Tag: food

The Food Report: Maray Review

The Food Report: Maray Review

Maray opened 3 months ago on Bold Street and ever since I saw their tagline – Falafel x Cocktails – I have been trying to make it there. Finally, an opportunity opened itself up this week and we made it along for a Tuesday night treat!

Maray Liverpool ReviewMaray Liverpool Review

The menu consists of small plates and big platters, all perfect for sharing. We started with some Q.V.O. cocktails. I immediately knew I would visit Maray again purely for this glass of perfection – sweet sloe gin, smooth prosecco fizz and a refreshing smack of cucumber.

The menu was varied and really interesting. We opted for FHT (Falafel, Hummus & Tabouleh);; fish goujons with sweet potato wedges; slow cooked lamb, spinach and turmeric potatoes; black eyed peas with feta and za’atar; and cauliflower with yoghurt and pomegranate.

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The falafel was crisp and really well flavoured, accompanied by the smoothest hummus I’ve ever eaten. The fish was perfectly cooked and encased in beautifully light breadcrumbs, with buttery soft sweet potato wedges with sticky, crispy edges. The lamb was melt in the mouth and the black eyed peas had plenty of za’atar and crumbly feta hidden underneath. Whilst I’m loathe to write yet another review where I say that our favourite thing was the cauliflower, but really – roasted cauliflower is the best anyway, but add a tangy yoghurt and some sweet pomegranate seeds and we were really onto a winner.

Maray Liverpool ReviewMaray Liverpool Review

We also went for a second round of cocktails, this time opting for the St Germain Whip – another gin cocktail with St Germain, an elderflower liquer, more cucumber and velvety smooth egg white.

The atmosphere is lovely, and I’m glad we were there early enough to get a table because it did get busy. The service was brilliant too, attentive without being overbearing, and we were offered lots of advice on our choices. With the cocktails this was a little more expensive than our usual midweek eating, but overall it was great value. Kate and I absolutely love to get lots of dishes and share them, but if this isn’t your thing you could certainly go for a couple of small plates and a side each (but if you’re going to do that, really, go on, just share!).

Maray Liverpool Review

I think Maray would be the perfect place for a date – dimmed lighting, flowers everywhere, a healthy amount of gin and sharing some delightful food? You can’t go wrong.

We had a beautiful evening at Maray and I can’t wait to head back – if only for a Q.V.O. and some crispy kale!

Have you been to Maray yet? What would you recommend I try next?

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote a proper weekly report. By way of apology this post is extra picture heavy and you can still see what I’ve been up to in my WOMAD report, a review of Phom Tea, a Game of Thrones themed Nom Nom Club, a review of dinner at Yardbird, or a baking adventure with a very chocolatey cake.

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Watching The bake off (although I’m not a fan of an extra slice), Parks and Recreation (about time), Friends, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

Listening to Arcade Fire, James Blake, all the things I listened to in 2009, The Coral, This American Life, an incredible Fleetwood Mac remix that we discovered courtesy of Greg Wilson at WOMAD. 

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Reading I’m halfway through The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared in preparation for a Bournemouth based book club next week. It’s charming and hilarious!

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Writing A short story about walking home without noticing.

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Eating Lots of aubergine, halloumi, tomatoes and courgettes. This late summer and the Farmers’ Market have perfectly combined to make me crave all of the vegetables. A Sunday night treat at Host, moussaka with tahini, lotsa spaghetti, a peach upside down cake, the best salad I’ve ever made (recipe for this and the cake coming up on the blog tomorrow), baked feta with lots of herbs, an extra amazing brunch at Boston Tea Party with my dreamy pals, a thrown together mezze, pancakes stacked up with almond butter and agave, a Saturday night dinner at Nolita Cantina with some of my favourite people and a Sunday night curry feast.

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Talking about Bikes, being a tourist where you live, gossip, how to pick your Desert Island Discs, why one of my favourite people is moving to Yemen, beekeeping and how beautiful Ness Gardens are. 

The Food Report: Yardbird

The Food Report: Yardbird

Last week after a rather arduous train journey I met Kate for a trip to Yardbird, the newly opened chicken shop on the corner of Berry St and Duke St in Liverpool. As it’s on my walk home from town I have watched with interest as they fitted out the shop, put up the signs and then drew cactuses on the windows to tell us about the chicken and shakes.

