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Photo: Dave Nelson

NICOLA Harris Beauty recently hosted a party for Hollyoaks to welcome the new girls in the cast — Jazz Franks, Victoria Atkin, Jessica Forrest, Rachel Shenton and Alice Barlow. Joined by long-standing stars of the Chester-based soap — Sarah Jayne Dunn, Bianca HendrickseSpendlove, Clare Cooper and Jess Fox, the girls took a well-earned break from filming to enjoy a spot of pampering in the Mather Avenue beauty spa. Following Champagne and cupcakes on arrival, HD brows, Rodial A List Facials and CND Shellac manicures and pedicures were the order of the evening.

SOCIAL butterflies


Katie McLoughlin takes a look at what the city’s glitterati have been up...

OVER 600 party-goers attended this year’s Official John Smith’s Grand National Winner’s Party on Saturday, April 9, which was held at Alma de Cuba for the fourth year running. Guests enjoyed cocktails, live music and dancing from Alma de Cuba’s resident dancers as they toasted the conclusion of the world’s greatest steeplechase.


Photo: James Chapman

ON Saturday, April 2, Liverpool club night Freeze made history when they brought electronic music to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Attended by over 650 clubbers, the unprecedented event saw Argentinean DJ, Hernan Cattaneo and the legendary Danny Howells deliver awe-inspiring sets in the Cathedral’s intimate and atmospheric Well. A controversial venue choice to some, the building’s cavernous Gothic arches, magnificent stained glass windows and acoustics proved to be a sublime setting and left a lasting impression on all who attended. As well as the evening Cathedral event, there was an afterparty in Silo plus daytime workshops to give local youngsters the chance try djing and find out what working in the music industry is really like.

ANDREW Collinge has launched a Two Minute Up-Do app which teaches viewers how to recreate four classic styles in easy-to-follow, step-by-step videos. Showcasing beautiful Andrew Collinge up-dos from twisted chignons to stylish pleats, the videos can be paused and rewound, so that you can master the techniques and learn from the legendary hairdresser. The Two Minute Up-Do app is free to download from the Apple App Store. Each video costs £1.19 with all proceeds going to the Design For Life campaign in association with Self Unlimited.





LIVERPOOL fashionistas can get their hands on Alex Gerrard’s new Couture Collection for Forever Unique, exclusively at Boudoir Boutique in Cavern Walks. With its monochrome colour palette, clean-cut shapes and embellishment, Alex’s new collection is glamorous yet sophisticated and sure to prove a hit with style-savvy Scousers. The collection, which already counts Spice Girl Emma Bunton as a fan, is available exclusively in Liverpool at Boudoir Boutique, prices start at £250. Visit for details.

EVER since Clinique’s new Chubby Sticks arrived on beauty counters two weeks ago, we can’t get enough of these moisturising lip balms. Playfully packaged in crayonstyle carriers and available in eight gorgeous shades, the Chubby Sticks are perfect for adding a sheer, natural flush of colour to your pout. Packed with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, mango seed butter and jojoba seed oil, they also leave lips lusciously moisturised. Clinique’s new Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm are priced at £13.50. For stockist details, call 0870 034 2566 or buy online at

Photo: Richard Pierce


The Cathedral was impressed with the attitude and respect shown by the promoters and following the incredible success of this event, Freeze has something very special lined up for their next event. On Saturday, June 4 Freeze will return to the Williamson Tunnels with the one and only Nick Warren headlining. Visit for full details.

MAY 11 CITY GETS A NEW MANN A SPECIAL event was held at Liverpool’s Mann Island residential development recently to give invited guests the chance to see inside the landmark, granite-clad buildings at the heart of the city’s World Heritage Site. As well as viewing the huge glass covered ‘winter garden’ given the name Equator, visitors were able to view the first of the fully furnished show apartments, which enjoy views across the Pier Head to the Albert Dock.

PLATFORM FOR LOCAL TALENT LIVERPOOL nightspot, Blundell Street, is giving budding singers in the region the chance of a break-through into the entertainment industry. The popular cabaret bar-restaurant is looking for singing talent across Merseyside, with an auditions night staged every Thursday. Ann Downes, owner of Blundell Street, says: “We believe there’s an incredible amount of talent out there that still hasn’t been spotted. Whether you’re a band, a vocalist or a duo, let us know and audition for us. “Those who we think are good enough will get the chance of a paid live gig at Blundell Street. We will be asking each act to perform two or three songs. This is a fun night but it gives young talent particularly the chance to sing in front of a live audience in a great atmosphere.” To enter, all acts should call Ann Downes at Blundell Street on 0151 709 5779 or email

Photo: Victoria Tetley

WE’D EAT HER HAT! WINNING MUM LIVERPOOL women love to wear something individual to Ladies’ Day and at last month’s race-meeting, one Aintree racegoer certainly found a novel way to be original — with a hat made from Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Indeed, racegoer, Sonia Rassique, loves the sweet treats so much that she chose to wear a bespoke Jean Ellis creation at Ladies’ Day to celebrate Krispy Kreme opening its store in Liverpool ONE.

BELLE Vale Shopping Centre made Michelle Gomez’s day recently when they chose the Netherley mum as the winner of their Mother’s Day competition. Michelle, who was entered into the competition by her children, won £100 to spend at the Childwall shopping centre with a personal stylist and pamper spa treats.

SOUTHPORT’S ROCKING ONE of Merseyside’s freshest, new music festivals, Southport Rocks, recently held a launch party at Southport’s stylish Vincent Hotel. Guests at the event were treated to canapés and a special performance from Stealing Sheep — a three piece, all girl band from Liverpool who will play at this year’s festival on July 8-9. Taking place in Victoria Park, Southport Rocks mixes live headline bands, new and emerging musical talent, familyfriendly entertainment and on-site camping. Originally known as The Jedi Festival, the event was launched in 2007 in memory of Chris Haw, a local young man with a huge passion for music. All profits from the festival are donated to The Vital Sounds Foundation, which screens young people against sudden adult death syndrome. For more information visit

CHICK RUN EXCITING EVENTS IN SUBURBIA AIGBURTH People’s Hall was transformed into a 1930s-style club recently when The Sugar Circus arrived in Liverpool. Over 100 people attended Sugar Circus’ launch event, which featured Parr Street Studio’s Steve McFarlane as MC, 1950s-style singer Heather Marie McHale, magicians and a vintage clothes fair. Burlesque dancers including Suzie Sequin and Lady Wildflower kept guests entertained in

true Dita Von Teese-style and the event raised money for the Red Cross Appeal in support of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Fund. Following its successful launch, The Sugar Circus will continue to bring more brilliantly barmy events to unsuspecting venues in Liverpool’s suburbs. There are plans already underway to host a vintage tea party in Allerton later this month, as well as a masquerade ball in a traditional manor house somewhere in Liverpool’s suburbia in the coming months.

HUNDREDS of people dressed as fluffy yellow chicks and ran through Liverpool’s Croxteth Country Park on April 16 as part of Clatterbridge Cancer Research’s Chick Run. The 5k fancy dress fun run is a new fundraising fixture for the charity, which is committed to raising £2m per annum to fund vital research to change the future for sufferers of cancer worldwide. For events in your area visit

Photo: Pam Campbell


Shopping for her Racer Shoes, £45, from

SMART Brooklyn cross-body bag, £36.99, from River Island

You don’t need to be a gym-bunny to wear summer’s sporting looks, says Katie McLoughlin... PRACTICAL and luxurious, smart sportswear is one of this summer’s hottest trends. The look is all about mixing sporty details like zips, racer backs, hoods, drawstrings, boy shorts and mesh inserts with refined, minimalist tailoring, asymmetric shapes and delicate sheer fabrics. Okay so you’re not about to hit the gym in silky cargo trousers, a racer back vest with statement zip detailing or a slouchy fit blazer, but this trend is definitely an easy way to stay chic and comfortable this summer.

