Brilliant and Bustling: The New Folkestone 2017

Since moving to River, Kent UK this past October, one of the county’s centerpieces that I’d yet to take in was the storied coastal town of Folkestone. No longer a simple ferry port, Folkestone is also home to the aptly named Creative Quarter, the gorgeous Lower Leas Coastal Park, is cradled by the unspoiled and breathtaking Kent Downs, and enjoys the company of historic gems such as Hythe, Sandgate, and Romney Marsh._52A1905I took the opportunity this past Saturday to check out the Old High Street and Creative Foundation‘s initiatives to see what all the fuss was about. After a few hours spent trundling about, it was easy to see why Folkestone occupies such a treasured place in so many people’s hearts.

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It all starts with a spark.
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An inspiring exterior from the gorgeous Inspiring Interiors.

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I can’t speak highly enough of my experience in Steep Street Coffee House. My flat white was perfect. My carrot and walnut cake was to die for and the atmosphere was a colourful and eclectic mix of melded genres and tastes. One of the things that I do miss about my good ole U.S. of A. is our amazing coffee house culture. Steep Steet made me feel both at home and at ease to not only work but enjoy the moment in great space.
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If there were any photo that would sum up my short day trip to Folkestone, it would be this one. Vibrant, beautiful smiling faces, warmly welcoming all things creative.
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A shame this mural wasn’t constructed of something more permanent. It’s still an achievement and compliment to the town centre all the same.
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Another gem that looked just as enticing inside as out, The Cake Junction.
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Quite possibly the most impressive fixture of my brief walking tour was Wayne Reeves Art gallery. His works are for a lack of a better word, divine.
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As a photographer, I can’t tell you enough just how inspiring my walk past Lilford Gallery was. The artwork inside is simply exquisite, with lots of smiling faces warmly welcoming you to peruse.
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With so many colourful and aromatically enticing options, I was a bit stumped as far as the perfect place for lunch. Luckily, my spidey senses lead me to the most amazing Tandoori Chicken Wrap ever, served up with great atmosphere and service from Django’s Cafe & Petit Bistro. I am however looking forward to checking out Googies on my next trip to Folkestone.

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Loving the layout of Folkestone’s Old High Street and looking forward to seeing what newcomer 13cc will add to the landscape.
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Chic Home Accessories‘ beautiful storefront, whose website was designed and is managed by my fellow BNI Folkestone member David Hoe of LocaleBiznet.

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I really appreciate the decor and styling of Cafe Luca.
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Gorgeous landscapes in every direction.
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Nearly lost for wondering at this point, I was thrilled to stumble upon this architectural achievement. Upon writing this post, I discovered it’s nothing more than a lowly Weatherspoons.
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I enjoyed searching for just the right angle to do the classic and refined The True Briton justice. Perhaps not perfect, but one of my favourite captures from the day, all the same.
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There’s no better example of the state of affairs in Folkestone than Anecdotes Design and Tontine Street Studios. With brilliant decor and an excellent location, you can’t help but be drawn to these two testaments to Folkestone’s arrival.
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With a brilliantly decorated storefront and run by an absolute gentleman, JJ’s Taxi’s is a great embodiment of this vibrant and resurgent town. Owner and fellow BNI Folkestone member Jake Sackett takes pride in the services that his company provides and only uses drivers who are CRB and medical checked and have passed their local knowledge exam.
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Family owned and operated Frizbee Print and Embroidery, located in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter provide businesses, sports teams and individuals here in Folkestone and across the country with personal and corporate printing and embroidery. A fellow BNI Folkestone member, owner Sarah Harvey and her co-owner, husband David provide a personable and high-quality service that my fellow BNI members vouch for week in and week out.

I hope I’ve given you plenty of reasons to check out beautiful Folkestone and it’s culturally rich surrounding areas. Whether it’s a day out with the family or you, your camera/canvas and a creative eye, Folkestone and it’s surrounding areas are sure to provide fun, freedom and a wonderfully memorable experience.

I’m a commercial photographer, based in Kent and I specialise in creating dynamic, eye-catching images for my clients. My images are created to add value to every message conveyed across the spectrum of digital and offline platforms alike, including websites, brochures, blogs, social media channels, case studies and any other medium as required. My clients range from BAFTA award winners, multi-national building firms, television personalities and heads of state to local businesses, respected artists and ambitious entrepreneurs. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas (U.S.A.), and after a stint as a lab technician followed by time out to travel, I began a career as a production rigger, working primarily in television and film. This experience allowed me to become accustomed to pressurised working environments and a demanding clientele! In 2011, I began studying at the London Film Academy, which eventually led to me devoting my time and training to becoming a commercial photographer. Whether you have a specific project in mind or you’re looking for a complete brand identity overhaul, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at kevan@smithstudios.co.uk or give me a call on +44 77 6666 1253.

4 thoughts on “Brilliant and Bustling: The New Folkestone 2017

  1. I was in Folkstone in 2013 and loved this quaint town but it really needed the people to love it again and they have BRAVO!!#!

  2. There’s still plenty of room for improvement and guess what – it’s happening! There are observers who will tell you that there’s nothing going on in Folkestone – do not listen to them. There is a thriving social scene around town and it’s growing. It’s a town on the up and a great place to be, provided you get out from behind your telly, stop whining and join in the fun.

  3. I want to thank you for the beautiful photos. I love my town and hate the people who knock it,I moved from London in 1967 after spending many happy holidays in my dads caravan in Hythe . I’ve never looked back ,but your photos showed me things that I hadn’t noticed ,what wonderful buildings we have and the quirky layout of the town leading to the harbor.so many towns have their shopping Malls you could be dropped in one and it’s the same as a dozen others. I like the fact we have varied beaches not just one long boring stretch .and the country meets the sea with our lower road park . Thanks to Roger de Hann who had faith and put money back ,we are very much on the up now ❤

  4. Grown up in Folkestone, it needs something more but not sure what though, want people to stay instead of moving away, people need to come to the town once more and it’s this article and the publicity of this article that will get the town back on
    the map, jake and the team at jjs do a great job.

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