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Lighthouse Champagne Bar on Folkestone Harbour Arm wins best bar in Kent, as plans emerge for new Shepherds Hut at Rocksalt

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A bar situated in a lighthouse with stunning views of the English Channel has been voted the best in Kent.

The Lighthouse Champagne Bar on Folkestone Harbour Arm won the 2021 Muddy Stilettos Award for Best Bar in the county.

The Lighthouse Champagne Bar in Folkestone. Photo: Folkestone Harbour Arm
The Lighthouse Champagne Bar in Folkestone. Photo: Folkestone Harbour Arm

The Pilot Beach Bar, found next to the Harbour Arm, was nominated in the same category.

The Muddy Stilettos Awards are run by website, Muddy Stilettos. which describes itself as an urban guide to the countryside.

In total, 75,000 businesses from 25 counties were nominated for the awards across a range to categories, and 750,000 votes were cast.

A spokesman for the Harbour Arm said: "We are exceptionally proud to announce that The Lighthouse Champagne Bar has won the 2021 Muddy Stilettos Awards for Best Bar in Kent!

"Huge congratulations to the entire team.

Folkestone Harbour Arm
Folkestone Harbour Arm

"Well done also to the Pilot Beach Bar for their nomination in the same category."

Over the last five years, millions of pounds has been invested by the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company (FHSDC) to overhaul the Harbour Arm, nearby Harbour Station, and viaduct.

Thousands of people now visit the harbour arm each year, which is home to an outdoor cinema, food and drink area The Goods Yard, mini golf and the Lighthouse Champagne Bar.

To the right of the arm is Beachside, which includes seafood restaurant, Little Rock, and The Pilot Beach Bar.

The FHSDC has also submitted a planning application to add a new bar next to Rocksalt restaurant.

Drawing of the proposed Shepherds Hut for the viaduct. Photo: Planning documents, Blueprint Projects
Drawing of the proposed Shepherds Hut for the viaduct. Photo: Planning documents, Blueprint Projects

The plans are to instal a Shepherds Hut on the viaduct, close to Rocksalt, which will offer a "unique alfresco bar space".

The proposal only requests temporary permission, with the hut due to be in place for no longer than four years.

It would be single storey, and clad in black timber with a curved roof.

Planning documents state: "Application for temporary planning permission of four years for a Sui Generis use to the Shepherds Hut to provide drinks and food.

"The proposed maintains the pedestrian access to the existing facilities.

"The hut is simple in nature with a serving area and storage behind."

Folkestone Town Council does not object to the plans, although Cllr Mary Lawes feared the serving area is close to temporary steps leading from Rocksalt.

She said: "This area to steps and lift can get quite congested causing a bottle neck. This could become a safety issue for this unit because of its proximity."

Paulo Kingston-Correia, general manager of Folkestone Harbour said: "The Folkestone Harbour Arm area has been key in transforming Folkestone into one of Kent’s top food and drink destinations.

"2021 has seen the successful additions of Beach Side and The Goods Yard as we continue to reinvent the Great British seaside experience here in Folkestone.

"Our vision is to enable Rocksalt, recognised as one of the best seafood restaurants in Britain, to expand its offering with a unique alfresco bar space on the viaduct further enhancing the Folkestone experience."

A decision on the Shepherds Hut is expected by next month.

The FHSDC is also behind the plans to build new homes along Folkestone seafront. Phase one of the project has already started, and plans for the next stage were revealed in a consultation last month.

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