Crosby, as an area, keeps getting more and more twee. It has an invasion of tea rooms and healthy eating places with decor and uniforms as if we’ve returned to the Second World War, the 1920s or any era people on their last leg might be originally born in.
Alongside these are other unique non-chains, each hanging on to a specialism to make them appeal.
So, onto the scene comes ‘Albion’, which prides itself as being a ‘traditional English’ restaurant with some recipes that date back to Millennia ago. We decided to check it out.
We went there on a day when it was all but empty. When we were eventually attended to we were asked if we had reservations. We hadn’t. For this we were made to sit on some sofas whilst a look of panic swelled on the face of the server as they rushed away to, well, somewhere.
From the sofas we looked across at the dozens of empty tables and we waited. After a long while we were approached and led to a table.
Well, what we picked and ate was fine, a bit unusual with turnips, leeks and beetroots appearing in many dishes, but fine, not wonderful. Delivery was a bit slow, but everything was ok.
Alarmed, we noticed a raging fire was burning unattended behind us. The larger the flame got, the more they ignored it. Indeed, somebody even wiped the table over whilst the huge flame continued to be ignored. This was slightly concerning as a kitchen fire had delayed the initial opening of the restaurant in the first place. Nothing learnt?
The servers seemed ok, apart from one who looked like he had escaped from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He had a very long beard and was wearing a lumberjack type shirt, and had very noticeable braces. Yep, any moment he could break out into ‘Bless Your Beautiful Hide’.
It was with him that things went wrong. One of our party asked for a Mocha (that’s coffee with hot chocolate if you really don’t know) to complete the meal. He immediately started to tell them off. The Albion specialised in traditional olde English recipes he protested, and so a Mocha would not be possible. He could only offer traditional English tea.
Eh? ‘Tea’ is grown in England? And the restaurant had extensive wine lists, specialising in wine from, well, not even slightly England. Yet a request for a Mocha was greeted with such aggression. He stormed off but was replaced with a far more reasonable gentleman who wasn’t dressed for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and treated us very nicely.
As soon as we could, we got our bill and exited this place of traditional English fayre and obscure treatment. The fire on the table behind us was still burning brightly as we left. We drove past some weeks later and it hadn’t burnt to the ground.