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TOP 10

CHAMPAGNE BREAKFASTS To set you up for a day at the races

RETRO REWIND Vintage fashion for 2010

BEST OF BRITISH Fly the flag for Britain in your home

Who’s the


Favourite? Queen of glam Coleen Rooney searches for the most stylish race-goer


Chocolate heaven











APRIL 2010 NEWS 04 TALK OF TOWN News, gossip and events

FASHION 06 SHOPPING FOR HER Cheeky little vintage numbers

08 SHOPPING FOR HIM Chaps cut a dash


HEALTH & BEAUTY 10 SALON SPOTLIGHT Sarah gets a Ladies Day’ make-over

11 FITNESS Discover the power of the pedal

12 FITNESS Throw some shapes on the dance floor

CHILDREN 13 APRIL SHOWERS Funky rainwear and undercover fun

HOMES 14 BEST OF BRITISH Flying the flag for stylish homes

ENTERTAINMENT 16 THE BIG INTERVIEW Comedian Paul Betney and storyteller Cathy Roberts

19 BY DAY, BY NIGHT Your April ‘to do’ list

20 EASTER SPECIAL Easter events and chocolate treats

22 RACING SPECIAL Racing news and Top 10 Champagne breakfasts


Editor’s Letter SPRING has sprung at last and as well as the daffodils peeping out, we at best of Liverpool are liking the lighter days and getting out and about in the sunshine. Although we’re not home and dry just yet, so in this issue we have some funky macs and wellies for the little ones and ideas of where to run for cover when those April showers strike. For the grown ups, we step back in time to bring you some lovely vintage fashions for her, meanwhile, for the chaps we have some spiffing country gent styles. We’re certainly in the mood for a flutter and are getting very excited about the John Smith’s Grand National next weekend. During the run up to the races, we bring you some last minute beauty ideas on how to put those all-important finishing touches to your look in the hopes that you will get entered into the Style competition on Ladies’ Day. We salute the Queen of Glam, our very own Coleen Rooney, who is a firm favourite at Aintree every year, never failing to look anything less than fabulous. She will be presenting the Style competition again this year.

And we’ve compiled our Top 10 favourite places to go for a Champagne breakfast before the big event and some classy after-races venues to spend your winnings in! With St George’s Day coming up, we’ve come over all patriotic and are celebrating all things British from Union Jack home style to our good old roast dinner. We’ve interviewed two incredibly talented Liverpudlians, comedian Paul Betney and storyteller Cathy Roberts. We are diving wholeheartedly into the chocfest that is Easter, sampling the best chocolate eggs and visiting The Chocolate Cellar, in the name of research (ahem!). And after scoffing all that chocolate, we bring you some fitness ideas to work off those egg-stra pounds (sorry!). And we take a wander around the docks to see how they have changed as well as escaping the office for a day out in Southport and Formby. Enjoy!


0151 330 5035 FAX


0151 330 5039 WEBSITE /liverpool-entertainment /best-of-liverpool/


FOOD AND DRINK 25 ROASTS Sunday dinner at its best LIVERPOOL ECHO EDITOR Alastair Machray


MAGAZINE EDITOR Michelle Rushton

DESIGNERS Lisa Marie Critchley and Colin Harrison




Southport and Formby

WRITERS Paul Baker, Katie McLoughlin, Emma Thompson, Sarah Hooley, Sue Kelbrick

COPYRIGHT Best of Liverpool is published monthly by Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales/Liverpool Echo. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publisher.

26 FOOD NEWS A special birthday for The Gulshan

OUT AND ABOUT 30 THE DOCKS Exploring the tides of change

PHOTOGRAPHY Trinity Mirror photographers


TREND menswear 0151 707 6080





Flitting and a fluttering Michelle Rushton finds out what you social butterflies have been up to STYLIST’S NEW STORE

UNDER STARTER’S ORDERS This month, a host of local celebrities will stir up a treat at Panoramic restaurant in Liverpool in order to raise money for the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal. Celebrities such as actors Louis Emerick, Helen Noble and Suzanne Collins, model Amanda Harrington, pop-star Natasha Hamilton, and DJ Steve Parry will divide into two teams and take to the kitchen to prepare a three-course meal anonymously during dinner service. Diners, whose ticket purchase goes straight to the charity, will then vote for the best menu. The event ‘Under Starter’s Orders’ will launch the Imagine Appeal’s citywide campaign over the Grand National week where hotels and restaurants in Liverpool will fundraise for the world-famous children’s hospital.

Hollyoaks stars Carly Stenson, Gemma Merna and Ricky Whittle recently hit Liverpool’s Cavern Walks to celebrate the opening of new designer boutique, Cello. The stars from the hit Channel 4 series were among crowds of guests and shoppers who turned out to view the latest collections from Cello owner, Louisa Kelly. Louisa, who has worked as a stylist on the set of the popular soap for the past 13 years, launched the new store to celebrity guests and shoppers with Champagne and a live DJ set. The store also showcased new labels by Couture designers Kelly Seels and AnniLou.

LOOKING GOOD More than 40 guests from around the city headed to Blankstone Opticians in Derby Square last month for a very special fashion showcase. As celebrities and dedicated followers of fashion had been heading to London Fashion Week, Mark Blankstone and his team decided to showcase a selection of key summer pieces from designer collections including Chanel, Prada and Ray-Ban. Guests and customers were treated to glasses of pink Champagne while enjoying delicious canapés from Tithebarn Street gastropub The James Monro.


However, it is not all fun and games as the celebrity teams are responsible for preparing food to head chef Chris Marshall’s very particular requirements. He jokes: “Just because diners have bought their ticket for charity doesn’t mean the food we serve them is going to slip below the normal standards Panoramic sets. I won’t be doing a Gordon Ramsay and throwing plates of food on the floor, but there may be a few serious words if the cooking isn’t up to scratch.” Chloe Cummings (Abbey Clancy and Amanda Harrington's cousin who was also a finalist of Britain's Next Top Model) will be modelling some designer dresses, including a Graeme Black dress worth £1,500 that was worn by Sophie Ellis Bextor, for the auction on the night. The celebrity cooking challenge ‘Under Starters Orders’ will take place on Wednesday, April 7 at 7.30pm at Panoramic restaurant in Liverpool. Tickets are priced at £75 each. To purchase single tickets or a table for up to six people contact the restaurant on 0151 236 5534.



A German breakfast TV programme paid tribute to Hamburg and Liverpool’s affinity with the Beatles after broadcasting live from the city’s world-famous Cavern Club. ARD German TV broadcast its breakfast programme live from the club recently with a tribute to the Beatles from John Lennon impersonator, Marcus Cayhill. Marcus who is famous as the face and voice of John Lennon and has won world-wide praise for his renditions of classic Lennon/Beatles songs, performed Lennon’s hit songs live to TV audiences back in Germany.

WINDOW SHOPPING If money was no object, where would we head to for some fine furniture? BoConcept offers inspirational contemporary furnishings such as this fabulous sofa. Well, we can but dream...

SPEAKEASY STYLE Reliving the glitz and sparkle of 1920s America at Liverpool’s glammest new ‘joint’ on Sir Thomas Street which offers a true flavour of New York’s prohibition era. Lenny’s is set in a cavernous Victorian warehouse style building and boasts a Whisky & Bourbon bar, ‘Smoke Grill’ steakhouse, a VIP cocktail lounge, as well as Comedy Hell nights and nightclub.



Clocking off and heading to Panoramic for canapé hour. The restaurant serves free canapés Monday through to Friday from 5pm ‘till 6pm so you can sit in the breathtaking bar which is 300ft above sea level, and sip your favourite tipple whilst munching on some delicious appetisers and hors d’oeuvres.

The adorable new shoe store for fashion savvy mums and dads at Kids’ Cavern in Liverpool’s Cavern Walks. The new store stocks the latest and greatest in designer labels for children, including UGG boots, D & G Kids, Armani Junior, Lelli Kelly and Kickers.


GRAND NATIONAL FASHION SHOW City Central Business Improvement District and its members staged a Grand National themed fashion show in Williamson Square. Three shows took place throughout the day showcasing fashion brands from retailers in the city, such as Marks and Spencer, St Johns, Metquarter and more. Pete Price and Claire Simonson introduced a mix of key spring looks in fashion and beauty brands on the catwalk to the crowds. There was also a free interactive style consultant service sponsored by Rapid for anyone wanting a few tips on what look compliments them best for the new season.

WIN A NINTENDO WII AND TICKETS TO NANNY MCPHEE! In the run up to the launch of the much anticipated Easter family movie, Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang, we have teamed up with Liverpool ONE to offer one lucky family the chance to win a Nintendo Wii and a family ticket for four to see the new film at the Odeon cinema at Liverpool ONE. All you need to do is email stating ‘Nanny McPhee’ in the subject box, including your name and daytime telephone number, with the answer to the following question:


MOUTHWATERING NEW MODEL Mercedes-Benz of Liverpool provided local motorists with a mouthwatering preview of the sensational new E-Class Cabriolet. The Pall Mall retailer’s Finer Things Event enabled visitors to feast their eyes on the new model ahead of its official UK launch and savour a taste of the Far East thanks

to Sapporo Teppanyaki, which served steak and sushi to guests. And the stunning curves of the new Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet were not the only fine design on view as representatives of Zegna Menswear were also on hand to offer advice and measure up visitors for a tailored suit.

Which actress plays Nanny McPhee? Deadline: April 5 If you are not lucky enough to win this time round then head down to Liverpool ONE and join in their Nanny McPhee Pig Hunt. There are five pigs hiding in five different stores, simply pick up an entry form from the Liverpool ONE Information Centre on Wall Street or one of the participating stores at Liverpool ONE and start the pig hunt! If you’re in the mood for more games, take part in an exciting game of finders-keepers; pop down to the Liverpool ONE Information Centre and pick up a special key to take part in the ‘Shop and Unlock’ promotion running throughout Liverpool ONE from April 1 - 18. Use your key to try and unlock one of the unique boxes and win a fantastic gift from Liverpool ONE. For more information on Easter activities and the Pig Hunt visit

REFORMING LIVERPOOL STYLE BIBLE Move over London... This is the magazine that every girl in the city can't do without this spring. The Liverpool Style Bible captures everything that's hot in the fashion world and looks at how Liverpool girls are leading the way in setting the agenda. It’s packed with the latest looks for less, celebrity fashion focus, the hottest buys around town, sexy shoes, lush lashes, Ladies’ Day outfits, bags of beauty and hair to die for. From the roller models and WAGS to vintage boho belles, the Liverpool Style Bible is the must-have accessory of the season. Plus there is a chance to win a fantastic £1,000 shopping spree in a top Liverpool store. Liverpool Style Bible is on sale now for £2.99 from local newsagents or buy a copy from 0845 143 0001 or

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR A Hard Day’s Night Hotel hosted an evening of glitz and glamour with a charity fashion show to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Linda McCartney Centre. The event, was presented by the host of London Fashion Week, Cat Dal, and saw four patients from the centre take to the catwalk to model collections at the opening and closing of the show.

March saw the launch of Liverpool’s newest bar and restaurant, Reform, which is guaranteed to be the new haunt of the glitterati. Based on Victoria Street at the site of the old Casa Bella Italian restaurant, Reform offers fine dining and cocktails for a discerning audience. General manager, Mat Cunningham, says: “We are looking to bridge the gap between day and night venues as well as raising the bar once again on Victoria Street.”

MARCO SWANS IN Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White opened his first north-west venue – The Swan Inn in Aughton, Lancashire recently. Guests were treated to champagne on arrival and a delicious three course meal.

ULTIMATE GIRLS’ NIGHT IN Liverpool’s most stylish ladies were bowled over with Philip Armstrong’s latest collection at the CHPR Ultimate Girls Night In recently held at The Living Room on Victoria Street. Hair was provided by Zoo Salon and make-up by Bobbi-Brown. Khan Dental showcased the latest in teeth whitening, Botox and fillers, whilst David M Robinson showcased a stunning collection of

CATALAN CUISINE Merseyside VIPs were served the finest artisan produce from Catalunya as they sipped an array of Spanish wines at the opening of Lunya last month. The unique development, based on College Lane in Liverpool ONE, served 120 of the city’s influential people over 15 different dishes, providing a sample of the restaurant’s extensive tapas and a la carte menu and deli-offering. Peter Kinsella, proprietor and executive chef, says: “Feedback from our guests confirms that Lunya offers something very different, a concept that is a mix of Catalan cuisine and culture, mixed with Spanish traditions and flare.”

jewellery. Lash Out Lashes treated the ladies to mini-manicures, the Dutch Flower Shop produced stunning floral arrangements and Yaffe Fusion Art displayed their unique brand of photography. Free flowing cocktails served by and a chocolate fountain from Big Entertainment ensured a good night was had by all.

