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Food and drink round-up

The city's most expensive glass of house white? Good fish and chips, bad fish and chips and more

Published on January 14th 2010.

Food and drink round-up

IT'S the Southport Food and Drink festival all this weekend, so catch a train and sample all the fun of the fare around town with tastings, special menus and more. There are some good places to eat up in Southport, 29 The Promenade and The Warehouse Brasserie (review coming next week) being names on the footballers' radar, not forgetting the delightful Michael's in Birkdale. Confidential wishes it could recommend the fish and chip restaurant at the end of Southport Pier, a beautiful looking place serving beautiful looking plaice. But after a haddock and chips which left one of our already depressed diners close to tears on Sunday last, it was a case pass the Prozac. Happy daze.


WHY? Because fish and chips, unless you have an eating disorder is not something to be entered into casually. Bad fish and chips makes you feel ill and full of remorse quite quickly, so if you sign this pact with the diabetes devil you must ensure you come out of it smiling and only slightly ashamed. Get into Simply Heathcote's in Beetham Plaza then.
Confidential tucked into its Taste of Liverpool menu recently and can certainly recommend, without fear of favour, the bitter-battered cod and thick, fresh and crispy tatties that you get on an evening menu costing only £15.50 for two courses and half a bottle of wine. The creamy and tangy tartare sauce was top notch and the mushy peas were freshly made and tasted of peas, yes peas, and not that khaki green watery slime we've been insulted with elsewhere.
And yes, yes, yes they are doing a promo with us, but that doesn't stop it from being good. Click here to get the deal. You won't regret it.


IS it a bus office? Is it a toilet? No, it's an expired cafe, but it could soon be bouncing back into business.
Sgt Pepper's Bistro, at the junction of Penny Lane and Allerton Road, is in line for a revamp after lying empty for years, or perhaps it was just lost in Anfield on the 68 Arriva route.
Plans to build a first-floor extension to the former 99/92 bus stop, depending on your age, were thrown out in 2007 after city planners claimed it would obstruct views of nearby St Barnabas church.
But owner Ray Maatook says a fresh planning application is just a drumbeat away.And he apologised to the people of Liverpool for the hold-up admitting he had “let the city down”.
Hey, don't worry, Ray, we've come through worse than this.


BACK to Southport, and the Vincent Hotel has won the prestigious North West RICS Tourism and Leisure 2009 award. Widely regarded as the region’s property ‘Oscars’, the award recognises inspirational initiatives and developments in property, construction and the environment. Held at Manchester City’s stadium, the Vincent beat off tough competition, including the Midland hotel in Morecambe and the Hard Day’s Night, to take home the coveted award.

Opened in 2008, The Vincent Hotel on Lord Street, was designed by award winning Architects Falconer Chester Hall.

AND speaking of the Hard Day's Night Hotel...could this be Liverpool's most expensive glass of house wine? Confidential went to the after-party of Francesco Mellina's Sound and Vision exhibition, currently showing at the National Conservation Centre.
There they all were, all the usual suspects, somewhat incongruously, in the posh Beatles themed bar. But wait, where did they all go? One suspects to The Grapes.
“A glass of dry white please,” said our operative. “That will be £6.95,” replied the barman. Confidential retreated home shortly after, wishing they had brought the car, and spent the train journey staring at the receipt.


MARTIN Cooper remains, after all these years, a top cook in these parts, a reputation undimmed by a delicious mutton curry he served Confidential a couple of weeks ago at Delifonseca. The Stanley Street restaurant and deli was chocker this particular night, but what many of the punters might not know is that ex Armadillo Martin does French very well. Thus a Gallic food and wine evening that Delifonseca is hosting on Friday May 29 sounds juste le billet.

The four-course feast with paired vinos, includes Brandade de Morue, Poule au pot and some choux bun dessert that hasn't got a French name yet, along with muscadet, a grand vin Burgundy, Les Armoiries Côtes du Rhône and much more. At £42 a head, stick it on your expenses. Who wouldn't? To book (essential) call 0151 255 0808.


