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The Valiant Sailor – A Homely (& Haunted) Hilltop Hideaway

We love Folkestone. We love it for its cool vibe and diversity, among other things. But sometimes it’s just nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Folkestone town and appreciate the outskirts, where there’s more room to breathe.

If you enjoy a good walk, we recommend heading up Wear Bay Road, past the glorious views over The East Cliff and Warren Country Park. Follow the public footpath up the hill, making sure you take in the views of the harbour behind you as you go, and you’ll end up at the perfect place to reward yourself with a drink and some gorgeous, home-cooked food.

Perched right at the top of the hill, The Valiant Sailor offers a welcome respite for those who have managed the walk. But there’s plenty of parking for those who prefer to take the short drive out of town. This cosy country pub is situated 567 feet above sea level in the village of Capel-Le-Ferne, known as the “village in the clouds” due to the frequent, low-lying cloud that rolls in and out, shrouding the village in an eerie fog.

A pub with a playful poltergeist

The pub dates back to 1782, and is steeped in history. They even have their own resident ghost, who they have named Rosie, who likes to hide and throw things at the staff. She is thought to be a child due to her mischievous nature, and they believe she died in the underground cellar which has since been closed. Rumours of smugglers’ tunnels from The Warren to the pub cellar are also rife, so she may have been the victim of an untimely collapse.

breaded-deep-fried-camembert at the valiant sailor folkestone

Comforting Portion Sizes

The food here really suits the environment. It’s everything you want from a cosy pub, serving high-quality, home-cooked pub grub with comforting-sized portions and a real sense of indulgence. And there’s nothing more indulgent than a starter of Breaded Deep-Fried Camembert. Here, it is served with rosemary, thyme and garlic oil, sourdough toast and onion jam. This was a starter for two, and rightly so. We broke through the crisp breadcrumb casing and lapped up the gooey cheese inside. The sweet, onion jam went beautifully with the creamy camembert, and we devoured the lot. A beautiful start!

crispy-salt-pepper-squid at the valiant sailor in folkestone

And we couldn’t resist the Crispy Salt And Pepper Squid, served with lime aioli. Gorgeously crispy bites of squid went down nicely dipped in the aioli (which I had to remind Mrs FF how to pronounce when she referred to it as areola sauce. No dear, it’s not nipple dip!).

sirloin steak at the valiant sailor in folkestone

You can’t go wrong with good old-fashioned steak and chips, as long as it’s cooked properly. And this was a perfect medium-rare, exactly how we like it. The Steak Of The Day is served with chunky chips or fries (fries pictured), roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and a choice of sauces.

pan-fried sea bass at the valiant sailor in folkestone

One of the highlights of our meal was the Pan-Fried Sea Bass. We really enjoyed this dish. The fish was cooked to perfection and was flavoured beautifully with caper butter and caramelised lemon. The crushed new potatoes were a delight, crisped in the pan for a nice bit of crunch. A lovely plate of food.


Sunday Roasts at The Valiant Sailor

The Valiant Sailor does a mean Sunday roast too. It’s worth the short drive in the car, or if you combine it with a picturesque walk, you can make a day of it.

We recommend paying a visit to The Valiant Sailor. To book a table, visit their website or call 01303 250737. And don’t forget to follow them on Instagram.

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