SING FOR ENGLAND TV drama Hollyoaks’ celebrity football team will be releasing an England 2010 World Cup charity single “Sing for England.” Officially released on Sunday, May 23, the single will be released by Swee Music and sold as a digital download with 100% of the profits being donated to the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal. Actor Nick Pickard (Tony Hutchinson), a long standing player and captain of the football team says; “All the lads in the team are passionate about football and we love playing regularly to raise money for charity, so it only seems natural to show our support for the England football team in South Africa by releasing Sing for England.”


Shopping for her

Step Back In Time Sue Kelbrick embraces all things vintage with a round up of the city’s favourite retro fashion haunts Liverpool has a fabulous vintage pedigree and there is plenty of old school fashion on offer if you know where to look.

retro clothes and a real bargain hunter’s paradise, as well as Retro, an emporium of antique furniture and vintage clothing.

Pop Boutique now has six shops worldwide with its Liverpool store based on Whitechapel. Claiming to ‘bring back to life’ clothes from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, the shop has its own label and some great vintage finds on the ground floor whilst upstairs, there is cool ladies’ wear dating back to the 50s.

A welcome addition to the vintage fashion scene in south Liverpool is Broads Boutique at Aigburth Vale which stocks one-off vintage pieces, designer vintage wear and will even hand make bespoke, vintage-style designs to order, and is a great place to visit for a unique outfit for a special occasion.

Snooky Ookums vintage clothing is tucked away in Petticoat Lane Arcade on Bold Street and is an emporium of unique vintage clothes from the 60s right through to the 80s. Many items have been imported from Los Angeles and the shop prides itself on being able to offer one-off pieces for people who want to stand out from the crowd.

And coming full circle, just a few hundred yards away is Attique, run by the original owner of Quiggins and stocking the same high standard of beautiful vintage furniture and one-off clothes you’d expect from the founder of the Quiggins’ name all those years ago.

Fearne bead collar vintage print dress, £59 from

Also based in Petticoat Lane Arcade is Hope & Winkle which is an innovative British accessories brand. The collections are a mix of tongue in cheek elements, inspired by traditional English heritage, 1940s austerity and the aristocracy. Just up the road from Grand Central is 69A, a stalwart of the retro clothes and furniture scene in Liverpool and the city’s latest addition, Raiders Vintage, an Aladdin’s Cave of all things retro and great for rummaging through for some real vintage bargains. Boudoir Boutique in Cavern Walks stocks vintage clothing and fashion accessories including a range of fabulous sunglasses by Vintage Dior, no selfrespecting vintage fashionista should be seen without. The Heritage Market has been around for years but recently relaunched itself as Liverpool’s answer to Camden Market and is great for browsing for bargains. Lark Lane has always been the beating heart of Liverpool’s bohemian scene so it is only fitting that the area has its own dedicated vintage clothing shop, Livvy Hat, which is literally crammed with



Vintage sleeveless sparkly sequin dress, £18, from a selection at

Gold vintage clutch bag, £25, from Accessorize

Vintage band jacket, £35, from

APRIL 10 Retro rewind

Vintage court shoes, £75, from Freemans

FOR all those self-confessed vintage fashion victims out there, you can have even more of a fashion fix with various vintage events coming up in the city.

Trinny & Susannah vintage print bell sleeve dress, £75, from Littlewoods Tea dress, £45, from

Chunky vintage jewellery from a selection at Hope & Winkle

Following on from the huge success of last year’s events, this weekend sees the welcome return of the New Village Fete, this time being held at the Chameleon Bar on Back Colquitt Street. There are set to be over 50 fashion and craft stalls selling everything the vintage anorak could possibly desire, plus there will also be a number of food stalls offering free food tasting sessions. Watch this space for further events on May 1 and 29. Check out Retro Sundays on the last Sunday of every month at Leaf Tea Shop on Parliament Street. Billed as a ‘mini vintage fair’, there are all kinds of retro threads on offer with the bar serving delicious breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas, making it the ideal way to spend a lazy Sunday.

Vintage necklace, £35, from Claudia Pink

Trinny & Susannah vintage print silk wrap dress, £59 from Littlewoods

Be Beau vintage flower printed skirt, £14, from Matalan

St George’s Hall is playing host to a regular antique and collectors’ fair where the finest vintage wear is showcased. The next event is April 10 with dates also planned for June 12 and September 11.

Tickets for Handbags and Gladrags Competition To indulge your passion for vintage fashion even further, Best of Liverpool has managed to blag two pairs of tickets for the Handbags and Gladrags fashion show, being held on the evening of Thursday, May 27. With models showcasing some stunning vintage fashions on the catwalk, retro stalls selling some fabulous one-off pieces and cocktails being served at the bar, it really is the ultimate girls’ night out. To win a pair of tickets, answer the following question. Where has Quiggins relocated to? To be in with a chance of winning, simply email the answer by April 9, with your name and telephone number, putting Vintage as the subject to

St George’s Hall


And if you still haven’t had your fill of all things retro, then put a date in your diary for the last Saturday of every month, when Kingdom will be playing host to Handbags and Gladrags Fashion Fair. Launched just a few months ago, the event has already proved a great success.

Latest Fashion Clothing Footwear, Bags & Accessories High Street Fashion at affordable prices Shop on line St Johns Precinct Liverpool L1 1ND 0151 708 6836


Shopping for him

April 10 Adam Blake from Boss Model Management Manchester is styled by Billee Williams from Gieves & Hawkes at the Metquarter to create the English country look in the heart of Cumbria. Photography by Steve Collinson;

Escape to the Country

Emma Thompson has some spiffing ideas on how to transform city slickers into country gents

John Rocha grey canvas bag, £60, from Debenhams in Liverpool ONE

Damon style shoes in brown, £185, from Kurt Geiger in the Metquarter

Green tweed flat cap, £30, from House of Fraser

COUNTRY KIT No self-respecting gent would set off for a drive in the country without these essentials in the boot of his Aston Martin Wooden Skittles Garden Set, £39.95, from

Grey suit trouser, £30, from Burton on Lord Street, Liverpool Luxury wool picnic rug with waterproof wax ground sheet, £75, from Stylish Life Global radio controlled clock with built-in torch, £30, from Seiko

Brown belt, £5, from George at Asda Mast v-neck jumper in blue, £65, from All Saints in Liverpool ONE or Metquarter



Viyella green country check jacket, £299, from Austin Reed in Liverpool ONE Wicker picnic hamper, £15 from Asda Two person wine caddy, £15 from Bhs

Blood Brothers 12 – 24 April Starring Lyn Paul

The R Rat at Pack: Pack: Liv Live e FFrom rom Las V Vegas eg e as 3 – 8 Ma Mayy

Crazy for You 12 – 15 May

One Night in Istanbul 17 – 29 May

Girls Night Out 31 May – 3 June

The Hobbit 8 – 12 June

Sing a long a Rocky Sing-a-long-a Rocky Horror Horror Sho Show w 25 Apr Aprilil

Aprilill Back For For Good 30 Apr

Longthorne June Joe Longt horne 114 4 Ju une

Hott Flush 28 Apr Ho Aprilil

Jake Elwood May Jak e and Elw ood 30 Ma ay

The Ca vern Beatles 117 7 June Cavern

Abba Forever Live in Concert 29 April

Colin Fry and TJ Higgs 4 June une

Jane McDonald 18 June

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Health & beauty BEAUTY TIPS

WITH the city's finest fillies lining up to get ahead in the style stakes for this year's Grand National, we caught up with Jaime Banks from Jaime's Beauty Spot in Aigburth to get her best beauty tips... ■ SPRAY TAN - give pale spring skin a boost with a sunkissed spray tan. ■ FACIAL – wave goodbye to dull winter skin with an exfoilating and moisture rich facial to achieve a radiant glow. ■ EYE-LASH EXTENSIONS – great for girls who want to transform short and stubby lashes, extensions can give your eyes that real wow factor perfect for fluttering. ■ EYE-BROW WAX – a good eye-brow wax can be the equivalent of a mini-brow lift, and as well as taking off years, it can really open up your eyes. ■ MANICURE – Bad nails can ruin an entire outfit and whether it's acrylic extensions, a French polish or on-trend colour, nothing says glamour like a flawless set of nails. ■ PEDICURE – make sure your toes look hot to trot with a luxurious pedicure complete with file and polish. ■ WAXING - from your legs to your underarms, rid yourself of unwanted hair and get silky smooth skin. Jaime's Beauty Spot, 260 Aigburth Road, Liverpool L17 9PJ; or call 0151 727 6089

Powder your face Sarah Hooley gets a magic make-over in Mossley Hill... Pictures by Andy Teebay

TREATMENT REVIEW WITH my first trip to Ladies' Day at the Grand National just around the corner – and in desperate need of a new look - it was with much anticipation that I booked an appointment at The Powder Room in Mossley Hill hoping for a miraculous make-over. A trendy hair and make-up salon, The Powder Room is owned by professional film and TV make-up artists, Leanne Harry and Ann-Marie Kelly, and as soon as I walk into the pretty, vintage-inspired salon, Leanne's mega-watt smile and warm welcome puts me instantly at ease. After a quick consultation, Leanne suggests that I try a loose-sweeping side-bun with soft yet striking make-up to suit my race-day outfit. And with regular clients including a raft of beautiful ex-Hollyoaks' cast members such as Emma Rigby (Hannah Ashworth) and Sarah Jayne Dunn (Mandy Richardson) I know I'm in good hands. Starting with my hair, Leanne teases my straight tresses into glossy curls, and after

giving my lack-lustre locks a burst of backcombing volume, she skilfully begins pinning my hair into a sophisticated side sweep, with loose tendrils framing my face and intricate French plaits giving it a chic boho edge. Moving onto my make-up, Leanne deftly applies a smooth foundation (she swears by Bobbi Brown moisture rich foundation) that instantly illuminates my skin and expertly selects a pale purple MAC eye-shadow complemented by a deep plum and charcoal grey in the socket to emphasise my blue eyes and create a natural smokey look. Shading in my cheeks with a pink crème Bobbi Brown blush, Leanne turns my non-existent cheekbones into a feature to be proud of and finishes the look by carefully applying a pale pink lip-liner and gloss to create full, poutperfect lips. Preened to perfection, Leanne unveils my fab new style and feeling utterly pampered I'm willing to bet that The Powder Room will be an odds on favourite this race day.

Nature's mineral foundation SPF 25, £15, from The Body Shop

Flawless foundation WHETHER you've ever looked a tad more Tango than you'd hoped, or have been left feeling bare-faced after a few hours – most women have made their fair share of foundation fauxpas. But as one of the most important tools in your make-up bag, it's crucial to select the right foundation to achieve long lasting beautiful skin. So where to start? Alan Pan, Estée Lauder international make-up artist, advises: "It's a common mistake to choose a foundation that is a lot darker than one's own skin tone as women think it will give them a bit of colour and make them look more healthy. This is



not the case. The darker shade can actually accentuate the imperfections on the face and can make lines and wrinkles look more prominent. The best foundation choice is one that exactly matches your own skin tone, or if not - then one shade lighter. He continues: "Thankfully there are many formulations out there these days, so whatever your skin type you'll find something to match. Oily skins tend to prefer powders so opt for a loose powder like Estée Lauder Nutritious Vita mineral powder make-up, whereas dry skin generally benefit from a more luminous foundation.” And to ensure your radiant look

lasts all day, Alan explains: “I believe the only way to apply foundation is using a foundation brush, to give a flawless, airbrushed finished. If applying foundation any other way, be sure to blend, blend, blend and to get the best staying power you should opt for a long lasting foundation. Apply two thin layers of foundation with a foundation brush and set with powder using a powder puff taking care to press it onto the skin." All Estée Lauder counters offer a free 'iMatch' service to determine the correct foundation shade for your skin.

Where is it? Just a stone's throw from both the hustle and bustle of Smithdown Road and the tranquility of Greenbank Park, The Powder Room is easily reachable by bus and car.

What does it do? The Powder Room offers a wonderful range of professional hair and make-up services, including evening make-up, fancy dress make-up and bridal hair and make-up, as well as make-up lessons, Hollywood lashes and acrylic nails. Perfect for a night out, special occasion and of course the races!

Contact: The Powder Room, 16 Greenbank Road, Mossley Hill, Liverpool, L18 1HN; call 07594572196 or visit

Second Skin foundation, £13.99, from Max Factor Anti-blemish solutions liquid makeup, £20, from Clinique A selection of make-up brushes including the Estée Lauder foundation brush, £26.50, from Estée Lauder

Double Wear Stay in Place Make-up SPF 10, £24.50 from Estée Lauder

Ruby & Millie Liquid Base, £16



GET PEDALLING routes to choose from, beginners can opt for the family 5K lap (which is also open to the men and children in your life) and those wishing to push themselves either a half (13.1 miles) or full (26.2 miles) marathon distance. To register visit, or call 0207 749 3700.


