Plus The Secret Garden, coffee beats and more
As outdoor hospitality reopened on Monday 12 April, it felt like the excitement of Christmas and a birthday all bundled together. We've all missed celebrating at least one of those in lockdown, so to make up for lost time we’re inventing the term “Christmirthday”, a double blowout that you’re all invited to. Bring presents and lots of gin.
We're not suggesting that The Confidentials team have let themselves go over the last few months, but let’s just say that everybody has been sticking tape over their Zoom camera since March. Now that hairdressers and beauty salons are back open, we’ve been snipped, plucked, trimmed and waxed. And that’s just the lads. This week we’ve done our bit to support local businesses by eating, drinking and being merry, pretty much every day. It's heartwarming to see our beer gardens and terraces full of people again - long may it continue.
Lighter nights are here, so read on for this week’s food and drink news including Dockside dining, The Secret Garden and open-air cinema on the farm.
The secret is out
Psssst. Can you keep a secret? No, we can't either. The Reader is reopening the doors of The Secret Garden this week and it's going to be mega. Tucked away behind the Mansion House of Calderstones Park, The Secret Garden offers socially safe al fresco dining with a fully licensed bar and menu that includes homemade burgers, pizzas, pasta, salads, scouse and snacks. It's an incredible setting too; Calderstones is home to one of England's oldest oak trees (around 1,000 years) and six ancient megaliths that are older than Stonehenge. Argh, we've already said too much.
But there's more. The Reader is a national charity bringing about a reading revolution, helping everyone to experience and enjoy great literature. Through the Shared Reading programme, they bring thousands of people together to share and discuss great novels, short stories and poems. The Secret Garden is open from 12 noon until 6pm on Thursdays and Sundays and from 12pm-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Tables of up to six people at The Secret Garden can be booked online now but we've also heard that a limited number of walk-up spaces will be available. Keep it to yourself.
What a whopper
You might think that after four months of lockdown we’d rather stick forks in our eyes than order any more takeaway, but there’s one box of delights we just can’t get enough of. From the brilliantly bonkers mind of Röski’s Anton Piotrowski comes the McRöski, a burger so devilishly good that some crazy cats have been eating two in one go. No, not us. We’re good clean living folk. *Hides the burger wrappers*.
The McRöski isn't just nice buns. This bad boy is a wagyu beef patty on a gourmet burger Brioche toasted bun, with caramelised onion mayo, dehydrated tomatoes, fermented lettuce and baby gem, finished with "square cheese". At £15 it’s not exactly fast food, but what’s the rush? You can also power up with a side portion of black truffle & parmesan fries. Order the McRöski online via their OpenTable site for collection on Friday or Saturday, 12pm - 8pm. We’re lovin’ it.
Delifonseca Dockside gets a makeover
Indoor hospitality is set to join the party on 17 May and Delifonseca has announced it will return with an even bigger and better dining space. It's the final stage of a six-figure project which originally began in 2018 and will double the Dockside capacity. Owner Candice Fonseca says that the extension of the restaurant has been in the pipeline for many years and hopes that after 21 June, the venue will be a popular choice for bigger gatherings.
“This is a new chapter for Delifonseca and as part of that we wanted a multi-functional space that allows us to host occasions, create private dining events and welcome more guests on-site than ever before,” said Candice.
"If there's one thing the last year has taught us, it's that adaptability is key and we're really proud of the new concept we've created, which means we'll be able to come out of a tough time bigger, better and stronger than before.”
Delifonseca’s outside covered terrace is now open for bookings, but they advise that you come layered up in case it’s blowing a hooley out there. Not long now people, not long...
You spin me right round, baby, right round
Depresso; that feeling when you need a proper cup of coffee. Liverpool DJ duo Ivan Thunders and Pete Martin - aka Coffee & Turntables - are always top of our list when we fancy nipping out for a brew, so we're buzzing at the news of their new event, BalticFest. The three-day mini festival takes place on the late May Bank Holiday weekend and will run across coffee shops around the Baltic Triangle including The Baltic Roastery, Coffee & Fandisha and Vault.
On Friday 28 May at the new Chapters of Us event space, Ivan will also be curating the Liverpool Psych Lab, an "immersive and interactive experience" with psychedelic projections, musical instruments and a photo exhibition. Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies will head up live music in the backyard.
Since starting Coffee & Turntables in 2018, Ivan and Pete have played residencies in cafes around the city, including Lovelocks, The Bagelry, Bean There, Spire and Freida Mo’s. The event is a great way to discover the best cafes of the city and some new music. Catch them this Saturday at Neighbourhood Cafe in Childwall.
Movie magic at Claremont
Grease is the word, as Moonlight Flicks returns to Claremont Farm this summer with big screen entertainment plus a bar, street food and live music. Tell me more, tell me more? Curated by Chester's Storyhouse, the open-air cinema experience will take over the Wirral attraction from 29 May - 26 August, giving film fans a socially distanced movie experience in a unique rural setting.
The programme also includes Wonder Woman 1984, Dirty Dancing, Get Out, Trainspotting, The Devil Wears Prada and Romeo and Juliet, as well as family favourites The Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia, The Lion King and Jurassic Park. Film fans are encouraged to wrap up warm and enjoy the 30ft Airscreen movie experience, amongst the picturesque Wirral countryside. Priority booking for Storyhouse members is open now and tickets for Moonlight Flicks go on general sale from Tuesday 4 May.
LEAF’s indoor craft markets are back this weekend, featuring lots of lovely handmade products and gifts by local talented independent makers. First up is Bold Street on Saturday 17 April and then Sunday 18 April at West Kirby. Both artisanal markets run from 11am-3pm will feature lots of lovely LEAF goodies too. Pop by anytime between 11am-3pm to say hello, or anytime from 9am for outdoor dining (walk-ins only). Usual COVID guidelines will be in place.