The third Liverpool Food and Drink Festival began yesterday in Sefton Park. Saturday’s rain gave way to sunny skies, though the ground still had festival-worthy mud in places and wellies were out in abundance. The number of stalls had increased noticeably over last year, with more vendors traditionally found at farmers markets alongside the usual restaurant suspects. Crowds gathered around the cookery demo/celebrity chef marquee and we spotted James Martin striding through the crowd, with minders.
It was good to see smaller restaurants alongside the heavy hitters and my favourite sources of caffeine on Bold Street, Brew and Bold Street Coffee, were doing a brisk trade. French Quarter Bakery had an impressive stall, twice the size of a normal Lark Lane market offering, while Liverpool Cheese Company’s seemed rather smaller than usual. After sampling as many freebies and entering all the competitions we could, it was difficult to choose where to eat properly. Husband went for some beans and rice with friend plantains to start before settling on a hog roast for mains. A friend chose the fish curry from Spice Lounge. And eventually, I settled on Chaophraya, and their mixed starter plate. Their stall was one of the best looking, and I appreciate how much effort went into its appearance as well as the food. The starter plate held chicken satay skewers, a veggie spring roll, corn fritter and strips of beef.
We shared a jug of mojitos while listening to a steel drum band. Eventually we queued up to get a crepe from some French friends whose creperie appears around the city during continental markets. We made our way home in the autumn sunshine.
The rest of the festival consists of Restaurant Week-style offers and events at participating venues. I hope to visit at least a couple restaurants, especially the new Delifonseca Dockside at Brunswick Dock. More to come.