Going the extra mile Sarah Hooley catches up with the Fundracers as they prepare for an epic charity ride THE closest most of us have ever got to raising money for charity is shaking a tin outside a supermarket or sitting in a bath full of beans. But for 12 friends from Liverpool and Wrexham the determination to go that extra mile has seen them set up the Tour De Cymru – a sponsored bike ride spanning 870km around the whole of Wales in just six days. The group – now known as The Fundracers – have for the last 12 months swapped beer and biscuits for gym sessions and daily 70 mile bike rides! Each member of The Fundracers is collecting for a different charity that is special to them, including the Marina Dalglish Appeal, STARS, The National Autistic Society and Leukaemia Busters. For some members there is a particularly poignant reason to be taking part. Gareth Williams, assisant manager at Powerleague Football Centre in Kirkdale, is raising money for Compton Hospice after his girlfriend's mum lost her battle with cancer there. And Steven Dennis, a 26-year-old software support executive at Prima Business Control Software in Widnes, sadly lost his 11-year-old brother to leukaemia at Alder Hey Hospital in 2005. Steven explains: “Like all The Fundracers, there is a very personal reason for me taking part in this brilliant event. In 2005, my younger

brother Matthew was diagnosed with leukaemia to the great shock of all my family, and despite the efforts and the treatment from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, he died only months later because of complications, exacerbated by his non-functioning immune system due to the chemotherapy. “Throughout Matty's treatment Leukaemia Busters was an invaluable source of information and support to my family, who were being torn apart by something of which they had no control, nor knowledge of this form of cancer. I cannot thank Leukaemia Busters enough, and I'm delighted they have given me permission to ride in aid of the amazing charity.” Fellow team-mate, Adam Collins who is raising money for the Marina Dalglish Appeal added: “The Marina Dalglish Appeal is such an important charity. The new radiotherapy centre which they’re raising money for at Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology will go onto help thousands of people from across the region to beat cancer and I’m determined to help them reach their target.”

WITH the evenings getting lighter it’s time to get yourself into gear and dust off your bike. Emma Thompson discovers there’s plenty to make you feel good and get you in shape before those holidays approach!

PEDAL IT PINK Following last year’s success, Breast Cancer Campaign’s Pedal it Pink is returning to Liverpool’s Sefton Park on Sunday, April 18. If you haven’t already then you can still register online until Friday, April 16 or simple go along on the day and you can register there too! Pedal it Pink has a variety of cycle

IF you haven’t cycled for a while and looking to get back on your bike then Liverpool Primary Care Trust is offering free cycle sessions led by trained leaders. Sessions take place each week on; Monday at 10am Otterspool Promenade; Tuesday at 10am Croxteth Park; Tuesday at 1pm Belle Vale Park; Wednesday at 10am Walton Hall Park; Thursday at 10am Sefton Park; Friday at 10am Calderstones Park and Friday at 10am Princes Park. To reserve a place email or call 0151 234 5064.

TWO WHEELS, TWO CITIES FOR those who enjoy a challenge, on Sunday, May 30 you can take part in the Manchester to Liverpool bike ride. Now in its sixth year this mostly trafficfree, 38 mile event starts at Salford Quays taking the Trans-Pennine Trail along part of the Manchester Ship Canal towards Liverpool. The entry pack costs £15, child £8, log on to for information.

The six-day Tour De Cymru begins on April 27, to help The Fundracers reach their target of £25,000, visit to donate what you can.

EN-ROUTE TO CHESTER FANCY setting yourself a challenge? The 17th return Liverpool to Chester bike ride is taking place on July 18. Starting just outside the BIrkenhead Tunnel entrance at Old Haymarket, it’s the only event with exclusive access to the Mersey Tunnel. It will feature four rides: a challenge ride of 54 miles from Liverpool to Chester and back; a community ride of 30 miles; a family ride of 25 miles; and a sportive

route of 90 miles, which all allow participants to travel underneath the River Mersey. Taking part in the sportive route, Liverpudlian and pro-cyclist, Pete Matthews, says: “The Liverpool-ChesterLiverpool route is by far one of the best. It offers lots of off-road paths to allow cyclists to take in and enjoy the scenery.” Log on to to enter online.





Get into the Groove Emma Thompson looks forward to some fancy footwork

S the LEAP 2010 Year of Dance continues, the Emma Thompson month of April has plenty of movement with a glams-up and slips on great programme of events to help celebrate 18 herofdancing years LEAP danceshoes festivalsready in the city. Whether enjoy watching for theyou Spring Ball the sexy silhouettes on


the dance floor with the professional touch from Strictly Come Dancing stars or you like to get into the groove with your own rhythm, there’s something for everyone. Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) is celebrating having reached 18 years of LEAP Contemporary Dance Festivals across the region, deciding to expand its normal March festival into a year-long programme of dance, launching the new Merseyside Dance Promoters’ Network (MDPN) to maximise dance opportunities. Here are some of the events lined up this month... Tonight, April 1, sees two of the professional dancing stars of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Brian Fortuna and Kristina Rihanoff, bring their exciting new show to the Floral Pavilion. It features, not only the finest ballroom and Latin dancing, but also a question and answer session, demonstrations, and plenty of audience participation. From April 21 to 25, at the Bluecoat is Moves10: Framing Motion. Moves10 is the largest exhibition platform in the UK for experimental short film and new media with a unique focus on movement on screen. Featuring international screenings, talks, interactive installations, workshops and live events. Log on to for details.

On April 28 at the Rose Theatre in Ormskirk you can experience My Name Is. This new piece of visceral dance theatre presents the hopelessness of addiction and rigor of recovery, allowing the audience to consider the life of alcoholic addicts and those that witness the powerful process of escaping drugs and alcohol. My Name Is has been developed through an extensive research and development process with recovering alcoholics throughout the North West. Tickets cost £8.50 - £6.50. The whole city will be getting into the swing of things on April 29 for the International Day of Dance. Merseyside Dance Initiative has planned a number of performances; from noon until 2pm, under the big screen

Movema with the times at Greens

We’re having a ball Emma Thompson glams-up and slips on her dancing shoes ready for the Spring Ball IT’S time to dust off those ball gowns and take to the dance floor as April sees St George’s Hall come alive for Liverpool’s Spring Ball. This glittering night, with guest singers, a swing orchestra and special host, will see the public grace the same floor as Strictly Come Dancing’s Katya Virshilas who has been confirmed as the star dancer at Liverpool’s spectacular event. Katya, who starred in the 2009 show with Phil Tufnell, will be joined by her Danish professional dance partner



will be lots of amateur and professional performers; 5pm to 7pm solo artists will perform in shop windows and from 5pm to 7pm again a range of performers will come together in Williamson Square. Also on April 29, is the Vienna Festival Ballet at Crosby Civic Hall at 7pm. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake captures the full range of human emotions like no other – from hope to despair, terror to tenderness, melancholy to ecstasy. This well-known love story, performed by the ever-popular Vienna Festival Ballet, features lavish costumes, stunning scenery, and Tchaikovsky’s glorious music. This is an evening not to be missed!

Klaus Kongsdal in the Great Hall on April 17. She said: “We are extremely excited and honoured to be part of the Liverpool Spring Ball in the beautiful St George’s Hall. It will be our first time in Liverpool but we heard some great things about it from Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe. To be dancing to a live band is just amazing.” For the Spring Ball on April 17 log on to for details or for tickets visit or call 0844 8000 400.

GREENS Health & Fitness has always been more than just a run of the treadmill gym but now there’s an additional, very good reason to go – Movema – dance with a difference. General manager Simon Tillot has hired Movema, a multicultural dance company from Liverpool which is especially well known for dazzling demonstrations at the city’s annual Brouhaha International Festival and Africa Oye. Movema instructor Ithalia Forel says: “People come to the class with a smile on their face and leave with one too. The class helps with flexibility, stamina and ultimately confidence because people do feel more toned and more fluidity of movement as a result.” Some of the styles taught by Movema on a Thursday evening at Greens include dancing around the world with salsa, samba, soca, calypso, afro-Brazilian, flamenco, Chinese, Irish, Caribbean and Bollywood. Greens aims to help as many people as possible lose weight, get fit, tone up and de-stress by offering great facilities. It boasts extensive air conditioned gyms, a ladies’ only gym, spinning studio, free weights area fitness classes, personal 1-2-1 training, a heated indoor pool, aqua aerobics, sauna, a salon and a stylish club lounge. There’s also a new online Weight Loss Diary Programme that has been developed by Greens’ team of nutritionists and fitness professionals.

Visit Greens Health and Fitness on Riverside Drive, L3 4EN, call 0151 707 6000 or log on to for details.


Greens Health & Fitness is offering two lucky readers the amazing chance to win a year’s gym membership. Simply answer the following question by emailing followed by your name, contact number and ‘Greens’ in the subject box by April 15. Q. What is the name of the Liverpool dance company that Greens Health & Fitness has hired to teach a class?


Singing in the rain

Girls’ puffball pinny £16, leggings £8 for 2, floral mac £14 and floral wellies £8, all from Mini Mode at Boots

Undercover fun Sue Kelbrick is on hand with some rainy day activities to keep the kids entertained ■ Offering exciting yet educational fun for the whole family, is Underwater Street at the Pier Head. Divided into six fascinating zones, Underwater Street is a discovery centre with a difference. So just what can you do there? Well, you can paint a car, step inside a giant bubble, pan for gold, watch a volcano erupt, make a fridge magnet, build a house, dig for fossils, dress up, test your senses, crawl through a dark cave and be a star in the television studio, to name just a few. Well you did ask! Visit for more information or telephone 0151 227 2550

Kids like nothing more than splashing about in the rain so make sure they are kitted out and ready for all those April showers. Sue Kelbrick shows you how...

Floral print wellies, £7 from Tu Sainsburys

■ Looking for a cheap and cheerful trip out for the kids? Check out Yellow Sub indoor play centre, a great place to go to tire the little ones out and hopefully you’ll get a good night’s sleep thrown in for free as well. Located at Brunswick Business Park, this fantastic children’s soft play centre boasts some 14,000 square feet of space crammed with slides, climbing walls and play frames for the older kids and a special dedicated toddlers’ play area. There is also an award-winning restaurant serving everything from delicious breakfasts and freshly made smoothies to healthy hot meals. For more information visit or telephone 08444 120 850

Shiny mac, £24 by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams White Burberry mac, from £89 available from Bratz in the Met Quarter

Boys’ and girls’ wellies from £7.50, from George at Asda

Pale pink mac with frills, £59 from DKNY at Bratz in the Met Quarter

Lemon mac by Timberland at Bratz in the Met Quarter, from £45

■ If you want a fun yet safe environment, where parents can relax and chill out while the kids go wild, then check out Funtown, a new and welcome addition to Garston in south Liverpool. Offering a whole range of indoor play activities for children, from the age of zero up to 12 years old, there is something to suit kids of all ages. As well as fabulous slides, there is a ball pool and specially-constructed climbing areas, and even a dedicated toddler space where your little ones can play in a completely separate and safe area. There is seating for around 100 people in the cafe section, which overlooks the play area so you can relax and enjoy a cuppa whilst keeping an eye on the kids. For more information, call 08445 679677 or visit ■ Take your little monkeys to Jungle Fun on top of Belle Vale Shopping Centre for the ultimate in indoor play for children and adults alike. As well as a seven foot tall adventure area designed to let the grown ups join in the fun, there are massive slides, climbing areas, a sport zone, a ball pool and a special toddlers’ play area. There is a soft seating area for parents to chill out whilst the little ones run wild and a restaurant serving hearty, healthy food ideal for the whole family. For more information telephone 0151 498 4770 or go to

Girls’ mac, £34 Baker by Ted Baker at Debenhams



Cool Britannia Sarah Hooley finds out how your home can fly the flag for Britain.... LIKE Prince Charles' gravity defying ears, the interior designers' love for Union Jacks is one home trend that can't be ignored. First championed by the likes of Lulu Guinness and the late Alexander McQueen, the national flag was an instant style hit and after conquering the catwalks last year is now inevitably making its mark in our homes. From Union Jack print cushions, armchairs and bedspreads to kitchen accessories and dog beds where one can leave one's Corgi to enjoy a nap, the whole house has been given a patriotic make-over and a few choice pieces are a great way to freshen up your home. So go on - salute your country and become style-savvy with British pride.

