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Hurry up, the Fleet's In!
The Baltic Fleet (Liverpool)
Member Name: tange
The Baltic Fleet (Liverpool)
Date: 14/01/03, updated on 14/01/03 (306 review reads)
Advantages: Good food, beer and atmospherere, Reasonable prices and unique building, Close to The Albert Dock
Disadvantages: Disn't get to meet any locals, A bit tatty
I was really surprised to see this pub listed here on Dooyoo, but it's a great opportunity for me to tell you about it. We visited The Baltic Fleet last autumn, when we were in Liverpool for the day. We found it by accident ~ we were looking for somewhere to eat on a busy Sunday and were at The Albert Dock. There were surprisingly few pubs around and what eateries there were looked extremely crowded. This was our first visit to Liverpool so we didn't know our way around ~ so we set off away from the Albert Dock where we could see what looked like a pub; they were bound to be serving Sunday lunches! The street we were on turned out to be Wapping and the pub turned out to be The Baltic Fleet ~ and, oh, it WAS serving lunches; thank goodness 'cos by now we were starving!
~~~How to get there.
The pub can be found not far away from the Albert Dock at 33a The Wapping, Liverpool. I'm no good at directions so there is a map at http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?pc=L18DQ&ti tle=The+Baltic+Fleet&cat=pub which shows the pub ringed in red!
To be honest the pub looked a bit tatty from the outside. It's a really interesting shape (reminded me a bit of a tram, or a pleasure steamer or tug boat in shape) but could do with a bit of a re-paint. The paint is peeling off the sides, but this didn't put us off. The building is apparently Grade II listed, which is good to know ~ it is a remarkable looking place that is being restored gradually to how it used to be.
The theme is the sea and also the relatives of the owner. He showed us all the photos on the wall and pointed out some of his family too. He obviously takes a great pride in the place and was genuinely pleased when we showed an interest in his pub and the brewery underneath. Structurally, the pub is divided into three floors; the first floor is staff only, the ground floor has the bar and the restauran
t and the basement is where you will find the toilets and the new brewery. The inside is actually a bit on the tatty side too ~ this is probably to emphasise the "rustic" atmosphere so close to the new apartments on the waterfront (we didn't hear a single Liverpool accent in the whole time we were there!).
This was a real surprise ~ the food was top class and different too! We were surprised to see how busy it got and we were lucky they were able to squeeze us in (there were four of us and they had a lot of bookings). The fact that they had so many bookings encouraged us ~ a sign that the food was worth trying! They have a more extensive menu during the week, but on Sundays there is the choice of roasts and a vegetarian alternative. The produce used to make the meals comes from local suppliers. It was excellently cooked and of a very high standard indeed. I had Welsh Black Beef, which melted in my mouth! The Sunday Roast cost £5.95 each ~ a great price for a huge portion!
The staff, behind the bar, were really friendly and seemed happy to chat and tell you about what beers they had and what they recommended. The owner was interested in what we were asking and couldn't do enough to make us feel at home ~ but not to the point of crowding us and making us feel uncomfortable. We moved into the bar after our lunch and had another pint ~ the seats weren't too comfy and didn't match, but we felt happy to sit and soak in the atmosphere of such a unique place!
This is what really made the visit for me. The Passageway Brewery (a local Liverpool brewery) had recently moved its operations (and is under new management) into the cellar of the Baltic Fleet. It is now known as Wapping Beers and its beers are served on a rotational basis behind the bar. It was the end of the summer so we had a pint of Wapping Summer Ale (which incidentally cost on
ly £1.65) with the meal and a pint of Cains Dark mild in the bar after. It's wonderful to have the chance to taste beer in situ and we were really impressed with the quality of the brew. The brewery isn't open on Sundays, but they said that if we ever came back during the week they would be really pleased to let us have a look. They even brew an ale called The Baltic Fleet, but it wasn't on that day ~ a shame because that would have been a nice one to try.
It was a real treat to find this place so close to all the tourist places of the Albert Dock. We are planning to go back to Liverpool again soon (Alun's brother owns a vintage bus and we go for the transport rallies in Birkenhead), so I'm sure we will be seeking out the Baltic Fleet again. We know that we will get good food, good beer and a good all round drinking experience. Thoroughly recommended!