

The first thing to come out was the bread and aioli. There’s no denying that we left the restaurant with a little more than a distinct hum of garlic about us! Just as we were dunking our bread into the garlic mayonnaise, out came the plate of manchego cheese and ham. I love cured meat and it goes so well with the tangy cheese. There was even more cheese inside our stuffed peppers. Mmmm…


Queso y jamon

Pequillos Rellenos

Next out was this gorgeous dish of hot, garlic mushrooms. Shortly after came the tortilla laced with chorizo and then the paella mixta.

Setas al ajillo

Tortilla Chorizo

Paella Mixta

All of the food was amazing. So tasty! The service was swift and the prices reasonable. The only other time we’ve had tapas was in Essex so I can’t compare it to the ‘real thing’ but I don’t even care it was so yummy!

El Cortador, Old High Street, Folkestone

Rachel x

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Spicy Valentine’s: Copper and Spices, Indian Restaurant in Folkestone

By 17 February 2014 Eating Out, Food, Restaurant Review
Spicy Valentine's: Dinner at Copper and Spices Indian Restaurant Folkestone.

Yes sorry another Valentine’s Day post! But don’t despair, this one isn’t all lovey-dovey and vomit inducing. No. Instead I’m going to tell you about our scrummy Indian dinner at Copper and Spices. We actually ate there on Saturday 15th as it wasn’t intended to be a special Valentine’s dinner but a family dinner with the in-laws. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make it so it was just hubby and I.

As it’s a tiny, intimate restaurant with just 6 tables they get booked up pretty quickly. Having left it until Tuesday to book we had the choice of 5.30pm or 8.30pm. Since 5.30 is pretty early for dinner, we went for 8.30. But this is about 2 hours later than we normally eat so it was starting to feel pretty late by the time we left the house. I know, we live such a rock n roll lifestyle!

We had a choice of the regular menu or the special Valentine’s menu, which was far too much food for us! As it turned out we got to try a few items off the special menu as it was, so we did pretty well.

We chose the Vegetarian Plate to share as a starter, followed by Saag Waala Gosht and a garlic and coriander naan for me and Lamb Tikka Biryani for hubby.

Poppadums and chutney at Copper and Spices, Folkestone

While we were waiting for our starter we were brought some mini poppadums and chutney, which were very tasty, and then the chef brought us out an amuse bouche each to try. Mine was venison and hubby’s was duck. They were delicious little parcels of mouth amusement! Plus, they were served on cute little heart slates

Remains of my starter at Copper and Spices Folkestone

The starter was also served on a heart-shaped slate, I feel a theme here! As you can see from the photo of our empty plate, I’ll never be a food blogger. I love food too much to remember to take a pic before digging in!

Here’s one I remembered though!
Dessert plate at Copper and Spices, Folkestone
Hubby and I shared this dessert because it sounded too good to pass up yet we were pretty stuffed. In the cocktail glass is saffron rice pudding, the heart-shaped dessert is carrot cake and of course there are strawberries dipped in chocolate. The rice pudding in particular was absolutely gorgeous. Saffron is such a fragrant spice.

Rachel Birchley at Copper and Spices, Folkestone

We had a lovely meal. The staff were very attentive and keen to help us understand the menu and the ingredients. I was even given a red rose to take home by the chef! All this made it even more embarrassing that we’d forgotten to get cash out for a tip! But, rest assured I shall be getting some money out and popping it through the door with a card! I can’t bear not leaving a tip when the service and food was so excellent. We’ll definitely be back to Copper and Spices.

Rachel x

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Rocksalt Folkestone’s Lunch Menu – A Honeymoon Treat

By 24 August 2013 Restaurant Review
Rocksalt restaurant Folkestone from across the harbour

When I first learnt that a contemporary seafood restaurant was planned for Folkestone harbour, replacing a run down old pub, I was pretty impressed.  To be very honest, I’d never heard of Mark Sargeant, the chef whose name is above the door.  He used to be head chef at Claridge’s in Mayfair, and Rocksalt is his first restaurant.  The building itself is a modern design but the dark wood cladding helps it to blend in with the old fisherman’s buildings in the area.  Ever since the restaurant opened I’ve wanted to try it out.  To begin with, some of the reviews were less than complimentary but most of the issues seem to be teething troubles.  Nearly two years on, I finally got to try it out.

the view from a window seat at rocksalt restaurant folkestone

The view from my seat

We visited on Tuesday 30th April, just three days after Marc and I’s wedding.  I booked online, which was a simple process, and pulled the newly-wed card to request a table by the window.  I am so glad I did because the view was stunning.

We went for the lunchtime set menu, which changes weekly. There is a small selection of seasonal food to choose from for each course. It costs £17 for two courses or £20 for three. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t spend the extra £3 for pudding personally! But then I do have a sweet tooth. We each had mackerel with new potato salad to start. It looked so amazing with the tiny soft boiled quail’s egg that I dug straight in and forgot to take a photo! Everything tasted very fresh; the dish didn’t last very long.

My husband and I also both chose the pork belly for our main course. This was truly divine. The pork was from a farm in Kent and had been deliciously slow-cooked so that it was melt-in-your-mouth tender. The baby leeks were al dente and garden fresh.

Pork belly with baby leaks, creamed potato and apple sauce at Rocksalt Folkestone

Pork belly with baby leaks, creamed potato and apple sauce

For dessert we actually chose different things! I had lemon posset and Marc ordered chocolate and hazelnut pavlova. Both were scrummy.

Lemon posset with shortbread at Rocksalt Folkestone

Lemon posset with shortbread


Chocolate and hazelnut pavlova at Rocksalt Folkestone

Chocolate and hazelnut pavlova

Marc and I both loved our meal at Rocksalt. Not only was the food good but the service was impeccable and the toilets very cool. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I tend to judge a place on its loos! I am happy to report that the toilet facilities at Rocksalt are top notch. They play what sounds like the shipping forecast over speakers, but its actually names of fish! There are also lovely little hand towels to use to dry your hands, you use them and then drop them into a basket hidden under the sinks.

We’ll definitely be returning to Rocksalt but unfortunately our wallets can’t stretch to the a la carte menu so we’ll have to wait until we’ve both got some time off to experience the lunchtime menu again, or perhaps we’ll go for brunch or Sunday lunch one day. I find that these lower cost menus give you a great taster of the food that a restaurant offers without bankrupting you. We ate from the set lunch menu at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall a couple of years ago and it was perfect. We’d never be able to afford to eat in places like this otherwise.

By Rachel Birchley x

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