Happy New Year to all His & Hers readers and pretty much everyone else too.
Feature by Jean Hill
2022 was not without its challenges. This might feel counterintuitive but it seemed like a good time to show gratitude for the good experiences alongside the more testing ones.
Retail has not fully recovered from Covid. Price increases fuelled by inflation and supply issues impact on everyone. Yet whilst doing the food shop just before Christmas, I noticed that some vegetables, including sprouts and fruit, had been drastically reduced in some supermarkets. Every little helps.
Before restrictions fully lifted, the highlight of the week would be walking with friends and family. This included rambles along Hoylake beach where it never seemed to rain. The dark oppressive cloud formations always magically lifted as we touched down on sand and sandstone.
Another favourite place was Calderstones Park where we walked through a swirl of snow, smiling inanely at the wonder of it. Magical moments. It is where we discovered the Reader bookshop. Find something real and absorbing to take home when the day is done. Reading had been akin to walking and equally important in getting through lock-down. The Reader’s founder, Jane Davis MBE was teaching in Continuing Education at Liverpool University when she developed and launched Shared Reading groups. Using literature for personal reflection is at the heart of Shared Reading. It reaches out and draws in those who are lonely or troubled and want to explore good literature in supportive company.
His & Hers began getting invites for restaurant reviews mid-way through 2022. The resilience of hospitality can only be admired. The profit margins are usually fairly slim, so it is love of fine cuisine that drives the industry. There have been some memorable start-ups in Liverpool just recently.
Should you want to celebrate in style, somewhere with an alpine theme with live music, try Albert’s Schloss. It is a beautiful space with a fabulous bar and a great atmosphere. There is comfort food aplenty and more besides.
Gaucho launched in Water Street, Liverpool. It brings prime Argentinian beef to a distinguished venue. The building used to be the kind of bank that boasted fine Italian marble: a totally prosperous, polished appearance. It is a listed building, so the majestic marble columns remain. Provenance is impressive and there is a diverse menu, including fish and veggie dishes and great desserts. All delivered with great care and a commitment to quality.
We, at His & Hers (our esteemed editor and me), regularly eat lunch at The Nook in West Kirby. The food is made from scratch and it is very good indeed. Lovely bread: goat’s cheese combined with apple and beetroot on sourdough. Lovely breakfast, brunch options and they do beautiful cake too. And the staff are lovely!
The Olive Tree in New Brighton is outstanding. Not least because the standard never waivers. Sunday lunch is a personal favourite. There is a veggie option: my own favourite is lamb, with all the trimmings. The Yorkshire pudding is divine. The gravy is rich and wholesome. The lamb is perfectly cooked, with great, succulent flavour. Comes totally recommended. They also do the best cheesecake, beautifully presented. This is a family business that delivers in spades and (of course) delicious food.
The Watering Can, Greenbank Park, Liverpool has become another favourite. It is such a beautiful venue, that almost merges into the surrounding foliage and flowers. Step inside and this is an impressive building: a class, glass act, a superior conservatory, with a smidge of potting shed with beautiful wooden features and flowers. The food is glorious. Their chicken tastes of bygone times, when all chickens were free range. The bread is moreish. The prawn cocktail, with its distinctive Marie Rose sauce is a delicious winner. Afterwards take a walk in this beautiful park and ruminate on what really matters to you in this turbulent world.
Heartfelt Happy New Year. I would like to write: ‘It can only get better’. Realistically time will tell. The good news: there are always simple pleasures to get you through turbulent times.
For more culinary inspiration, please pay a visit to our food & drink page.