For selfish reasons I almost didn’t write this article… You see, the place I am going to tell you about is not only my favourite London hotspot, but almost too good to share.
It goes by the name of ‘The Alchemist’, and is classified as a restaurant/bar, which celebrates: ‘the unconventional, dark & controversial’. Most distinctive however are the cocktails on offer- something hinted at by the Google definition of ‘alchemist’ as being: a person who transforms or creates something through a seemingly magical process. This definition certainly applies to the restaurant’s array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoctions, which are presented in a periodic-table-style menu, and which come to life in front of your very eyes.
Seriously, some are served bubbling, crackling, smoking and even fizzing over the edge of the glass. You are made to feel like a mad scientist as certain cocktails (‘Lightbulb Moment’ or the ‘Colour Changing One’ for example) require you to pour different test tubes and beakers of liquid to produce a ‘chemical reaction’ which you then drink. The cocktail menu (aside from the classics) also boasts of flavour changing cocktails, as well as weird and whacky flavours that cater for the health conscious, such as: ‘Beyond the Kale’.
However let me move on from the cocktails for fear of sounding like an alcoholic… For the Alchemist has much much more to offer. The restaurant, whose décor is a fusion of both vintage and modern, is a masterpiece in itself. Upstairs, past the main bar, is a moodily lit seating area where food is served, with plush, studded sofas as seats. One wall features a full length television screen showing old fashioned movies, whilst another features a waterfall of fairy lights dripping to the floor. This section also features a spiral staircase which leads to the toilets, and large doors which open onto a terrace- the perfect place to take a drink outside of an evening.
The eclectic food menu caters for everyone, with subheadings such as ‘Tacos and Burgers’, ‘Gourmet Sandwiches and Wraps’, and ‘Salads and Desserts’. The ‘Main Plates’ section is inspired from dishes around the world, with its Japanese Ramen and Katsu Chicken Curry, its Jerk Chicken, Special Fried Chicken, Chilli and Rice and of course… Fish and Chips. Having sampled most items on the menu, I couldn’t possibly single out one dish as being better than the rest. In fact, if it was socially acceptable, and if my belly was big enough, I would opt for multiple dishes at the same time!
Food prices range from £8.50 – £23 (for a 7oz fillet of steak) and cocktails start from £4.95. So although there are pricier options on both menus, I must stress that both food and drink are affordable- especially for a student budget- and even if you only go for a bite to eat or for one cocktail, you certainly won’t be disappointed. It is a great place to go with a group of friends and really easy to get to, situated a few minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station.
So, there you have it. My go to London hotspot in a nutshell. Please visit and see if The Alchemist lives up to my glowing recommendation (which I’m sure it will).
P.S. after your first visit you can become a member and access a 20% off discount when you book online, or a 10% discount if you do not book online beforehand. Due to its popularity, I would advise booking in advance.
Full address: 6 Bevis Marks, London, EC3A 7BA
Telephone: 020 7283 8800