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Bobbies Bakehouse to open in the Old Signal Box at Folkestone's Harbour Station

By Sam Williams

A new bagel cafe - offering the "best views" in a town - has launched in an old signal box at a former station.

Bobbies Bakehouse - a Bobby being the old term for a signalman - will have its official opening day this Sunday in the building - known as the Old Signal Box - at the former Harbour Station in Folkestone.

It has been set up by couple Alex Field, 28, and John Grantham - an award-winning chef who trained under pastry chef Cherish Finden and has previously worked in London.

Bobbies Bakehouse will open in the Old Signal Box. Picture: Folkestone Harbour Arm (13117112)
Bobbies Bakehouse will open in the Old Signal Box. Picture: Folkestone Harbour Arm (13117112)

He will now serve up 'Brick Lane Style' bagels as well as his own patisserie creations in the former signal box, which is in a prime spot at the town's Harbour.

And although the small building has been renovated inside, the signalling equipment including the levers, have been retained.

Instead a counter and seating for 12 customers have been built around the existing equipment.

John, 31 said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to do some amazing food, using locally sourced ingredients in an historic building."

Permission was sought to change the former signal box into a cafe in April by the Harbour & Seafront Development Company (FHSDC), who own the building.

The new eatery is part of their seafront masterplan, which includes shops, cafés, bars and 1,000 new homes along the town's front.

Externally the cafe has not changed
Externally the cafe has not changed

In recent years major renovations have been made to the Harbour Arm and the Harbour Station, both now popular with tourists.

Bobbies will be open seven days a week, until Christmas, 9am-9pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 7pm Sundays.

All the bagels and patisseries will be baked daily in the kitchen under the signal box.

John added: "This is a fantastic and unique building for having breakfast, lunch or tea.

"Come in for a coffee and cake or evening drinks and watch the sunset.

"Whatever the weather we can guarantee the best view in Folkestone."

The cafe has already been open for the last month at weekends but will have its official opening day Sunday (June 30), with Britain's Got Talent's Sheila Simmonds cutting the ribbon at 1pm.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

For more news on big brands and good places to enjoy a tasty bite, head to our Eat, Drink, Shop section

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