The weekend just gone we purchased some last minute tickets for Liverpool Food & Drink Festival 2016, which comes around twice a year and is set up in Sefton Park. Luckily, the weather was nice leading up to this, and after voting in the Liverpool Food & Drink Awards I gained 10% off tickets so it was hard to say no.
My favourite part of any festival in the past is the food choices, so a festival dedicated to this is perfect for me personally. I was not left disappointed, as soon as we got through the gates we were hit with stalls of everything from sweet samosas to local gin. I’m a big foodie so me and my partner decided that instead of trying 1 or 2, we’d get something small from lots of different stalls, which ended up in about 6 different courses (alcohol in between helped fuel this). This in itself was a bit of a challenge as everything looked delicious making the decision difficult.
I’ll start with the food where there was so much choice. I live in the city centre of Liverpool and eat out quite a lot at my usual favourites, so it was nice to see the likes of Lucha Libre, The Hub, Maray and Rookwood there. We wanted to try some new food though so headed to the ‘street food’ area where there was all sorts of delights including Greek BBQ, pizzas and thai food.
The main one that caught my eye thought was the Tandoori Naan Hut, where the smell of spices was incredible. We decided to share an open naan consisting of Masala chicken, coriander, yoghurt and spices. This was just the right amount of heat and so flavoursome. The guys in the kitchen were chatty and enjoying it too so a great start to the day.
This was followed by a Thai Pie, which I spotted as soon as I got in to the festival. As a northerner I’m a big fan of pies obviously, but was intrigued by the Thai green curry pie, and for only £2.50 we grabbed one of these and it was great, tasting exactly how you’d think.
After a couple of drinks (see further down) and a sit down in the sun we decided to get our BBQ on and headed straight to ‘Piggie Smalls‘ for a hot dog topped with grilled and crispy onions. I’ve actually spotted these guys at a few festivals beforehand with their light up sign and always wanted to try. The hot dog was a decent size, tasted fresh and there was plenty of topping choices on the menu.
Later in the day we spotted a queue at Red’s True BBQ, which i’ve been to in Liverpool and Manchester. Not as hungry as before but fear of missing out we grabbed some nachos topped with their famous pulled pork, jalapenos and avocado. A small portion but for only £3 and great for sharing it was rude not to.
Some other notable food stalls we got involved with was the wood fired pizzas from Little Furnace (the guys down at Camp and Furnace), and the sweet treats from Coco Baroque, which was nice and busy all day so we bought 3 brownies for £5 and took these home to have with a cuppa that night.
As mentioned above, the day was fuelled with drink and with the weather being nice we caught the last bit of summer sun and had a Sunday drink in a field. Walking around the festival there was all sorts going on for drinkers too, from Leffe and Brothers Cider giving out freebies (not stingy with these either), a cocktail competition featuring local Liverpool bars, and quant little pop up bars with local gin, vodka and cider.
I’m a big fan of craft beers as I’ve mentioned earlier, so I grabbed a pale ale from the Rookwood stall but forgot the name of it. Either way it was delicious and a great start. My partner had a prosecco and we sat by the prosecco bar in the centre of the map, which had local DJs providing the soundtrack. This seemed like one of the busiest spots for the weekend.
In terms of craft beers though, there was an amazing choice going on, with a queue coming out of the ‘Beers & Bangers’ tent for Dead Craft Beer Co who were pouring ales from Goose Island, Mad Hatter Brewing Company, Brooklyn and more. My personal favourite was Ad Hop‘s ‘Sefton Park Pale Ale’ brewed especially for the festival (I think?)
If craft beer isn’t your thing, there was loads of variety there including Liverpool Gin, Hoxton Cidersmiths and my favourite of the weekend Matugga Rum who had a selection of 4 different Rum cocktails. I went for the ‘Passion Fruit Daquiri’ which involved their own golden rum, passion fruit and lime, and I have to say it was incredible, so much so that i’m thinking of buying a bottle and recreating it at home.
The biggest queues of the weekend…
Most of the food and bars at the festival had manageable queues, which made the process a lot easier when trying lots of different things like we did, but from wandering around the park I noticed a few queues forming…
Tango Ice Blast (the main reason a lot of us go to the cinema) was there, right in the centre, and had a queue all day with people wanting to cool down. Understandable really. Another queue, which I didn’t get a picture of, was the duck wraps stand which was serving up some crisps on sticks, loads of flavours. I saw so many people with these so they must’ve been good.
The biggest queue of the weekend though, was for Gino Di Campo on the Sunday, as swarms of people wanted to meet him as part of a book signing. He also did some presentations but I was too involved with all the food and drinks stalls for this.
Did you attend Liverpool Food & Drink Festival? Send us links to your posts below. Also check out the time I spent A LOT on Deliveroo.