Hotel Review: The Alverton Hotel, Truro in Cornwall
From nuns to brides, The Alverton Hotel in Cornwall has hosted an array of residents in its 187 year history. The grade II listed building was built in 1830 by the same architect as Truro cathedral and holds its own bell tower with other features including curved archways and arched mullion windows.
The former convent sits proudly on a hill offering a stunning welcome as you travel up the driveway through tall trees, which provide beautiful framing for the now hotel. Its pretty architecture and grand nature lends itself well to a wedding (there were two booked in during my stay) and with five events spaces (ideal for business visits too), 50 bedrooms and suites (all recently refurbished), a spacious and private terrace among the gardens and a bar and brasserie, you’re all set. Admittedly I didn’t go for a wedding though I did happen upon guests in the bar and thankfully I didn’t feel as if I was encroaching on someone else’s day – the hotel has a relaxed atmosphere and the friendly staff help to make you feel this way.
My guest, Nick, and I visited The Alverton Hotel in April and it was a lovely, sunny couple of days for us. We stayed in one of the new coach house rooms set just off from the main building within a courtyard in a lovely light stone construction. Completed in June 2016 to a very luxurious and stylish standard, the room was predominantly blue with tan leather and metallics. I thought our home for the weekend was comfortable and nicely decorated.
A large comfy bed had an aged look floral fabric on the headboard that matched the back of the tan armchairs and two cushions. The walls in the bedroom were painted teal, which I loved as many walls in my home are blue – the shade went really well with the brassy light frame and soft browns in the seating and light wood effect furniture. The bathroom had different shades of small brown/grey tiles on the wall behind the bath and shower while the rest of the walls were painted a very pale army/olive green and the bath panel and toilet surround were a soft dark blue. With fluffy white towels and robes, an abundance of toiletries and a huge shower head with the power to make it rain like a monsoon, you can tell a lot of thought and effort had been put into your comfort. There were plenty of essentials to make our stay a smooth one including slippers, a safe, iron, TV, umbrella (not needed), a fan (needed), a small fridge and lots of different levels of lighting to create the exact atmosphere I craved at any time!
FOOD – EATING IN
During our stay we frequented the bar and brasserie one night to sample the 2 AA Rosette award winning cuisine. The bar has white walls, high ceilings, plenty of windows and leather seats and stools to perch at, while sipping on a limited edition elderflower gin, as I did. There’s a terrace outside, which overlooks the grounds, ideal for spending an hour or two on a sunny day.
The menu holds plenty of options and includes lots of seafood, steaks, burgers and vegetarian and vegan options, with starters around the £9 mark, mains ranging from £12 (mushroom and chive pancake) to £26 (8oz beef fillet) and desserts at £7 with a cheeseboard at £10.
Nick started with the crab bon bons (£10), which was served with a spring salad, radish, avocado and chilli salsa and followed with the confit pork belly (£17), which was accompanied with dauphinoise potatoes, black pudding, crackling, cider gel and sauce. He thought the portion sizes were good on both and liked the crispy bon bons. He said there were big flavours on his main course with nice crackling, a rich gravy and delicate meat and he opted for the cheeseboard to complete his meal.
I can never resist scallops so for my starter I went for the king scallops (£12) with a squash veloute, smoked bacon, king oyster mushroom, truffle oil and parmesan. To follow I chose the 8oz beef fillet (£26) with Pommes Anna potatoes, spinach purée, flat cap mushroom, pancetta and roasted vine tomatoes and for dessert it was the vanilla crème brulee with meringue, poached rhubarb, rhubarb paint. The starter was OK, a tiny bit gritty and I could have done without the mushroom but I do love scallops and these didn’t let me down. The beef on my main course was of great quality and was a huge piece (I couldn’t finish it) and I loved the salty, crispy bacon and the thinly layered potato with a crispy top.
The restaurant is large and sectioned off into rooms with blue, purple or white walls and stone grey soft seating in booths, banquet style or armchairs. High ceilings are held up by chunky pillars and the large windows let in lots of light in the day. Large metal framed feature light shades hang from the ceiling and in the room in which we were seated stood a magnificent wall of Champagne, wine and gin in a glass cabinet.
Breakfast is also served here (I was underwhelmed with the food and service, both just didn’t compare to the quality of the night before) and you can have afternoon tea and lunch here too.
On our second night we frequented local Thai and South East Asian restaurant, Chantek, which serves up cuisine from Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Laos. Upstairs there’s a more casual seating area with a long bar, lots of rustic wood, bright colours, big plants and Asian hats decorating the walls. Upbeat music was playing and Nick and I enjoyed our sharing platter here to start the evening’s dining. After we devoured the little bites of seafood, tempura vegetables, spring rolls, satay skewers and sushi and sipped on a drink we made our choices for our main courses and headed downstairs to the more formal area. Bathed in a pink glow the formal dining space has a window to the kitchen, low lighting and sleek wood table tops with a wall of mirrors and funky shell-like light shades.
I dined on tamarind duck – South east Asia, which consisted of roast duck breast with tamarind and soy sauce on a bed of pak choi, garnished with cashew nuts (£13.25). With some of my very favourite ingredients, this dish was tasty, warming and I enjoyed it with jasmine rice. Nick went for the recommended massaman lamb curry – Thailand, which is a chef’s speciality dish of lamb cooked in a massaman curry paste with potatoes and coconut milk, flavoured with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin (£13.30). He said the lamb was delicate and there was a nice heat to the dish. We enjoyed a deep fried ice cream for dessert, something that was new to the both of us and we quite liked it!
Nick and I thoroughly enjoyed our chilled weekend in Truro. The small capital of Cornwall holds a stunning cathedral in the centre among an array of shops suiting all types. It’s also a great base for exploring the west part of Cornwall as it is about half an hour from Newquay, Falmouth, St. Austell and Redruth.
IN A NUTSHELL
Cornwall’s chilled and welcoming nature extends to The Alverton Hotel, whether for business, a good knees up, or simply a quiet trip away, the hotel can accommodate.
Address: The Alverton Hotel, Tregolls Rd, Truro TR1 1ZQ
Phone: 01872 276633