For someone who exited this mortal coil at the rather premature age of 42, Prince Albert sure lived one colourful life. Most notably, moving from his motherland of Bavaria to marry his own cousin, Queen Victoria of England and produce nine children and 42 grandchildren in the process (the questionable nature of which I’m prepared to overlook for the purpose of this particular blog post).
Despite some left-field marital decisions, after doing a bit of research around the guy, it seems ‘Bert was a bit of a legend in his time. I mean, he helped stopped us going to war with US and was instrumental in the first moves towards abolishing child slavery.
Seems like a cool fella.
In fact, even to this day his iconic status lives on in a male genital piercing named after an urban myth which says the Prince was so well endowed that he had to pierce his you-know-what in order to weight it down and stop it being such a distraction in those skintight jodhpurs.
It’s not just penis jewellery that carries the torch for Prince Albert’s legacy either. He lives on in the well-known Manchester bar and restaurant Albert’s Schloss and now, in Liverpool‘s brand new Anglo-Bavarian bohemian tavern, Albert’s Schenke.
Albert’s Schenke, Hanover Street, Liverpool
To answer the title of this blog post: Albert’s Schloss and Albert’s Schenke are – in the words of a Kardashian or something – the same but different.
Schloss has been at the centre of Mancunian nightlife for ages and is now welcoming it’s baby bro’, Schenke to its neighbouring city of Liverpool, on the curve of Hanover Street where The Hub Ale House & Kitchen used to be.
I actually interviewed one of the brains behind the Mission Mars group who own the Albert’s’ for Liverpool Confidential who told me that while ‘Schloss’ means palace or chateau, ‘Schenke’ translates to pub or tavern.
So let’s think of Albert’s Schenke as being the kind of place that the Prince might have liked to indulge and party. The bohemian gaff has certainly got that kind of vibe about it already anyway.
Mission Mars actually also own some of my other favourite hangouts including Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza on Castle Street and The Viking over in West Kirby on the Wirral and I could tell.
This venue has got that same rustic, Alpine-inspired cosy atmos working in tandem with the kind of trendy, modern Scandi vibe that gets the cool kids caterwauling all over their social media stories.
Beers, homemade Schnapps & high G&Ts
Another one of the ways in which Schenke is going to bring something new to the table is by offering an (even more) extensive beer offering than Schloss.
I quote from the article I read while doing a bit of pre-interview research: “the very best biers and pilsners in the planet alongside local craft beers” with “special editions, small batches and key kegs” which you can “sip by the schooner, pour by the pint or take a tour of the [20+] taps with bier flights”.
So, if a good brew is your kryptonite then you’ll be like a kid in a candy shop here. As a non-beer drinker (yes, we do exist), I was more excited to hear about the high G&Ts and the list of homemade artisan schnapps.
It was a school night when I visited though and I have experienced cryogenic gin at an immersive bar before so I decided to swerve the gins until next time and indulge in a couple of salted caramel schnapps instead. What a dream that was. Like an alcoholic Werther’s Original melted down into a sticky little shot glass that left my hands even furrier than my teeth. Sweet, sweet shooter heaven.
The Alpine-inspired Albert’s Schenke food menu
I do like a gin & tonic and I would happily use that salted caramel schnapps as mouthwash any day of the week but I don’t do beer and I’m not a big drinker so for me, Albert’s Schenke is ALL about the glorious , glorious edible selection.
It’s a rugged and rustic selection of contemporary adaptations of Alpine classics, with flavours spanning numerous nooks and crannies of Europe. I’m talking everything from a French Raclette Burger, German sausage and Bavarian stuffed flatbreads through to a good old British Sunday Roast. That last one is presumably a little homage to Prince Albert’s missus, Queen Vic.
Highlights for me thus far – because I do plan to work my way through the entire menu eventually – have to be the Schnitzel Royale (£14.95), the Pan-Fried Sea Bass (£13.50) and the Croquette Fest (£14).
The Croquette Fest comes as three of each of the following flavours for sharing: Pea & Mint, Berliner Spiced Lamb and Cheese & Ham. They didn’t quite pip my beloved Bacaro braised beef croquettas to the post but crunchy, generously filled and super tasty nonetheless.
What was an absolute winner was the muddle of orzo, vegetables and gruyere that sat beneath the fried sea bass fillets. Absolutely bursting with flavour and an interesting alternative to the lazy combination of seasonal vegetables which often come with fresh fish. I mean, I certainly had no issues spooning it into my mush despite sitting in front of my own plate of Schnitzel..
This wasn’t just any old Schnitzel either… this was the Schnitzel Royale and bloody stunning it was too. Unlike the classic flattened chicken schnitzel, this came as a full breast stuffed with oozing cheese and wrapped in ham before being enrobed in a casing of crunchy, seasoned breadcrumbs. It was accompanied by a heap of crispy roast potatoes, roasted garlic and a rich, luxurious mushroom and madeira sauce which was to DIE for.
Uh-mazing and WELL worth the ever-so-slightly-above-average price tag. So, all in all, I think Albert’s Schenke is going to be very happy here on Hanover Street and I know I’m not the only one who’s welcoming it (and it’s avalanche of cheese-based recipes) with open arms.
I was very kindly invited to review Albert’s Schenke but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.