Slouch dress £28 from Next Orange chiffon slouchy blazer, £24.99, from New Look

ASOS Seam Detail Tee, £18, from

Delicate Donna Peg Leg trousers, £87, from French Connection

Two-in-one chiffon midi, £15, and cork platform, £12, from Primark

Electric blue Mischa top, £29.99, and Gina shorts, £26.99, from River Island



,Red blazer £24.99, yellow vest top £3.99, white tie-up harem trousers £21.99 and suede round toe courts, £29.99, from New Look

MAY 11 Tailored belted peg trouser, £40, from ASOS Mesh Sweetheart top, £16, from

WINNING LOOKS ON Sunday, May 8 thousands of women will run through Sefton Park as part of the RunLiverpool Women’s 10k. If you’re one of the many preparing to take part, fashion’s probably the last thing on your mind. After all a long-distance run is hardly a time when you worry about what you look like is it? But your race-day outfit’s more important than you might first think. Choose your running gear well and you’ll be comfortable throughout the race. Opt to run in a comedy gorilla suit, something that doesn’t fit well or trainers that you haven’t broken in and you run the risk (forgive the pun) of ruining your race experience or doing yourself an injury. Above all make sure your outfit is comfortable, fits well and your trainers are broken in. So if you’re planning to take part, here’s our selection of winning looks... Brooks Summon from Natterjack Running Centre, North John Street

Fast Sunny Silk tie waist top, £82, from French Connection

Autograph cream strappy heel, £65, from Marks & Spencer (available from June)

Premium tailored high waist cropped trouser, £40, from Ronhill Aspiration short sleeve T-shirt, £23, from John Lewis, Liverpool

Ronhill Aspiration contour running tights, £38, from John Lewis, Liverpool

Brooks Glycerin from Natterjack Running Centre, North John Street

Pocket tee, £10, trouser, £15, red wedge, £20 (in-store June) and oversized clutch, £6 (instore June), from Primark

Ronhill LED/MP3 armband, £16, from John Lewis, Liverpool


Shopping for him

MAY 11

Return of the mac Look stylish whatever the weather with this season's latest spring jackets, says Sarah Hooley... WHEN it comes to coats, spring is the Goldilocks of outer-wear. Will that winter parka be too warm? Is it too cold to wear a jumper on its own? Just some of the tedious questions that you'll no doubt face on a daily basis. Luckily, the shops are filled with a veritable feast of stylish spring jackets to help solve the problem. From smart blazers and water-proof macs to leather bombers and casual khaki jackets, there's a look for every possible occasion. So if you're tired of tentatively gazing out of the window and weighing up what Fred the weatherman would advise, take a look at some of our best buys below...

Strip tee, £22, coat, £170, Machine Gun trousers £55, belt, £27, and Sai shoes, £70, from French Connection

North Coast jacket, £49.50, from Marks & Spencer

MAN black belted jacket, £435, Vivienne Westwood from Cavern Walks

Soul Cal Deluxe Richmond jacket, £59.99, from Republic

Green quilted jacket from Jacamo

People's Market Grant jacket, £65.00, from Topman

Waxed Nylon Okemo jacket, £155, from French Connection

Crafted Glenister jacket, £49.99, from Republic



Green Ripstop Tracker hoody, £40, from Topman

MAY 11

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Health & beauty

MAY 11

THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT... Sue Kelbrick checks out the latest trend for brightly-coloured beauty AFTER months of subdued colours and being swathed from head-to-foot in black, it’s time to shake off those winter blues and embrace the new trend for spring brights. And it’s not just fashion that is coming over all techni-coloured this season. Right on trend, make-up is all about colour this spring and the brighter the better. From vivid fuschia pink and vibrant yellow to startling green and dazzling orange, if it’s brightly coloured it’s in vogue. Basically the rule of thumb is if it’s a colour of the rainbow then it’s in for this spring!

Bang on trend as ever, Bobbi Brown has brought out a great range of lipsticks in a fabulous lightweight, colour-saturated formula. There are 12 great shades in the collection and they are priced at £16 each.

● Keep lips looking beautifully bright with this Essential Colours Mini Lip Gloss Collection in Brights, £3.50, from Marks & Spencer.

Instant karma Sue Kelbrick treats mind, body and soul at the city’s newest yoga and wellness centre

Nail the latest trend with this vibrant Barry M Quick Drying Nail Paint, £2.95, from

● Always one step ahead of the rest, MAC has a fantastic range of brightly-coloured make up from primary coloured eyeshadows to luminscent lipsticks. Try Show Orchid lipstick, £13.50, Chrome Yellow eyeshadow, £11.50 and the gorgeous Bright Fuschia Pigment, £15.50 which is a concentrated form of loose powder that adheres to the skin.

IT may be a cliché but as is the case with most clichés – healthy body, healthy mind – it is true. And the concept of striving for overall wellbeing both physically and mentally is one which is at the heart of the thinking behind Yoganation, the city’s first hot yoga and wellness centre on County Road, Walton. Yoga expert at the centre Stu Alexander explains: “Even though we specialise in ‘hot yoga,’ a phenomenon which is currently sweeping the nation, our ethos is very much about taking an holistic approach to health and encouraging people to work on their mental and spiritual wellbeing as well as their general physical fitness.” So just what is hot yoga? Basically it is a specialised, supervised yoga session which takes place in a state of the art, purpose-built heat chamber which encourages the body to sweat out toxins. It can provide a number of health benefits including detoxification, weight loss, body toning, stress relief and improved general fitness. As I am pregnant I wasn’t able to undertake the hot yoga but according to Stu, and the rest of the team at Yoganation, feedback has been

incredibly positive and despite the centre only launching a few weeks ago, classes are rapidly getting booked up with more and more people in the city catching the hot yoga ‘bug’ all the time. But it’s not just about coming along for a weekly session of hot yoga and then going back to the stresses and strains of everyday life. Yoganation is a lifestyle, a place where people are encouraged to stay and chill out after sessions and take advantage of the great range of holistic treatments available. These include a fantastic selection of Eastern therapies from Thai massage and facials, chakra balancing and traditional Indian massage to life coaching, naturopathic nutrition and Shirodhara, a form of Ayurveda medicine which has proven highly effective in treating a number of conditions such as headaches, insomnia and psoriasis, as well as being incredibly relaxing. Even after just a visit to the wellness centre, I left feeling chilled out and relaxed, and that was without having any treatments! So I’ll definitely be returning for some more ‘me’ time very soon...

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MAY 11

It’s a walk in the park...


Photo: Lee Ashun

LIVERPOOL actress Suzanne Collins shares her training diary with Best of Liverpool as she prepares for the Run Liverpool Marathon: “In February, when I was asked to run in the new RunLiverpool Marathon, October seemed a long way off. “Now with the training programme about to kick in, I wondered if I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Yes, I’ve run the London Marathon, but that was a few years back — so when I found myself shivering in Birkenhead Park on a cold March Monday, I was beginning to have a serious wobble! “Luckily Richard, my marathon trainer, soon swept away the cobwebs with a brisk walk and jog around the upper and lower parks. Aside from being horrified at being made to run in the rain, I soon started to enjoy myself, with Richard suggesting repetitive twominute runs and one-minute walks to build up my stamina. My legs were burning but it became easier the more times I did it. “Our second session saw us head out of the park and up to New Brighton. Running on the streets is very different experience, with lots of obstacles to contend with, including the four-legged variety that thought it was great fun to follow us, barking all the way! It was when we reached the waterfront of New Brighton that Richard dropped the bombshell that he had entered me in June’s Mersey Tunnel 10k as part of my training preparation — more pressure — great! “I’ve now roped in my best mate, Anne-Marie to train during the week with me. She’s just signed up to take part in the race, (along with another 10 willing friends and family!) and we’re supporting each other, determined not to let each other down. “Though it’s early days, a good thing to come out of these initial sessions is that I’m becoming more aware of how my body works and learning what it will or won’t do. I’m also drinking loads more water, as I want to get some goodness in my body – OK, the desire for a glass of wine in the evenings is still there, but my willpower is getting stronger. “People are even commenting that I’ve lost weight and I feel way more active than I did on that chilly first morning back in the park! Onwards and upwards!”