Yardbird Liverpool food

As is our usual way when trying a new place we went for a selection of things to try and share. Kate had the chicken with biscuit and gravy, whilst I tried a chicken or egg burger. Kate was a bit concerned about the potential sweetness of the biscuits, but said that it was actually pretty delicious, if a little filling. The chicken or egg burger was perfect chicken with a crispy coating and tender inside, plus pancetta, swiss, a deep fried egg, salad, pink sauce and a Drumstick for afters. It’s an absolute hot mess – I wouldn’t necessarily advise this as a spot for a date – but it is a real treat. The deep fried egg was the most intriguing element for us, and was like a poached egg with an ever so slightly crispy outer. Brioche buns are a bit of a fad that I know is not for everyone (you know a trend food has probably gone on too long when it appears in Tesco) but I really love them, so this was excellent for me.

Yardbird Liverpool chicken or egg burger

To accompany these we had French fries, which will be perfect for you if you’re a fan of the ones from the big yellow M. As regular readers will know, I love a good slaw (it’s not a Nom Nom Club if I don’t make a slaw), so any establishment selling two versions will be in my good books. We opted for the red cabbage, raisin and pine nut which was the perfect mix of crunchy, sweet and tangy from the flecks of wholegrain mustard peppered throughout. No gloopy mayo here!

Yardbird Liverpool food

Our star of the evening was the buffalo fried cauliflower florets with blue cheese. I love roasted cauliflower so I suspected I might like these although I was a little dubious about the blue cheese. I was wrong! The creamy but light cheese dressing was the perfect foil to the spicy tang of the buffalo sauce, and we ate these up with delight.

We washed all this down with cola, as a Monday night was not quite the time for a hardshake, but on my next visit I definitely want to try one of the many sours on offer, along with some chicken and doughnuts. It’s no secret that my obsession for all things sweet and salty is overwhelming and I could definitely satisfy this at Yardbird.

The atmosphere was great too, with excellent tunes, plenty of plants dotted around and windows enticing you in with neon and adorable drawings.

I’ve seen some fairly mixed Yardbird reviews on social media but I can safely say that we had quick service and great food, and are keen to return soon!

Have you been to Yardbird? What did you eat? What should I try?

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching Old Friends episodes and the end of The Good Wife fifth season.

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Listening to Arcade Fire and The Black Keys, on repeat, all day, every day. I wrote the same thing last week, and it’s still true. Of course I was also listening to our amazing friends playing at a beautiful wedding.

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Reading The papers and How to Deliver a TED Talk.

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Writing Lists and notes in the wedding book.

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Eating I’m trying to eat up the contents of my freezer, which is always an interesting challenge. Lots of fresh veg, including some from the roof garden at work, and an absolutely gorgeous wedding breakfast, of course.

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Talking about How old we clearly are if our friends are allowed to get married, forgiveness and being good people, jazzy and snazzy as probably the best compliments ever, podcasts, not watching television, players, tequila, event planning, “quiet August”, holiday planning, what to do with our lives, how it’s probably best to decide what to do with the next year, soulmates, hair dye, having children young, Water Aid, japes and capes, Tinder dates, mini-pegs, raucous friends, wed-minton and pride.

I really had a super beautiful week – how was yours?

 

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching Really not very much. A little of The Good Wife and Game of Thrones (oh my gosh) but mostly I’ve been frolicking outside.

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Listening to A lot of Britney, a lot of the Heebies playlist to get us through a big move at work and plenty of 50s tunes to prepare for a very 50s wedding. IMG_3137IMG_3139

Reading I lost my copy of Hotel World but I found it again this week. It’s really such an excellent book.

Writing Too few blog posts again. Must try harder!

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Eating Amazing wedding pizza, 9 pies, delicious haricot beans with artichokes and lemons, beetroot carpaccio with feta and a minty lemon dressing, the most amazing tart and ice cream at my Nanny’s house. Family dinner is truly my favourite thing. I picked up some lovely rhubarb at the farmer’s market last week and it inspired a rhubarb and ginger chutney, just in time for Father’s Day!

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Talking about How much changes in just a few years, how flipping hilarious we all are, where I want to live for life, becoming grown up, expressing emotions properly, froyo, my plants (I’m obsessed), glitter, Glastonbury, going on retreat and knowing our strengths.

