Saturday, 17 February 2018

Out and About: Albero Lounge, Bedford

Last year Bedford saw a variety of new restaurants open up on the new Riverside North project and whilst I thought it was great to see so many jobs coming to town as well making space of a beautiful area and bringing more income, I was a little disappointed with the range of restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I am a die hard Nando's fan but that's pretty much where it ends when it comes to big chain restaurants, the rest just seem a bit...samey and not my cuppa tea at all. I'd kind of avoided the whole new complex for this reason until I started hearing the buzz about the Albero Lounge based at the old Cowper Building next to the courts and old town hall. 

The courtyard of The Albero Lounge, Bedford

Bedford his home to some absolute gems of independant restaurants, coffee shops, shops and boutiques that I was fearful would get side-lined when the big boys came to town. Whilst I'm on maternity leave, I'm going to make the most of going out on little adventures with baby Freddie and showing him some of my favourite places in his home town. So welcome to the first in a series called Out and About in... Now, the Albero Lounge isn't exactly an independant restaurant / lounge / bar / coffee shop (what it actually is is kind of ambiguous which is what makes it so charming) the Albero Lounge is part of the Loungers family, founded by three mates in 2002 who, after spending years in the restaurant and bar trade wanted to have a bash themselves, unsurprisingly it the first lounge went down a treat and they've popped up in quite few locations since then - you can read their full story here. 

The bar area of The Albero Lounge, Bedford

There was one key feature that attracted me to the Albero Lounge and that was one image at the top left corner of their website that read "DOG FRIENDLY" I don't have a dog but I am an animal person and any establishment that welcomes dogs is clearly where I wanna be. The decor of the whole place is every bloggers dream, with two side-style rooms and a bar area down stairs (full of doggos and babies) and further seating upstairs the vibe is light and breezy with quirky art, fairy lights and a juxtaposition of textures, patterns and colours that somehow just works. Luke funnily enough hated it, it was a complete sensory overload for him and he could only describe it as 'too blogger' but as my pal Vikki said "maybe he's just not blogger enough".  The bar immediately stood out to me, anywhere with fairy lights is my home and the lights around the drinks shelf was giving me all the at-home vibes. 

the wall art in the The Albero Lounge, Bedford

The staff were attentive and welcoming and not annoying - they seemed chilled, comfortable and dare I say enjoying work rather than smiling through gritted teeth each time they spoke to us. They engaged in genuine conversation and I didn't end up feeling awkward or making a complete tit out of myself which made a nice change. We noticed that staff were handing out small cups of veg and fruit for children which seemed like nice touch during the wait for food, there were also freshly filled water jugs in the corner of the upstairs dining area as well as on the bar downstairs for people to grab a drink - another nice touch. We went at lunch time on a Sunday and it was fairly busy, we were definitely lucky to get a table so I suggest bearing this in mind if you're planning on visiting (which you totally should). 

the dining area of The Albero Lounge, Bedford

The visit I photographed in this post wasn't my first, I had been the previous weekend with my blogger pals Vikki and Lucy who were both equally impressed. I love going out to eat so I spent the entire week before we went meticulously studying the menus (don't judge me) and deciding what I wanted. The Albero Lounge menu is simple yet satisfying with something for everyone including a GF and Vegan menu. The main menu is categorised into seven all day sections; Brunch, Sandwiches and Paninis, Salads, Mains, Burgers, Tapas and Desserts. I expected somewhere like to this to cost an arm and a leg but it is more than affordable with each dish, excluding a steak and large burger, being a tenner or under. On my first visit I took advantage of the three tapas for £9.95 offer and selected the Patatas Bravas, Smoked Paprika Pulled Chicken and Chorizo and Halloumi, Courgettes and Peppers the dish came with a bowl of fresh bread and the tapas portions were more than reasonably sized enough to share...but I don't do that. 

a flatlay of the menu of The Albero Lounge, Bedford

On my second visit I went for the veggie brunch, I don't always feel meaty and I had heard great things about the veggie menu at the Albero Lounge - rather than have vegetarian alternatives there is a simple meat-free option featured on the usual menu with (in my personal opinion) the more delicious options of Halloumi and Sweetcorn Frittas and Peppers and Spinach then Sausages and Bacon. Luke went for the meaty option and really enjoyed the Sausage Patty. With each brunch costing £7.25 and beautifully presented as well as clearly being fresh ingredients I think that's a bargain price. Sunday lunchtime is naturally busy period so there was a 45 minute wait for our food but with so much look at and nag Luke about, it flew by and we barely noticed. 

the meat and veggie brunch available at The Albero Lounge, Bedford

I can't review the Albero Lounge without talking about the drinks menu, specifically the Homeamde Drinks Menu and this beautiful drink - the Orchard Mojito. Since I was about 16 weeks pregnant I've been craving this fruity drink and  I had no idea what it was or where to get it until I read the Homeamde Drinks Menu online and started drooling over the apple, pink grapefruit, lime juice mint and cucumber inlcuded in this concoction of utter heaven over ice. The menu features a decent selection of drinks with the most expensive being £3.95 and the cheapest at £2.85 - I was determined I was going to spend the £3.95 on my Orchard Mojito regardless of the size but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Albero Lounge serve their homemade, alcohol free drinks in normal sized glasses rather than little dinky ones bursting with ice.

the orchard mojito at The Albero Lounge, Bedford

It's safe to say that the Albero Lounge will become a regular haunt for me and Freddie when he arrives. It's got the perfect chilled vibe and affordable menu with a massive touch of arty class and dogs that make it a dream to visit. 
pinterest image for The Albero Lounge, Bedford



  1. We have one of these near us - the tapas is really good. Haven’t tried a breakfast as yet but they sound yum!
    Em x

  2. Ooh I love food like this. It looks so yum to and the restaurant looks like it has such a good vibe! Fab review girl xx

  3. This sounds like a really fab bar/restaurant/cafe! I want a veggie brunch & Orchard Mojito now!! X

  4. OH YUM!! It looks incredible! The breakfast looks amazing, and the love the decor, so funky! Looking forward to more in this series! :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  5. The feel of the restaurant seems so cosy!

  6. Luke is deffo not blogger enough for 'Alberto' Lounge!

    Lets go again when Freddie arrives! I bet he will love a tapas.

  7. This looks so cosy yet modern - and the food looks amazing x

  8. That artwork is so cool. Hilarious and somehow graceful xxx

  9. This place looks so lush! I really fancy brunch now xx

  10. Oh it looks so nice! I have a dog and I appreciate dog friendly places.

  11. This looks so much like The Cosy Club near where I live and I love tapas style food! x


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