A Room with a View
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