Named as the best place to live in Kent by the Sunday Times, Folkestone has become a desirable destination for house-hunters thanks to multi-million pound regeneration which has transformed the town.
But just a short walk from the street-food stalls and quirky boutiques are pockets of deprivation where vandalism, petty crime and a sense of despondency remain stubbornly entrenched, as Folkestone boy Rhys Griffiths reports...
I don't think I'll ever get over the fact my home town, always to my mind a rather rough and ready place, is now regularly touted by the broadsheets as one of the most attractive places to call home.
Growing up here in the 1990s, the sense of decay and drift was palpable.
Bucket-and-spade holidays were a thing of the past, the port shut down, and eyes were drawn towards the bright lights of London and beyond.
Heading off to university at the turn of the century, Folkestone was a place that required some locating for fellow freshers from other parts of the country. Local pride took something of a hit when I had to explain we were a few miles down the coast from a little place called Dover.
How things have changed. Returning to this corner of the county to start life as a cub reporter almost two decades ago, I could sense something was happening. Slowly but surely new shoots were starting to grow in our seaside town.
Years have passed, the regeneration has been relentless, and on a summer's day when the sun is out and the place is buzzing I still have to pinch myself sometimes. Eighteen-year-old me would have trouble believing it's all real.
But despite all this, I try to never lose sight of the fact that not everyone has benefited equally from the gentrification of the town.
Earlier this year, in response to an application for a late licence for a local cafe in Tontine Street, one resident expressed their dismay at the changes sweeping the area at the heart of the transformation.
They told the district council: "I'm sure all the people who attend these venues have a lovely time but for those of us who are trapped in poor quality housing, without the funds to be a part of the noise, watching the world around us become gentrified as we become forgotten and unconsidered is really very galling."
You could argue that one man's street art is another man's vandalism, and just a short walk from the art galleries, bars and restaurants of the Harbour Arm and Creative Quarter are stubborn pockets of deprivation where graffiti is less an Instagram backdrop and more a symptom of ongoing urban deprivation.
Shortly before the naming of Folkestone among the Sunday Times Best Places to Live, I took a walk around the Harbour ward with town councillor Mary Lawes.
I am convinced that - although we should be celebrating the incredible progress of the last 20 years - we should never lose sight of the challenges facing those who feel left out and left behind amid the relentless regeneration.
My question for Cllr Lawes is a simple one: is all this change really making a difference for the majority of people who live in the streets beyond the harbour?
"Oh none," she says matter-of-factly, "none whatsoever. As I said before, they become very resentful of it.
"You've seen some of the housing, some of the streets, the dirt of them. They've not changed, they get worse and worse and worse.
"What's happening on the Harbour Arm, in the Creative Quarter, at the Quarterhouse, they don't feel that's anything to do with them.
"It doesn't help them. It doesn't do anything for their properties. It doesn't help their children get on. Nothing."
Cllr Lawes says many people living in her ward feel "abandoned" and she bemoans what she believes is a lack of investment and maintenance in the streets away from the more celebrated parts of the seafront.
Touring the neighbourhood, I was shown spots where rubbish has been fly-tipped, blocks of flats where damage has gone unfixed, and pavements and potholes are going un-repaired.
On streets where properties, often owned by absentee-landlords and available for private rent, look neglected you can still spot the occasional house that has clearly been recently snapped up and renovated.
Earlier this month, research revealed the Folkestone and Hythe district is one of the most popular in the country for London buyers looking for second homes.
This, Cllr Lawes argues, is another factor in the disenchantment of long-time locals who are finding it increasingly difficult to secure a rung on the housing ladder.
"They're stuck in a rut - they can't afford rents, they can't afford to buy. It's not for them any more," she says.
"We used to have houses that the next generation would either buy or rent. Now they're all Airbnbs. What is in it for them?
"It's very grim. I brought you down to some of these roads. There's not even a tree, there's no greenery, there's no incentive.
"People who want to have pride in it just give up and have pride indoors, but outdoors they don't care - which to me is a real big shame.
"I talk to a lot more parents and they just think that the young people have no chance in hell.
"They don't even see how they're even going to get them out of their homes. It's usually you go, you get married, whatever you do, and move on.
"They're stuck. They're actually stuck in a rut that they can't get out of."
Returning to the same streets a short while after my morning with the councillor, I did see evidence of some of the issues she identified having been fixed.
A pothole filled, an entrance to a block of flats fitted with a new door where previously there was broken glass.
But litter and fly-tipping remains ever-present, and surfaces of every kind are tagged with graffiti.
These are the streets that tourists - and perhaps a majority of the 'down from London' folk - never really see.
Yet even Tontine Street, home to the Quarterhouse arts venue and the much-lauded F51 skate park, has its signs of dereliction, its smashed windows and its shuttered buildings.
It's a challenge facing many coastal communities: you can put on the glossy facade when the sun is shining, but as the drizzle falls on a grey weekday morning you can see more clearly the limits of gentrification.
Some social issues need more than a lick of paint and an Instagram filter to be put right.
The challenge for towns like Folkestone is to ensure that regeneration, like the tides in the harbour, lifts all boats.