A Room with a View

Kent Life - - Gourmet News - WORDS: Sarah Sturt PHO­TOS: Manu Palomeque

A great lo­ca­tion on Folke­stone’s fa­mous Leas, a ded­i­cated young team and re­ally tasty food awaits at The View Ho­tel

The Leas in Folke­stone is ar­guably the most beau­ti­ful area in the whole town and on my re­cent visit, I was might­ily im­pressed by the uni­formly sparkling frontages along the lengthy prom­e­nade, orig­i­nally owned by Lord Rad­nor, who de­signed it for the up­per classes.

Luck­ily that’s no longer the case and or­di­nary peo­ple like you and me are al­lowed in these days. Which is A Good Thing as I was stay­ing the night at the pris­tine View Ho­tel, perched right on the Leas and fronted by im­mac­u­late and colour­ful flowerbeds.

Greeted by the lovely Philippa on re­cep­tion, I was thrilled when I re­alised my ex­cep­tion­ally grand sec­ond-floor room for the night had bril­liant sea views from its floor to ceil­ing win­dows and im­me­di­ately vowed I’d leap out of bed to greet the sun­rise the next day. That didn’t hap­pen; I blame a far too comfy king­size bed. And the hospi­tal­ity …

Suit­ably abluted – the en suite has a stand­alone bath as well as a large shower – af­ter a lit­tle bit of cor­ri­dor con­fu­sion I found my way to the bou­tique bar ad­join­ing The Cliffe Restau­rant. It has its own en­trance from The Leas, while the ho­tel en­trance is on a side street, just so you know.

The strat­egy works, as lots of

peo­ple came in that way to ei­ther en­joy the bar menu (ta­pas, fish and chips, hal­loumi and veg­etable skew­ers) with drinks or just a cock­tail or beer af­ter work.

A mix of fam­i­lies, solo busi­ness guests, girls on a night out and Chan­nel work­ers cre­ated a good buzz and I was soon re­lax­ing on a velour sofa with a pink grape­fruit Gin in hand (bar­man Filip Budny’s ex­cel­lent rec­om­men­da­tion) watch­ing the sky turn the same colour as my drink.

Young, bub­bly restau­rant man­ager Holly Pearce, a mere 24 but with the con­fi­dence of some­one twice her age, came to usher me to my ta­ble and I learnt that she’s worked in restau­rants since she was 14 and loves it so much one day she’d like to open her own. I sus­pect she will too.

The din­ing room is a tad bland – plain dark wood square or round ta­bles, a mix of grey and turquoise velour chairs, big can­vas seascape prints on the walls, quite a lot of chan­de­liers – but Holly adds the charisma it lacks and the food is very tasty.

From a choice of six starters that in­cluded ham hock arancini and lo­cal rope-grown mus­sels, I chose the soft-shell crab.

Pre­pared tem­pura style and pre­sented whole on a gen­er­ous pool of co­rian­der emul­sion dot­ted with mi­cro cress, it was a light, crispy and fun start to din­ner. Rather nice too with a glass of Picpoul De Pinet.

The Cliffe Restau­rant is smartly con­tem­po­rary

My hand­some suite for the night over­look­ing the coast

Meals are tasty and gen­er­ously served

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