Union Jack dog door stop, £29.99, from The Gifted Penguin

Luxury Union Jack dog bed, £75, from

Hope and Glory sofa, from Barker and Stonehouse Union Jack doormat, £14.99, from The Contemporary Home

Union Jack footstall, £199, from John Lewis

Hand-embroidered butterfly cushion with Union Jack wings, £85, from Barbara Coupe

ANIMAL MAGIC If you go down to the shops today, you're sure of a big surprise with these wonderful woodland home accessories. From adorable toadstools and bunnies to trees and wise owls, the High Street has slowly been invaded by a host of cute critters and you'd be a total t-wit-t-woo not to take them home!

Toadstool and hedgehogs garden ornament, starting from £19.99, at Taskers Home Store

Pack of two sparrow hooks, £12.50, available in pink, green or white (all on a brown branch) from Utility on Bold Street

Quilted cushion with bird applique, £30, from Berry Red

Ollie owl cushion, £30, from John Lewis



APRIL 10 Union Jack canisters, £4.50 for set of 3, from Tesco The Brit Duck, from £5.99, from

NORDIC KNOW-HOW Sarah Hooley turns to Swedish success story, Clas Ohlson, for some spring home style tips

Selection of Union Jack bedroom furnishings from Next

WE already love them for their saunas and giving the world Abba (okay, maybe that's just us) but this month prepare to fall in love with another Swedish marvel Clas Ohlson. A modern hardware store, Clas Ohlson is set to open its first Liverpool shop in Clayton Square Shopping Centre this month. With a 90 year heritage, the firm knows a fair bit about DIY, so we decided catch up with store manager, Scott Barclay, to get him to spill some of their DIY secrets on how to achieve a stylish spring home. 1. What are your biggest DIY dos and don'ts? "The number one 'do' in DIY is to prepare. Whether it's making sure you've got the right tools and safety equipment, enough time or the proper knowledge, it is essential to plan every aspect of the job to ensure nothing goes wrong. Fixing mistakes can be more expensive than the original job itself. If you are not 100% confident in the job you're doing, leave it to a professional.

Waterloo Armchair, £545, from The French Bedroom Company Union Jack halo trunk, from John Lewis, £449

2. Many people want to spruce up their home in spring, what would you say are the most common DIY jobs that need doing? "In spring it's all about brightening up the home and getting the garden ready for warmer weather. Redecorating, cleaning, weather proofing outdoor furniture and doors and tidying up hedges and lawns are always at the top of people’s 'to do' lists."

Winston cushion, from £22.50, from Mooch

3. So what are the best ways to freshen up your home? "It can be as simple as adding a splash of colour and replacing tired looking items. You can pick up loads of great value household accessories at Clas Ohlson, such as kitchen and homeware, gardening accessories, door handles and curtain rails." 4. How about in the garden? "Make sure that you trim hedges and lawns that may have been neglected over winter, then rake up leaves and trimmings - they make great compost. You may also want to think about adding some outdoor lighting for when the weather gets warmer and you want to spend more time outside. A bird feeder will also encourage birds into the garden through spring and summer." Make your own feltcraft rabbit cushion, £8.95, from Dotcomgiftshop . Bramble toadstool nightlight, £45, from White Rabbit England

Red timer in birdhouse design by Rice, £9.99, from The Contemporary Home

Ollie Owl Bookends, £14.99, from Strawberry Fool .

5. Do you have a 'number one tool' that every home should have? "A basic toolkit including essentials such as screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers, a spanner, a spirit level and a tape measure is vital. And you should always have a torch handy in case of power cuts, blown fuses etc. Clas Ohlson sell a rechargeable torch which comes on automatically in case of power failure, and a voltage detector is an important tool for both fault-finding and safety when undertaking any electrical work." The new 17,000sq ft Clas Ohlson store in Clayton Square Shopping Centre opens on April 29 with DIYexpert Craig Phillips on hand to join the store's special launch day on May 1.



Laughter is the best medicine


The BIG interview

Emma Thompson chats to the ‘unshakeable’ Paul Betney who is taking the comedy world by storm PARKINSON'S is no laughing matter I’m sure you’ll agree, but one local comedian has turned his personal experience of the disease into his own comedy show. Liverpool’s Paul Betney launched his comedy career in Tokyo, a bit far away from his home town of Liverpool but it was a chance he just couldn’t pass up. “It wasn’t something I’d been trying to do, I’d always been able to entertain people but it wasn’t until I was about 28 that one day I just thought, I need to do this,” says Paul. After studying at Leicester University, Paul spent 12 years travelling around South East Asia and America. It was during his time in Japan that a different journey began. At the age of 22, Paul noticed the slight tremors of Parkinson’s Disease starting to emerge. Around six years later Paul realised he wanted to perform, but he didn’t see his illness as an issue. “By the time I started as a comedian, I’d lived with the symptoms for so long that I never saw them as a barrier,” says Paul. “I was still in Tokyo at the time and my friend asked me to be his best man, so I thought I best get some practice in before the speech. I saw this ex-pats’ improvisation course, I gave it a go and it was really good and so becoming a stand-up started from there.” Paul’s first time on the stage was a memorable one, as part of the ex-pats’ course in a converted strip club, of all places, he had to perform to a small group of five to 10 people. So with 10 minutes of material ready he geared himself up. “I then got a call to say there was more people coming than usual as it was a Bank Holiday so they moved the venue and suddenly I was about to perform in



front of 300 people! “It actually went really well, it was fantastic. It’s strange but looking back it was probably easier to perform to 300 people as you have a certain anonymity – rather than five people looking at you waiting to laugh,” jokes Paul. It was in Tokyo Paul’s ‘Unshakeable’ performance began. “In the shows in Tokyo they used to introduce me as ‘the Unshakeable Paul Betney,’ it worked on different levels, by that point my tremors where noticeable on stage but I think you just need to get on with life and be determined,” Paul adds. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that Paul was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, after he’d been living with the symptoms for 18 years. “Parkinson’s is degenerative, the symptoms are gradual and build up slowly, so I didn’t just wake up one morning and panic. “It was quite clear something was wrong so when I was actually diagnosed I was ok with it, they’d already given me the medication for Parkinson’s, it just hadn’t been officially labelled yet,” Paul says. Back in the UK it was 2007 when Paul first went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and began his Unshakeable tour ‘phase 1’ as he called it. “This show was all about the medication, I wasn’t diagnosed at this point and it was very much a stand up comedy show. But my new tour is like the second phase, it’s a lot more considered, more emotionally in-depth and it’s the story of my journey so it’s a lot more personal. There is still a lot of humour in it, but it's moved much more in the direction of a theatre piece this time. “Finding the medication was quite an

emotional change for me, with my love it – it can be bad at times so you need tremor under control, in some ways I felt to be able to get back up there and still as if I was in mourning. I’d had this enjoy it,” says Paul. tremor for so long and now it was gone I Paul also performs in London’s Soho kind of felt I’d lost something.” theatre with Abnormally Funny People, Even with serious undertones there’ll with another seven shows starting in be no mistaking Paul is the perfect June. candidate to combine of living with Paul added: “There are about 10 to 12 of Parkinson's while still giving a highly us and we rotate through the shows. It’s entertaining show. always amusing Paul is also for us when taking his new “It’s the Aztec’s gold and he people just think show up to we’re just going thought it was the Asda’s Gold to be ‘people Edinburgh this year, currently with disabilities – it was so different than raising the funds trying to be Unshakeable but I’d love to keep him going funny’ – and to do it again.” while he’s there they’re for the three surprised when weeks of the we actually are Fringe festival during August. funny!” Before he heads to Scotland he won’t He’s also tried his hand at story telling be taking it easy – on April 22 Paul will too. Last year Paul volunteered to tell be performing at Parr Street Studios as pirate stories to children on the tallship part of the Parkinson’s Disease Society Zebu in the Albert Dock, with lanterns, Awareness Week. candles and fake treasure. “The week runs from April 19 to 25 and He said: “I’m a regular volunteer on I feel it’s important to show my support board and when the chance came up I and hopefully raise awareness. I’ve even leapt at it. It was a wonderful experience, written to Michael J Fox, who also has but I’d much rather a whole audience of Parkinson’s Disease, as I felt any kind of hen and stag dos than answer some of the support he could offer to promote the questions children fire at you. You have show would help put the word out there. to be so sharp on your feet. “I’m not cured, but the symptoms are a “During story time the children come lot better now, and there’s plenty of out with some brilliance. We had some research as well, so the drugs can only fake gold treasure and one little boy get better – there’s every reason to be asked where we got it so storyteller Cathy hopeful and make the most of life, so I’m Roberts said it’s the Aztec’s gold and he just going to enjoy going on stage. thought it was the Asda’s Gold – it was so “It has always been a buzz performing, different than Unshakeable but I’d love to it’s something I really enjoy, you have to do it again.”


Tales of the unexpected Michelle Rushton meets storyteller Cathy Roberts who says she never knows which directions her yarns will take NATIONAL storyteller laureate, Taffy Thomas, once said: “If speaking were more important than listening, we’d have two tongues and one ear.” Cathy Roberts, agrees wholeheartedly. “A good storyteller is a listener first,” she insists. “And I always say who I’ve heard the words from – as so many tales are passed from one teller to the next." Cathy certainly has good listening skills, as well as an amazing imagination and the ability to talk for England, an essential storytelling skill. She admits: “I’ve always been a chatterbox and I was brought up in a family that always told stories. We made up stories about everything - if we passed a statue we would make up a name and a

character for it.” With a real creative streak, Cathy was destined to do something arty. After attending convent school in Upton, she studied performing arts at Bretton College in Yorkshire and went on to work in all aspects of theatre. She discovered storytelling after watching one in Barnsley and realised that this is something she could do with real passion. But surrounded by the deep Yorkshire countryside, she felt the River Mersey calling her back.

“My father was from Liverpool and my mother from over the water so I spent a lot of time travelling over the river,” she explains. “I really missed it so I came back to Liverpool and worked as group marketing director for the Liverpool Empire.” Cathy set up her own cartoonist company and worked for a housing association. Then illness struck and she felt the need for change. “My own happy ending didn’t seem to be on the horizon,” she reveals. “I needed escape.” This adventure came in the form of a 1937 tugboat. “I fell in love with her and spent three years doing her up then sailing around the coast - 860 nautical miles in all weathers.” Returning to Liverpool, Cathy decided to rekindle her love of storytelling, inspired by her seafaring adventures. “Storytelling has its origins at sea,” she informs. “It’s fascinating. We’ve been to space but no one’s been to the bottom of the ocean.” She performs inspirational and motivation stories for women’s groups and is the resident Storyteller on BBC Radio Merseyside, Maureen Walsh’s show. She got involved with Creative Partnerships going into schools to help promote a more creative approach to teaching which lead to lots of storytelling work with children which Cathy loves the unpredictable nature of. Cathy says: “You never know what response you’re going to get. I was asking a group recently about the origins of pirate

names – we were telling the tale of the Black Rock Mermaid – and after the first little boy mentioned Blackbeard we very soon had 'Redbeard,' 'Bluebeard' and every colour of the rainbow beard. Feeling this subject was exhausted, I asked what if our pirate was clean shaven, what would his name be? The answer? 'Pirate No-beard' - that put me in my place!” When writing stories for children, Cathy likes to get down to their level. “It reveals a whole new world of nooks and crannies,” she points out. “My stories often involve animals. I’m working on one called Letterbox Liverpool - about a secret post room of creatures which look after our letters which somehow go missing.” The maritime theme often crops up in Cathy’s stories, and since mooring her tugboat at the Albert Dock, she has been involved in lots of pirate storytelling and is co-organising a pirate muster day with Paul Miller at the Albert Dock on July 18, following the success of last year’s when 15,000 people went pirate crazy. “We will be having pirate enactment battles with canons firing on tall ships and pirate characters, such as Fortunatis Wright, a famous 18th century pirate and we’re getting schools involved, creating pirate flags. “Businesses around the dock will be hosting free fun events such as treasure hunts and we will be searching for the ‘Monty the Monster of the Dock.’ To contact Cathy at BeSpoken Storytelling email

ONES TO WATCH Wirral author’s kids novel

Life thru a Lens

NEXT week sees the launch of local author, Jon Mayhew’s debut novel – Mortlock. This wonderfully exciting, dark, and gruesomely gothic middle-grade chiller, is set in Victorian London. It’s perfect and pacy entertainment for both girls and boys aged eight and over. Having been a teacher for over 20 years, as well as working with children who have Autistic Spectrum Conditions, not to mention four children of his own, Jon has plenty of insight into a child’s imagination allowing him to create the perfect book. Mortlock is published on April 5 and is already getting a lot of attention on the internet. Jon, who lives in Wirral with his wife and children had a creative childhood too, as he used to play in the overgrown ruins of a Victorian zoo building dens in the bear pits and imagining that some of the animals still lurked in the thick rhododendrons.

