The Olive Tree Bistro is blossoming in amongst the Victoria Quarter renaissance

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Olive Tree

E.E. Cummings, who was not a big fan of capital letters, gave us a lovely poem about the seaside.

‘maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach (to play one day) and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were;…For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.’

WORDS: Jean Hill

At His & Hers, we have a strong affection for the Olive Tree in New Brighton. Often as not, we come together to share Sunday roast there. It is a small family restaurant, and is a part of the Victoria Quarter in New Brighton. Stay away from the Quarter for a week and a building will have been renovated or a stunning new mural will be adorning another wall. I love the walk along the Promenade: this time of year the waves lash and spill over the railings. And the power of the sea is apparent. And that walk leads me either to the railway station, or to the Olive Tree.

Olive Tree 1

It is a chic and cosy bistro, run by a lovely family (Mike & Jayne), who always make people feel welcome. Their food is always freshly cooked, and I have never tasted a better Sunday roast. We now always arrive a little early, just in case they run out of the ingredients . I favour the lamb, our editor favours the chicken, and at least one member of the party opted for shepherd’s pie on our last visit. He was really impressed that both lamb and beef added a real kick of flavour to his pie. Sunday is one of the few times I eat meat these days, so I aim to really enjoy it. The gravy is just right; thick flowing, royally rich and satisfying. The Yorkshire pudding is a class act, with home-made buoyancy and great flavour. The meat is tenderness itself.

Olive Tree 2

Make room for dessert if you can: their puddings do not disappoint. And there is almost always room for ice-cream, or apple pie, or vanilla cheesecake. As the surroundings have altered, the Olive Tree has flourished, and is very much an intrinsic part of the local landscape.

Rockpoint Leisure has spearheaded and funded the transformation of Victoria Road, which is reaping rewards in the wider community. The beautiful, mural artwork, large-scale flower tubs, flower beds and shrubs, that now adorn Victoria Road, are key components of the whole revival. It is a pleasure to walk down Victoria Road, and indulge in a little retail therapy. Yet it is the food at the Olive Tree that lures us back regularly; though we have done a little retail shopping, from time to time. Visited the James Atherton pub too. He was the man who first had a vision about turning New Brighton into a seaside resort, back in the day.

Rockpoint have opened Habibi, a restaurant specialising in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Rockpoint Apparel, is a clothes shop that features designer brands, and is proving popular with young folk, footballers and fashionistas alike.

There are plans afoot for a recording studio and a coffee bar. Daniel Davies, founder of Rockpoint, also wants to start a microbrewery. It is all fine, just the way it is, but there is always room to improve. Watch this space. Victoria-quarter Olive Tree, phone: 0151 638 1810

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