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Rocksalt Rooms, Folkestone, Kent
This is one of our favourite gourmet escapes. Sitting on the sun-bleached timber terrace of Rocksalt on a sunny day, overlooking brightly-coloured fishing boats bobbing on the water, it's easy to forget you're in England. The contemporary restaurant offers seasonal menus dedicated to local produce, a sophisticated bar serves food virtually all-day and, with four lovely bedrooms in Sargeant's adjacent Smokehouse (also home to his summer-only fish & chip restaurant), Rockwell is the perfect little seaside bolthole.
Overlooking Folkestone Harbour and the English Channel, Rocksalt sits right on the water's edge. We love being nudged awake by the sounds of seagulls and fishing boats returning with their early morning hauls and, thanks to the high-speed rail links, this seaside retreat is less than an hour from Central London.
By car: just off the M20 towards Dover, Rocksalt is two hours & 20 minutes from London. There's no parking at the hotel but there is nearby.
By train: the high-speed train between Folkestone Central and London St Pancras takes only 55 minutes. Folkestone Central is a six-minute drive or 20-minute walk from the hotel. trainline.com
Style & Character
Cantilevered over Folkestone's walled harbour, Rocksalt is chef Mark Sargeant's homage to his native Kent. We love the simple style and shape of the restaurant and bar interiors ensures that the lovely harbour views and the wonderful food remain your key focus. We found the same approach works just as well in the boutique rooms, making this slice of Kentish Riviera something well worth tasting for yourself.
Service & Facilities
Just like the cuisine, the service is refreshing and natural. We loved the excellent (and impartial!) advice on matching wines with dishes, promoting good, less expensive options rather than upselling - and children are made to feel genuinely welcome with their own impressive Small Fry menu.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Cooked breakfasts included
Rooms three and four were our favourite, with views over the harbour and across the Channel, with the former boasting a lovely Juliette balcony. Paradise is emerging from Rocksalt after a fabulous dinner, taking an impromptu moonlit stroll along the harbour before returning to the comfort of your king-sized bed.
Room 1, 2, 3 & 4
Facilities include: king-sized beds, walk-in wet rooms, Nespresso machines, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, ironing facilities
Food & Drink
We loved the seaonal menus is this contemporary restaurant. It's all about local - from mackerel and whelks straight from boat to table, to the sourdough from Docker's bakery on the harbour. Our pick? The melt-in-the-mouth salt and pepper squid, although the juicy hake with kale, smoked salmon and chive butter are equally delicious.
Rocksalt: locally sourced ingredients, sun drenched terrace, popular bar. Mains from £14-£34.50. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.