A BLACK and white photograph of tracks in the sand taken by Chris Winstanley from Formby was last month commissioned for an exhibition at Parliament. Chris, 27, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, entered the Action Duchenne photography competition ‘Life thru a Lens’ and the image has since been shown at Parliament to mark the 40th anniversary of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. Action Duchenne, is a charity that supports this aggressive form of Muscular Dystrophy called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

We Walk In Straight Lines ONE of Liverpool’s latest up-and-coming indie-rock, four piece bands, We Walk in Straight Lines, have launched their debut, self-titled EP. We Walk In Straight Lines came together in 2009 and comprise Jonny Russell on vocals/guitar, Mark Booth on vocals/bass guitar, Sergiusz Zasada on drums and Chris Hassan on keys. The band, who have played in many of the North West’s finest venues, have wasted no time in throwing together their own blend of chaotic, world-weary material. The Masque of Liverpool says: “(We Walk In Straight Lines)...are really very, very good live and show a musicianship and creativity that is sadly lacking in the majority of bands in Liverpool at the moment.” Their EP comprises the first four tracks on their MySpace






Things to do, places to see


Michelle Rushton leafs through her diary to0 find out what’s on this April



The Culture Vibe For a chance to listen to local talent and view works of art, don’t miss The Culture Vibe at The Gallery from 4.30pm - 6.30pm every Thursday. Visitors will receive a complimentary glass of wine and be able to hear all kinds of music from Mr Ian Prowse from Amsterdam to Ste Weevil from The Bo Weevils fame, whilst perusing the hidden artistic gems on display throughout The Gallery, First Floor, Clayton Square, Shopping Centre. Each week a new act will take centre stage and all in aid of supporting Fibromyalgia. So why not share a glass of wine with a friend and soak up the vibe? For more information contact Madelaina at

Get Ahead Fred


Harry Potter model-maker Daisy Dawes will be touring Chester, Manchester and Liverpool in April to promote Get Ahead Fred, her magical new storybook. Daisy, who helped create the Hogwarts’ Castle model used in the Harry Potter films and has also worked with Aardman Animations and on Pingu, has written and illustrated the Get Ahead Fred, her first children’s book. To celebrate its publication, she will be visiting Waterstone’s Liverpool at 14-16 Bold Street on Friday, April 9 from 11am to 1pm, signing books and giving readings and art workshops to local children. All the events are free to attend, and suitable for children of all ages.

Take a wander down to the Calidad Events Art, Craft and Design Fairs at the Old Police Station on Lark Lane on the fourth Saturday of each month between 10am and 3pm. These events offer over 30 talented artists, crafters and designer-makers the opportunity to sell their work, while welcoming a growing number of appreciative visitors eager to pick up jewellery, textiles, ceramics, paper-craft, wood, glass, original and limited edition art as well as fashion accessories and photography. And from this May, Calidad will be in Childwall with over 40 creatives selling their work. Call 0151 448 0008 or visit



The Liverpool Empire will stage Laughter In The Rain, a brand new show based on pop music’s ultimate survivor, Neil Sedaka. With a career spanning six decades, Neil Sedaka is one of the 20th century’s greatest pop icons, with a street named after him in his hometown of Brooklyn, and he has been being given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sedaka wrote and performed some of the world’s most beloved pop songs, including Breaking up is Hard to Do, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Calendar Girl, Amarillo, Laughter in the Rain, and many more. The coveted role of Neil Sedaka will be played by Wayne Smith, one of the eight ‘Danny’ finalists in the ITV hit series Grease Is The Word. Laughter in the Rain is on at the Liverpool Empire Theatre from April 5-10 at 7.30pm, with a Wednesday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets costs £11.50 - £31. Call the box office on 0844 847 2525 or visit We have two pairs of tickets to give away to Laughter in the Rain for Monday, April 5. To be in with a chance of winning, email with “Laughter” in the subject box, including your name and daytime telephone number, with the answer to this question: Where is Neil Sedaka’s home town? Deadline: Thursday, April 1.

MERSEY SOUL NIGHT Blundell Street Cabaret Restaurant and Live Music Bar is launching a new Mersey Soul Night with one of the leaders of the soul era from the days of Wigan Casino. Kev Roberts will be the DJ for the dedicated nights on the first Thursday of every month starting tonight (April 1) at one of the region’s biggest soul nights of its kind – and it’s no April fool! As a club DJ during Northern Soul’s heyday, Kev Roberts became an icon and also MCd the Four Tops, Jackie Wilson, The Supremes, and dozens of others. Contact Blundell Street on 0151 709 599 for more information.

CANARY Award-winning writer Jonathan Harvey makes a triumphant return to the stage with major new play, Canary this spring. Laced with magical touches and pitch black humour, Canary, is an unflinching story about family, honesty, and forbidden love spanning four decades. This co-production between Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, English Touring Theatre and Hampstead Theatre, premiéres at the Liverpool Playhouse from Friday, April 23 to Saturday May 15 . Canary will be staged at the Liverpool Playhouse, Williamson Square, Liverpool, L1 from Mondays to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Matinees at 1.30pm on Thursday May 6 and at 2pm on Saturday 8 and Saturday May 15. Tickets £9.50 – £20. Call box office on 0151 709 4776 or visit

One of the most influential bands in Liverpool’s musical history, Deaf School, will play two tribute gigs at the Liverpool Everyman theatre in memory of their former front man Sam Davis who sadly passed away in January this year. A new song, written by Sam, will be showcased for the first time at the gigs on Saturday, April 17. The sell out gigs last September at the Everyman were Sam’s, aka Eric Shark, final performances with the band which he helped form on Hope Street in 1974. Two songs featuring Sam at these gigs were recorded and will now be released along with the new lyrics he penned last year which guitarist Clive Langer has put to music. Deaf School will play two concerts at the Everyman on Saturday, April 17 at 7pm and 9.30pm. Tickets cost £18 to £28 and are available from the Everyman box office on 0151 709 4776 or at

FISTFUL OF COLLARS After the massive success of Merry Ding Dong, writer Fred Lawless is back at the Royal Court with a brand new commission. Set in a dry cleaners with ideas above its station, A Fistful Of Collars is a great comedy about gangsters, dirty laundry and kidnap. The confirmed cast includes Eithne Browne, Suzanne Collins and Pauline Daniels. Kevin Fearon, chief executive of Royal Court Liverpool, can’t wait to get the machines started. He said: “Having seen the show in rehearsals I think that we have got another smash hit here. The script is a laugh-a-minute with some great actors involved so the audiences will be laughing until they cry.” A Fistful Of Collars will run from Friday, April 16 to Saturday, May 15. Tickets and information are available from or call 0870 787 1866.

MUST DO MUST TRY... Some tasty paella, cheese, wine, olive oils and sherry at the Taste of Spain 2010 festival on April 10 and 11 at Williamson Square. Various regions of Spain will show everything they have to offer from culture and food to lifestyle and music at the free event, There will be flamenco dancing, modern Celtic fusion music and Spanish pop-rock on the main stage as well as a Football Zone where you can win great prizes. John Farnworth, crowned the World Freestyle Champion, will also be performing football tricks.

MUST HAVE... This cute ceramic egg cup and cosy set perfect for Easter breakfast. Available in red, white and pink for girls or red, white and blue for boys, the egg cup sets cost £8 each and are part of the All Mine range from Mamas & Papas. The gift sets consist of a spotty or checked ceramic egg cup, a red or blue felt cosy and a beautiful keepsake gift box. Each cup features the sweet All Mine dog character and the felt cozies have a cute little message reading ‘My Breakfast’ and are perfect for keeping little ones’ eggs nice and warm! Available in stores nationwide or online at

MUST REMEMBER... To join in Cream’s annual Easter mash up at Nation this Saturday. The Cream team has pulled together one of the hottest line ups you’ll see featuring electro super producer Eric Prydz, Toolrooms’ head honcho Mark Knight and Cream residents Gareth Wyn, Andy Mac and Anthony Probyn. Swedish House Mafia don Steve Angello brings a roster of talent together from his ‘Size’ label to host the Courtyard. Meanwhile his younger brother will make his Cream debut as AN21. Expect fun and games behind the decks! Visit or call 0151 707 1309

MUST SEE.... One of the world's best acoustic guitarists, Duck Baker, one of the few solo performers whose background includes almost every aspect of American music, from electric rock to fingerpicking acoustic blues, ragtime, bluegrass and swing jazz. Duck will perform tracks from his new album, The Roots and Branches of American Music, at Picturehouse at FACT, 88 Wood Street, at 9pm on April 15. Tickets are available from, on 0871 704 2063, or from the box office.



CREATED by renowned cookbook author, Linda Collister, for Fairtrade company, Divine, this delicious Simnel cake features a light fruitcake mixture and dark Divine chocolate. INGREDIENTS ● 230g plain flour ● 1.5 tsp baking powder ● A good pinch of salt ● 175g unsalted butter (softened) ● 175g soft light brown muscovado sugar ● 4 large free-range eggs (beaten) ● 50g ground almonds ● 350g mixed dried fruit ● 100g glace cherries (rinsed, dried and halved) ● 100g bar Divine dark chocolate (roughly chopped) ● 2 tbsps milk ● 450g white marzipan ● A little apricot jam or sherry for brushing ● Divine miniature Easter eggs and a ribbon METHOD: ● Grease and line a 20.5cm/8in round, deep cake tin and heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. ● Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. ● Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and add the ground almonds with the last egg. ● Fold in the flour followed by the dried fruit, cherries, chocolate and milk. When thoroughly combined, spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin. ● Roll-out one third of the marzipan to a circle slightly smaller than the tin. Put the marzipan on top of the cake and cover with the remaining mixture. Spread evenly, then make a slight hollow in the centre so the cake rises evenly. ● Bake for 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 170C/325F/Gas3 and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. ● Leave to cool on a wire rack then remove from the tin and discard the lining paper. ● Roll out two-thirds of the remaining marzipan to fit the top of the cake. Brush the cake with warm apricot jam and set the marzipan disc on top. Arrange around the edge with miniature Easter eggs.



Chocoholic heaven Katie McLoughlin meets Liverpool chocolatier, Bala Croman... RUNNING a chocolate shop is most people’s idea of heaven, and for former commodities trader, Bala Croman, it’s a dream come true. Bala, who opened The Chocolate Cellar on Hanover Street in December 2008, was inspired by Chocolat, the film, and thought it was something she’d like to try. She says: “The funny thing is, I never really used to eat a lot of chocolate, then I tried real chocolate at a food festival and it became an obsession!” Passionate about good chocolate, Bala and her team of chocolatiers hand-make all of their Easter eggs, and, in preparation for the busy Easter period, they’ve ordered in over 400 kilos of Belgian chocolate. Bala says: “We use Belgian chocolate as a lot of people prefer the taste, but we also use Venezuelan dark chocolate, which is my favourite as it’s a very raw chocolate and you can really taste the cocoa bean in it.” Before they can get cracking on the eggs, the chocolate first needs to be tempered – a process of cooling and heating which allows the chocolatiers to be able to work with it, and also fills the room with a rich chocolatey scent. Once tempered, the molten chocolate is poured into egg shell moulds, allowed to cool slightly, and then placed onto a

vibrating plate to remove any air bubbles. The excess chocolate is then poured back into the tempering machine and the edges of the shells scraped to give a smooth finish. To seal the two halves together, chocolatier, Sara Byrne, warms the metal work-surface with a heat gun, then places the shells onto the hot surface to gently melt the edges, before sticking them together to form a complete egg. To make one of the eggs from The Chocolate Cellar’s premium range, Bala takes half a large milk chocolate egg, then pipes molten white chocolate around the rim and decorates with candied crushed rose petals and violets, working quickly as the chocolate sets in about five minutes. To finish the luxurious egg, Bala brushes molten milk chocolate inside the shell and decorates with pecans and dried blueberries, before filling to the brim with indulgent truffles and chocolates. A lot of work goes into making these beautiful, handcrafted eggs; some might say it’s an elaborate process for something you crack open on Easter morning. But having sampled the rich velvety chocolate for myself, you can really taste the difference and once you’ve had the good stuff there’s just no going back.

WIN an Easter basket from The Quarter Deli... The lovely people at The Quarter Deli on Faulkner Street have put together an Easter basket full of tasty treats to give away to one lucky Best of Liverpool reader. It will be filled with a selection of Easter goodies such as Belgian chocolate sheep and chicks, bunny rabbit cookies, and Montezuma free range organic Easter eggs. The perfect Easter treat for anyone with a sweet tooth – enter now for a chance to win this delectable little basket of joy! For a chance to win, name one of The Quarter’s sister restaurants on Hope Street. Send your answer along with your name and daytime telephone number to Deadline for entries: Wednesday, April 7. Winner must be able to collect the hamper from The Quarter on Thursday, April 8.