I went to a beautiful wedding this weekend and it prompted lots of discussion of how long we’ve all known each other, how far we’ve come and just how much we love each other (yeah, that might have been the cider talking).

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The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching I started watching The Good Wife this week and I really like it! It almost makes me want to become a lawyer.

Listening to I went to the Summer Ball at work on Friday so I’ve been hearing a whole lot of Clean Bandit and Foreign Beggars. Special mention for the Juicy DJs who played Blu Cantrell, Independent Woman and loads of other favourites.

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Reading Byron Katie’s Loving What Is and How to Deliver a TED Talk. I keep trying to read lately but instead I fall asleep with a book on my face.

Writing Lists, mostly, and texts that I never send.

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Eating The asparagus I got at Claremont Farm last week. I made a quick Saturday supper of asparagus, poached eggs and homemade hollandaise. I’d never attempted a hollandaise before and I have to admit I made a split attempt first, but on my second pan it was a success! Another skill for my repertoire. Lots of other Farm Feast leftovers in delicious couscous salad, homemade almond biscuits, an amazing goats cheese with beetroot at Leaf and a great Baltic Bakehouse feta and tahini sandwich.

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Talking about Food, boys, how much my little plants are growing, which camera I’d like next and how young people are. On Friday night there were people not dancing to Destiny’s Child! Couldn’t handle it.

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The Food Report: Farm Feast

The Food Report: Farm Feast

This weekend I headed over the water to Bebington for a trip to Farm Feast. It promised to be a wonderful day full of food, drinks and music, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Farm Feast strawberry tunnels

After a surprisingly quick train ride we were keen to start the day with a pre-lunch snack; an amuse bouche if you will. We very quickly found the Homemade Scotch Egg Company. I’ve only recently tried a scotch egg and decided I might like them, but there were two named after me so it would have been rude not to try one! The Millie was gluten free, with fresh apple, and was definitely delicious.

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We accompanied this with some spears of asparagus and hollandaise from the Claremont Farm asparagus patch. It’s always great to eat something in season, and after being massive fans of last year’s asparagus pop-up shop it was great to eat the lovely stems on the farm itself. Perfectly unctuous hollandaise, green and fresh asparagus and a tart squeeze of lemon eaten greedily with your fingers might just be a perfect dish.

We explored all over the site,where we found a sheep show in full swing, dancers opening the Aloha bar, strawberry tunnels, a tent full of cakes and a Berry and Rye hut tucked away in the trees.

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We popped into the demonstration tents to see some cheese-making, which really inspired me – I can’t wait to have a go at making my own soon – and we were also lucky enough to see Brendan Lynch of Bake Off fame giving his tips on choux pastry. He suggested adding rose petals to your signets if you’re trying to seduce someone. Let’s face it, it would work on me!

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We had Tiki Pimbs from Aloha, some marvellous Redwillow Seamless ale, perfectly barbecued chicken subs with crunchy slaw and chilli mango sauce, tiny crescent almondies, galette aux pêche, perfectly marinated garlic and a million samples of cheese.

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The food was clearly fantastic, but I also really enjoyed getting into the countryside, especially when it was just 20 minutes out of the city. A day in wellies is always good for you.

Farm Feast was brilliant – I would thoroughly recommend and I hope we can go back next year!

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching 
Masterchef – totes emosh. Game of Thrones – I’m really glad it seems to have got exciting again because there were a couple of episodes where I thought maybe I was bored with it.

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Listening to Matt Costa, Jack Johnson, Vance Joy, The Black Ghosts, She & Him, Robyn, Frank Turner, Damien Rice, Jazzsteppa, The Cat Empire, Gabby Young, Regina and lots more. I’ve been doing a lot of dancing this week.

Reading Lots of things for my feminist politics course – it’s pretty fascinating! I’ve also been adding to my cookbooks (I know, it’s an affliction) so they’re getting some attention.

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Writing I spent a couple of lunchtimes this week writing bits for my novel. I’d fallen a little out of love with it but I think having a little holiday and feeling creative again has rekindled it for me.

Eating Some lovely fresh soups with spring greens and poached eggs, lots of delicious treats from my colleagues’ birthday gift, some great lunches (a post on this is coming soon), a picnic in Abercromby Square, a Thursday night treat at Lucha Libre (prawn and mango tacos, yes!), Food Slam deliciousness on Friday and homemade pizza on Saturday (more on this in this week’s Food Report).