Sue Kelbrick dons her walking shoes in celebration of National Walking Month... WALKING is great exercise not just for maintaining general health but it can help promote weight loss as well – yet it's often overlooked in favour of more ‘trendy’ forms of exercise like zumba or spin. Walking for just an hour burns up between 300 and 500 calories and can prove highly effective in losing weight and improving overall health and wellbeing. And now the evenings are lighter, it is the ideal time of year to take up walking, but if you want even more of an incentive to put on those walking shoes, then check out some great walking events which are coming up over the next few months...

THE BIG BIG DAY FANCY taking part in a world record attempt, having fun and getting fit all at the same time? Well then you need to check out The BIG Big Day, a 5k walk which has been launched by the North West Healthy Living Network Project. This unique event is appealing for participants to wear a wedding dress in an attempt to create the world record for a mass wedding march. The event is happening on Saturday, June 25 with five walks taking place consecutively across the North West in Merseyside, Lancashire, Manchester, Cumbria and Cheshire. The Merseyside walk is taking place at Croxteth Park and will be a fun day out for all the family with live music, local DJs, competitions and beauty treatments as well as the 5k walk itself. And the sight of thousands of hairy men in wedding dresses will certainly be worth seeing in itself ! Readers of Best of Liverpool can receive free entry by quoting ‘Best of Liverpool’ when registering online or by phone. To register to take part in the event go to or call 0845 309 6252. For more information visit

Suzanne x



Photo: Lee Ashun

Photo: Zoe Photography

NOW in its third year, the Liver Birds’ Midnight Walk is returning to the Pier Head on Friday, May 13. With a mass warm-up at 11.45pm, the walk starts as the famous Liver Bird clock strikes midnight, and the route takes in the sights of Liverpool’s spectacular waterfront. The walk aims to raise money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and organisers of this year’s event hope to raise even more money than last year, when more than 1,000 walkers brought in an amazing £100,000. Radio City will be providing the musical accompaniment to the walk which promises to be great fun for all those involved as well as raising much-needed funds for an amazing charity. Sign up at

Suzanne Collins is an ambassador for the RunLiverpool Marathon, which takes place in the city on October 9, 2011 and will be running for her chosen charity Diabetes UK. For more information visit

From Shankly to Suarez...



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Showstopper by Rail

Weekend Rail Special

Friday departures throughout 2011

Friday departures throughout 2011

Choose a top West End show from our fabulous selection which includes Billy Elliot, Chicago, Dirty Dancing, Grease, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!, Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, Shrek The Musical, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, We Will Rock You and more!

London is known the world over for its spectacular sights; royal history and traditions; fabulous West End shows; and fantastic shopping. So why not join one of our superb London breaks and enjoy a glittering weekend in our amazing capital city.

Price includes: • Return standard class rail travel to London from Liverpool, Chester and Runcorn • A top priced ticket for a Friday evening performance of the show of your choice from our fabulous selection • 2 nights stay at a choice of 4 star London hotels with breakfast • Free time in London for shopping and sight-seeing

Price includes: • Return standard class rail travel to London from Liverpool, Chester and Runcorn • 2 nights stay at a choice of 4 star London hotels with breakfast • Free time in London for shopping and sight-seeing

For further information and a FREE brochure call:

To make a booking call:

0151 227 5987

01524 511780 or visit:

OPENING TIMES: MON-FRI 8.30-19.30 SAT 8.45-15.30 SUN 10.00-15.00






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Saturday Night

£139om .95pp for 2 days

London Theatre by Rail Weekly departures throughout 2011 The West End is home to the capital’s best-loved and long-standing theatres. We offer an extensive selection of tickets for all the top shows and musicals. Price includes: • Return standard class rail travel to London from Liverpool, Chester and Runcorn • A ticket for a Saturday evening performance of the show of your choice from our fabulous selection • Overnight stay at a choice of 4 star London hotels with breakfast • Free time in London for shopping or sight-seeing



MAY 11

Hear the city roar As Liverpool Sound City heads our way once more, Paul Baker opens his ears up wide for a full blast of the best noise coming out of this year’s event SCENES come and go, but the musical landscape in Liverpool is pretty constant in its vibrancy. This has been reflected in recent years with annual city musical celebrations like the Mathew Street Festival and Fringe Festival, Liverpool Music Week and the imminent Liverpool Sound City. Sound City returns from Thursday, May 19 to Saturday, May 21. It offers all the great musical talent and excitement of any other music festival, except you go home at the end of the night rather than having to sleep in a waterlogged tent! Described as the UK’s coolest boutique city centre festival, Liverpool Sound City (LSC) is set up to be a showcase for the city’s music, arts and cultural scene. Over 30 venues will play host to the LSC programme including the iconic St George’s Hall, Bombed Out Church and Metropolitan Cathedral Crypt in what, let’s be honest, is the UK’s musical capital city. So, you’ll be wanting to know which fantabulous acts you can sample over the festival’s three days, then? Well, lets start off by saying that an amazing 300+

artists and bands are expected to arrive on our doorstep for the event. On the Thursday, highlights include the wonderful folk musings of Smoke Fairies, the effervescent sound of Pete & The Pirates and also Delta Maid from Liverpool. Topping the bill are Steve Mason best known as lead singer of The Beta Band, acclaimed singer-songwriter Frank Turner and Scottish indierockers The View. Friday night doesn’t drop the tempo with Liverpool’s own Wave Machines expected to attract a crowd, similarly the much-vaunted Forest Swords from Wirral. Clinic, who hail from Crosby, continue the strong local showing. Young Knives, Miles Kane of The Last Shadow Puppets, Willy Mason and US punkers Black Lips round off a sensational evening’s entertainment. Saturday night is, as you’d expect, nothing short of a spectacular way to end the festival. Check out Hot Club de Paris, Mugstar, Django Django, Jamie XX, Spank Rock & Amanda Blank, Sound of Guns and Mona. It’s then left to Funeral Party and Liverpool’s own reformed retro kings Cast to bring proceedings to a close. Phew!

Delta Maid

Remember that these acts and many, many more are appearing at a range of venues throughout the city. To gain access you’ll need a Sound City wristband. Day pass wristbands cost £22.50 for Thursday or Friday, £25 for Saturday, or you can get a three-day wristband for £45. As part of LSC 2011, don't forget to check out the 50th anniversary exhibition of the iconic Mersey Beat newspaper, plus the return of the John Peel World Cup. There’s also a full conference with global keynote speakers addressing key issues facing the music industry, and a dedicated youth programme which encourages the region’s young people into all facets of the music industry, from bands to technology.

David Pichilingi, the festival’s director, says: “This year we have again produced a world-class festival line-up that is reflected in the scope of artists we are bringing to Liverpool in May. “We have continued our diverse programming to include people from all over the world, converging on our city for a true showcase of some of the hottest talent out there and many of the next generation of stars who you will see breaking through the ranks in the coming months.” For full information about this year’s Liverpool Sound City, from listings and venues to purchasing your wristbands, visit the website:



YOU could win a pair of wristbands for the entire three days of this month’s Liverpool Sound City. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this question: Which re-formed Scouse band are headlining at the Metropolitan Cathedral Crypt on the last night of Liverpool Sound City?

Please send your answers via email, including your name, address and daytime telephone number to: Deadline: Wednesday, May 11. Miles Kane Mona

Frank Turner

The View



The BIG interview Photo: Paul Heaps

The M word Katie McLoughlin meets Gillian Kearney to talk Macbeth, motherhood and Morrissey… Photo: Helen Warner



a world that becomes darker and darker the more he does. The play is set in the future but in a very cold, dark, primitive world – it’s a really exciting idea.” Macbeth is seen as one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies however, with its witchcraft themes, the play’s famously said to be cursed and many actors avoid saying its name for fear of bad luck.

