The Fal River Festival – Cornwall

Days 4-5: The Alverton, Trurothe-alverton

The second stint of our River Fal Festival experience took us into the very heart of West Cornwall and into the City of Truro.

I’ve always been a fan of Truro and although it enjoys City status, it’s quite possibly one of the smallest cities in the UK, and I know from experience that it’s possible to complete a lap of the centre, shops included, in just a couple of hours.

Truro doesn’t enjoy the same, clear connections to the water that you’ll find in Falmouth, as it’s to be found at the nook of the river. That said, and although not instantly apparent, the meaning of the name ‘Truro’ means ‘Three Rivers’, and it’s entirely possible to travel to and from the city by water.

My connections to Truro run beyond my childhood visits and again, during my brief Cornish residency, I spent some time working in Truro, in a shop above the (then) greengrocers next to the cathedral. It’s a charming place filled with stunning architecture. Aside from the cathedral, there are many other impressive buildings to admire, including the Assembly Rooms, the Crown Courts, and Town and Coinage Flails, all demonstrating the City as Cornwall’s main retail and centre for administration. No exception to this impressive architecture is the Alverton Hotel, the second stop for our Cornish adventure; a gorgeous Grade II listed hotel dating back to 1830.

Our experience upon arrival was exceptional, personable and our room, situated at the far-end of the Alverton, has to be awarded top marks for our entire trip.

As it was, the room was separated into two sections by a stud wall, with our mega-bed and travel cot on one side, and a double sofa/bed on the other.

The bathroom was equally impressive, with a walk-in shower at one end, a regal roll-top bath at the other and twin sinks in the centre, all beautifully finished and perfectly presented with impressive finishing touches.

The Alverton has just 50 residential rooms and, although it’s a huge place, each room offers plenty of space to breathe. 15 of the 50 rooms have only recently been completed after an impressive renovation of the onsite outbuildings, which offer an incredible and unique option for groups or wedding parties to stay in relative privacy in high- end accommodation, all within a hallway or two from each other.

The real jewel in the Alverton crown is the dining experience. It’s the calling card of the hotel and a trump card that keeps its visitors returning time and again. The two AA Rosette classic-contemporary Bar & Brasserie offers a relaxing setting for its guests and the fayre on offer comprises of a wide range of British and internationally influenced dishes.

the-alverton-1Aside from the excellent, award-­winning breakfast, which is served in the same part of the hotel as evening dinner, we were presented with some sumptuous delights, including tempura monkfish tails, which came close to standing as the ultimate plate of fish & chips and were served with crushed minted peas.

Elsewhere on the constantly changing menu, we ordered a noodle dish, served with red mullet, lemongrass, spring onions and lime and our 7 year old enjoyed a great plate of cottage pie with fries. All of this topped off with a Cornish cheese board, made up from locally produced Brie, Blue and other cheeses. Really top notch stuff and a strong dining recommendation all round.

The Alverton is a very special place. It seems that the current owners have managed to strike the perfect balance between a corporate venue and a welcoming, warm residential hotel with lots to offer. Perhaps not the most cost effective hotel in Truro, but surely the best.

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