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Talking about Texting, scandals, revolution, the best way to make an iced coffee, who keeps cruising up and down the marina, meal plans, Ottolenghi, A Levels, how grown up everyone is, weddings, whether we should start a street food stall, whether I should become a teacher (having my yearly crisis where I decide it’s my calling), Game of Thrones theories, being a graduand, why people always pop up when you just don’t need them to, birthdays, love at first sight, revision techniques and passwords.

Summer really hit for me this week, with lots of time spent outside soaking up the sun and laughing til my sides hurt. It’s beautiful!

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The weekly report

The weekly report

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Watching MasterchefThe Office, Black Books, Frozen (yes, again). 

Listening to Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet – I was lucky enough to be in the audience for the recording and I got to ask a question! It was an incredibly interesting recording, and I was obviously very excited to have my question picked. Also a lot of Disney soundtracks, Jack Johnson, inappropriate Tenacious D and a rendition of Like a Prayer that prompted a full on ‘what just happened?’ response.

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Reading Still Hotel World by Ali Smith – it’s fantastic!

Writing Not enough blog posts – I missed this week’s Drinks Report, but it’ll be back next week! I wrote pages and pages in my journal instead, which was just good for my brain.

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Eating So much great food! It was my birthday last week, and I had a week off work so I was back at home in Gloucestershire. We went to the falafel shop for lunch and Hobbs House Bakery (of the Fabulous Baker Brothers fame) for tea and tarts. I also had the most amazing birthday cake – my Mama is the best.

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Talking about The power of the political system, oppression, fear, how much wine is enough, dates, selfies, the worst kind of cookbooks, birthdays, Game of Thrones theories, geographical knowledge, how people are great, climbing (I went bouldering for the first time in a million years and boy, was I awful. Next time I’ll be bad, and the time after that I might just be ok), moral dilemmas, secret Instagrams, what everyone I know was doing when they were 24 (getting married, mostly. Sorry to disappoint), India, interrailing, teaching, Otter’s Adventure (the ultimate CD-ROM game) and uncompromised lives.

It’s been a wonderful week and I’ve been feeling very grateful for all the amazing people and things in my life. It’s good to remember that sometimes.

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The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching Masterchef, obviously. Let it Gorepeatedly. Black Books. The Trip – so happy to have a second series! I’m Alan Partridge (I know, I’m late to that party). New Game of Thrones – consider me excited.

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Listening to Regina, R.E.M., a very Parisian playlist for the French edition of Nom Nom Club, Mungo’s Hi-Fi, Bob, Pulp and Shirley Bassey, because we did the best Shirley impression on Saturday morning. 

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Reading Lots of newspapers, Olive, ABM, and Sylvia.

Writing Silly quotes in the new Nom Nom Club guestbook and bonus blog posts.

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Eating Lots of big salads and soup, curry, delicious plump cha siu bao from Bon Bon Bakery, and hastily homemade pizzas. As I mentioned, we held  the French edition of Nom Nom Club, but I’ll share that in this week’s Food Report. Suffice to say I ate a lot.

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Lusting after A Polaroid PoGo. Why don’t they make one for iPhone? Also beautiful views, as apparently that’s all I took photos of this week.

Talking about Having six friends to stay makes for some pretty rambling far reaching conversations. In a nutshell we talked about:

Moving to new cities, differing stages of grown-up relationships, how creepy Port Sunlight looks at night, shouting at the sea, Disney favourites, inventions (patents pending), interventions, boats, a nice deck, all of the French we know, future feasts, hosting skills, the most inappropriate Cards against Humanity plays, what constitutes modern art and how an overhead railway works (we went to the Tate and the Museum of Liverpool).

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This video art piece made me feel quite claustrophobic. I found the most recent DLA Piper Series: Constellations a little disappointing. We didn’t make it to the second floor but nothing really grabbed me and made me excited on the first – I’ll have to pop back and see if I find something I love upstairs. I did like Mary Martin’s Inversions, as I’ve always liked Cross which they have at the Walker, and Wolfgang Tillmans’ still life photos were excellent.

Then we headed to the museum where I was very excited to go in the overhead railway carriage and look at all the old biscuit tins!

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