Helen Sharp, Editor at Folke.Life, shares what Folkestone means to her and her recommended hot-spots around town.
The Kent coast town of Folkestone is fast becoming the destination of choice for people seeking to balance work with play and to enjoy a healthy lifestyle by the sea. Its growing reputation as a place for art, music, culture and great food is attracting increasing numbers of new residents and visitors. Web magazine Folkelife celebrates the people, business, heritage and events that help make this seaside town the vibrant hive of creativity it is.
During the summer, a bucket and spade is simply a must! Sunny Sands provides a sandy beach, a wonderful place for family fun, ice cream and fish and chips. But Folkestone isn’t just somewhere to visit on a summer weekend; it’s open all year round. You’ll find culture in the form of The Book Festival, which takes place in November each year; the Quarterhouse shows live screenings throughout the year from the National Theatre, Royal Ballet and Opera House as well as live performances comedy, poetry, theatre and performance art. The Leas Cliff Hall and Tower Theatre also put on family shows, including pantos, comedy, live music and touring theatre, including visits by big names such as Ruby Wax, Jimmy Carr and Rhod Gilbert sandwiched between appearances by Ben Fogle, Prof Alice Roberts and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
If you are looking for something more intimate, there are many local bars and cafés in town celebrating writing, creating and artistic development. Write By The Sea has guest speakers at monthly meetings in The Chambers, and extra events on within the cultural festivals such as Salt – Festival Of The Sea, The Book Festival and so on.
To live your Folkelife to the full, you don’t just need cultural stimulation, you need exercise and good food too, and Folkestone have those in abundance. Vibrant hockey, cricket, netball and running clubs are supported by fantastic facilities at Three Hills Sports Park. Indoor and multi-weather surfaces mean that play can continue throughout the winter months.
When you want something to eat, Folkestone has much to offer, with a wide choice of independent cafes and restaurants, from the freshest fish delivered to your plate from the slipway outside Rocksalt, to the much-lauded Spanish-inspired food at Pick Up Pintxos. There is a thriving vegan and vegetarian scene with Dr Legumes at the Harbour providing breakfast and lunches. Several cafes and hotel restaurants feature heavily in vegan forums showing how businesses cater for and celebrate all diets and tastes. Folkestone has its own home-grown pizza houses, including Lubens and Follies, offering original and delicious food at reasonable prices.Folkelife isn’t all about play: increasing numbers are finding that the 52 minute train ride to or from St Pancras/Kings Cross means that it is easy to strike a good work-life balance. Businesses have relocated here because of the fantastic links to London and the continent, but Folkestone is also becoming a digital creative hub in its own right. You can live and work by the sea yet thrive as a company with national and international customers. The digital workplace has a bright future and Folkestone is well placed to provide office and business space whilst providing the working community with outstanding lifestyle opportunities. For example, Sleeping Giant Media is a leader in the field of digital marketing, having been established in 2008. Folkestone has enabled the company to grow and prosper. The Workshop on Tontine Street supports small and medium sized creative and digital businesses and The Glassworks creative digital hub offers larger working spaces for creative businesses in digital media.
Folkestone is proud of its diverse community, where increasing numbers are discovering a place where they can live, work and be happy and fulfilled.
Join us: come and live the Folkelife.