Cold Winters & Inspired Summers
Sitting by the fire during one of England’s coldest winters, Yorkshire-born Susannah poured her imagination on to paper whilst the snowstorm enveloped her Dales home.
She sketched a beautiful room, full of light and pretty things, all inspired by travel; a perfect dining scene where loved ones shared a relaxed yet luxe experience to cherish.
A chance to escape life and travel through taste, touch, and smell – people would taste food they’d never encountered…
Along the margins she doodled delectable dishes, extraordinary desserts, magnificent cocktails, and exotic plants; and on the back page, the most beautiful doorway you’ve ever seen with the letter A marked on it.
Alexander’s launched the following Summer, as Skipton’s first Grand Café, Bar & Terrace – an establishment which favours the best things in life.
Residing in Susannah’s favourite Georgian building in Skipton’s iconic high street, our doors are open five days a week for the course of the day’s delights.
A place of beauty, our unique town centre / canal-side setting offers up stylish lounging, drinking, and dining amongst decadent interiors and an other-worldly outdoor terrace and secret garden. And with exquisite vistas of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and medieval Skipton church, this truly is the jewel in Skipton’s crown.
Throughout the Alexander’s experience, we pay homage to the Grand Tour era – timeless, stylish, and fanciful; so, expect to discover new tastes from all over the world.
Following in the footsteps of their aristocratic Grand Tour forebears, many Victorian and Edwardian ladies and gentleman made their way across the world. Alexander was one of many budding explorers. Captivated by exotic flavours, aromas and visual feasts, Alexander the intrepid explorer began sending home new recipes and ingredients along with plant specimens, flowers and even wildlife.
Inspired by his Edwardian Grand Tour we have curated a menu of exotic delights, authentic ingredients and exciting tastes. Whether you’re a sharer or a lone buck (Edwardian slang for smartly dressed or handsome individual), our unique brunch, lunch, snacklette, kids’ and evening menus means there is something for everyone.
We hope Alexander’s will create lifelong memories for guests all year round. We aim to ignite your senses with luxurious tastes in elegant surroundings. Most of all, we hope to welcome you to the Alexander’s experience.
Our lovely (& very handsome!) building has, like all great buildings, had a rich & eclectic history. Here’s just a short snapshot of how 4-6 High Street has transformed over the years, & how its’ various forms & uses has added to Alexander’s’ undeniable character…
4-6 High Street, known as 'Tomlinson's Tenement', was a burgage house (to you & I, that’s a rented house), laith & garth. Francis Tomlinson rented the property from Skipton Castle before Gilbert Johnson of the King’s Head Inn, Kettlewell acquired a 21 year lease for a rent of £14 per year (plus a couple of bags of coal)!
The building became practice & home to Dr William Wylie of Settle. This began a long history of medical professionals using 4-6 High Street as a base for their practices & their families. In 1878 Dr Wylie sold up to an Irishman, Dr Forsythe Wilson & moved to London. Dr Wilson’s partner, Dr Russell later took over the practice in 1886. Unconfirmed reports of Doctor Who having a short tenancy should be taken with a pinch of salt.
During this time the building enjoyed a stint as ‘Dinsdales’ - leather goods, prints & babywear were their speciality before being taken over by David Goldie, since which time is has been affectionately known to everyone in Skipton as ‘Goldies’. During its 35 year history ‘Goldies’ sold children's clothes & school wear, men’s formal hire & finally country & outdoor clothing. A firm favourite on the High Street for so many years; look out for our ‘nod to Goldie’ in our menu.
In 2012 the building was transformed into The Russian Tea Room; a café & gift emporium. In 2014 the building was repurposed to become Forage Restaurant, a well-loved café, deli & shop which took seasonal ingredients from local producers to create ‘tasty food with real heart’. Lovely Forage sold home-made preserves, takeaway meals & giftware until 2015 when the property was again put up for sale.
4-6 The High Street was acquired by Susannah Daley and following an 18-month restoration project was lovingly brought back to its former glory. In the summer of 2017, Alexander’s Grand Café, Bar & Terrace was born following a grand opening and it’s been yours to share ever since.
We were delighted to be named Stray FM’s ‘Best New Business’ in its Best of Skipton and Beyond Awards.
To critical acclaim we developed our very own festive entertainment concept, Off Piste which has been a hit ever since, offering guests a unique Après Ski fine dining experience in our very own Alpine ski lodge!
This month marked the launch of our legendary Gin & Jazz evening and featured piano duo Laurie Covell and Chris Bland. The monthly evening has gone from strength to strength attracting some of the coolest names and acts on the UK Jazz scene including Boisdale Music Awards nominee, Tom Seals.
Celebrating our first birthday in first class style we hosted Skipton’s first ever Tropical White Party! Capturing the sights and sounds of the Balearics (courtesy of international super club DJ, Luke Pompey and top tenor saxophonist, Spencer Moran) and taking over the entire restaurant, Terrace and Secret Garden – this was a party like no other.
The incredible Off Piste makes an early return due to popular demand and our signature beer, Goldie’s is launched. Brewed especially by Skipton’s Beer Monkey Brew Co, Goldie’s is not only a delicious, golden, hoppy pilsner lager but also a fitting acknowledgment to 4-6 High Street’s previous and legendary incumbent, David Goldie. For 35 years ‘Goldie’s’ sold children's clothes, school wear, men’s formal hire and country and outdoor clothing to generations of Craven people.
Staff and regulars were delighted to see Alexander’s acknowledged in a feature piece by The Sunday Times which likened our ‘Grand Café’ style to the iconic Wolseley in London!
Heralded the arrival of Paul Cunliffe, our new Executive Head Chef. Paul has enjoyed a varied career at some of the region’s most celebrated establishments, including several years as head chef at Harvey Nichols restaurant in Leeds and Andrew Pern’s Star Inn group. Paul also achieved the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand during his time as chef patron at The Dunsforth.
Alexander’s joins the inaugural Hinterlands Film Festival exclusively hosting two film experience events featuring award winning films by international film producer, Piers Tempest.
We just couldn’t resist hosting our second – now annual – Tropical White Party!