Liverpool: what does this city in the northwest of England make you think of? I imagine that two aspects jump out. The Beatles era (has it even ended though) formed such a vital part of English history it is natural that their ‘birthplace’ would capitalise on, but also celebrate, this musical revolution. The Mersey River too shaped Liverpool as a city: this port, which leads into the Irish Sea, follows a direct path to the United States, rendering it an indispensable city to England’s trade.
I absolutely love the Scouse accent, and so it was great fun to be surrounded with it for the weekend, although I found it a shame that the ferry ride we went on was accompanied by a loud and disappointingly unaccented voice.
Liverpool’s cultural and culinary scene is characterised by the existence of large warehouses which have been converted into art spaces, eateries and fun places to hang out and be cool. The Baltic Triangle, otherwise known as “the creative playground”, is the epitome of this historic, slightly ghostly development. Obviously, the nearby docks were of immense importance during the 18th and 19th centuries when apparently 40% of the world’s trade passed through this city!
After an induction to a hefty proportion of the city’s bars and clubs, we nursed ourselves with brunch at Coffee and Fandisha (translated as Coffee and Popcorn). The café is located in the Baltic Triangle and combines modern with the derelict: oak tables, retro lighting, blackboards, surrounded by big, square buildings.
Maybe this is because it’s a bit hipster but I cannot find a menu anywhere on the internet and the name of my dish left my head a long time ago, but I’ll give you a rundown of what was in the bowl: refried beans, tomato, vegetables, feta cheese, a boiled egg and served with warm pitta. I had an Americano with Ethiopian beans.
The bowl of warm, soupy cushiness did an excellent job. The beans were unctuous rounds of fluffy warmth and deep in colour, a heavy purple. They nestled comfortably in between chunky bits of onions and juicy tomato, a deeply flavoured sauce that the tangy feta cheese made quite eclectic. And there is nothing like a sliced hard-boiled egg to make you feel rooted and secure. All these soft textures melded together on the warm pitta. I thought the coffee had a fullness of flavour that my instant stuff at home has never heard of.
There is a misjudged tendency to view London as the bright star of England, the place where dreams come true. Liverpool, swinging from the treetops of England, should be thought of more often. After all, it is where the Beatles came from. And their night life is amaze. And so is the food. Liverpool you’ve got that something.