Egg-cellent buys Here's our pick of the seven best Easter eggs... This indulgent Guylian Premium Egg comes with a box of Guylian premium Opus chocolates. RRP £8.99.

Milk, white and dark chocolate eggs by Fairtrade company, Divine. Priced at £3 for a 55g egg from

Premium Handmade Easter Egg, featuring candied crushed rose petals and violets, pecans and blueberries and filled with hand-made chocolates, £30, from The Chocolate Cellar, Hanover Street.

Hand-decorated, this Thorntons Deliciously Dark Easter egg comes with 12 tantalising chocolates, including a selection from the new Continental Milan City Box. £9.99 from Thorntons, Whitechapel.

Topped Dark Chocolate Egg featuring caramelised pecans, £5.99, from Marks & Spencer, Church Street.

Topped with fudge and white chocolate, this Cottage Delight Caramel Fudge Egg is truly indulgent. Priced at £12.50, from John Lewis, Liverpool ONE.

For a quirky alternative to a traditional egg, try making your own with this novelty ‘Flat Pack Easter Egg’, £2.35 from The Quarter on Faulkner Street.

Guilt-free chocolate Katie McLoughlin finds the best ways to enjoy chocolate without the calories this Easter...

FROM the indulgent rich taste to the ‘feel good’ endorphins that eating it gives us — we all know the benefits of chocolate. But if you’re watching your waistline and looking for an alternative way to treat yourself to a bit of the brown stuff this Easter, here’s our selection of some of the best chocolate-themed goodies and beauty products that you can enjoy guilt-free this April.

Ikove Acai Chocolate AgeResisting Serum, is packed with anti-oxidants, £18.99, from

Chocolate Heaven Lip Gloss set, £6.99 from

Autograph Ultimate Wear Nail Polish in Chocolate, £6.50, from Marks & Spencer, Church Street.

Mint Choc Flavour Lip Lovely by Rosie Loves Aroma, £3.80 from

Chocolate coloured, handbag, £35, from Marks & Spencer, Church Street.

■ On Tuesday, April 6 there’s a free Easter Bonnet and Hat Making workshop at Sefton Park Palm House, Plus on April 7, children can enjoy an Easter egg hunt and Easter bonnet parade at Sefton Park Palm House. ■ On April 3-11 the whole family can take part in Liverpool’s Crackin’ Easter Trail. As part of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations, in 2008 Open Culture produced the Great Royal Liver Easter Hunt, which saw the city’s famous Liver Birds ‘lay’ Easter eggs. Following on from the success of the 2008 event, Open Culture has teamed up with the Bluecoat, FACT, Tate Liverpool and the Walker Art Gallery to make you all happy bunnies this Easter! The free event gives people of all ages the chance to get creative, crack the clues and be in with a chance of winning £500 or one of the many cultural gifts and prizes on offer. Simply pick up a free Crackin’ Easter Trail, earn your stamps by taking part in the free activities and solve the

clues inside the four great venues. The more you see and do this Easter, the more you could win! The free activities include Tell Your Story at Tate Liverpool, April 3-11; MyEaster Exploration at FACT, April 3-11; Eggcellent Workshops at Walker Art Gallery, April 5-10; and Explore Heritage Story Chest at the Bluecoat, April 3-11. To get involved, you can pick up the Crackin’ Easter Trail from the Bluecoat, FACT, Tate Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Lady Lever Art Gallery, 08 Place on Whitechapel and Albert Dock Visitor Information Centre. For more information or to download your trail visit or check out the venue websites. ■ Celebrate this Easter with free family fun at Liverpool ONE! Kicking off a host of family activities is the Easter Bonnet Parade on Good Friday and the arrival of the magical Easter Bunny and the popular egg and spoon races on both Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Families will also be able to enjoy a host of tasty treats at the Easter Market from April 15.


John Smith’s Grand National Fab Four sign up for Liverpool day

Fashion stakes The race is on for fashionistas to perfect their outfits for Aintree races

LIVERPOOL Day celebrations at Aintree racecourse are gathering pace with the announcement that the Bootleg Beatles will be entertaining race-goers. The highly acclaimed Fab Four tribute act will appear on stage following the final race on the first day of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting on April 8 – which has this year been renamed as Liverpool Day. The Beatles theme continues after the racecourse revealed it has teamed up with the Beatles story to celebrate Liverpool’s favourite sons. Local band 6ix Toys have confirmed they will be appearing on April 8 and Liverpool Sound City will also be showcasing up and coming bands in the pavilion throughout the day.

Hats off to the races A spectacular hat, specially commissioned for this year’s John Smith’s Grand National, was recently unveiled at Aintree’s annual Northern Media Lunch. The hat, designed and made by Rufford-based milliner, Jean Ellis, celebrates Liverpool and features the city’s famous skyline along with a huge brim depicting the River Mersey. The hat, which will be officially unveiled on Liverpool Day, is made up of around five metres of material including white habotai silk, sky blue silk crepe backed satin, buckram and sinamey. Jean, from Gateacre, says: “We wanted a stylish celebration of the city of Liverpool and the Grand National and I hope I’ve created something fitting for the occasion.”

HE most glamorous race-goers in the country are under starter’s orders for the John Smith’s Grand National’s annual Style competition. The John Smith’s Grand National meeting takes place between April 8 and 10 and organisers are urging people to start thinking about their gladrags and handbags now. Style spotters will select the most chic people throughout days one and two of the meeting to go forward into the competition, with Liverpool Style icon Coleen Rooney announcing the overall winner on Saturday ahead of the prestigious Grand National race. International fashion designer Jeff Banks will be among those on the look out for race course glamour. He says: “It’s amazing the effort a lot of people go to at Aintree every year and we get so many fabulous entrants that it makes it difficult to select just one.The ladies at the Grand National are amongst the most fashion conscious women.” The winner will bag a selection of top prizes including a Kia Venga car worth £12,000, a 10 day all inclusive Almond


Resorts holiday to Barbados for two and a photo shoot at a top London studio. They will be styled by professional hair and make-up artists and directed by Banks. They will also receive VIP entry to the races on Grand National day. There will also be a selection of spot prizes awarded on Thursday including a stunning Boodles Raindance diamond ring worth £7,500 and a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes from Cricket owner Justine Mills. Banks and a style spotting team will search the course for the most stylish race-goer that day. The Style 2010 in association with Matalan contest will see entrants take to the catwalk in a specially created style enclosure on the Friday in front of a panel of judges. Prizes are also on offer for those who pre-register for the Style contest, go to for more information. Tickets and hospitality for the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National meeting for all three days from April 8 to 10 can be purchased in advance at or phone 0844 579 3001.

Straw’bevvy’ fields forever THE organisers of this year’s John Smith’s Grand National festival have commissioned a new drink inspired by the city of Liverpool. The ‘Strawberry Fields’ cocktail was created by a team of mixologists at Liverpool’s exciting new Manhattan style restaurant and bar, The Noble House. The drink was created to mark Liverpool Day, which will take place on the first day of this year’s Grand National meeting on Thursday, April 8 and will include The winning formula, which Pinky Vodka, Blackberry and Wild Strawberry Liqueur and



Prosecco, will be served throughout the day with all proceeds being donated to The Injured Jockeys Fund. Alex Hannah, director of bar operations at The Noble House, says: “The Grand National is one of the most iconic events on the calendar. When the guys from Aintree Racecourse asked us to develop a cocktail which celebrated Liverpool we wanted to create a mix which gave a flavour of the city. “We chose strawberries as the base because of the famous song by The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever, which the cocktail is named after.”

WIN - Brighten up your smile for the Grand National


AWARD-winning dental boutique, Ollie and Darsh, provides the very best of general and cosmetic dental care procedures aiming to make people proud of their smiles. Its calming, stylised boutique clinic offers a range of innovative procedures to help race-goers have the perfect gnashers to match their gleaming new outfits at the Grand National. Up-to-date treatments include the clear brace system Invisalign, Home Teeth Whitening Kits and the deep teeth-bleaching package Enlighten. For pearly whites at a fraction of the price, don’t miss Ollie and Darsh’s Whitening Wednesdays when you can receive 50% off Zoom 3D Laser Whitening, Enlighten Evolution or Home Whitening. For more information telephone 0151 236 6578, visit, join Ollie and Darsh on Facebook or tweet them 'ollieanddarsh.' In the meantime, you can win an Ollie and Darsh 3D free consultation and teeth whitening package worth almost £400. Just email, stating Pearly Whites in the subject box, including your name and daytime telephone number and the answer to the following question: What day can you enjoy 50% off teeth whitening treatments at Ollie & Darsh? Deadline: Thursday, April 8.

Champagne Breakfasts


Alma De Cuba

Pan Am

WITH the John Smith’s Grand National just furlongs away, many of the city’s finest bars and eateries are hosting Champagne breakfasts to set you up for a day at the steeplechase. Here’s our pick of some of the best offers in town:

CAFE SPORTS ENGLAND WHERE better than to start the day than at Cafe Sports England? This restaurant is truly prepared for major sporting events, such as Liverpool’s big steeple chase. Cafe Sports England provides the perfect venue offering a Champagne breakfast over the three days for just £9.95 per head. You can enjoy a glass of Champagne on arrival, then a choice of tea, coffee or fresh orange juice and choose from a traditional English breakfast, pancakes with fresh strawberries or salmon and cream cheese bagel. To reserve call Cafe Sports England in Stanley Street on 0151 239 5070 or Cafe Sports Express in Liverpool One on 0151 706 7440.

REFORM RESTAURANT HAVING just opened its doors on Victoria Street, Reform Bar and Restaurant is the newest venue for fine dining and cocktails and will be hosting a pre-races Champagne breakfast on the Friday and Saturday. Priced at just £11.95 it’s best to book early for your glass of Champagne, soft drink and a full English breakfast. Call 0151 258 1800 or email to book a table.

RIGBYS ENJOY a traditional pub atmosphere and breakfast before all the excitement of the Grand National at Rigbys, from 9am on all three days. Rigbys is serving a full English breakfast with a complementary Racing Post for those who pre-book and, of course, there’s a range of drinks available separately, including Champagne if you fancy it. Located two minutes from Moorfields Station, it’s the ideal venue to start the day. Although if you can’t make it to Aintree, Rigbys will be showing the races throughout the day. Visit 23-25 Dale Street, L2 2EZ or call 0151 236 3269.

SAN CARLO LIVERPOOL’S popular San Carlo restaurant will break with tradition by opening for breakfast during the Aintree Grand National event. In true San Carlo style, there will be Champagne, classic Bellinis and breakfast

San Carlo


Odds On Flavour Emma Thompson places her bets on the top Champagne breakfasts in the city Martinis to top the bill on a menu which ranges from a classic full English with locally sourced sausages and bacon, to scrambled eggs with caviar and lobster. The stylish venue on Castle Street will open its doors at 8.30am onThursday Friday and Saturday, offering racegoers one of the best starts to the day. Booking is highly recommended, call 0151 236 0073 for details or log on to

ELUDE BY reservation only, this elegant and intimate restaurant really is one of the city’s hidden gems providing the ideal venue for your Champagne breakfast. Situated off Great Howard Street, it combines lush surroundings with excellent service and fine food, it’s a perfect treat. Elude is offering a pre-races Champagne breakfast, for £14.95, which includes a glass of chilled Champagne, freshly squeezed orange juice and a choice of breakfast, including smoked Scottish salmon. Discover Elude at 15 Porter Street, Docklands, L3 7BL, advance reservations only, all 0151 227 3882 or log on to to book.

RENSHAW GRILL THE Renshaw Grill on Renshaw Street is offering a delicious Champagne breakfast which includes a full English breakfast and a glass of Champagne for just £8.95.

All served in the stylish surroundings of the brasserie with its contemporary black and white tiled floors and plush black leather banquettes, it creates the perfect ingredients for a superb breakfast. Log on to or call 0151 708 4008 to reserve.

PANORAMIC AS the UK’s highest restaurant you would expect no less than a high standard, luxury, prerace Champagne breakfast to start your day. Enjoying magnificent views, you can choose a delicious breakfast on Friday and Saturday including a full English breakfast, eggs Benedict, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or pancakes with toppings for £29.50 per head, plus half a bottle of Gruet Champagne. Visit Panoramic, 34th floor, West Tower, Brook Street, L3 9PJ, log on to or call 0151 236 5534.

PAN AM START your day overlooking the Albert Dock with a glass of Champagne and breakfast at Pan Am. This contemporary bar and restaurant is set in the Grade I listed Britannia Pavillion and has a great Grand National package that’ll keep you going from morning until night. For £45 per person (Thursday) or £55 (Friday or Saturday), you can enjoy a Champagne breakfast from 9am, return travel to Aintree Racecourse, then a delicious, set

evening menu and live after-dinner entertainment. Visit PanAm The Albert Dock, L3 4AE, call 0151 702 5831 or log on to for information.

