Transforming a former shop into Alexander’s Bar and Kitchen, a glamorous, Art Deco inspired restaurant has been a triumph and a much welcome addition to Skipton’s high street.
Alexander’s looks amazing, feels good, the food is fabulous and the service is great. You really couldn’t ask for more and yet you get it because this is a place that likes to innovate and entertain in the most stylish way possible.
Its pop-up ski chalet “Off Piste” is a case in point. Open from now into January, it is a twinkling Alpine hideaway at the bottom of Alexander’s gorgeous terraced garden.
The cosy hideaway is full of comfy seats, tables, candles, fairy lights, roaring fires, faux fur throws and plenty of hygge. And yet, part of it is an amazing optical illusion.
The “chalet” is a series of the large umbrellas that were used to shade the outdoor tables in summer and what looks like a timber interior with a real fire is printed canvas. It really has to be seen to be believed. It’s ingenious and very realistic.
To tie in with the theme, executive head chef Struan Macintyre has come up with a series of European Après Ski style sharing menus. These include cheese fondue, beer cooked frankfurter sausages and a cured fish smorgasbord, plus winter warmers like roast chestnuts and winter soup and pulled pork with flat breads, apple sauce and crackling.
If you’re a vegetarian don’t despair because there’s a meat and fish free version of the menu. My meat-eating friend thought my food was even more delicious than hers. We both finished with chocolate fondue with marshmallows, fruit and homemade honeycomb (a billion times better than a Crunchie!) Prices for the meal are from £30 per person. There’s also a children’s menu at £10 and Santa makes an appearance on Sundays in December.
One of my favourite parts of the Off Piste experience was the mulled wine (no surprise there!) There are also festive cocktails, hot toddies, luxury hot chocolates and for lager lovers, proper Stein glasses.
Needless to say, Off Piste is very, very popular so you need to book. If you can’t get a table in the chalet, try the main restaurant, which has a traditional festive menu of seasonal sharing boards, such as butter and sage roasted breast of turkey and 14 hour braised ox cheek.
I’ve already planned a return to Alexander’s in the new year as I hear the monthly Gin and Jazz night is amazing and features rising star Tom Seals.
Visit alexanders-skipton.com for further details and booking information.