Plus free food for St George’s Day, Southport's new market and a hidden gem in the Georgian Quarter
Things have calmed down considerably since that mad bun fight when the bars reopened and we can all now breathe a sigh of relief that the world isn’t ending and the pubs aren’t going to run out of beer.
Our favourite story was of a group of lads who took their own six-seater picnic table out with them, carrying it from pub to pub to guarantee the best seat. Absolute genius, but how on earth did they manage to get that in a taxi?
There’s loads of great stuff happening across Liverpool at the moment and plenty more to come as we near the next milestone on 17 May.
Read on for this week’s Merseyside food and drink news:
La vida loca in Formby
Our fave spaces in Liverpool have the buzz of Las Ramblas right now, but if an invite lands to try somewhere new, you can bet your Betty Boo that we’ll be the first ones doing the do. When we heard The Patio at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa was launching a new Mediterranean-inspired menu, we grabbed our sunnies and jumped on that train like a flamenco dancer on hot coals.
Overlooking the stunning championship golf course, visitors to The Patio can enjoy the great British summer under a chic-tented canopy complete with fire pit, cozy chairs, tables, blankets and a brand new menu from head chef, Nathan Noon. Choose three plates for £15 and enjoy tasty options including meatballs in tomato sauce, honey roasted chorizo, garlic king prawns with chilli and coriander, and grilled seabass with a white bean cassoulet.
It’s not every day that a Hollywood actress walks into your restaurant, so it’s fair to say that staff at East River were just a little bit gobsmacked when Rebel Wilson decided to drop in and say hi. The star of Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect was in the area filming for her new movie, The Almond and The Sea Horse.
Rebel clearly has good taste; our Megan Walsh reviewed East River when it first opened and was pretty smitten with the New York-inspired bagel and booze venture on Allerton Road. The Secret Courtyard at East River is now open seven days a week from 10am and ordinary folk can reserve a spot by booking online.
Keep cool with Ma
Need to cool off in the heat? Ma Boyle's are now serving up delicious iced slushes, with fresh flavours rotating every day. They're non-alcoholic too - so everyone can enjoy the refreshing, fruity little numbers. Tucked away off Water Street and nestled by the beautiful St Nick’s church gardens, Ma Boyle’s is a true Liverpool institution. Incredibly, it reached its 150th anniversary last year, which it will celebrate properly in 2021. We figure that means we’ve got some lost time to make up for. The big question is, can we have a shot of tequila in our slushy, please?
A pizza the action
Traditional wood fired pizza from 600 Degrees is heading to Southport Market this summer, as one of 11 food and drink units to open in the £1.4m redevelopment. Dan Johnstone of 600 Degrees says his passion for pizza all started when he visited The Amalfi Coast and spent some time in Naples, the home of the Neapolitan Pizza.
"I already had a great passion for cooking, so this gave me the inspiration to perfect my homemade pizza dough and follow the authentic methods of cooking pizzas,” Dan said.
“Each day, the dough will be freshly made in the 600 Degrees kitchen in the new market, using only the finest Caputo flour, yeast, salt and water then left to prove for 48 hours. We can’t wait to serve the people of Southport and are excited to be part of this exciting journey”
Here comes the sun
In the last edition of Bite-Size news we gave you a heads up that The Secret Garden was about to reopen at Calderstones Park. You’re welcome. This week, we can go one step further and tell you about an even more secret garden at Blackburne House. When we visited last weekend, we were literally the only ones there.
Tucked away in the gorgeous Georgian Quarter, this 18th century building was once a girls’ school which goes some way to explain the almost impenetrable boundary all around it. The story goes that the walls were built so high to keep out the boys from the Liverpool Institute over the road, whose students included Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Perhaps that was where the inspiration for Get Back came from?
Today, Blackburne House is used as a training and resource centre for women, but it’s also home to a delightful little bistro and bar. The menu features delicious and healthy food made from locally-sourced ingredients; from soup and salad boxes to seasonal specials like garlic, lemon and thyme roast chicken with harissa and roasted pepper rice. They do some bloody lovely homemade cakes too. Plus, all profit goes back into women's education. Follow Blackburne House on Twitter to see the latest menus and news.
Calling all the Georges
Fun facts for your next Zoom quiz; St George might be hailed as an English hero, but he was actually born in Turkey and died in Israel. England shares St George with many other places as their patron saint; Diada de Sant Jordi in Catalonia is the equivalent of Valentine’s Day and on 23 April, the Spanish streets are lined with flower sellers and book stalls.
Back in dear old Blighty, online takeaway delivery app Foodhub is celebrating St George by offering customers named George and Georgina the chance to win money off their next meal. Head to Foodhub's social media channels on 23 April and tell them what takeaway you'd slay if you had the choice. The winners will receive a £15 voucher to use on a banquet of their choice in celebration of our courageous patron saint. Mr Chilli, Sakoon, Otto’s Pizza, Mum’s Kitchen and Yukti The Art Kitchen are just some of the Liverpool traders using Foodhub, the only major takeaway app not to charge a service fee for each order.