“I’m really proud to be included in the last production in the theatre. I’m really enjoying the company - they’re great actors to work with and it’s a really good show to finish the Everyman off with.” So does Gillian have any superstitions about the Scottish play? “I don’t want to say no because it’s that kind of thing, all about witchcraft, so I don’t like to say no I don’t believe [it’s cursed] just in case! I do call it the M word though. I probably shouldn’t, but there’s definitely a power to the language of the play,” says the 39-year-old actress. A former member of the Liverpool Playhouse Youth Theatre, Gillian stars in Macbeth alongside Julia Ford as Lady Macbeth; Eileen O’Brien, who made her debut at the Everyman in the 70s and fellow youth theatre alumni, David Morrissey, who takes the role of the blood-thirsty Scottish king. “I never worked with David at the Playhouse,” says Gillian. “I think he was there before me, but I’ve met him through friends over the years. He’s been lovely to work with – he’s very supportive and he has a lovely energy on stage.”

Photo: Helen

AS any working mum knows only too well, juggling work with the demands of a new baby can be a challenge. And like any new mum, actress Gillian Kearney, who is currently in London preparing for a new production of Macbeth at the Everyman, finding the right balance is not without its difficulties. “The baby is seven months old, so it’s hard to be apart from him,” says Gillian. “But when he’s got me, he’s really got me. I had four days off last week and I got to spend the entire time with him at home. I’m lucky in that way, because once I’ve finished this I’ll have some time with him before I do anything again. As an actress you go away, you do what you love and you come back fresh to your family, but I do really miss him.” However, whilst she’s finding it tough to be away from her young son during rehearsals, being a mum has given Gillian an insight into the character she will be playing. Best known for her roles in Brookside, Casualty and Shameless, the actress, who is originally from Aigburth, is tackling the role of Lady Mcduff. A small but significant character in Shakespeare’s tragic Scottish play, Lady Mcduff is a fiercely protective mother who appears in just one scene with her son before meeting a grisly end off-stage. “I had my little boy last August and the scene with Lady Mcduff is all about being abandoned,” says Gillian. “She’s having a conversation with her son so I can relate to that, but Gemma Bodinetz [the director] doesn’t want it to be sentimental. She’s a strong character, she’s angry with her husband for abandoning her and she’s morally good.” As well as tackling the role of Lady Mcduff, Gillian will also be playing a witch in the upcoming production. “Lady McDuff is the antithesis of the witch because she’s inherently good,” explains Gillian. “Lady Mcduff is up there to show how dreadful Macbeth is in

Having learnt her craft in youth theatre productions and tackled her very first Shakespearean role – as Desdemona in Othello – at the Everyman, it seems fitting that Gillian should be part of the last major production at the Hope Street Theatre before its £28m redevelopment. The actress, who shot to fame as Brookside’s Debbie McGrath, says: “I’m really proud to be included in the last production in the theatre. I’m really enjoying the company – they’re great actors to work with and it’s a really good show to finish the Everyman off with.” Being one of the last people to tread the boards on the Everyman’s current stage is a huge honour for any actress and for Gillian it’s the opportunity to be part of something special: “They’re dismantling parts of the Everyman at the moment so it gives us a lot of freedom as actors to do things that we wouldn’t normally have the chance to on the stage – it’s really liberating.” Macbeth is at the Liverpool Everyman from May 6 until June 11. For tickets call the box office on 0151 709 4776, log onto or visit the Liverpool Everyman, Hope Street, L1 9BH.

MAY 11 Photo: Kate Swerdlow

Photo: Robert Lovett

Thesecond coming

“I’ve been writing these songs over the past two years. That’s how the Cast reunion came up. I rang up the lads and said, ‘Look, ‘I’ve written an album which is a band thing, feels like a Cast thing.’ And obviously that was a bit of a bolt out of the blue. “We’re all getting together this weekend John Leckie [producer of All Change] is coming down so we want to strike while we’re feeling good.” Any Cast fan will be understandably excited by this news. Getting the band back together is one thing, but having had time to write some exciting new material and getting legendary Cast, Stone Roses and The Verve producer John Leckie on board is something else, It was as a member of The La’s that Power earned his musical chops. But he remembers the record industry of the time as not being “geared up” for guitar music. Cryptically, he says he’s not even sure The La’s really exist at all, perhaps dismissing any renunion. “The La’s was a magical part of my life, and it’s still a magical part. The last time I spoke to Lee [Mavers, The La’s frontman] we briefly spoke about whether The La’s exist. I mean, it will always exist in the ether, and in my mind it always exists. Whether in reality it exists or not, I don’t know.” When asked about being ‘lumped in with the Britpop scene’ he replies with a knowing sigh: “Well, what could I do about it? Britpop – I mean it’s one of the least offensive things that have sometimes been said about a boy from Liverpool, you know what I mean? But, at the beginning of a movement it feels exciting, when it’s coming to the end you don’t want to be part of it, you don’t want to be defined by it. “You crash land and it’s like the end of the Six Million Dollar Man or the beginning, when you’re turning over and over and then you’re left with the wreckage of yourself and your circumstances and your band and all that and it’s very rare that ‘we can rebuild him’.” So does he think Cast simply got swept along on the tide of Britpop?

With a reformed and resurgent Cast set to headline this month’s Sound City, Paul Baker chats with frontman John Power about the band’s new album, Britpop and whether The La’s really exist... IT’S 10 years since John Power, that most affable and versatile Scouse musician, left Cast – one of the leading lights of the Britpop scene. But, a decade on, the band have reformed and are looking forward to playing a headline gig at this month’s Liverpool Sound City festival. Power, bass player in The La’s, then lead singer of Cast, became a curly-locked poster boy adorning many a teenage wall during the Britpop mania of the mid 1990s. He also made sure Liverpool had a place on the high table of the UK music scene during a period where Manchester and London bands were the ones regularly fighting it out for the number one spots and the pick of the summer festival slots. Cast’s first album All Change became the fastest selling debut album in the history of the Polydor label, outselling the likes of Hendrix and The Who, on the way to going double platinum. A host of hit singles – Finetime, Alright, Sandstorm and Walkaway – hoisted Cast into the upper echelons of the scene but, just as Britpop unraveled amidst its own excesses, so Cast’s days were numbered and Power went on to forge a solo career. That was until 2010 when he announced the band were back together again and touring. Fast forward to May 2011 and Cast are all set to play a headline show on Saturday, May 21, at the Metropolitan Cathedral Crypt, with brand new material, in the city where it all started for them. They must be excited? “Yeah, of course we are,” says Power. “I mean, I’ve been aware of the festival itself now for a couple of

years. I’ve been aware that it’s been a growing gig and showcase for Liverpool so it’s great to be involved in it and playing.” But what every fan wants to know is, will there be new stuff and will they get to hear their favourite tunes? “Well at the moment we’re working on a new album, new material, which is what we’re rehearsing and what we’ve been working on for the last three months, so we’ll probably drop a couple of them in and play some of the old classic hits, I imagine. And it’s in the Metropolitan Cathedral, should be cool – Paddy’s Wigwam!”

“You’re immortal when you’re young, like. It’s only when you get a bit older do you start thinking, woah, gonna have some carrot juice!” The sacred setting of this gig seems fitting for what is a second coming for the band, but Power admits to having no religious bent to his make-up. “I wouldn’t say I’m religious in the orthodox style, but obviously I have my beliefs. I’m not really into organised church... I went to Quarry Bank [school] which is Calderstones now and Dovedale Primary School prior to that. I wasn’t brought up religious or anything, my dad’s an atheist!” So if it wasn’t an act of God that brought the band back together, what made them see the light?