ALMA DE CUBA AS official hosts of the John Smith’s Grand National winner’s party, Alma de Cuba is also offering ‘breakfast and bubbles’ for the threeday event. The package, priced at £29.50 per person on Thursday and £39.50 Friday and Saturday, includes a Champagne breakfast, return transport, £10 for Grand National Winner’s Party (otherwise £20). For information on the Saturday’s Grand National winner’s party, costing £20, or the Champagne breakfast email or call 0151 702 7394.

NEWZ BAR FORMALLY a 19th century shipping warehouse the Newz Bar now boasts sumptuous red leather seating where you can enjoy a lovely Champagne breakfast. Available on the Thursday and Friday, you can choose from a full English, pancakes with strawberries and cream or a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. For just £14.95 per head the package also includes Champagne on arrival, orange juice and tea/coffee. To reserve email or call 0151 236 2025.

Cafe Sports England Competition Priding itself on being a family friendly restaurant with a healthy twist, Cafe Sports England, owned by reds’ hero Jamie Carragher in partnership with Liverpool based Flanagan Group, is offering three lucky readers a delicious Champagne breakfast before the races. You can win a breakfast treat on either April 8, 9 or 10. Simply answer the following question by emailing followed by your name, contact number, the day you want to attend, by April 5. Q. Which country is the Champagne region in?



Carve It Up

IF your taste buds have been tempted but you fancy letting someone else take the Sunday lunch strain, we at Best of Liverpool thought it wise to let you in on a few of the best local spots to sample a wonderful roast dinner.

Paul Baker grills local chef, Nigel Paul Smith, on how to prepare the perfect roast

The Orchard

Nigel Paul Smith

If you fancy a hearty roast dinner (and who doesn’t?) The Orchard insists its roasts are made from only the freshest, local meats and vegetables. A traditional Sunday roast at The Orchard tends to be a family affair where a substantial joint of lamb with mint sauce, pork with apple sauce, or beef with Yorkshire puddings is served with all the trimmings including roast potatoes and a variety of fresh vegetables. Situated on Blundell Street, the bar and restaurant offers customers the chance to sample high quality, wholesome comfort food, in the city centre. Prices £9.95 for two courses, £14.95 for three courses. 57 Blundell Street, City Centre, 0151 709 3060



HE great British roast dinner. It’s a much-loved tradition in houses, pubs and restaurants across the

land. Usually, but not exclusively, associated with a leisurely Sunday afternoon with the family, a roast dinner is the perfect accompaniment to the day of rest, often followed by a nice snooze in front of the Eastenders omnibus. Well, unless you have to prepare and cook it that is... If you’ve drawn the short straw and you find yourself faced with a joint of meat or a plucked bird, plus a worktop full of vegetables, you may feel a little overawed. But never fear, all you need is the guidance of a seasoned roast dinner veteran. Best of Liverpool grabbed Nigel Paul Smith, the executive chef at The Maritime Dining Rooms in The Albert Dock, in order to get the lowdown on the easy way to make the perfect roast dinner. Nigel has cooked for celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Paul Gayler, so helping us with our Sunday lunch should be a breeze! First things first, choose your meat. Nigel recommends beef for that quintessential best of British roast. Plus, you get to have lovely Yorkshire Pudding with it too! There are lots of different beef joints you could opt for. Nigel reckons your first class roasting joints are sirloin and fore-rib of beef, while your next best joints would be topside or silverside. And, of course, he recommends you buy local. “A good piece of Lancashire beef should have a yellow tint to the fat which means the animal has had a mainly grass



diet outdoors, also we need to decide if the meat has good marbling which gives an indicator to the tenderness.” For a family of four Nigel suggests a 1kg beef joint. He usually buys his meat three to five days prior to cooking, then wraps it in a tea towel in the bottom of the fridge. “This helps age it and gets air circulating around the meat. Take the meat from the fridge a couple of hours before you cook it. The meat will cook better and taste better.” Everyone likes their meat cooked differently and Nigel has helpfully explained how best to achieve rare perfection, a well done char and everything in between. For rare beef oven cook for 20 minutes per kg at 200°C. For medium-rare, opt for 30 minutes per kg at 200°C. For medium, 40 minutes per kg at 200°C; for medium-well done, 50 minutes per kg at 190°C; and for well done beef go for 60 minutes per kg at 190°C. “[Before you cook the joint] seal the meat well in a hot pan, season and place in the oven on some roughly chopped carrots, onions, leeks and three cloves of garlic,” recommends Nigel. To get your Yorkshire Puddings just right, he advises you use equal quantities by volume (not by measure) of eggs, plain flour and milk. “At home I use a cup of each. Mix them thoroughly, adding your flour last and ensuring no lumps.” For the perfect potatoes Nigel says to peel and boil them in salted water for 15-18 mins, until they’re cooked through and the outsides begin to flake. Next, place a frying pan on the stove and heat your potatoes until hot with a little dripping, goose fat or vegetable oil.

“Once they have got some colour in the frying pan, you can put them on an oven tray in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 220 degrees,” says Nigel. For the rest of his vegetables, Nigel opts for broccoli and carrots. “I prepare the broccoli by breaking the flowers from the stalking, leaving an inch or so of flower. I boil them in rapidly boiling salted water for two to three minutes. I then peel and slice my carrots and cook them in a little butter for 10 to 15 minutes stirring to stop them catching, this really brings out the flavour in the carrots,” says Nigel. “Be careful not to fry them. Cook them slowly, you can add a little thyme to these if you wish.” Wow. So far, so simple. All the meal needs now are some finishing touches and some oh so tasty gravy. Over to you Nigel... “When the beef is cooked try and rest it for 15 mins somewhere warm but not too hot, with a tea towel over the top to stay warm. Then we are left with the roasted vegetables that the meat sat on and the juices – first job is to strain off any fat. Then heat the tray up and add half a bottle of red wine. Reduce this by half and add about one pint of beef stock (stock cubes are fine). Reduce by 1/3rd then strain off. If you like your gravy slightly thickened you can add Bisto granules, or flour mixed with water, and then cook out for five mins and strain again.” So there you have it, a beautiful roast beef dinner, and so simple to prepare. And if you want to sample one of Nigel’s Sunday roasts yourself, just pop into the Maritime Dining Rooms on the fourth floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum building.

Why not head out of the city and combine an enjoyable afternoon in Wirral with a leisurely Sunday roast? Sheldrakes is one of the Wirral Peninsula’s treasures. The restaurant, on the banks of the River Dee, offers a beautiful outlook, spectacular sunsets and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. On Sundays a four course carvery is served all afternoon and includes soup and crusty bread, an extensive salad bar, traditional Sunday roast dinner and dessert. The Carvery can be enjoyed on the terrace, in the bistro or in the conservatory. It’s good value too, at £14.95 for adults and £9.95 for children under 10. Banks Road, Heswall, Wirral, 0151 342 1556

Circo Located at the Albert Dock, Circo Restaurant offers a Sunday lunch menu with an array of traditional roasts , all presented with a slight contemporary twist. Pork tenderloin, butter basted chicken or rump lamb are three of the options to complete the Sunday feast. To make it extra special, thick prime cuts of Roast Rib Eye Beef are another meat choice and are guaranteed to satisfy even the most dedicated carnivore. At just £14.95 for three dishes, the only problem will be if you have space for dessert! Britannia Pavilion, Albert Dock, 0151 709 0470


ND O O VER N. ..


9 9 . £2 Call: 0845 143 0001 or visit BEST OF LIVERPOOL 25

Food and Drink

The Orchard

Selina’s specials Michelle Rushton visits The Gulshan to see how mum has spiced up the menu

SURVIVING a quarter of a century in business always calls for a real celebration. The Gulshan Indian restaurant in Aigburth is not far off this milestone and is leading up to its 25th birthday celebrations next year. To mark the occasion, during the run up to next year, the restaurant has introduced a series of 24 monthly specials. Customers have been sampling lots of new and exciting dishes each month. So far they’ve tried Teetul Maas (wild Alaskan black cod coated in a Bengali style tamarind based marinade, pan-fried and served on a bed of spinach leaves) and Elachi lamb chop bhuna (medium spiced lamb chops slowly cooked in a sealed pot together with a ‘home style’ thick, spicy bhuna sauce), amongst others. And next month they can look forward to Aloo Maach for starters - firm white fish fillets dipped in a light batter of mixed spices and the main course Jolshanu Gosht - succulent braised lamb shank cooked in a Bengal style thick Jolshanu sauce. Jad Rahman, restaurant manager, said: “We are launching 24 different specials over the next 12 months, each of which will be fighting it out for a place on our 25th anniversary menu for next year.” The specials have gone down a storm with The Gulshan’s loyal regulars. The eaterie was opened in 1986 by Mustafa Rahman and his wife Selina, as an upmarket Indian restaurant. At first, Selina was in charge of front of house but she soon took a back seat from the business, leaving her husband Mustafa to run it while she brought up their children. Mustafa did a first class job with The Gulshan being classed as



one of the best Indian restaurants in Liverpool. But now the children have all grown up, Selina recently decided to get involved again and she has really spiced things up. Taking over the kitchen, she has introduced a wealth of fabulous new dishes and is forever experimenting with new flavours. The couple’s son, Jad, has also joined forces and has injected a real vibrancy into the business. The restaurant was completely refurbished with a modern, trendy decor and a new tapas lounge upstairs where people can enjoy cocktails and live music. And now the restaurant is taking even more bookings since launching the new specials. Mustafa explained: “It all started with the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival. We were offering samples of Shahi rezalla - a North Indian style preparation of well-marinated chicken tikka slow cooked in a thick caramelised onion and yoghurt sauce spiced with cardamom, mace, turmeric, roasted cumin seeds, saffron and sprinkled with pistachio. “It went down so well that people were asking for it in the restaurant. It was sold out every night.” And it’s all down to Selina’s style of Bangladeshi cooking. Jad added: “Since mum got back involved, she has transformed the menu with new recipes.” Mustafa has also been pleased with his son’s input and admits, he found it hard to let go at first. “My passion has always been the customers and I never went on holiday because I felt if I didn’t look after my them they wouldn’t come back. It’s been hard to take a step back but Jad is unbelievable - he puts all his efforts and energy into the business and

since he got involved, its improved massively.” Jad revealed: “My mission is to maintain my father’s high standards -

just bring it more up to date and I want to concentrate on drinks with top quality cocktails and a superb wine list. And my mum has lots more surprises in store!”

FOOD NEWS... ■ Get a taste of spring in the southern hemisphere with some delicious new dishes from the heart of South America brought to you by Las Iguanas. In true Latin spirit the new spring menu is packed with fresh flavours, every dish is cooked to order and served with a real passion. New for spring and perfect for sharing are the Tapas Tasting Platters with vegetable (£11.90) and meat selections (£12.90) to start your meal, or to simply enjoy with a drink from the bar. Las Iguanas: Liverpool 14 Paradise Street, Liverpool ONE, Liverpool, L1 8J. Telephone: 0151 or visit ■ A Liverpool restaurant and bar has been awarded the city’s highest-ever mark for quality only three months after opening. The Noble House, in Brunswick Street, was rated the best in the city for a “high quality eating experience” by the Taste Liverpool scheme. The scheme, which is backed by tourism

organisation The Mersey Partnership, awarded the venue a score of 87% - its top grade since it was launched three years ago. The £1million venue, located in the heart of Liverpool’s business district, has already become a regular haunt for the region’s rich and famous attracting stars such as Coleen Rooney, Alex Gerrard and Emma Rigby. To see the review visit ■ Chef and restaurateur Paul Heathcote is helping to combat rising obesity among children by launching a new menu at his Olive Press restaurant. The new healthy choices include baked mushrooms, char grilled chicken strips and fresh fruit salads for dessert. All mains come with a selection of optional side orders that includes green vegetables, salad and new potatoes. Paul has launched a special Little Olives reward card specifically for young diners at his Olive Press restaurants. Aimed at encouraging creativity in the kitchen, the card entitles youngsters to a special gift once they have completed a series of culinary tasks. For more information about Heathcotes restaurants, visit or follow Paul on Twitter @paul_heathcote


ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET WITH OVER 70 DISHES We do not accept cheques. Children under 4.5ft eat for HALF PRICE OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR

TREAT YOUR FAMILY ON A SUNDAY FOR £21 (2 adults & 2 children under 4 yrs)

A free bottle of bubbly for all Hen & Stag parties TSO’s is ideally located on Queens Square, next to The Marriott Hotel

TSO’s Restaurant is The Best Choice For Christmas, Family Parties, Work Do’s, New Year Celebrations Or Even Just A Quick Bite Most Popular Chinese Oriental Buffet Restaurant in Liverpool


EAT AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE BUFFET, OVER 70 DISHES BOOK NOW FOR MOTHER’S DAY £7.50 ALL DAY Children under 4.5ft eat half price 10% OFF for Students & OAPs

4 Queens Square, Liverpool L1 1HF. T: 0151 709 2811

Oriental Buffet Restaurant


Oriental Buffet & Korean Fondue Restaurant

Eat as much as you like . . .

