“ Address: 613 Lord Street / Southport / Merseyside / PR9 0AN „
As you will have gathered, we are regular visitors to Southport. I have reviewed several hotels and guest houses that we have used but until now I haven't told you about any of the restaurants. We aren't often frequenters of restaurants in Southport although, for the range of styles there are few places that can offer as much variety, especially with the quality that is usually found.
Recently we were once again in Southport and rather than put my mother-in-law to the hassle of preparing a meal we decided to take her out for a treat. We didn't have any particular destination or style in mind so we simply headed south from the top end of Lord Street, keeping our eyes peeled for what was available. We didn't have to walk far.
Southport is rightly famous for its arcade shop fronts, that predate those for which Paris is famous, by some years. Until recently many had fallen into disrepair and some had even been demolished but the council has been handing out grants for repairs and rebuilding but nevertheless, there are still some gaps. Volare is in the first block of arcaded shop-fronts and so you can peruse the menu in the window, sheltered from the elements, whilst deciding if this is the one for you. It didn't take us long to decide that it was although we had never eaten there before.
Volare is an Italian restaurant and occupies a very typical Lord Street premises, very narrow but going back a long way. The large front windows enable you to get a good impression of the restaurant and that impression was a good one. Despite the relative lack of space, the seating did not appear cramped despite the place already, at just after 7.00pm on a weekday evening, being about half full. Clearly Volare already has a faithful clientèle.
The menu offers the usual A La Carte selections and, in addition a 3 course Fish Menu at very good value for money - £16.95 per person. Three of us decided on that option. Amongst our choices of starters we selected from this menu: sardines, of which there were a lot; a spicy fish soup that was voted very tasty indeed and my own personal favourite wherever I see it - whitebait - which disappeared more rapidly than it should as my daughter kept pinching them off of my plate!
For our main courses we variously had salmon, lemon sole and the restaurant's own special tagliatelle with the extra dish being a very tasty seafood risotto. All of these we washed down with a very pleasant white Grillo di Sicilia Rapitala, which I chose simply because of the name but turned out to be a very good choice at £21.95 a bottle.
Service throughout the meal was excellent even though by the time we were into our main courses the restaurant was pretty well full. Together with all of the desserts and additional drinks the whole meal came to just over £100, £25 per person and great value for money at that.
Volare is not at the heart of Southport's main shopping area but the extra few minutes taken to reach it pays dividends in terms of a satisfying meal and a pleasant atmosphere. No doubt we will return.