A Liverpool weekend with child number one – part 1

So, A and J are back at university and now seems as good a time as any to get to work on posting about visiting them both last term! Doh. Better late than never, eh.

A couple of months ago I took a Friday off work to spend a long weekend with A in Liverpool. Last time I was there, A and I did the cultural thing but this time, I wanted to concentrate on being fabulous and foodalicious. I did a search for places to eat and drink in Liverpool, and another for Liverpool blogs, and another for cocktails in Liverpool and Liverpool afternoon tea and …. nothing much came up. I did manage to draw up a short shortlist though and armed with that I set out to conquer (eat) Liverpool.

A met me at the station and we headed out into a most wet afternoon and, because the weather was so miserable – and we were passing, we decided to stop off at one of the places on my list and have lunch. LEAF on Bold St. is absolutely wonderful, were it in London I would be a regular.

Studious A at LeafA, trying to look studious

The building itself is a stunning Art Deco former cinema and the LEAF team have refurbished it brilliantly. It’s all high ceilings, big open spaces, sofas and upholstery and beautiful warm wood. It seems to attract a mixed but definitely style/design interested crowd – it felt comfortable, cosy, and friendly, and, whilst it could so easily (lazily) be labelled as contrived, it really didn’t feel like that to me.

Table dressing at LeafTime for tea

It just felt relaxed and the food….oh, it was delicious. I have to say, A and I didn’t order the right thing – not that what we ordered wasn’t good, but we should have ordered the platters. A table of young women next to us ordered one of each platter and when they arrived it was so cute to watch the women looking at the grub in awe. A and I must have looked as though our eyes were about to pop out of our heads. I think it’s because the platters were absolutely piled high with goodies, they looked as though they’d just been lifted out of the pages of a high end (think Vogue but for food) magazine all fresh and enticing. A went back on Sunday after dropping me at the station and met up with a couple of friends and they did order the platters (she said they were as good as they looked), I guess it makes sense to order those beasts when there are more than two of you to share them.

Following our impromptu lunch we continued up Bold Street, stopping off at Bold Street Coffee where I picked up a slice of the most deliciously sticky and sweet banana cake with butterscotch icing (I thought it sounded a little over the top, and I wasn’t wrong, but it was soooo good!).

Banana cake with butterscotch icingUtterly scrumptious and surprisingly moreish

After a false start (A managed to shut her door with her key inside so we had to wait for the landlord to come and sort out a new lock) we made it out to see John Grant. I’d heard so many good things about his live shows and it was a shame that we got there well into the set because the venue was RAMMED and we didn’t exactly get the best view (as the photo below shows) but I was glad that I’d made the trip to Liverpool to ‘see’ him.

Great view at John Grant

A had put our names down on the list for 81 Ltd, a ‘secret’ bar just up the road from the East Village Arts Club, so once the show was over, we pootled up there, did the secret knock on the door and waited…

Knock knockIf all else fails..pout!

Once inside, a charming barman knocked up a couple of pretty decent, beautiful looking cocktails for us. But, I wasn’t really feeling the vibe – I think that had more to do with where my head was at than the mood in the bar (this was the weekend immediately after my move and I was well into a period of exceptionally poor confidence and self-doubt). It just felt odd to me, as though everyone felt special because they were in a private bar but, all that you had to do to gain entry was text to ask to be added to the guestlist. Anyway, what’s wrong with feeling special? Nothing at all, we should all do more of it. On that particular night, I think I’d have preferred the pub downstairs which was blasting out ABBA and everyone in it seemed to be having no airs and graces fun. Never one to pass up a good cocktail in nice surroundings (actually..scrap the surroundings, just the cocktail will do) I’d certainly go again, once my ego has regained strength.

Oh yes, and look at this……

Tidy kitchen just for mumAll tidied up, especially for the Visit From A Parent.

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