“We didn’t go along with it, we were part of the cogs we were the engine burning it on, we were all for it... You’re immortal when you’re young, like. It’s only when you get a bit older do you start thinking, woah, gonna have some carrot juice!” Power reveals that he is now putting all of his energies into this new album and that is giving him the desire to play the old songs again too. “I wouldn’t be doing this if it was trying to live off past glory. I’m playing these because I’m ready again to come back and sing some of them songs which are really uplifting. And the band are great, everything’s feeling really good – we’re better musicians than we ever were. “So maybe we’ve got a bit of unfinished business, with ourselves, and if anybody else wants to take notice, then that’s okay as well. We’re doing this for us, got nothing to prove to anyone, but I want to prove something to myself.” Now all that’s left for a legion of Cast fans is to wait with bated breath for this potentially landmark gig – John Power has something to prove to himself and he’s going to do it in his home city. Prepare to take notice.



Things to do, places to see

MAY 11

Emma Thompson takes a look at what the month of May has to offer...



WoW FESTIVAL THE Writing on the Wall Festival is back until May 28 with a hot mix of cutting-edge writers, riotous debates and rhythms of resistance in this year’s celebration of Liverpool: City of Radicals. Events take place in various locations around the city, and one well worth checking out is Rioting on the Wall on May 7 at the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre on Prince's Road. It’s the 30th Anniversary of the 1981 Uprising and Rioting on the Wall will include; a photographic exhibition of the Toxteth riots; afternoon coffee with award-winning writer Bonnie Greer; Back to the Future, Riots Then and & Now, a discussion on the events of 1981 and their significance today; plus from 8pm The Rebels’ Ball featuring Don Letts. There are so many events taking place until the end of May, check out for a full list or call 0151 703 0020 for details.

MURDER EXPRESS FOR murder mystery lovers, Liverpool’s awardwinning Spike Theatre has teamed up with RED Events & Co plus The Railway Touring Co to offer you the chance to be caught up in the middle of a Murder on the Coast Express. Become a passenger on the exclusive Coast Express from Liverpool to Scarborough on July 2 and let the mystery unfold around you, confer with your fellow passengers and witness the detectives at work to solve the ultimate crime. An interval will let you see the sights in beautiful Scarborough while digesting some of the clues before re-boarding the classic steam


train to indulge in a four course meal. Booking closes May 31, tickets £268pp, log on to or call 01553 661 500.

LIVERPOOL ART PRIZE THIS prestigious exhibition, showcasing the best in Liverpool art will open to the public from Friday, May 6 until June 11 at Metal, Edge Hill train station. The Liverpool Art Prize winner will be announced on June 1, and the organiser has released this year’s shortlist: paint sculptor Brendan Lyons, painter Bernadette O’Toole, installation specialist Richard Proffitt and new media, film and sound artist Markus Soukup. The 2011 winner will be awarded £2,000 and the prize will be judged solely on the work they exhibit at Metal, L7 6ND, which is open Tuesday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm, Saturday noon to 4pm. Free entry.

LARK LANE FAIR IF you’re after something a little different, the Art, Craft and Design Fairs on Lark Lane are a must-visit. All the products, which include jewellery, textiles, photography, ceramics, art, fashion accessories and more, are of high quality and handmade – with no bought-in or massproduced goods allowed. Set in The Old Police Station, it’s free admission from 10am to 3pm on May 28, go to for details.



ON Friday, May 13, Liverpool is set to enjoy a ‘Friday night out with a difference’ as night owls can look forward to over 50 special events, after 5pm, at Liverpool’s annual Light Night Festival. This city-wide celebration of Liverpool’s world-class arts and culture attractions is for visitors of all ages, which include; the first nocturnal underground tours of the world’s oldest wet dock; the launch of a new international photography festival; an insight into Liverpool’s history on The Radical Route walking tour; Tower Tours at Anglican Cathedral; and Liverpool Carnival Company’s Brazilica hits the streets with Samba drumming and dance classes. Plus, a true king of Jamaican reggae and pioneer of dancehall, with a career spanning 30 years, Yellowman will be performing at The Picket, tickets £10 from Dr Hermans and Raggas on Smithdown Road/Lark Lane, or £12.50 on the door. Log on to or call 0151 478 4928 for details.

THIS performance of Cabaret by LIPA students takes you back to 1929 Berlin to the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where sex and politics entwine in a fug of tobacco smoke and perfume. The show, based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, follows the love story of Kit Kat cabaret singer Sally Bowles and the American writer Cliff Bradshaw as the Nazi juggernaut crashes down the doors of the club and of their lives. Not suitable for children. See Cabaret on May 19-21 in the Paul McCartney Auditorium, LIPA, tickets £7 or £3.50 concessions, log on to or call 0844 873 2888.


THIS gripping production from Richard Bean is brilliantly original, funny and shocking all at once and was a huge hit in 2010. The Big Fellah comes to the Playhouse Theatre on May 17 to 21, and is set in 1972 New York. Michael Doyle, a young fireman, joins the IRA. Soon his Bronx apartment is overrun with a fastquipping Irish killer; a beautiful woman who he really mustn’t fall in love with; and charismatic boss David Costello and the “Big Fellah” himself. Over three turbulent decades their lives veer from farce to deadly danger… Tickets cost £10-£21.50, for details visit or call 0151 709 4776.


We have two pairs of tickets to give away for the May 18 show at the Playhouse, simply answer the following question: Q: What city is The Big Fellah set? Send your answer, along with your name and daytime phone number on a postcard to Best of Liverpool, Big Fellah Comp, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, L69 3EB. Deadline: May 13.

THIS Broadway hit musical is making a stop at the Liverpool Empire on May 1621, starring successful singer and front man of Wet Wet Wet, Marti Pellow. Pellow stars as the brilliant but obsessive scientist whose sadistic alter ego wreaks havoc across Victorian London in a dark tale of love, redemption and the seductive power of evil. With music by Frank Wildhorn, Jekyll and Hyde is glamorous, sexy and deliciously wicked in equal measures and features the hit song This Is The Moment. Tickets £16 to £40.50, visit Empire Theatre box office, Lime Street, log on to or call 0844 847 2525.

MAKE sure you catch this exciting production which stars David Morrissey in William Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Everyman Theatre until June 11. The return of David Morrissey, one of the country's foremost actors of stage and screen, will see him play the murderous king opposite Cheshire actress Julia Ford as Lady Macbeth, in Shakespeare's most visceral and menacing play. Macbeth’s desire to gain power and keep it at all costs threatens to destroy a nation, replacing dignity and rules of law with guilt and paranoia. Tickets £10-£24, log on to or call 0151 709 4776.



THE newly launched Liverpool One Bridewell in Campbell Square. Set within stunning Grade II listed surroundings, this real ale pub and kitchen offers traditional pub fayre which is locally sourced, where possible, such as Lancashire hot pot, Scouse and good old fish and chips. Full English breakfasts and roast dinners will be served at the weekends with regular barbecues on the menu for summer in the Bridewell’s fantastic courtyard. The pub prides itself on its fabulous selection of continental beers and real ales including four from the local Liverpool ONE Brewery.

A TWO day musical extravaganza, Southport Rocks, in Victoria Park, Southport on July 8-9. Southport Rocks boasts a line up from mainstream music artists to the North West’s best in new music talent. With artists including the newly signed Picture Book; Kid British who’ve supported both The Specials and The Enemy; and Stagecoach, one of BBC Introducing Acts of the Year. Headlined by The Futureheads, tickets start at £49 for the weekend including camping with under 12s free with paying adult. Visit for info.



MUST REMEMBER TO visit the Contemporary Urban Centre on Greenland Street, May 13 for Light Night Vintage. Presented by Pillbox Vintage, this fair will have exclusive vintage and retro stalls which include fashion, accessories, jewellery and homewares from 4pm until 10pm with free entry. With a choice of many different and original stalls and a personal shopper/stylist service there will be some original and affordable buys. To complete the evening The Beer House and Buddleia Restaurant at CUC will be open.

