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But since venues began reopening after coronavirus shutdown, the dock has become an even bigger attraction, with foodies flocking there for the variety of places to eat and the outdoor location.
It has one of the best views in the world, obviously, and new dockside dining and drinking options are giving everyone even more chance to enjoy it.
Lots more people have been making the most of the waterfront over the past few months, walking, running and cycling down by the river.
Now we can eat out again, and with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme started, it makes sense to combine a great backdrop with food that’s just as good – especially as the dock and the venues have been busy adding extra measures so it all feels safe.
With only a couple still left to reopen, the dock’s restaurants have been regularly fully booked, especially at weekends, gourmet ice cream has been flying out at Peaberry and family-run bakery Rough Hand Made has completely sold out by the end of the day.
“For us the ability to make use of the outside space meant it was an easy decision when it came to choosing which of our three sites to open again on July 4th. Being able to provide a space for people who were not yet ready to sit inside a restaurant was really important.
“We created the ‘booths’ that run along the outside of the restaurant, which are in turn protected by the overhang on the Britannia Pavilion walkway – this is a great place to sit so it’s been a huge help in enticing people back down.
“I think the response from the dock businesses in terms of their policies and procedures is one of the reasons why it has been so popular since lockdown was lifted. I believe that the public know they will be comfortable and safe eating and drinking in restaurants down here, which is very important as this is now part of people’s decision-making process and will be for the foreseeable future.”
So, if you’re thinking of heading down there, or you’ve already been but are looking for more ideas, here’s why foodies are making the Albert Dock their go-to this summer …
The Anchor Courtyard @theAlbertDock ?
? Pie Port
? Escape Hunt
? Puffle Waffle
? Miller & Carter
— The Guide Liverpool (@TheGuideLpool) July 10, 2020
The team behind Belzan on Smithdown specialise in authentic Mexican street food at Madre and it has plenty of outdoor seating options, thanks to an extra 48 covers outside. Maray’s Middle-Eastern small plates (including the legendary disco cauli) can also now be eaten outdoors in one of their new quayside booth. Much-loved Italian Gusto is long-standing sunny spot by the quay for pizza, pasta and Italian specialities, and Revolution is another great choice for outdoor terrace tables.
Lots of dock restaurants and cafes are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, giving 50% off bills up to £10 per person, Monday to Wednesday, right through August. They include Maray, Lunyalita, Smugglers Cove, Tate Liverpool, Gusto and Rosa’s Thai.
Turncoat bar is an obviously place for gin fans to head, given that it’s named after the best-selling Liverpool gin distiller and showcases its full range, but it does a decent range of craft beers on tap too. Just open again at weekends from midday onwards, it’s currently doing drinks and bar snacks only.
Lunyalita – little sister of award-winning Lunya – is now open and has authentic Catalonian dishes to remind you of sunny holidays, an outdoor terrace seating 30 and upstairs champagne balcony, so it’s a gorgeous spot for paella or a deli platter.
Smugglers Cove is the Albert Dock’s place for would-be pirates who love rum because it’s got well over 100 different types alongside a menu of hearty food. It’s just reopened with contactless ordering and payment plus newly spaced-out tables.
Currently reopen Thurs-Sun, Peaberry has plenty of home-cooked attractions for foodies, not least its fabulous multi-coloured Italian-style gelato selection – there’s more than 20 flavours to choose from, diary, vegan and sorbet, and if you don’t want to takeaway then Peaberry has outdoor seating.
Steak lovers will probably already have tried Miller & Carter because that’s what it’s well known for (the hand-cut chateaubriand to share, and the onion loaf, are quite something) now it’s back open seven days a week. An app lets diners to book, check out menus and use the pay at table service.
Revolution’s always a fun place to go for cocktails and food, but now it’s got even more to offer because not only is it signed up to the EOTHO scheme, it’s extending the discount so you and a mate can enjoy an unlimited 50% off all food and soft drinks, not just up to a tenner.
Another long-time Albert Dock landmark, you can now order and pay for food from your phone at the Grade II listed Pumphouse pub and it’s part of EOTHO, which means that Monday to Wednesday you can get half-price fish and chips to go with your pint in August.
Puffle Waffle isn’t just any old dessert, it’s a Hong Kong Insta-fabulous puffy, soft, crispy street food dessert like no other. Each waffle has about 30 crispy puffs which you can break off to dip into the ice cream filling. You can customize and go for sweet with fresh fruit, ice cream and toppings including M&Ms and Oreos or go savoury with melty stringy cheese.
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