OOH, we suddenly fancy a trip out to a nice country pub – especially with the news that the Alvanley Arms – in rural Cheshire – has been hailed one of the UK's best loved inns.
The 400-year-old boozer at Cotebrook, near Tarporley, featured amongst The Daily Torygraph's 70 Great British Pubs, which includes, so they say,”some of the country's favourite traditional haunts and gastro gems”.

Certainly the Alvanley has all the trappings of the great British pub: a shire horse theme, hand-pulled cask ales, a roaring log fire and a grumpy bloke who scowls when you sit on his stool (don't worry, we made that last bit up – maybe).

Judges describe it as one of the North West's “top watering holes and best for an overnight stay” - with splendid views, quaint rooms and a hearty dinner menu including ye olde pubbe favourites of steak and ale pie and scampi and chips.

The beer garden overlooks a duck pond and scenic countryside all around affords bounteous opportunities to walk off the effects of too many hand-pulled cask ales.

Landlady Janet King said they like to provide guests with “an authentic country experience” but did not mention if the price includes the smell of sileage or the crowing of cocks at 5am.


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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Maxie JamesMay 15th 2009.

Anyone who drinks whine deserves to be ripped off. It is a posh snobs drink. Whats wrong with good old English beer?Leave the ladies of the night to the whine and drink a mans drink for gods sake.

ViennaMay 15th 2009.

£6.95 is the average price of a glass of house wine in a rip-off merchants' bar. Do u know what the cost price of that will be? About a quid at the very top.

Houdi ElbowMay 15th 2009.

I went to see Francesco's show and I have to say it made me smile. A lovely bloke and still cutting a dash. Gud to see him get some recognition at last!

EditorialMay 15th 2009.

Nope, it was a 175ml glass. Not the biggun 250ml Marco. A bottle was £28, we were told. Maybe it was the six straws our party ordered with it that did it.

bwgMay 15th 2009.

Slug and Lettuce are charging about six quid for a glass of Pinot Grigio......I sat at the windown looking at the sign suggesting i could have bought a bottle for that over the road at the Hogshead.

JoanMay 15th 2009.

£6.95 is about average for a glass of wine at a premium bar these days.

AnonymousMay 15th 2009.

You can get a plastic bottle of Wolf Blass from Home Bargains for £3.49. Just put it in your bag and go the toilet to refill.

Don MarcoMay 15th 2009.

Happy to order large measures, just not happy to pay for them. That must be embarrassing, hey?

AnonymousMay 15th 2009.

The Hard Days Night I suspect, charge these disgustingly inflated prices to American Tourists who are too afraid to go out of the hotel at night. A lot of tourists stay put (well you only have to take a look at Mathew Street after dark to know why)

Marie TimemuseumMay 15th 2009.

What? An 'after party' for an exhibition at the Conservation Centre? Is this run by the same National Museums Liverpool that recently sold one of its maritime exhibits for scrap because they reckoned they couldn't afford to maintain it?It's like Storey and co in the City Council with their champagne and canapés whilst cutting the wages and jobs of care assistants - all fur coat and no knickers. It’s a disgrace.

wolfieMay 15th 2009.

that's odd, i went to Hard Days Night last week and was charged £3.75 for house white.

AnonymousMay 15th 2009.


Kinnel TommyMay 15th 2009.

Thay IS Boxhead, adn the woman who worked in the ticket office of Eric's when she was blonde.

Watson PrickardMay 15th 2009.

I once had the misfortune to visit the Slug & Lettuce too. Uncomfortable seating, ridiculous prices and a hideously scally clientele. I've never been back.

AnonymousMay 15th 2009.

Is that Boxhead or am I imagining things?

Square faceMay 15th 2009.

I had a gin and tonic in Zeligs the other week and it was about nine quid. What a total rip-off.

Watson PrickardMay 15th 2009.

And slow service too from the rude staff too. Obviously mates of the scallies.

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