MUST SEE THE hilarious comedy The Naked Truth, with a starstudded cast, from Theatre Productions Ltd. A group of women challenge themselves to learn the art of pole dancing, with a fair few hiccups, fundraising event in a first-class show at St Helens Theatre Royal on May 16-17. The ladies share laughter and tears in this funny but moving show. Tickets £18, visit or call 01744 756 000.

Spring time is Ring time...

Established 1932

J E W E L L E R S & PAW N B RO K E R S 74-76 County Road, Walton, Liverpool L4 3QN T: 0151 525 7812 l Open: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm












Practical luxe and what to wear for the Women’s 10K


PARKLIFE Adrenaline-filled theme parks to visit at Whit


CAST RETURN John Power and co set for city gig

The Casualty and Brookside star on her role in Macbeth


Your essential guide to the festival





MAY 11

Spring watch There have been plenty of animal antics at the region’s farm attractions this spring, Katie McLoughlin finds out more...

Lions at Knowsley Safari Park. Photo by Martin Birchall

Croxteth Hall Farm

FROM new lambs to spring chicks, piglets and more, there’s a wealth of wonderful wildlife being born at this time of year. So if you’re looking for an alternative family day out this month, why not take your little ones to meet the newest additions to the city’s animal world?

Acorn Farm AN award-winning attraction with a range of farm animals to stroke and feed plus an indoor animal petting area, horse rides, a play area, woodland walk, cafe, farm shop and more, Acorn Farm offers a great value day out for all the family. Kids will love meeting the animals and right now there are some gorgeous new arrivals to see, including newly hatched chicks. All of Acorn Farm’s sheep have also now given birth to their lambs and the farm has 17 new baby lambs to come and meet - including eight sets of twins! Visit Acorn Farm, Depot Road, Kirkby, L33 3AR, log on to or call 0151 548 1524.

Knowsley Safari Park ANIMALS are born at Knowsley Safari Park all year round and this spring, the attraction has some very special new arrivals to introduce to visitors. The recent warm spring weather has been an ideal opportunity for the attraction to introduce lion cubs Sam and Sean to visitors, and for mum and dad Jasmine and Kenya to take obvious pride in their new arrivals. The safari park also has three younger lion cubs, who will be ready to join the pride in the near future. The paddocks at Knowsley Safari Park are also echoing to the sound of not-so-tiny feet as three white rhino calves – Troy, Rosie and Bugo – have recently been let out into their 100-acre enclosure for the first time. Visit Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, L34 4AN, call 0151 430 9009 or log onto

A REAL working farm where you can see a whole menagerie of animals like cows, pigs, horses and sheep, Croxteth Hall Farm is always a great place to visit with the family. Right now there are even more reasons to visit as you can see 25 newborn piglets running around the farmyard! As well as the little piggies, which include both Pietrain and rare Welsh breeds, there are baby lambs on the farm, the first of which were born in early March. The farm, along with the historic hall, walled garden, gift shop and cafe, is now open daily until October. Visit Croxteth Hall and Country Park, Liverpool, L12 0HB, call 0151 233 6910 or visit the website for more information.

Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm

Farmer Ted’s Farm Park

FROM newborn lambs to duckling and chicks, there’s a bountiful array of new arrivals down on this Wirral-based urban farm this spring. Open daily and free to enter, the farm is also expecting the pitter patter of tiny pig feet, as there is a litter of piglets due to be born any day now. Visit Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm, Boundary Road, Bidston, Wirral, CH43 7PD, call 0151 653 9332 or visit the website

AT Farmer Ted’s there have been plenty of animal antics this spring as new arrivals include goslings, fluffy chicks, lambs and calfs, with many more new arrivals - including a donkey foal - expected in the coming weeks. An interactive children’s activity park on a real working farm, the award-winning attraction has an outdoor adventure playground, tractor rides, a farm pond complete with ducks, an indoor adventure area plus a large animal barn where you can see cows, llamas, sheep, goats, pigs, piglets, ponies, rabbits and more. Visit Farmer Ted’s, Flatmans Lane, Downholland, L39 7HN, call 0151 526 0002 or log onto for more details.



Rhinos at Knowsley Safari Park. Photo by Martin Birchall


MAY 11 Super double slide, £15, from Early Learning Centre

Wigwam playhouse, £459, from B&Q

Capital 12ft trampoline and 12ft bounce surround, £425, from John Lewis

Fresh air fun Summer’s made for outdoor play, says Katie McLoughlin

Jaques Giant Tumble Tower set, £89, from John Lewis

Samurai 6v batterypowered tri-bike with a foot pedal accelerator and automatic brake, £39.99, from Toys R Us

Folding junior slide, £24.99, from Toys R Us

Get Out and Grill barbecue playset, £39.95, from John Lewis

Jumbo ball den, £39.99, and 100 playpit balls, £6.99, from Toys R Us

TP Forest Lodge outdoor playhouse, £434.95, from John Lewis

Pop-up play tent, £15.95, from John Lewis



Food & drink

HAP-PIE-NESS Sarah Hooley gets pie-eyed in the pusuit of the perfect football pie... BE it chicken balti or meat and potato a hot, crumbly pie is as synomyous with match days as having a rant about the ref's dodgy decisions. And, with a cracking line-up of footy matches this May, it's the perfect time to try out celebrity chef Paul Heathcote's delicious match day pie recipe. Paul says: “I think most people who go to football matches instinctively know when they’re eating a good pie. The secret is crisp pastry and good ingredients inside. Catering at football has changed enormously but people are creatures of habit so small changes are good and a little bit of creativity doesn’t go amiss. I think this recipe, which uses good quality braising steak and Cains beer from Liverpool, is the ideal accompaniment to an afternoon of sport.” This recipe, and many more, can be found in The Liverpool Cookbook available to buy from

Braised Beef in Cains Beer with Mustard Dumplings & Green Peppercorns Ingredients ● 1.2kg braising steak cut into chunks of about 30g ● Sea salt ● Vegetable oil ● 6 carrots peeled and cut into big chunks ● 3 small onions cut into quarters ● 1 garlic clove ● 1 bay leaf ● Sprig of thyme ● 10g sugar ● 75ml red wine vinegar ● 125ml red wine ● 200ml Cains beer ● 36 soft green peppercorns ● 2 pints beef stock ● A little cornflour dissolved ● A few drops of gravy browning


Method Season the meat with salt and brown in oil until golden brown all over. Add the carrots, garlic and the onions followed by the sugar and caramelise. Deglaze with vinegar followed by red wine. ● Add the beer, bring to the boil and add the stock, bay leaf and the tyme, cook for about 1 3/4 hours at about 160C degrees until very tender. Remove the beef, lift out the carrots and onions carefully and reserve to one side, pass the remaining liquor through a sieve and bring to the boil. Add the peppercorns and a few drops of cornflour if necessary and gravy browning. ● Place the beef and vegetables into a pie dish with a couple of dumplings, fill with the gravy and cover with pastry. Brush with milk and bake at 170C degrees until brown for about 20 minutes. ●



Ingredients ● 300g plain flour ● A good pinch of salt ● 75g butter ● 75g lard or vegetable fat ● 4-6 tablespoons water

Ingredients ● 1/2 medium onion finely chopped ● 120g self raising flour ● 60g beef or vegetable suet ● Small bunch of parsley roughly chopped ● 1/2 teaspoon English mustard ● Approx 80ml water ● Sea salt and freshly milled pepper

Method ● In a bowl, mix the flour and salt together, add both the butter and fat and rub into a fine crumb with your finger-tips. Add sufficient water to make a firm paste but it is important to do this gently. ● Rest for half an hour before rolling out and use for covering the pie.

