There are times when Ian and I discover somewhere or something that is a cut above the rest, something worth advocating.
We truly appreciate that creating something good takes time, a certain amount of bravery, (perhaps a few tears), and a lot of hard work. A recommendation between friends is easy in comparison yet the biggest compliment any creative person can receive. So, here’s to simple treats and sharing the love.
We’ll start close to home, in Nottingham.
Behind the metal door on the rat run that is Derby Road lies a project founded in great ambition. Alchemilla, the creation of chef Alex Bond, is discretely housed in a renovated former Victorian coach house. Stairs lead down from the roadside to a warm welcome, views into the open kitchen and a first glance into a lovely space of red brick archways broken up with large skylights. The atmosphere is calm, we’re early, and as more people arrive a gentle buzz circulates.
There are 3 taster menus available 5, 7 or 10 courses with the optional addition to have selected wines to accompany each course. Hallelujah to being told what we’re eating and not having to choose! That’s not to say that swaps can’t be made if necessary. I have a nut allergy and it was no problem to tweak a couple of courses and change one of them completely.
We opted for the 7 course menu, a glass of pleasantly fruity Elusia Prosecco (which I'll be seeking out to buy for home) followed by a bottle of Merlot. Although, next time I would like to splash out a little more and try the recommended wines.
Alex Bond has a wealth of experience gained in some of the country’s best restaurants, including Anthony’s restaurant in Leeds, Restaurant Sat Bains (2 Michelin stars), Auberge du Lac with Phil Thompson (1 star), Turners in Birmingham (1 star) and The Wild Rabbit in Kingham (1 star), so we were somewhat excited about the food.
Deliciously moreish sourdough bread arrived immediately followed by a series of beautifully presented dishes. I’m no restaurant critic and not totally comfortable about describing each course individually, mainly because I wouldn’t do them justice. However, what I can say is that the food is interesting, full of flavour, with a nod to the experimental without being overwhelmed by drama.
“I know modern British is a cliché, but that is what Alchemilla is all about. I don't believe we should eat as much meat as we do and so I have developed a style of cooking that is plant based. Vegetables can be just as good as any piece of meat, I’d like to show the depth of flavour that you can achieve when you allow vegetables to take centre stage, with a few supporting ingredients.” - Alex Bond
Our evening at Alchemilla was a treat for my birthday and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Congratulations Alex for having the vision and determination to open your restaurant and we're so pleased you did so in Nottingham. We wish you great success.
5 courses - £40, 7 courses - £50, 10 courses - £65.
There’s also a kitchen table available where a group can get together to eat whilst overlooking the chefs at work, as well as kitchen experiences where enthusiastic foodies can join the team to take part in preparing a lunch service.
The kitchen experience costs £250 per couple and includes the 7 course lunch menu.
For more information and to make a booking: