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Sunday night dining in Liverpool?


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To be honest I actually spent the term time of my third year on the Isle of Man (Now if you thought Liverpool was a culinary desert). All part of the peril of doing a Marine Biology degree.

I say again I really like the city. I know everyone has a soft spot for their Alma Mata but I just think it has a really good buzz and edge, and as an architecture nerd there is lots there to float my boat. I like the streetscapes, particularly around the Town Hall.

Anyway, back to food:

Aside from some excellent meals at Paul Askew's places I haven't eaten anything of note in Liverpool city centre for years. To be honest though, nor have I gone after new culinary experiences (though maybe the lack of anything to tempt me away from my regular haunts is telling).

I did try the restaurant in Print, the super-chic new boutique hotel/members club, recently and found it over-hyped (it got a five out of five in the normally accurate Metro) and typical of a style-bar that thinks it's a restaurant and tries too hard.

What about the Raquet Club? Menu is full of eatable standards (Caesar salad last time i popped in for lunch) and although the food doesn't wow (or at least didn't a couple of years ago) the setting is lovely.

Wasn't Heathcote's Liverpool "Simply" restaurant actually meant to be pretty good? The Manchester one (now shut for refurb and relaunch) used to be all over the place but the Liverpool branch was meant to be the pick of the bunch.

And what's Malmaison in Liverpool like? Manchester one isn't knock-out by any means but I have certainly had a couple of good meals there (last stand out dish was a smoked eel and beetroot salad off their "seasonal and local" menu). I also like the fact that in Manchester at least they now make an effort to recommend local beers with the local menu.

Also ate at Room recently but as per Manchester and Leeds I just find the concept strange and the execution patchy. The Raddison? Don't rate their Manchester restaurant but it's positioning itself as one of Liverpool's top hotel's so maybe they're doing some good stuff over there?

Uhmmm... (sound of barrel being scraped). There's a crazy Russian restaurant called St Petersberg that everyone seems to like? They've opened a Manchester version which I haven't yet been to, but I feel it could be comparable to the Armenian Taverna (which is both a good and a bad thing).

To be honest if I were you I would take pot luck with a Chinese/curry (there's an interesting look Indian place if you head from the Town Hall past the Living Room et al along to St George's Hall) or settle into the comfortable familiarity of Piccolino or some such. OR, do The Carriageworks/Hope St. I'm suprised you had such bad meals there (though I found the service snooty and irritating on the last visit).

As to staying in the Adelphi - Why!? For the love of God Why!!! It is part of the Brittania Hotels group, widely recognised and despised as one of the most appalling hotel operators in England. In Manchester they run a place in Didsbury, The Brittania on Portland St, and the excreable Saschas on Oldham St.

In the latter two at least they are famed for having windowless rooms. A friend of mind stayed in Sachas and after being led to a pokey room in the bowels of the hotel he drew back the curtain to find a poor quality cityscape picture of... New York. Not even Manchester. They didn't even try to be relevent/post-modern with a local view. They just stuck some 80's Athena poster in there.

They are also currently sitting on the site of the Old Fire Station in Manchester, which is one of the most magnificant terracotta Victorian buildings in the city and ripe for redevelopment. It's a landmark site at the side of Piccadilly Station (London Road/Whitworth St) and Brittania, after being refused a ludicrous planning application, and refusing any constructive dialogue with anyone and are letting it rot.

Bastards basically (IMHO). Don't stay in their hotel.

Rant over!

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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As to staying in the Adelphi - Why!? For the love of God Why!!! It is part of the Brittania Hotels group, widely recognised and despised as one of the most appalling hotel operators in England. In Manchester they run a place in Didsbury, The Brittania on Portland St, and the excreable Saschas on Oldham St.

...

Bastards basically (IMHO). Don't stay in their hotel.

Having stayed in the Adelphi a few times, I tend to agree. However, the only reason that we have been there is that, for a few years at least, it was a popular venue for Science Fiction conventions. The main criteria for this being (low) cost and a willingness to have the whole hotel being taken over by the con for a weekend. This tends to mean that the hotels concerned are either unpopular (and therefore empty) or are mainly frequented by business travellers (and are empty at times like Easter).