Now serving Special Hot Pot Fondue Buffet; only £12.99 including all you can eat buffet (children halfprice)

7 DAYS A WEEK 365 DAYS A YEAR Lunch Buffet

11.30am - 5.30pm

Grand Buffet

5.30pm - 11.30pm



Children’s Buffet

Book now for Easter

(Below 4.5 ft tall)


UNLIMITED SOFT DRINK AVAILABLE During December 50p surcharge on Grand Buffet only

(no price increase)

77 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4EZ (2 mins walk from Chinatown)

0151 707 2929


Cuban Buffet - Spicy Cuban beef, fabulously creamy peanut chicken, vegetarian options, rice and beans and much much more all you can eat for only £10.95 with this coupon

Cuban Singer & band every weekend including Easter Sunday!

Aintree Races Book your place at La Cubanita and continue to party!

Forget the Live music, Salsa winter chill - fell classes and the Cuban great food at great heat at La prices! Cubanita

Why wait Book Now!!!!! 0151 709 5335 La Cubanita, 2 Campbell Square, (off bottom Duke St), Liverpool

Liverpool’s Premier Dinner & Live Music Venue

Overall Winner Best Bar None 2009/10 5 Stars Food Hygiene

Local Prices – Don’t Get Ripped Off In The City

Dinner & Live Entertainment Every Friday Regular Bands Include - Roxy Magic, Bee Gees Fever, Band With No Name, Soul Patrol, Junior Parker, Asa Murphy, plus Many More 3 Course Meal & Table For The Night From £18.95 Perfect For Every Celebration! SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR DATES & FULL DETAILS

2 For £10 On Selected Bar Meals Available Plus Full Bar Meals Available New Restaurant Menu Now Available ~ £12.95 for 2 Courses (£14.95 Saturday) ~ Sunday Carvery £8.50

Function Room Available For Up To 150 Persons Barbacoa, 47-51 Mersey View, Waterloo, Liverpool L22 6QA ~ 0151-924-0445

Franco’s Ristorante Where Italians love to eat

Serving the best Italian cuisine for 25 years


3 Course

£17.95 per person IDEAL FOR SMALL WEDDINGS

includes half a bottle of House Wine per couple Tues-Sat all evening Also available for Business Lunches • Birthdays • Parties • Celebrations • Office Functions. Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.00pm. Tuesday-Sat 5.30pm-11.00pm 48a Castle Street, Liverpool Tel: 0151 236 3375 Fax: 0151 236 7260


Heading over to…


HIDDEN GEMS LILIBETS OF PARIS Offering an authentic taste of Paris, visit Stanley Street based pâtisserie, Lilibets of Paris, which sells a tantalising array of delicious French treats. From classics such as Tarte aux Pommes to exquisite mousse cakes like Bavarois aux Trois Chocolats - all of the cakes are handmade by owner, Elizabeth Connard, who attended the prestigious Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris. If you’re hosting a dinner party, Lilibets of Paris can even prepare and cook a Parisian dinner for you and your guests, as part of its ‘Paris at your table’ service. Visit Lilibets of Paris, 24 Stanley Street, Southport, 01704 536001,

CACHÉT A regular haunt for local celebrities and style-conscious shoppers, Cachét is the place to go for those looking for something a little bit different. Situated on Union Street, the independent boutique is a real treasure trove of designer footwear and accessories. With a keen eye for trends, owner, Karen Cacket, regularly travels to London, Paris and Milan to source uber-fashionable, oneof-a-kind styles for the boutique, including stunning shoes, bags, jewellery and accessories from leading designers. Visit Cachét Footwear & Accessories, 22 Union Street, Southport, 01704 537555,

AUBERGE BRASSERIE Tucked away on Seabank Road, just off Lord Street, this uber-stylish eatery is one of Southport’s best-loved restaurants. Popular with local foodies and visitors alike, Auberge Brasserie is famed for serving delicious French cuisine in achic contemporary setting. The menu, which fuses traditional French flavours with modern dishes, is the perfect way to treat your tastebuds to a real taste of the continent. Visit Auberge Brasserie, 1b Seabank Road, Southport, 01704 530 671,

The splendour of Sefton Katie McLoughlin explores the genteel towns of Formby and Southport SOUTHPORT and Formby are famed for their coastal location and famous residents but there’s much more to these seaside Sefton towns than just footballers and days spent on the beach. Situated just over 19 miles from Liverpool city centre, Southport has all the elegance, grandeur and history that you would expect from a classic Victorian resort. The town’s Grade II listed pier, which opened in 1860, provides the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll, whilst Lord Street’s famous canopied walkways are always popular with visitors keen to explore the multitude of boutiques, independent shops, department stores, chic coffee shops and cafes. Lord Street is also home to an impressive range of independent jewellers, indeed there’s so many jewellers on this Victorian thoroughfare that it would be fair to say it’s something of a jewellery quarter. The town also has many places where you can indulge in a little retail therapy, including the Victorian Wayfarer’s Arcade on Lord Street, Chapel Street is where you’ll find most of the high street stores in the town, Wesley Street has a number of independent stores whilst Central 12 retail park, just outside the town centre, has a wealth of big name stores to explore. The town’s shopping

facilities will be further enhanced in July 2010, when the newly refurbished Cambridge Walks is expected to be complete. Shopping in Formby is similarly impressive and the many boutiques and independent stores which cater for the suburb’s affluent residents are a real shopper’s delight. The town’s main shopping thoroughfares are Formby Business Park, The Cloisters and Chapel Lane, where you’ll find a diverse array of independent fashion boutiques, high street stores, vintage shops, tea and coffee specialists, supermarkets, confectioners and more. Aside from the shops, you’ll also find plenty of ways to entertain friends and family in these Sefton towns. From family attractions such as Splash World water park in Southport, Formby Pine Woods and Formby Red Squirrel Reserve, to world-class golf courses including Royal Birkdale, Hillside, Formby, Hesketh, Southport & Ainsdale and Formby Hall. Not forgetting the miles of coastline, parks and woodland that you can explore. The area also boasts a thriving creative sector and is home to many cultural attractions, including the Botanic Garden Museum in picturesque Churchtown. Southport is also soon to

have its very own cultural quarter with work underway on a major refurbishment project which will see the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport Arts Centre and the library transformed into a 21st century media hub. There’s an impressive and diverse array of festivals and events held in Southport and Formby throughout the year, including the Southport Flower Show, Woodvale International Rally, Southport Comedy Festival and Southport International Jazz Festival, to name but a few. So with the Easter break now just a couple of days away, what better time to take a trip up north and explore everything that Southport and Formby has to offer.

HOW TO GET THERE: Travelling by train: Take the Northern Line from Liverpool Central or Moorfields to Southport. Travelling by bus: Take the X2 from Queen’s Square bus station to Lord Street, Southport, or take the number 47 from Sir Thomas Street to Lord Street. Call Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit for details.

GOING UNDERGROUND on the Northern Line to Southport in association with

For travel information call 0871 200 2233 or visit



Waterloo Station

Ainsdale Station

Formby station

If you want to get ahead of the fashion pack for Ladies’ Day, jump off the train at Waterloo and head to The Little Boutique on St John’s Road, Waterloo. The independent boutique, which counts Nicola Carragher amongst its clientele, stocks designer dresses and one-off pieces by local designers plus accessories, bags, fascinators, shoes and jewellery that’ll add the finishing touches to your raceday look. The Little Boutique, 98 St John’s Road, Waterloo, L22 9QQ, 0151 928 0999,

If you fancy getting back to nature, then head to the hills! Or to be more precise, Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve. Tranquil, wild and great to explore, the 508-hectare site is home to rare wildlife like the Great Crested Toad, dunes, beach, woodland and more than 10km of marked footpaths.

If you’re looking to tantalise your tastebuds, a visit to The Village Deli is a must. The deli has a strong emphasis on local produce, and offers a mouth-watering array of cooked meats, Southport potted shrimps, honeys, truffle peelings, confectionery and more. Plus, the deli also stocks products from former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson’s company, the Saddleworth Cheese Company. Visit The Village Deli, 66 Brows Lane (next to the Post Office), Formby, 01704 833 211.

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Liverpool docks


WIN - a copy of Dockers

Tides of change Paul Baker charts the fortunes of Liverpool’s famous docks LWAYS central to Liverpool life, pivotal to the city’s fortunes through good times and bad, they’ve been the lifeblood of the city... No, not our beloved local football teams; to paraphrase Bill Shankly, ‘it’s more important than that.’ It was Liverpool’s docks that helped bring prosperity to the city, and the dock workers themselves who helped define the city’s inimitable spark. When Liverpool was born in 1207, so too was its port. The aim was for it to support the country’s military and commercial aspirations. Ultimately it was through commerce that Liverpool would thrive and the docks would help make the city world famous. It was in 1709 that the docks began to take shape as the town council, who were then also the port authority, set the wheels in motion to create the first enclosed dock on the site of the city’s original ‘pool.’ Known as the Old Dock, this was the world’s first commercial wet dock meaning that despite the level of the river’s tide, the water level in the dock stayed the same. At the height of the British Empire, Liverpool and its docks were central to the fortunes of Britain, so the docks and the city beyond were transformed by the trade passing through. The city became rich on the back of trade in commodities from around the world, such as tea, tobacco and, sadly, slavery too. The American author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville, wrote about Liverpool’s docks in his 1849 novel called Redburn: “Previous to this, having only seen the miserable wooden wharves, and slip-shod, shambling piers of New York, the sight of these mighty docks filled my young mind with wonder and delight... For miles you may walk along that riverside, passing dock after dock, like a chain of immense fortresses – Prince’s, George’s, Salt-House, Clarence,




Brunswick, Trafalgar, King’s, Queen’s, and many more.” Following the great boom time of the port came its gradual decline, categorised by less traffic through the port, increased industrial action and mass redundancies. While the 1980s and 90s were dark times for dock workers, the city centre docks actually saw a renaissance as the Grade 1listed Albert Dock complex was regenerated and renovated into the leisure and cultural centre it remains to this day. The Stanley Dock area was also given a new lease of life. The huge tobacco warehouse there is the world’s largest brick-work building, it hosted regular markets and was even the site of a Most Haunted television programme in 2009 as the ghost hunters looked to make contact with long-departed dockers. In the last 10 years the city docks have seen more steady redevelopment, and the famous waterfront became a recognised World Heritage Site, increasing tourism and aiding Liverpool’s fortunes, building up to the success of our Capital of Culture year. Today you can easily spend a day strolling around the redeveloped city docks and waterfront. From the dockside apartments of East Waterloo Dock past the slick business premises surrounding Princes Dock and along the new LeedsLiverpool Canal link to the Albert Dock. There you can visit our own Tate Gallery, Beatles’ Story or Merseyside Maritime Museum. While away a few hours in one of the dockside cafes, bars or restaurants, and even catch a concert in the adjacent Echo Arena. While not all the changes to our city’s docks have been changes for the better for the city and its people, the positive regeneration of the docks is certainly something to be embraced and enjoyed both now and for generations to come.

A new publication called Dockers, looks into the lives of the men who were the backbone of this city. Compiled by local author and journalist Peter Grant, the son of a docker, this 84-page souvenir special explores the colourful history of Liverpool’s dockland and the legacy of the legendary men who worked there. Featuring interviews with Tom O’Connor, Mickey Finn, Stan Boardman, Brian Jacques, Jimmy McGovern, Alan Bleasdale and Ricky Tomlinson; and over a hundred photographs from the archives of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, ‘Dockers’ takes you on a compelling journey inside dockland life past, present and future. Dockers is on sale now priced £3.99 in local newsagents and from Merseyshop on 0845 143 0001 or online: Best of Liverpool has five copies of Dockers to give away. To be in with a chance of winning one just answer the following question: In which year was the city of Liverpool and its port first formed? Email your answer to, stating ‘Dockers’ in the subject box – and don’t forget to include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Closing date for entries is April 8.



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Best of Liverpool Magazine, April 2010  

Best of Liverpool Magazine, April 2010. A Liverpool Echo supplement featuring fashion, places, faces, food, beauty, homes and travel.

Best of Liverpool Magazine, April 2010  

Best of Liverpool Magazine, April 2010. A Liverpool Echo supplement featuring fashion, places, faces, food, beauty, homes and travel.