"A venue with a commitment to live music"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
This pub went through a number of reincarnations (e.g. The Marble Hill) before it found its grove as The Aleksander. And I’ve been there several times recently and even ended up there (unplanned) on New Year’s Eve. I had a thoroughly good time there too.
What sets it apart from other places is its commitment to live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. I’ve seen some rather good bands, sole acoustic guitarists and even a couple of chaps on guitar. On some occasions there’s a sort of community of musicians who take it in turns to get up and play together in assorted groups on an informal basis. All events and players are listed on the web site.
I also like it because it allows well behaved dogs on the premises and it is family friendly during the day. In fact, one Saturday afternoon recently it was more like a crèche.
I usually drink wine by the glass but the bar is well stocked and there’s certainly a large contingent of beer drinkers.
The menu – Italian inspired and supplemented by daily specials – is good too and its reassuring that the kitchen area (including a wood fired oven for glorious pizzas) opens onto the designated dining booths on one side. Even though you can eat in the main bar area – where there are one or two larger tables if you are part of a group.
I’ve tasted the carpaccio di Manzo (thinly sliced beef) with rocket and parmesan (£6.50) and what must be tripled fried chips (£3.50) and the parcel cooked seabass fillet (£14) looked good too. They offer a set lunch and early evening menu with two courses for £9.95 where you can add dessert for £3.
There’s a small car park to the side but in the evening you can park on the road. There’s a fair sized outside area with picnic tables (and dog drinking bowls) and cover for the smokers. Whilst this is on a fairly major road you can see the prettily lit white Marble Hill House across the trees and grass of Marble Hill Park (a favourite haunt for dog walkers, families and sports people alike – particularly as it offers great riverside walks and a ferry across to Ham).
Perhaps its location – somewhat apart from the numerous pubs and restaurants in both Twickenham town centre and the smaller collection of shops in St Margaret’s which is just across the bridge from Richmond – means that it has a more regular and less transient local trade. But the people are really nice – and span young couples to older music lovers and family groups. And the music attracts folk who simply want to spend an evening out of the house with a beer. You won’t be drinking alone for long.
KimT reviewed The Aleksander on Mon 13 Jan 2014