This coastal town is a hidden gem for vegan food. Spend a few days here before holidaying in France, says Cathy White.
Published on 9 Aug 2019
East Yard, Harbour Arm | folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk
James and Lee of Dr Legumes source and forage local ingredients to create an imaginative and inspired plant-based menu based on a health-conscious, sustainable approach to eating. If that sounds seriously worthy, it is… but it’s also delicious. Enjoy a seitan ‘Rubens’ pastrami sandwich with mustard mayo, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, tomato, mizuna salad and hand-cut fries, while sitting inside a shipping container or soaking up the sun outside on a bench overlooking the English Channel.
After you’ve eaten, wander up to the other end of the redeveloped Harbour Arm for a glass of champagne at the Lighthouse Champagne Bar.
43 Tontine Street | beanosvegetarian.com
Despite Beano’s hashtag being #itsnotallabout thenutroast, you can have an actual nut roast sandwich either toasted or griddled at this fully-licensed, family-run friendly vegetarian café. Split over two floors with a sunny courtyard to sit in on warmer days, choose from a variety of dishes from a small salad to a large plate of ‘strips, chips and dips’ (seitan ‘chicken’ strips in a crispy crumb coating, served with fries and sriracha mayo, ‘honey’ mustard and BBQ sauce). Everything’s available to eat in or take away and there are always plenty of vegan cakes on offer.
Planet Earth Kitchen
10 Rendezvous Street | facebook.com/hitthevspot
Spacious, bright and airy, Planet Earth Kitchen is the new vegan kid on Folkestone’s block. Passionate vegans Lorraine and Glenn dreamt one day they’d own a vegan café and here they are. Fill up on homemade vegan comfort food such as burgers and toasties, or Nepalese curry and tofish, chips and mushy peas, while your pooch munches on free doggy treats available from the counter. Read from their pile of vegan magazines, admire the local artwork adorning the walls, buy handmade crafts.
26-30 The Old High Street | marleysfolkestone.co.uk
You should definitely book a table at Marley’s because a) you probably won’t get a table if you just turn up; and b) your table will
be reserved with your named spelt out in Scrabble tiles and that is just the best thing ever. You also definitely need to eat breakfast in this cosy yet stylish bistro (although breakfast is walk-in only, so you won’t get the Scrabble tiles, sniff) because that involves vegan bacon (supplied by fabulous local business Sister Seitan), plum tomatoes, mushroom, beans, grilled courgette and aubergine and a homemade crispy hash brown. Delicious…
What to do
Stock up on treats like Vego bars, Ten Acre Crisps and Booja Booja at Wholefoods on the Old High Street. Then wander down to the bottom of the hill to have your hair dyed any colour of the rainbow by Dizzy at The Secret Salon, who only uses cruelty-free, vegan products (@the.secret.salon.folkestone).
Where to stay
The pet-friendly Burlington Hotel overlooking the Channel has moved away from animal products. Sit on non-leather sofas, walk on non-wool carpets and sleep with synthetic-filled pillows and duvets. Try out the vegan food and enjoy one of their cocktails that contain oat milk, not dairy.
Cathy White is a freelance writer and blogger at planetveggie.co.uk. Originally from London, she emigrated to the Kent countryside in 2009, then left the sticks for the sea and is currently living in Folkestone.