March 4, 2013
Rocksalt Restaurant rocks! This architectural gem is leading the way in the regeneration of the Folkestone harbour docks. So following a site meeting at Saltwood House, a listed manor house overlooking Saltwood castle, the team and I headed straight to the docks for lunch.
The de Haan family, founders of SAGA, are putting money where their mouth is and are committed to creating a “Padstow effect” regeneration of Folkestone.
Rocksalt is the anchor of this regeneration and the stunning architecture by Guy Holloway Architects feels more California that Kent. The design is awesome. Large glass sliding doors allow uninterrupted panoramic views of fishing boats at high tide and sandy shingle flats at low tide. From the restaurant’s interior a cantilevered balcony, with a glass balustrade and curved soffit creates a wow factor view and ambience. The restaurant is located on the harbours edge, adjacent to its working slipway where local fishermen unload their catch, delivering fresh fish to the restaurant daily. So I can guarantee that the food was great and the best seafood I have had in UK – watch out Rick Stein.
Art is very much a part of the regeneration programme. The Creative Foundation is a charity that is truly spearheading all the arty stuff in Folkestone. The Folkestone Triennial – has become a much-followed event on the art circuit and is leaving some memorable and curious art in Folkestone (mermaid). Many local ladies “auditioned” to be the face of the mermaid and whilst not as grand as its Danish inspiration it certainly has character and a sense of humour.
Folkestone has a way to go –but I don’t mean that in a bad way – it is inspirational to see a commitment to this coastal town that is definitely going to become a place to be. With Ashford International only 15 minutes away and the connections to St Pancras, I think that we are going to be hearing lots more from Folkestone.