City gets its first downtown seafood restaurant since Jenny's

IT was a symbol of millennium confidence in the city: a modern, top end restaurant, created by Michelin-starred chef Paul Heathcote.

But by 2010 it was gone, its owner blaming the loss of the bridge over The Strand for its own troubled waters.

Forgotten for a couple of years more, the team behind Puschka, one of the city’s best loved restaurants, then took it on. But even Dougie and Glen couldn’t find the magic to make hipster Home Canteen work.

But this is 2017, the downtown area of Liverpool is on the up with dozens of new, high end restaurants and bars. So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to give the forgotten Beetham Plaza venue, which started life as Simply Heathcote’s, another whirl.

Opening to the public this week, Hudson House bills itself as a seafood restaurant - and, ey up, we’ve not had one of those in the so-called business district since Jenny’s in the 1980s.

Its twentysomething owner Chris Howells, with a background in paintballing and a Bavarian Smokehouse in St Helens, has certainly shelled out (soz), on the refurb. 

Stiff white linen is softened by creamy beige tartan upholstery on the chairs and banquettes.  With all that natural light flooding in, from the solid plate glass front facade, the look is dazzling and photogenic. There's even a white baby grand piano to complete that Hamptons vibe.

The plan, after all, is "to cater for those who wish to enjoy a high-end dining experience in luxurious surroundings".

Or, according to the website, "We aim to be the restaurant of choice for professionals and couples, providing not only a restaurant full of opulence but a social hub based around wines, cocktails, champagnes and a clear, exciting city vibe."

Head chef Chris Hughes, who hails from Sheldrakes, in Heswall, has created a menu of lobster, oysters and seasonal seafood specialties, all coming in daily from Neves in Fleetwood. To give you an idea of the prices, a sole meuniere weighs in at around £24. 

Don't like fish or seafood? There's good old steak and chicken options on the menu as well as vegetarian dishes. 

The terraceThe terrace

To the exterior and to the side, the brutalist concrete of the plaza is softened by a terrace: an artificial lawn with trellises and vines and twinkly lights for that post prandial fag or, indeed, al fresco cocktail - and Hudson House is going big on these, and champagne. The terrace is heated and there are blankets to warm the cockles, should the inclement breeze from the facing Mersey decide to do its thing.

For zen-like water features, Hudson House is already blessed with the nearby “Buckets” sculpture whose constant emptying and filling has fascinated people for decades.

The impressive looking complex also boasts a mezzanine level which overhangs the bar area and gives views over The Strand and the Three Graces. It is designed for private dining and small events, such as food and wine pairings, oyster and champagne evenings and canapé receptions.

*Hudson House opens to the public this Thursday at 25 The Strand, Beetham Plaza, Liverpool, L2 0XJ. 0151 370 0118. Website here