Liverpool Food & Drink Festival: Reviewed
By Tom Power
It is not often that my stomach makes me pay for eating just that little too much food.
And it is even a rarer occasion that I feel lethargic after what I would consider a normal sized meal too.
It may have been 24 hours since I visited the Liverpool Food and Drink festival – at the time of writing this anyway – but the struggle of leaving my bed come Monday morning was certainly real due to my comatose nature.
The annual celebration of all things food and drink based, now into its 8th year at Sefton Park, played host to over 150 stall holders from across Liverpool, over the course of last weekend, who would look to entice revellers with a wide variety of, well, food and drink.
The sheer choice on offer was only overwhelmingly obvious to me upon entering and, despite three laps of the site that was temporarily hemmed in by fencing to keep out those unwilling to pay the £6.50 entry fee, I still had not uncovered all of the delights that would look to tempt me into parting with my cash.
After a brief respite watching cooking demonstrations at the celebrity chef tent from Valentine Warner and Rachel Khoo (alright, an hour is more than ‘brief’), my stomach made me aware that it was time to sample some of the wide variety of delicacies available to me.
A tender, delicious burger from Cau was devoured with gusto, pulled pork fries from Piggie Smalls (surely the winners of best pun for a restaurant name ever) were also consumed before a helping of chocolate dipped Spanish churros was enough to ease any lasting hunger pangs.
And yet, in spite of feeling satisfied, I still felt a slight sense of guilt over not being able to try something from every stall.
In a way, it was slightly bittersweet that there was too much choice on offer, as it would be physically impossible to sample over 95% of the food and drink that many exhibitors whipped up for those who braved such an open area of Sefton Park underneath dark, foreboding cloudy skies.
On the one hand, popular joints such as Almost Famous – how cool was their van, by the way – Bold Street Coffee, Lucha Libre and Mowgli will have undoubtedly drawn people in to taste the appetizing food on offer but, on the other, it may be a good thing that less established vendors attracted just as many punters.
After all, a little competition never hurt anyone, did it?
And that is why events such as the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival should be, and evidently are, welcomed with open arms.
It affords bars, cafes, restaurants and regional producers the opportunity to showcase the fruits of their labour, and allows members of the public chances to try new cuisines, and potentially find a new culinary haunt for the foreseeable future.
Will I return to the Food and Drink Festival in 2016? You can bet I’ll be there, but not before my stomach has fully forgiven me.