Whether staying, dining on a date, or just taking advantage of their welcoming space for breaking out the laptop, the cool marble, soft neutral tones and industrial elements of The Alan are a bit of a tonic after the bustle of the city (queue for the bus) nearby on Princess Street.
It feels like a bit of an oasis of calm.
In fact, seated with a friend with a glass of rose, the stresses of the day eased away for me, whilst she tapped on her laptop, and I took the opportunity to people watch ahead of dinner. Seated in the main foyer, you can make drinking and dining as casual or formal as you like. Take a small table enjoy a drink and a nibble, take it up a notch, and gather in a booth, or take your meal a little more seriously, seated in the restaurant or around the open kitchen area.
Of course, as a hotel there’s also room service, but we weren’t staying. This time.
Our companions joined us and we were whisked into a booth for pre dinner cocktails. The bar area is more soft marble tones, a very well stocked spirit laden back bar (a gin list the Ginopolis team would highly approve of), the main bar features slick white half cylinders stacked on top of each other. Elegant, but not the kind of bar you can perch at with a glass.
The cocktail menu features the classics, alongside some in house creations – refreshing spritzes, sweet sippers, hard hitters. The Lychee Margarita was a sweet and smoky delight, the White Rabbit citrus led and gently sweet, the Vesper Martini, clean and crisp.
The food menu, as with most venues now, is a mix of small and large plates. You can have a gentle nibble, or something more substantial. If ever a side could be substantial, it would be the fondant potatoes. Crunchy, buttery potato is hard to argue with, and I didn’t mind saying yes to a second serving all to myself. For the vegetable lovers, the polyspore mushrooms are incredible served with a wild garlic and whey velouté – earthy, creamy with the garlic adding it’s own green pungency. Maybe not one for date night. The meat lovers at our table dove into the aged beef tartare with cured egg yolk - a creamy twist on a classic, and the Alan fried guinea hen, served with a green tomato salsa, was a classy take on a take away.
With industrial vibes, a varied menu and a central location, it’s hard not to appreciate this hotel that doesn’t really feel like a hotel.
If this whets your appetite, you might also like to know that you can enjoy a full 15% discount with your Canal St Card on both the food and drinks menu at The Alan.
Charlie Hoosen-Sykes for Canal St Media
Published: 28-Jul-2023 (7202)