Trip Up North To Liverpool

In my line of work, I’m often forced to leave the safe haven of Somerset, in order to explore the world of food and drink that the country has to offer.

I’m fortunate that my employer at the pub has a passion for food that rivals even mine.

He understands the importance of constantly expanding your horizons, by doing so we can learn to challenge ourselves creatively so that we can produce the most innovative food with the biggest flavours possible.

The latest was an Indian-inspired trip up North to Liverpool with a dual purpose.

The first priority was to pick up our new chef from the airport. Flying in from Spain, Javier was to be our first new hire in a long time. As the pub has slowly grown, we’ve noticed an increase in interest in our food offerings. Now, with us paying closer to attention to the inventiveness of our creations, we’ve decided to bring in another pair of hands to broaden the range of our work. We’d been waiting a few months for his papers to get squared off, but with all that bureaucracy behind us we could crack on and get him on board.

Its traditional for new members of staff, no matter how minor or senior, to be treated to a small business trip when they are first hired. I share the belief with our owner that people work best together when they’ve had some form of bonding experience. So I took the car up the M5 and M6 to meet Javier off the plane and take him for a brief culinary tour of Liverpool – a town with plenty to offer the food and drink enthusiast.

After dropping the car at some convenient airport parking in Liverpool, I met the man himself and we toasted his arrival in a Crypt, of all places. With the advent of Food and Drink festivals, there is never a shortage of events to find in major cities. Sponsored by Fever Tree Tonics, the Absolutely Fabulous Gin Festival is held in Croxteth County Hall just outside the city centre.

£10 gets you in the door, but we had to fork out £20 for a pre-paid card that will bought us four Gin & Tonics each, complete with Fever Tree Tonic and impressive garnish. Although £30 might sound like a steep price to pay for four drinks, the grand venue made for a fitting setting and the measures were generous enough for us to forget the costs after a couple of drinks.

With a blend of gins swimming inside us, we headed into the city to continue along a rough theme of drinks and food made popular through the proliferation of Indian culture. There are two branches of the street food restaurant Mowgli in Liverpool. The first takes no bookings and is crammed into a tiny, narrow space; the second build is a much larger restaurant that takes bookings and has been doing a roaring trade for the few months that its been open. We ordered a handful of curries and spent a couple of hour losing ourselves in chef chat, letting the gloriously fresh food soak up the gin from a few hours ago.

Thankfully, our boss had been good enough to book us a couple of rooms in a nearby hotel, so I didn’t have to face the intimidating drive back that night on a full stomach.