Romance is alive at the Royal Albert Dock and you can source that special magic a little further afield too

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Reasons to be grateful in times that are challenging and sometimes a little heart-breaking. We are so grateful for family, friends and lovers that are there for us. There is a solution for most dilemmas, so no need to panic over Valentine’s Day. Just take a slightly different approach to making it all happen.

WORDS: Jean Hill

Local waterfront walks never felt so romantic, so full of possibilities. A selection of Royal Albert Dock cafes and restaurants are open for grab & go this Valentine’s weekend. You can collect from some of your Dock favourites: take away food & hot drinks. Embrace those stunning dockside views: and don’t leave empty handed.

Madre – Taco Truck (Fri-Sun)

Madre Taco Truck

You can pre-order from this Mexican restaurant online or just turn up at the truck, located at the Anchor Courtyard at the Royal Albert Dock. The menu is tempting: chicken adobe, halloumi with honey (heaven sent) and home-made guacamole. Sounds like fun: you too can unwrap a taco kit. It is first come, first served, whilst stocks last with the Taco Truck.

Maray Dockside (Bake Stall – Sat & Sun, roast collection – Sun)

Maray's Danish pastry

We love their Disco cauliflower and there is so much more with that Middle East flair: their vegetarian fare is awesome. The roast collection on Sunday sounds like a goodly plan.

Rosa’s Thai Cafe (daily)

There is a click and collect option. Delivery is through Deliveroo. The food is described as South-east Asia with a touch of theatre. Works for me. I remember a fragrant Thai curry with King prawns, whilst our editor devoured a chicken salad. Until we can enjoy sitting there again, enjoying that magical view; click and collect sounds like a very promising alternative.

Rough Hand Made Bakery (daily)

Rough Hand Made Boutique Bakery, has made a ‘ground’-breaking impression with its rye and pita breads, quiches and croissants, and is now at the Dock. Its handmade bakes, infused with a sunny South American influence, have won the bakery a glowing reputation, not least for its slightly asymmetrical shapes. Makes everything you try completely unique in a good way.

Justino’s Italian Restaurant

Justino's Italian Restaurant

We love Justino’s. Plain and simple; though their food is anything but plain. It is classic Italian. And our editor, who has seriously researched the subject, rates their pizzas very highly indeed (possibly the best ever). There is an app, or book online. Delivery is via Deliveroo.

0151 4271155

Magic Spices

This lovely restaurant is local to me. The cuisine is derived from South Asia, both traditional and with a modern take on old classics. It is an Indian curry house with that little extra flair. We have some really happy memories of dining here over the years. Their kormas are truly creamy, smooth and flavoursome, and they cook their lamb to perfection. If the meal just consisted of papadums and their wonderful chutneys, that would probably be enough. They do delivery and you can collect. You can order on-line.

0151 6911919

0151 6384236

New kid on the block: Graze&co


It was my birthday, and for the first times in so long, I was not headed out to party with my loved ones. Instead a Graze box arrived courtesy of Nikki, who is utterly charming, very efficient, and so well organised. The food is beautifully presented, goodies interspersed with fruit and flowers, a box of delights. The range is impressive. I lunched on cheeses, pastries and ham, with small pots of preserve alongside the croissants and buns. The Danish was to die for. The grapefruit was perfectly ripe with a sharp, satisfying tang. It was such a fun treat. This is a small independent, supporting other local suppliers. What’s not to love.

In Nikki’s own words (who founded the business): “In an ever changing world, we all need some truly scrumptious food to get us through, hence Graze&co is born. I decided to bring together locally sourced food and ingredients and create some delicious grazing boxes, boards and platters at affordable prices.

“Yummy food that can be enjoyed with family and friends over a glass of vino, or taken to a picnic (once restrictions lift). Good food doesn’t have to cost the earth.”

Nikki delivers in the Wirral area as far as Chester.

Related read: Show the love this Valentine’s Day.

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