Category Archives: Liverpool

More coffee at Arabesque Bazaar..

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Saturday September 1st 2012

Arabesque Bazaar, Lark Lane, Liverpool

Joining me- Tannie

Leaving the Sefton park Food Festival on a sunny evening meant one thing..more coffee. A quick walk to Lark lane and we picked a table sat outside the newish Arabesque Bazaar. The hustle and bustle of park goers passed us by heading for more food and drinks down the lane.

A unique little place selling moroccan food , coffee and cake and moroccan inspired homeware as well as shisha pipes and belly dancing on a weekend.

A good pot of tea made with tea leaves, the coffee was typical cappuccino style. What this place has going for it is its out door area front and rear where you could spend time chatting with friends on a nice day. After quenching our thirsts I left for home having had a thoroughly lovely day.

Sefton Park Food Festival 2012…

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Saturday 1st September

Sefton Park, Liverpool

Following the bean is turning me into a bit of a foodie. Drinks and food kinda go hand in hand hence coffee and cake. Following this rule I am starting to take note of food festivals which are cropping up all over the place.

My first of the year (I say first as I intend there to be more) was Sefton Park Food festival 2012. I first came across Sefton park a few months ago while dating someone who lived in close proximity to said park. Just out of Liverpool centre it is a lovely place to go walking, sit and while away the hours in the sun (when we get it!) or sit and hear a band playing in the band stand. On a weekend there is 2 little cafes open by the lake, today the fields behind were sectioned off and rife with people all ready for a day of eating and drinking in the sun.

There were stands from all kinds of eateries in the Liverpool area such as Bem Brazil and Jamie’s, mixed in with stands with wine, local produce and spirits, all with reasonable prices. Just shows the difference having your food served up on a paper plate makes! Samples of wine, chocolate, bread and oils, cheese and old school cordials were sampled with no arm twisting involved! The chocolates tasted as good as they looked. The detail on them was beautiful making them too nice to eat… but that’s what they’re there for!

A singer had no problem getting the crowd to sing along to classics from the likes of snow patrol. I think at this point in the day the wine and cider consumed was helping. Behind, a small central section was devoted to coffee houses. Back to back stands, anyone in the coffee culture was there. Our friends at Central Perk had their quirky personalised cups while Bold Street Coffee had their unique brownies.

As Bold Street Coffee is said to be THE place to get coffee in Liverpool I thought I would get my cappuccino there. While waiting I was intrigued by their selection of brownies on the counter- goats cheese, pistachio and even topped with bacon! Not appealing but Tannie wanted to try something new so opted for the goats cheese. The Barista informed me it was raspberry flavoured, this still did not tempt me and bacon on top, wrong!

I must say the fact my cappuccino came in a paper cup and was one of the best coffees I’ve ever had says a lot. The care was still there even down to the foam art. We sat in the sun amidst others enjoying their food and drinks and tucked into our purchased cakes and satisfying coffees. Discussing trying new foods Tannie told me of her experience with a truffle salad in Milan. Chocolate in salad? I asked. No- an expensive salad due to the fact the truffle is from inside a tree trunk which has to be sniffed out by dogs. I had never heard of this but eating bits of bark in my leaves was not something I would be trying. What I found out the next day is that truffle is a delicacy and is actually a fungus on trees and is sniffed out by a pig. I don’t know what sounds worse Tannie’s version of truffle or the real one!

The day drew to a close at 6pm. Not quite ready for evening food and not ready to call it a day there was only one thing to do…go for a coffee!

Coffee with ‘Friends’ at Central Perk…

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 20th August 2012

Central Perk, Liverpool

Joining me- Tannie

Having a longing to go to New York and yes do the sights I was looking forward to my cake and coffee at Central Perk. Arranged like the cafe in the Friends series, this is a novelty to visit and meets the requirements of my friend-comfy sofas. 2 satisfied customers should be leaving!

We took our places on a large comfy sofa and armchair. Arranged in sections with tall tables and stools, reminiscent of the sit com. There was a relaxed vibe with an American feel. Links were everywhere to the characters such as Chandlers classic- a speciality coffee and the wifi password- smelly cat. Our latte, cappuccino (sm, med and lg options) chocolate button cupcake and white chocolate cheese cake arrived. They looked great. It wasn’t long after the plates were empty. Tannie let out a ‘mmmm’ as she delved into the cheesecake, one spoonful later and I knew why. They were delicious. Moist, melt in the mouth and moreish. The coffees were also satisfying without being bitter and a full cup.

There was a buzz around us as young coffee enthusiasts, couples and friends all relaxed whilst tucking into their refreshments. It seems that coffee and cake go hand in hand here. Refreshments are written on chalk boards and in keeping with the American feel soda, Hershey bars and cupcakes are on the menu. While Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe and Ross go about their business on  the 2 large tv screens in frames on opposite walls.

It was a very hot afternoon but the cafe was cooled with drawn back windows. This place does not feel like your usual coffee shop. It is very informal and different. There didn’t seem much else happening outside around it but it definitely is attracting attention.

For an hour I pretended  New York had come to me. A lovely time was spent here and I would call again . Central Perk goes on my recommended list. If you’re a Friends fan you should try it at least once.

One of my other reasons for visiting Liverpool was to see the Monet exhibition at the Tate Gallery. Let’s be honest there was really only one picture I had in mind that I wanted to see. The Water Lilies. This is one of the pictures as a student I had on my walls in my grotty student digs. I was excited to ‘see it in the flesh’ so to speak.  As I walked to the gallery I sat on a bench facing the Mersey and thought what a great city. The hustle and bustle a stones throw away from the docks filled with culture and the Liver Building stand proud in the sunshine.

The last  time I visited the Tate there was an exhibition of a video of someone being sick. This is called modern art. I don’t understand it. Each to their own but there’s something about this type of modern art that I think is a little pretentious and I’m sorry but I don’t get the appeal. Today did not persuade me otherwise. On the first floor I saw small Monet paintings the rest was on the 4th floor so,  I worked my way up through the gallery. On floors 2 and 3 Conversation pieces was the title. One picture was a red square on white canvas. That’s it. Would it be on a wall if I’d painted it? Which I could have.  I work with primary children and they could do that .  The information said ‘colour takes on a life of its own’, really? It’s still just a red square on a white canvas. Another piece was a coat hanger covered in mod roc, surely not difficult? And the pier de resistance- a pile of clothes and personal belongings (phone, money)in a corner. Apparently an artist stripped naked and someone collected his clothes. Now they are ‘art’. In that case I have a great deal of fortune in my bedroom as I leave a pile of clothes on my floor on a regular basis. And I would advise anybody to keep random drawings your children do as you will find some very similar basic representations hanging from walls in established galleries. Frame them and sell them!

Isn’t art open to interpretation? Then mine is that sometimes people make something out of something it’s not. As I reached the final floor I truly appreciated art. There before me were beautiful works of art.  First Irises,  tall and strong then,  as I turned the corner, Water Lilies. Covering an entire section of wall in all its glory. Not hiding behind a frame I went as close as I possibly could. Able to see the raised movements of the paint it was so tempting to feel and had there not been so many people around I think I may have tried to get a quick sneaky touch. It was calming and soothing. I sat on a bench facing and admired. And to my right and my rear further smaller Lilies pieces.

Now that’s art.