Yesterday was the opening, or technically reopening, of Folkestone’s Harbour Arm. As part of the harbour regeneration, the harbour arm has been brought back to life after more than a decade of disuse. The arm itself has been lovingly restored to reflect the important role it played during World War I.
Within the harbour arm building was the Mole Café, run by the Jeffrey sisters. In tribute, a table has been set up with tea, coffee and cake next to an information board describing the historical importance of the Jeffrey sisters and the Mole Café. The sisters are most well known for recording the names of soldiers who passed through the harbour arm on their way to the Western Front.
As you venture further into the harbour arm building the arm unfolds like a treasure chest. Each little nook and cranny houses a different offering, from beers and ciders in the Mole Hole, to vegetarian and vegan snacks from local secret dining club Dr Legumes, to a touch of glamour at Follies (pictured above), who are serving up pizza, paninis and, of course, fabulous cakes.
As you emerge from the harbour arm building, you’re presented with a fabulous view of the Channel (and France on a clear day) and looking back towards Folkestone is absolutely breathtaking.
After a wander around the lighthouse, restored in 2010, you’re led back along the harbour arm to the main event. A music stage will have changing acts over each weekend and three beach huts house a variety of pop-up food stalls. Folkestone’s famous pop-up That Burger will be serving up their delicious burgers and milkshakes, London pop-up Crabbie Shack is offering deep fried soft shell crab in a variety of different guises and local pub The Pullman has a stall serving up craft beer, real ale and pie and mash.
The renovation is not quite complete, but the harbour arm will be open Friday evenings and all day Saturdays and Sundays until October. After that it will close again to complete the work and will hopefully open up again bigger and better next summer. In the meantime, head down there and enjoy a true part of Folkestone history which has been restored with the people of Folkestone in mind. This is a gem and seeing so many people enjoying it yesterday made me truly proud to live in Folkestone.