31st December 2019

Always great to end the year in Kent, not that I’ve ever done it before.

I nearly jumped on the Eurotunnel when I reached Folkestone but just in time realised it was going to France.


Two (2) new pubs for me in the ‘tone, as the kidz probably call it. Last time here was a flying visit, but I was struck by the creative quarter and the small bars springing up like, er, wild flowers.


With more time to get to grips with the town I can bring you some of the artistic highlights that should see you heading to the South-east coast this winter.

Nice beach
Outlawed by Hewitt’s pubs in Grimsby since 1977
“Abandoned Umbrella” – 2019
Pastel colours

I was going to call Folkestone the Hastings of the west and wait for Old Mudgie to correct me, and I think the comparison holds.

The Old High Street isn’t quite as atmospheric as Hastings Old Town, but it’s steeper, and as a Fenboy that matters.

The trad Sheps pubs aren’t as atmospheric either,


but there’s Dickensian touches around The Bayle,

Pig in The Bayle

the new town is a symphony of brutalism,


and there’s shops that sell the sheet music to MacArthur Park. You’re still not convinced are you ?

Better than Donna’s version

Anyway, Folkestone will be pulling in the punters this year as it narrowly beat Inverness to be the setting for the steps sequence in Joker 2.

Run up and down those 3 times a day

Good beer in the new GBG pubs, too.

Oooh, a pretty Spoons.

Posh mob scooter
Rare correct clock


I though Samuel Peto was a Chelsea striker loaned out to Gillingham in the noughties, but I was wrong.

Nice little semi-enclosed drinking cubicles, a superb Titanic Ice that reached NBSS 3.5 once it warmed up, a lot going on.

In fact, Folkkestone was buzzing on New Years Eve, even though the ice cream shop was inexplicably closed.

Down by the barbour, across from the legendary Grand Burstin (don’t ask) Hotel, I contemplated swimming to the new “Floatin’ Firkin” micropub but chickened out.

Floatin’ Firkin – phone ahead

One of the alluring things about Folkestone is that it’s a town of many parts. long the Stade to Sunny Beach you get the sort of seafood stalls normally seen in Southwold, and the sort of pubs normally seen in South Shields.

Proper Pub alert

Too many beers in the Mariner, of course, but you’d drink a pint of any of them now, wouldn’t you ?

BBB heaven

Half a dozen Old Boys discussing pubs they’d been barred from, not a tourist in sight, Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together“, and a gorgeous Old.

Old. Not just me

And if that doesn’t sell you Folkestone, there’s dozen of micros.

In fact, this is the only building that isn’t one.



  1. I smiled at the idea of the old boys discussing which pubs they’d been barred from, rather proudly, I imagine! I recall going into a pub with my friend in Macclesfield where the names of barred patrons was publicly displayed on the wall. Wasn’t sure if that was a common thing or not, but it certainly has a “name them and shame them” aspect to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sensed it went back a decade or more!

      Wonder how many pubs Simon is barred from.

      I always assumed those lists of “persons barred” on pub walls (the lively ones) related to drugs or drunkeness, and normally relate to all the pubs in town. Whether use of mobile phones gets you on the list is unknown 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Mark,
      I couldn’t add anything to a discussion about being barred from a pub – and only once have I been refused a pint.

      Is “in The Bayle” Kentish for “on the Wall” and a sure sign of a Black Country Ales pub ?

      Why has Tim put a basketball net up outside one of his venues ?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have mixed feelings about Folkestone. Saw some classic rock groups there, at the Leas Cliff Hall, back in the early 1970’s, but haven’t really been back since.


  3. I agree that it is good in parts -the creative quarter is nice -we actually had a ruinously expensive overnight stay at Rocksalt & finished off at the Mariners.Next morning a lady caught us to do a survey about our likes & dislikes about the town.We said the Burstin needs demolishing -a blot on the landscape !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My part of the world! Very perceptive review, bits of Folkestone are great, others are grim. Pity you didn’t make it to Kipps, Firkin or Bouverie Tap.


    1. I did, John, but a few years ago. 😉. If I went to every good pub in a town on every annual visit I’d be, er, dead 😱

      Think there’s reviews of some of those others on the blog.


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