From memory the trips for food outside the hotel were to Chinese restaurants, but the food was never very spectacular. If Fraiche existed when we were last in Liverpool then we hadn't heard of it, but the distance would have put off most of the con-goers.

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Having stayed in the Adelphi a few times, I tend to agree. However, the only reason that we have been there is that, for a few years at least, it was a popular venue for Science Fiction conventions.

Crikey, I better not tell the story about the time I stayed in the Brittania in Manchester and after the upset of opening the curtains and looking onto a window painted on the wall (which may or may not have had a view of the New York skyline, I can't remember) I got in the lift to find I was surrounded by Trekkies who even made all the swishy noises every time the lift door opened. I'm not sure which left deeper scars.

Hotels like the Brittania and the Adelphi are a mistake to be made only once, anyone who returns deserves all they get, painted views, Trekkies and all.

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This tends to mean that the hotels concerned are either unpopular (and therefore empty) or are mainly frequented by business travellers (and are empty at times like Easter).

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

It's a grand, domineering old building in a fantastic location and it's sad that it's been run down from it's time as the glamourous "last stop before the New World" (or vice versa - it gets a good mention in "Mr American" by George McDonald Frazer) to trying to wrest business from the budget hotels.

A less extreme but comparable scenario can be seen in Manchester with the Midland hotel. Sad to see these places trading down from their historical ambitions.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Having stayed in the Adelphi a few times, I tend to agree. However, the only reason that we have been there is that, for a few years at least, it was a popular venue for Science Fiction conventions.

Hotels like the Brittania and the Adelphi are a mistake to be made only once, anyone who returns deserves all they get, painted views, Trekkies and all.

The best bit about the Adelphi is its very secure car park!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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A less extreme but comparable scenario can be seen in Manchester with the Midland hotel. Sad to see these places trading down from their historical ambitions.

my friend who has spent millions recently renovating the midland will no-doubt be delighted to hear that :laugh:

i must admit to a soft spot for the adelphi, i've had many great nights there plus if you are staying there it's pretty easy to find after a night out, i like the faded glamour of what it once was.

before you know it thom we'll be having a night out there......

you don't win friends with salad

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my friend who has spent millions recently renovating the midland will no-doubt be delighted to hear that  :laugh:

i must admit to a soft spot for the adelphi, i've  had many great nights there plus if you are staying there it's pretty easy to find after a night out, i like the faded glamour of what it once was.

before you know it thom we'll be having a night out there......

Not millions enough! They cut their investment plans after 9/11 and instead of upping it to five star they settled for four star and chasing the conference delegate market. I firmly believe it was a missed opportunity as there has been significant and continued growth in the market for top-end rooms in the city (see the financial success of The Lowry, The Radisson and The Hilton et al).

I only used to go to The Adelphi for student balls and do's, and at that time my mind was on things other than the cotton count of the bedding or the exact brand of toiletries in ther bathroom. Nostalgia is one thing but when in Liverpool I recommend Hope St if the budget stretches to it and 62 Castle St, which is a fantastic boutique place for the budget, if not.

A night out in Liverpool you say Gary? Just for old times sake? Reliving our student days? Hmmm... I feel a plan forming...

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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A night out in Liverpool you say Gary? Just for old times sake? Reliving our student days? Hmmm... I feel a plan forming...

well, as we are grown up now thom i suggest a lovely long lunch at friache, into town, and well, let's see what happens....

you don't win friends with salad

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well, as we are grown up now  thom i suggest a lovely long lunch at friache, into town, and...

...and you and I both know that we will quickly revert to our crazily hedonistic student personas, albeit with slightly more money, an inferior BMI and less fashionable haircuts.

Baa bar, Mello Mello, 051, Garlands, The Cavern, Cream, Nation, Wildlife at the Uni... Ah, halcyon days.

Cheers

Thom

Edited to add - I know the delegates is The Midland's game, but it wasn't historically (Manchester Central has only been there about twenty years and the explosion in serious conferences has only happened in the last few years due to the building of the ICC) and the Radisson next door manages to tap the same market but at a higher price point with a better quality product.

Not claiming the market for mid-price delegates isn't there, only that it is sad that it's fallen to the Midland - for the best part of a century Manchester's most presitgious hotel (and last owner of a city centre Michelin star) - of all hotels to service it. Plenty of mid-market chains do that, and I just wish the Midland had left them to it and gone toe to toe with the Lowry et al for the premium end of business visitors.

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Crikey, I better not tell the story about the time I stayed in the Brittania in Manchester and after the upset of opening the curtains and looking onto a window painted on the wall (which may or may not have had a view of the New York skyline, I can't remember) I got in the lift to find  I was surrounded by Trekkies who even made all the swishy noises every time the lift door opened. I'm not sure which left deeper scars.

No, you're quite safe, at least from us, "Trekkies" mostly attend what are referred to as "media cons". The sort of science fiction convention that Duncan and I have gone to tends to be attended by relatively normal people - typically computer programmers and others who haven't really grown up yet...

There are always a few people who like to dress up, but most of us are at least as normal as the people who post on here. :smile:

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my main of 3 small 'dublin' bay prawn and pig ear, belly and trotter was the worst main I've had in along, long time.

Agreed, that dreadful foam looks like a cum shot.

A night out in Liverpool you say Gary? Just for old times sake? Reliving our student days? Hmmm... I feel a plan forming...

well, as we are grown up now thom i suggest a lovely long lunch at friache, into town, and well, let's see what happens....

If we must, I am in. "let's see what happens...." This worries me though...... :wink:

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well, as we are grown up now  thom i suggest a lovely long lunch at friache, into town, and...

...and you and I both know that we will quickly revert to our crazily hedonistic student personas, albeit with slightly more money, an inferior BMI and less fashionable haircuts.

Baa bar, Mello Mello, 051, Garlands, The Cavern, Cream, Nation, Wildlife at the Uni... Ah, halcyon days.

now i do feel old.

you don't win friends with salad

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Not claiming the market for mid-price delegates isn't there, only that it is sad that it's fallen to the Midland - for the best part of a century Manchester's most presitgious hotel (and last owner of a city centre Michelin star) - of all hotels to service it. Plenty of mid-market chains do that, and I just wish the Midland had left them to it and gone toe to toe with the Lowry et al for the premium end of business visitors.

i remember my friend saying as a rule he didn't want his hotels classified as 5 * even if they were, as they'd lose valuable public sector conference money, and we al know how keen those boys are to spend our hard earned tax!

you don't win friends with salad

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Oh, oh, another one - Heebie-Jeebies jazz club, in a brick-vaulted basement just around the corner from The Palace. Used to love that place. Dovadale Towers on Penny Lane? The Oxford and The Cambridge and the Augustus John on campus? I also had a soft spot for the pretty ropey El Macho, just on Hope St...

So are we doing Fraiche and then hitting Liverpool? That could be a fantastic night out. Just give my liver and my wallet a little time to recover, it's been a heavy few weeks...

And RE the Midland - Your friend can abolutely do what he wants as he bought the place and it can't be denied that it makes money but I just think if you are purposely chasing 4* conference trade it seems a pity to service that market by acquiring and refurbing the only hotel in Manchester with real potential, prestige, pedigree, history and a ex-Michelin star restaurant to that level.

I just find it peronally a bit sad, but I guess if I was counting the takings after the International Conference of Social Executive Policy Unit Pericombobulators had been in town it might ease my pain!

Actually The French is still pitched seriously high-end (in terms of expense, if not always execution) and surely even those tax-squandering public sector quango's can't be paying £20 - £30 a main course?!

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Oh, oh, another one - Heebie-Jeebies jazz club, in a brick-vaulted basement just around the corner from The Palace. Used to love that place. Dovadale Towers on Penny Lane? The Oxford and The Cambridge and the Augustus John on campus? I also had a soft spot for the pretty ropey El Macho, just on Hope St...

So are we doing Fraiche and then hitting Liverpool? That could be a fantastic night out. Just give my liver and my wallet a little time to recover, it's been a heavy few weeks...

