Formerly known as Barracuda Bar and The Alchemist, this venue has been rebranded as The Alice and now offers a mix of cocktails, pizzas and burgers in comfortable surroundings.
Set in the heart of the City, The Alice is simple to get to as it’s an easy two-minute walk from Aldgate tube or Bishopsgate. It's a large venue, with plenty of places to sit: booths and comfy sofa chairs are visible on entry and, in the main bar area, there are shared benches complete with retro stools and more lounge chairs. A long wooden bar takes up the whole of the far wall, so getting served shouldn’t be a problem, but there is also table service available. An open kitchen sits to the right of the bar and large lampshades hang from the ceiling, changing colour randomly. The décor is lavish; an eclectic mix of old meets new. One or two chandeliers also provide lighting and candles add to the ambience, making the place relaxed and welcoming.
The Alice is lively and thriving, but naturally given the location, it is predominantly a haunt for City folk looking to unwind with colleagues, so expect lots of suits. The venue is also perfect for work functions as it is big enough to accommodate large groups. The staff are friendly and attentive. It can get noisy, so if you are after a quiet meal or conversation, find a seat to the left of the bar or in one of the booths. The venue is open till 2am on Thursday and Friday nights, and available for private functions on Saturdays.
The food is tasty and reasonably priced with most dishes in the region of £6-£8. For starters the ciabatta with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is good as it just the right size to prepare you for your main meal. One of the best options out of the mains is the chicken pie with mash and garden peas as it's full of flavour and very filling. If this doesn’t take your fancy, you can choose from six stone-baked pizzas, which give Pizza Express a run for their money and include the goat’s cheese and red onion pizza, which is tasty and good value for money. There are also burgers, fish and chips and sandwiches on offer as well as a selection of desserts. The chocolate pots come in a seal proof container and are rich but delicious. You get value for money portion-wise but there isn’t much choice for vegetarians: the menu is quite meat-heavy.
The Alice prides itself on its extensive cocktail menu, which range from £5-£7, with a 2-4-1 deal on offer everyday from 5pm-9pm. The usual selection is on offer as well as some unique options. The Long Island ice tea and the mojito might not trouble a quality cocktail bar, but there isn’t any skimping on the alcohol quantity. You can also choose from a large variety of wines, ranging from £15 to £40 a bottle and a good selection of bottle and draught beer. A bottle of the Etchart Malbec Rose at £15.25 is a fruity, undemanding option from the wine list.
The Last Word
A popular after work place that's tailor-made for City employees to have a comfortable drink or bite to eat with friends and colleagues, and perhaps even a dance later into the night.