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Enjoy a right royal tipple at this new British themed Bar
Lizzie's Lane is a new, summer pop-up bar at the Pullman Melbourne, Albert Park. While there might be a lake across the road, the area can be a bit dry when it comes to after work drinks, so this innovative new bar is set to revive locals' spirits.
Attending the opening, I was surrounded by workers from nearby offices thrilled at the chance to unwind in a hip space they could actually walk to.
It will also be a boon for the thousands of Melburnians who love their jaunt around Albert Park Lake. A chance for a sly detour for a Pimms perhaps or better still, as a reward at the end of their circuit.
There are no pretensions here. The bar has an outside space with astroturf, large umbrellas, furniture created from old packing crates, deck chairs and fun games such as quoits, and a giant Jenga tower. It would certainly suit families earlier in the day.
Outside heaters but there is inside seating as well -@nadinecresswellmyatt
It is also a drawcard for tourists who are likely staying at the five-star Pullman Melbourne Albert Park (formerly Sebel Citigate Albert Park, Carlton Crest Hotel). For those of you who have lost touch with the area, this hotel has been stunningly revamped and is now a vibrant and colourful interior with jaw-dropping decor that is worth visiting just for the makeover.
And Lizzie's Lane is in the same vein, tucked away in a revamped back alley behind the hotel. When you go in search of the bar either via the back laneway or through the service route off reception you might feel a bit lost but you'll know it when you find it. You can't miss artist Sheldon Headspeath's vibrant street art murals of a huge British bulldog and a Union Jack.
The carefully considered theming of Lizzies Bar relates back to the area's history. Those of you who have been watching the BBC serial Victoria will know that Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. Albert Park was named after poor Albert, who sadly died when he was only 42. Yes, even the colonies were in mourning.
Then there are all the other royal connections in the area. Nearby is Queens Road and then at the back of the Pullman is Queens Lane. These were likely named after Queen Victoria, but the Pullman has brought all royal references up to date in naming their new pop-up bar, Lizzie's Lane, after the present monarch.
Operating each Wednesday to Sunday, Lizzie's Lane offers refreshing summer cocktails as cool as an English cucumber.
You can buy jugs of Pimms cocktails. Britain's most famous schoolboy, Harry Potter, has a presence in the Hogwarts Express Martini (D1 London Potato Vodka, Kahlua, espresso coffee). Or how about a Eurostar (D1 London Dry Gin, St-Germain, cucumber, and mint). Or you could down a London Mule (D1 London Potato Vodka, ginger beer, lime) or choose from an extensive wine and boutique beer list.
Our drinks came with a bowl of round and wafer-thin housemade chips. 'Not chips' corrected my English companion. 'We, call them crisps. And serving them in tiny plastic baskets as they do here is just the way they are served in UK pubs.'
Loved the homemade 'crisps.'. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
The food here has to get a special mention in this review. The theme may be British but the Pullman chefs have done stunning things with a cuisine better know for its comforting stodge than it nouvelle cuisine.
We dug into a refreshing watermelon and feta salad. The small cubes of watermelon had been soaked in Pimms and then compressed with mint, cucumber and candied olives. What a light and refreshing summer creation.
The ploughman's platter had a large thick slice of house-made pork and chicken terrine next to a wedge of aged English cheddar. The duo came with an accompanying bowl of piccalilli (English-style pickles). It was a treat to tear off chunks of freshly baked and grilled sourdough bread and then top these with the meat and cheese before popping them into one's mouth between sips of alcohol. I'm a big ploughman's fan and often order it only to be disappointed. But this one was sensational.
The menu is definitely based on bites that go well with alcohol such as cod croquettes with lemon aioli and gentleman's relish, beer battered whitebait with tartar sauce, and warm rare roast beef rolls with fried onions, stilton and beef fat béarnaise and horseradish seasoned fries.
Yet while the menu is meant to accompany your drinks, I would definitely come here for the food alone. Come and make a meal out of it.
The English themed desserts are a specialty. They serve Magnums filled with rhubarb and custard ice cream and these come resting on a Hobnob biscuit. They have then been decorated with a veritable summer garden of raspberries and edible foliage.
Rhubarb and custard Magnum -Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Or how about a plate of Eton Mess? The famous school pudding has now officially been transported into the world of adults as at Lizzie's, it is laced with gin and tonic. Then there are the sweet additions of strawberry and lime and the refreshing zing of compressed cucumber and mint.
When I go back I plan to have the knickerbocker glory, which is Pimm's jelly, vanilla smashed strawberries, lemon curd ice-cream, pink peppercorn meringue, and fresh raspberries. Oh, the fruits of summer!
As well as catering to individual and small groups, this space would be ideal for private cocktail parties and events. It can hold up to 130 people
There are options such as warm rare roast beef rolls, fried onions, stilton and beef fat béarnaise with horseradish-seasoned fries, or prawn cocktail rolls (I snuck one and they were divine) complete with watercress and lime, and Wagyu cheeseburgers with dill pickle.
Lizzie's Lane will be open Wednesday to Friday from 3pm until 9pm, Saturday from 12pm until 9pm and Sunday 12pm till late, and is located at 591 Queens Lane, Albert Park. It will be open during the summer months and if we have an Indian summer, it may even be open through to April.
You will find some fun photos of Lizzie's Lane on Instagram (@LizziesLane) or Facebook for further information. For private events, enquire via the Events Sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org