1 Bridge Road
It’s impossible to talk about Alida without first revealing where it is.
The Penny Royal! Penny Royal is a kind of adventure playground, ostensibly for kids but with plenty of places to drink, set into sheer cliffs at the mouth of the South Esk, downriver from the marvellous Cataract Gorge.
It’s gimmicky, incongruous with Launceston in general (or indeed anything you’ll find in Australia), and utterly terrific in every respect. It’s worth having a look around here if only to grab an ice cream. I guarantee that you will take photos.
Anyway, Alida occupies the heart of the Penny Royal complex. From the window here you can watch a guy dressed as a pirate ‘sail’ a pirate ‘ship’ (on rails) across the ‘lake’ to an ‘island’ in the middle, all the way shivering-his-timbers and arrrrgh-ing to the kids on board, even though Cornish Pirates weren’t that common in the north of Tasmania, and explaining how convicts once lived. Or something. I couldn’t really hear. But it’s still terrific.
A small plate will set you back somewhere in the mid-$20s, while a main is good value at between $30 and $40. A steak can be up to $55.
In short, this is a wonderful place to dine and the food is of the quality you’d expect at the flagship restaurant at a popular tourist site. Just bear in mind that this place is owned by the Josef Chromy hospitality conglomerate, so by eating here you’re hardly doing little-old Lonnie any favours. But … Penny Royal!