In lovely Dover, we parked up in the Bluebell, an exemplary Guest House in a less than exemplary area on the Folkestone Road.
As the view from the bedroom window shows.
While Mrs RM and Matt recovered from Punk IPA/Salted caramel fudge cake respectively, I took the Dover Priory train to Folkestone.
Just a flying visit, an hour between trains to find the Troubador, establish that Folkestone gentrification was continuing apace, and perhaps to get one of the UK’s best ice creams.
Two out of three ain’t bad, as someone said.
I’m not sure if the Bridge Coffee House counts as gentrification, but I loved the font.
The street art is all over the place as you approach the (ambitiously titled) Creative Quarter.
I passed the Troubador a year ago and thought “Bet that’s in the Beer Guide soon“. I suspect the word m**** was the giveaway.
Yes, it has the tell-tale signs of micro, but also the quirkiness you get in Dover or Margate, rather than the strict high tables round the walls format you get on the Kent/London border.
Beers you’ve (nearly) heard of alert !
A lovely barperson whose opening line “How’s your day been ?” may be unique.
Just two Professional Drinkers, one of whom recommended the Milk Stout, and a good call too. Cool, chewy, warming (NBSS 3+).
The pub’s the hub for the informal music scene, and a couple of folkies came in with a flyer for the accommodating barmaid to stick up next to the GBG sticker.
“Oy, it’s a pub, buy a drink” shouted one of our heroes as our artists left.
“They can’t afford to, they’re artists” said his mate.
I know who I agree with. Next door you have the frontage of the Brewery Tap, a gorgeous old pub that didn’t get enough custom.
But Folkestone is on the up. The pedestrianised Old Town isn’t quite on a par with Hastings, but new bars are popping up all over the place.
It’s a transformation from retired gentlefolk weekender to crafty daytripper staple that seems to have gone unnoticed. If in doubt, just count the burger joints.