Browsing Tag


Sunny evening walk in Folkestone

By 12 April 2015 Life, Lifestyle, Photography
Folkestone harbour pano

On Friday evening I could have walked out of work, turned left and walked home. Instead, I turned right and headed up to the Leas. It seemed a shame to waste such a lovely evening.

It upsets me when people complain about Folkestone. It might not be the best town in the world but it’s where I live and it definitely has a lot of positive points.

Centenary arch

To mark the centenary of first world war, this arch was erected. It stand at the top of the Road of Remembrance, named to commemorate the thousands of men who marched down this hill towards the waiting ships in the harbour and the trenches across the channel. Opened by Prince Harry in August 2014, the arch stands proud on the Leas where it’s much admired. Of course, there are plenty of naysayers but I think it’s very elegant and a fitting tribute.

The crochet poppies are a year round feature along the railings from the arch down the hill towards the harbour. Anyone can make one and attach it. I think it’s pretty beautiful. The the Leas I walked through to the parish church.

St Mary and St Eanswythe Church B&W

Faceless angel

St Mary and St Eanswythe Church

The church of St Mary and St Eanswythe is where I got married. There’s been a church on or near this site since the 7th century. The oldest part of the current church dates back to the 12th century with the majority of it built in Victorian times.

It was a very special place to get hitched.

Graffiti Skull Old High Street Folkestone

People graffiti Folkestone Old High Street

The Old High Street is at the heart of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. It welcomes artists and independent boutiques to create a eclectic space that keeps changing. There’s some really cool graffiti at the moment. I think they’re commissioned to cover up wooden boarding. I love it!

All this is just minutes from my house. I took this walk, stopping to take photos along the way, and was still home before half past six. If I’m going to shift some pounds before the summer I think I’ll go for a walk every dry evening.

What does you walk home from work look like?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Home Sweet Home

By 14 May 2014 Home Styling, Life, Lifestyle
Folkestone waves crashing on beach

The Blog Every Day in May prompt for today is ‘home sweet home’. So here’s a sneaky peek into my humble abode.

Home Sweet Home

I live in Folkestone, only about a 10 minute stroll through the town centre to the sea. The picture at the top of this post is the beach on a rather windy day! My house was built around 1880 so it’s got wonky walls and wonky floors. It’s nigh on impossible to find somewhere flat to put the dining table and don’t even talk about the fridge freezer!

We rent our house but we’re allowed to decorate which has meant we’ve been able to put our own stamp on the place. I painted the living room while suffering from a bad cold a week before my hen do! I was having a corsage making workshop in the house and started decorated before I was poorly so I ended up having to finish it while feeling like death warmed up. But it was worth it to get rid of the red walls.

We’re planning on re-decorating the bedroom soon. I only did it a couple of years ago but we’ve got a sloped ceiling with the window (and it’s a small one at that) on the short wall. This means the bedroom’s really dark and can be a bit gloomy. It’s currently all cream/off-white except for a feature wall, where the bed is, that’s metallic pink but I’m going to cover that up with a light grey. I’m hoping that the lighter colour will reflect the light a little and make the room brighter. It can’t be worse than how it was when I first moved in with hubby. The bottom half of the walls were purple and the top orange with a fetching border around the middle! Not his taste, I might add! It was inherited from the previous tenants.

My sister’s currently living in the spare room but she’s moving to be closer to uni in a couple of months. We’re going to turn the room into a man cave / guest room. Basically it’s going to be a room where hubby can cover the walls in his Superman fan-boy paraphernalia without me complaining! We’re going to get a second hand sofa bed so we can put my parents up when they come over from their home in France. Take a look at my Pinterest board to see what I’m planning.

Basically, I think this house will always be a work in progress. It takes me so long to finish decorating that it’s time to do it again! We don’t want to spend too much as it’s not our house, but it is our home so we want it to be comfy and homely. We’re hoping to move out in a few years but we’ll most likely have to continue renting unless we suddenly win the lottery! *Fingers crossed!*

What’s your home like?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Five Fascinating Facts About Folkestone

By 8 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle
Five fascinating facts about Folkestone

To celebrate Local History Month, which is today’s topic for Blog Every Day in May, here are 5 fascinating facts about Folkestone!

1 – Folkestone is home to the world’s highest brick arched viaduct

It was built in 1843 by Sir William Cubitt so the South Eastern Railway could continue their passenger train services to Folkestone Harbour Station where the passengers would jump on a ferry to France before travelling onwards to Paris. Unfortunately, there are no more ferries out of Folkestone and the Harbour station stands derelict. The cool thing is, I can see the viaduct from my house!

Foord viaduct Folkestone from my lounge window

2 – The first nunnery in England was founded in Folkestone

The King of Kent had the nunnery built in around 630 for his daughter St Eanswythe, who is one of the patron saints of our parish church. In the Victorian times, builders were doing work in the church, which originally dates to the twelth century, when they found the remains of a young woman in a lead container within the walls. It’s believed these are St Eanswythe’s relics! This is the church where hubby and I said our vows a year ago.

Hubby and I outside St Mary and St Eanswythe's Church Folkestone. Just hitched!

3 – Millions of troops passed through Folkestone on their way to the front line in WWI

Between 1914 and 1918, the soldiers travelled to Folkestone ready to be transported over to the Western Front. To get down to the harbour, many of the regiments marched down the hill from the town on what is now called the Road of Remembrance. To commemorate the centenary of the first world war this year a memorial arch is being built at the top of the Road of Remembrance, which is going to be officially opened by Prince Harry on 4th August.

4 – The physician who ‘discovered’ circulation was born in Folkestone

Dr William Harvey was born in Folkestone in 1578. He worked out that the heart pumps blood around our bodies while appointed royal physician. There’s a statue of Harvey in Folkestone, looking out towards the sea and he gave his name to the Harvey Grammar School.

William Harvey statue Folkestone

5 – The first person of Afro-Caribbean/mixed heritage to be commissioned as an Infantry into the British Army is from Folkestone

Walter Tull was born in Folkestone in 1888. His father was from Barbados and his mother was born in Kent. Before becoming an Army officer, Walter was a professional footballer and played for Tottenham Hotspur. He was killed in action in France in 1918. He was recommended for a Military Cross for his bravery. What’s strange is that at the time of his parents’ marriage, Walter’s father lived in the road where I live now, practically opposite actually. And what’s even more strange is that apparently we are related somehow but I only found out a couple of years ago!

Walter Tull

Image from The Guardian

Do you have any interesting stories to tell about your local area?

Rachel x

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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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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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