I don't suppose it would come as any great suprise that i could legitimately have claimed to have gone to cambridge university, given that particular licensed establishments proximity to my department. (approx 1 minute).

you don't win friends with salad

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all your suggestions people. My night away is fast approaching. I will let you know how I get on, I think I will just see where the night takes me, so to speak! It's not always the best way, I'm sure I won't starve though! Might pop into the Unicorn at billinge on the way down, fill up there.

Am def up for Fraiche if that gets rolling too!

S'later.

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Thanks for all your suggestions people. My night away is fast approaching. I will let you know how I get on, I think I will just see where the night takes me, so to speak! It's not always the best way, I'm sure I won't starve though! Might pop into the Unicorn at billinge on the way down, fill up there.

Am def up for Fraiche if that gets rolling too!

S'later.

[/quot

just read a review for elude which is open sunday nights but i have never been its on the metro website if thats any help

regards guilt ridden marc

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Panoramic gets a fair to middling slating by Matthew Norman in the Guardian.

He manages to sidestep witless stereotyping of Liverpool and it's people by including a gag or two which witlessly stereotype Liverpool and it's people.

Neat.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Well I return from my night away, what 2 days to pick, glorious sunshine. Dead chuffed.

Set off 11:30ish from base camp, got car hand washed for £5, I thought that was quite reasonable? Noticed they had a "Dog wash" too. Anyhows, myself and my chubby hubby called into the Unicorn at billinge. Went there last year, again en route to Liverpool for a night away would you believe. It was nice from what I remembered, had smoked salmon last time. Got in, drink each, bowl of water for the dogs (Tap water, they don't do bottled), no food! Apparently they could not make it pay, throwing more away than they sold, all top produce. So Billinge has one of the north west's smartest drinking pubs! So that pissed on our chips. Soooooooooo, we asked where did food around, said next pub up road, turn right. It was called the Holts Head or Arms or something, typical pub really. Sat outside in the sun, we had a begutte each, waited an age for them, total shite. I had a sweet chilli chicken one, the chicken was that plastic chicken you get from take aways. Blluurrgghhh. Anyhow, we ate, walked the dogs in neighbouring woods, then carried onto Liverpool.

Arrived at hotel (Malmaison) 3:30, room not ready, so we said OK, the girl suggested we have a drink outside, which we said was a good idea! It would be better if it was a free drink we said as our room was not ready!! No probs, bonus.

So got into room eventually, got unpacked blah blah blah, had a walk around albert docks. Had a drink in Gusto, used to be Est est est, they were shite, I think they have re-branded them or sold them on?? Why do all the bars around there feel unclean?? Not really feeling the Albert docks.

Went back to Hotel, called cab to Castle street where Room was. So after a myriad of suggestions, ended up in Room. Handful of people in, place was OK, typical trendy bar design. Yawn. I had ratatouille, other half had beef bourguignon. Both tasted fine, just portions were tiny. I know when I go some were upmarket, serving posh nosh that I will get small portions, but I was dissapointed with these. I had apple pie and custard with apple sorbet, himself had ice cream. Again, both fine, whole meal took about an hour and a bit to finish, 2 mains, 2 desserts plus drinks £70. Didnt feel like £70 worth. But we were there to have fun, so didnt really get too hung up on it. I think for lunch its fine, been to Room in Mancs, that was doable. But it being sunday night, options a bit limited.

On way home (not finished yet!!) went via Formby, looked at all nice big houses, took dogs to beach, then stopped in Southport for lunch. Went to Owens, total wank. Avoid at all costs. Why is it that somewhere as nice as Southport, with all the money swilling about, has no where of merit to go?? (This is the point where I get bombarded with "Oh you should have tried this really nice bistro on...."). Nevermind. If anyone does know of anywhere in and around Southport, let me know!! I did have a good weekend, next time, will do my best to get to that place in Oxton!!! Your free to leave now.

Regards

Oliver

PS Thanks for all your suggestions!!

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the most shocking part of that review is the fact that he publically confesses drinking not only two chardonnay spritzers but to compound, three glasses of pinot grigio.

let's not forget his warm sake at dinings a few months ago.

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