Method ● First boil the onion in just enough water to cover for about one minute, drain well. Mix the flour and suet together, add the parsley, onion and mustard and bind together with the water. ● Season with sea salt and freshly milled pepper and roll about 3-4cm long. Cut into 2cm thick rounds, they are ready to bake.

A year's supply of doughnuts!

TO celebrate National Doughnut Week (May 7 – 14) Krispy Kreme is giving away a year's supply of doughnuts! Just answer the question below correctly and you could be the lucky reader who wins a Krispy Kreme Gold Card – which will entitle you to a free Double Dozen every month for a year! As Krispy Kreme doughnuts are traditionally bought by the dozen to share with friends and colleagues, the


Shortcrust pastry

Double Dozen is a Krispy Kreme favourite. It includes 12 Original Glazed Doughnuts, plus 12 Classic Assorted Doughnuts. The Classic Assorted is made up of the most popular doughnuts from the 15 other delicious varieties including Chocolate Dreamcake, Strawberries & Kreme and Chocolate Sprinkles. To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize just answer the following question:

How many scrumptious varieties of doughnut do Krispy Kreme make? Email your answer, name, daytime telephone number and address to Deadline for entries: May 12, 2011. To stay updated with all the Krispy Kreme happenings and news, join the Facebook group, and follow them on twitter, @krispykremeUK

MAY 11


SATURDAY, 28TH MAY Star night – LOUISE ROGAN Top award winning female vocalist with LENNY ANDERSON – excellent comedy entertainer SUNDAY, 29TH MAY GEORGIA BROOKES powerful personality female vocalist FRIDAY, 17TH JUNE NICOLE – fantastic female vocalist SATURDAY, 18TH JUNE Star night – JO LITTLE, top female vocalist and ELTEN – top male duo

0151-474 0333

SUNDAY, 19TH JUNE CHRISTIE CARTWRIGHT top female vocalist FRIDAY, 29TH JULY – TBA SATURDAY, 30TH JULY Liverpool’s top impressionist STEVIE RICKS + GUEST Not to be missed SUNDAY, 31ST JULY ALAN JAY – top male vocalist

Liverpool Marina Bar & Grill Tranquil Surroundings In The Heart Of The City

MAY OFFER: Spend £20 or more and get £5 off your food bill! Visit our website for all information – Liverpool Marina Bar & Grill Coburg Wharf, Sefton Street, L3 4BP Tel: 0151 707 6777 or

A true Italian experience

Bar Italia


Bar Italia Restaurant is situated at 48a Castle Street in the heart of Liverpool. Open daily for lunch and dinner - until 11pm on Saturdays Opening Times Bar Italia is open six days of the week: Monday-Friday: 11.30am to 3.00pm Tuesday-Saturday: 5.30pm to 11.00pm Party Bookings Bar Italia also offers the option of booking tables for parties from 10 up to 50 people. If you are interested in booking a party then please contact:

Telephone: 0151 236 3375

(selection and payment within seven days prior to date of booking) £5 per person deposit required


Food & drink

MAY 11 A VERITABLE VEGGIE FEAST Sarah Hooley swaps steak sarnies for sweet potato and tofu curry to celebrate National Vegetarian Week this May 23-29...

EASTERN promise Michelle Rushton gets a taste of the Orient at riverside restaurant, Matou IF you have yet to discover the delights of Matou then I urge you to book a table now, as this waterfront eatery really is the pearl of the Mersey. There’s a number of factors that make this Pan-Asian restaurant something special. First of all is its location. Matou can be found on the second floor of the Mersey Ferry Terminal at the Pier Head and boasts the most amazing views over to Wirral. In the restaurant, you have floor to ceiling windows through which you take in the stunning vistas of the River Mersey and over in the cocktail bar you can marvel at the Three Graces. Then there’s the décor. Ultra modern, Matou has a really warm and welcoming vibe with dark wooden flooring and white walls brought to life with colourful flowers and mellow orange and purple lighting which gives it an energising feel. Meanwhile, metallic mosaic tiled pillars give the venue a real touch of opulence. Shown to our table by the friendly restaurant manager, my partner, Mike, and I, were pleased to find ourselves seated by the river which looked magical with lights twinkling on the water. The staff were really lovely – polite and friendly without being intrusive. As we perused the menu, we deliberated for ages as we couldn’t make our minds up – it all looked so appetising!



The menu includes a fusion of Far Eastern dishes from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and China. The patient manager eventually suggested that we opt for the Matou Sharing Platter (£10.90) so we could sample a few different starters. The service was swift. We didn’t have to wait long at all for our meals, yet the food was of the highest standard. The sharing platter included all our favourites – Salt and Pepper Ribs, Crispy Spring Rolls, Satay Chicken Skewers, Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus Leaves and Sesame Prawn Toast. Pickled vegetables carved in floral shapes added to the spectacular presentation. The starters were really tasty, almost too good to share! But I did want to leave room for my main course so I let Mike have some too and we both agreed they were extremely moreish. Manager Enid had recommended we try the Spiced Lamb Shank (£16.90) and Crescent Spicy Seabass (£18.90) for our mains. My char-grilled lamb shank came in a lovely rich Penang curry sauce and the meat was so succulent it just fell off the bone. Served with mixed vegetables, there was lots of it too. Mike was very impressed with the sea bass. Served whole, he said it was cooked to perfection and the Oriental vegetables, crispy basil and jasmine rice made superb accompaniments.

We were so full, we almost passed on the pudding but changed our minds when we saw the choices on offer – well it would have been rude not to! Finding it hard to choose, we ended up being total piglets and sharing three desserts! The Lemon Grass Creme Brulee was so smooth and delicate in contrast to the tangy Passionfruit Cheesecake. And we just had to try the Deep Fried Icecream – naughty but nice! As tempting as it was to head to the cocktail bar for a Singapore Sling, I am ‘with child’ so had to settle for a lime and soda, but enjoyed relaxing on the roof terrace after what we both agreed was a fantastic meal.

A great place for al fresco dining, the roof terrace boasts spectacular views of the city’s landmarks. There’s often live music held here, such as live jazz on Sundays. Matou definitely gets top marks from Mike and I – with a fabulous location, cool interior, exceptional service and food to die for – we’ll be back. Matou, Mersey Ferry Terminal, Georges Parade, Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1BY. Telephone 0151 236 2928,

IT'S not every day that we turn down a steak sarnie for lunch here at the Best of Liverpool office — but when this mouth-watering recipe for vegetarian curry landed on our desks from HOST we couldn't resist trying it out. The delicious recipe — created by head chef David Fitzsimmons at the popular Pan-Asian restaurant — is perfect for celebrating National Vegetarian Week (May 23-29) and is all but guaranteed to please even the most dedicated of carnivores — including us! David says: “I love this recipe because the actual curry itself has a real richness and depth in flavour, as opposed to the heat which you find in most other curries. The sauce is also quite mild, which is perfect for the crunchy vegetables and delicate flavour of the tofu. It's a great recipe for meat-eaters and veggies alike, but if you really can't go without the meat simply substitute some of the vegetables for chicken, pork or duck.”

HOST's Vegetarian Curry (serves two) Ingredients ● 8 pieces of firm tofu ● 4 pieces of baby corn – (halved) ● 1/2 sweet potato – (dried) ● 50g soy beans ● 100g broccoli ● 50g mixture of sugar snappeas and mangetout ● Salt and pepper for seasoning ● 1 small tin of coconut milk, (330ml) ● 4 tbsp Maesri Yellow Curry Paste ● 50g crushed palm sugar or brown sugar Method ● In a sauce pan, with a touch of vegetable oil, sweat off the yellow curry paste for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the sugar until it's dissolved. ● Add the tin of coconut milk, and whisk in well until the curry mixture is well combined. ● Dice the sweet potatoe and cut up the broccoli into bite size pieces and steam until soft and tender. ● Add the baby corn to the curry and simmer for 1 minute, then add the rest of the vegetables and warm through, season to taste if needed. ● Serve with beansprouts, coriander and spring onions, and a large bowl of jasmine rice to share.


MAY 11 DESIGNS FOR LIFE Photo: Geoff Roberts Photography

Craftycool Katie McLoughlin discovers crafts aren’t just for your Nan... THINK of crafts and most likely you’re thinking of something naff like knitting, crocheted doilies or those cheesy ads for a certain national craft store on the telly. But, as I discovered recently, crafts have become cool as a new wave of aspiring jewellery designers and creative folk are embracing the traditional hobby. Keen to find out more, I went along to the newest addition to Liverpool’s art and craft scene, Craft Creative, which holds two events a month upstairs in Leaf on Bold Street. Founded by Camilla Halstead, 27, from Chester and Becky Christian, 30, from Liverpool, the club offers a range of fashion and trend-led workshops where you can get creative, learn a new craft, meet new people and listen to live music played by DJs. Launched in February, the workshops, which are led by experienced arts, crafts and fashion specialists, offer a diverse array of crafts ranging from jewellery making to home-made beauty products. Think a younger, trendier version of TV show Kirstie’s Homemade Home, where you get to have a go at making your own bags, jewellery and the like, whilst enjoying a glass or two of your favourite plonk. An alternative social experience, the club is hugely popular and attracts a broad array of people – from arty types looking for an outlet for their creativity to aspiring jewellery makers and those who are simply looking for a different sort of evening out. My friend and I definitely fell into the latter category, however, despite our lack of artistic nature (we couldn’t find the inspiration to design our own brooch pattern and opted to follow the rather-good templates the club provided instead) we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The club has a really friendly

atmosphere and with a good mix of people, live music and a few drinks, it makes for a really enjoyable evening out and something I’ll certainly do again. This month’s Craft Creative events are handbound notebook and photo frame workshops on Thursday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 25, 6.30pm-9.30pm in Leaf on Bold Street. Tickets are £8 per person. All tickets can be booked by emailing or go to the Facebook shop on Craft Creative fan page. For more details on upcoming events go to

YOU don’t have to be a dab hand with a needle and thread to enjoy crafts as a hobby and you never know, you may just discover a talent for making your own accessories. One local designer who has successfully managed to turn her creativity and passion into an acclaimed jewellery brand is Helen Hope from Allerton. A former fashion and textiles student at LJMU, Helen developed a series of jewellery to exhibit with her fashion collection. After receiving fantastic feedback on her jewellery designs, she soon realised the potential that they had and launched the label, Hope & Winkle Vintage, in spring 2009. Initially trading at monthly weekend fetes, Helen’s English heritage inspired designs proved an instant hit with Liverpool’s fashion-conscious shoppers and by late 2009, the young designer had opened her first store on Petticoat Lane, just off Bold Street.

Hope & Winkle Vintage soon gained a loyal following amongst style-savvy Scousers and the brand is now being stocked by leading online fashion retailer, With bags of style, Helen’s latest collection is packed full of on-trend bright scarves, retro rings and beautiful bags as well as a glittering array of vintage-feel accessories and jewellery. We especially love the 1970s-style pink and silver clutch. Here’s a sneak peek at Helen’s latest collection, which you can buy online from


Homes & gardens

MAY 11 Decorative and practical, apple green Fresh Apples Bucket, £17.95, from

Mum's Apple Crate Planter, £39.99, from www.GettingPersonal.

Woodland Wilf Goes Fishing, £14.98, from B&Q

Garden paradise

Hanging Fenêtre Votive featuring glass and bead, £10, from

Emma Thompson discovers the perfect accessories for your garden this summer SUMMER’S fast approaching and if you’re not already basking in the sun, it won’t be long before you’re hitting the sun lounger and relaxing in your garden. So with that in mind it’s time to don the gardening gloves and get to work, and once the weeds are obliterated then the fun begins. You can now delve into the garden centres and discover the fab selection of accessories, planters and water features which range from wind spinners, outdoor clocks, lanterns, ornaments and not forgetting our

Get your garden in style with these shoe and handbag planters from Asda

good old favourite, the garden gnome. Water features are also a great addition creating a wonderful focal point to brighten up your garden, whether you opt for a modern, sleek ornamental style or a more traditional fountain there’s plenty of choice. You can even get garden goodies that are solar powered harnessing all that energy to light and drive your outdoor accessories this summer. We've dug up a great selection to get you started... Small wax-filled Spotty Buckets, £2.50 each, from Matalan

Bird house, £12, from Next

Deck out your garden with planters and lanterns, £9.99, from

Hand-painted metal Spotted Pig Watering Can, £24, from

Istanbul rose gold ratton water feature, £249.99, from Taskers



Grow your own with this Bright Young Things set from Asda

MAY 11 Dawn Chorus Teapot By Portmeirion, £26.50, from

Flower power

A handcrafted Daisy Flower bookend, £60, from

DESIGNERS have gone blooming mad this year and we’re loving every stem, petal and bud that hits the stores. Here are just a small bunch of floral accessories to get your home blossoming this summer...

Paradise dinner plate, £2, from Matalan

Flower duvet set, from Matalan

Applique floral cushion, £12, from

Anna cake stand, £7.99, from Dunelm Mill

Cream floral fabric Kensington Dog Doorstop, £34.99, from

Liven up your walls with this Scroll Tree large wall sticker, £35.74, from

Flower Mushroom Nightlight, £46, from








43 MILL LANE, WEST DERBY VILLAGE, LIVERPOOL • Telephone: 256 6939 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK. MON - SAT 10am - 5pm, SUN 11am-4pm, THURS open till 7pm



Heading over to… HIDDEN GEMS

MAY 11

Bootiful Bootle Sue Kelbrick finds out what puts the ‘oo’ in Bootle.

Time Out Children’s Play Centre ESTABLISHED since 1998, this family-run company offers a fantastic play-centre for kids up to the age of 11, where they can play in a safe and fun environment. Following a huge investment a few years ago, the playcentre now offers the ultimate in safe play for children. With a dedicated tots’ play area, there are also slides, ball pools and climbing frames as well as a great cafe serving a brilliant selection of snacks, refreshments and hot food. Visit Time Out on Heysham Road, log on to or telephone 0151 525 3353.

British Heart Foundation Shop HAVING just opened last month, the new British Heart Foundation shop in Bootle New Strand Shopping Centre has already proved highly successful in raising much-needed funds to help in the fight against heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer. The shop is always on the look-out for good quality clothing, accessories, handbags, shoes, books, records, videos, DVDs, CDs and bric-a-brac. To donate items simply pop into the shop or if you fancy doing some volunteering, then the Bootle shop has opportunities to suit every type of person including stock sorting and pricing, window dressing, sales assistant roles and more. Visit the British Heart Foundation Shop at 132-133 The Palatine in the New Strand Shopping Centre or call 0151 922 4269.

IF you think you know Bootle then think again. Once a run down, deprived place, Bootle is now a thriving, bustling area ideal for stopping off for a spot of shopping or a stroll along the pleasant Leeds-Liverpool canal. Thanks to a comprehensive programme of regeneration and improvement, Bootle has really come up in the world in recent years, and now boasts a fantastic selection of new homes, a choice of shops and a variety of useful amenities, which together with a great sense of community, makes Bootle an attractive proposition to residents and visitors alike. The most obvious improvement to the town is around the Stanley Road area where new paving and street furniture, as well as better bus stops and taxi ranks, have created a much more pleasing experience, when driving into the main town centre of Bootle. Similarly works around the Town Hall and the creation of Town Hall Gardens have greatly helped to improve the overall ambience in the town.

Helping to put the new improved Bootle on the map is some fabulous street furniture from Antony Gormley, whose ‘Bollards’ have created a real talking point at their home on the site of a former wash-house on Marsh Lane close to the New Strand Shopping Centre. The New Strand Shopping Centre is the hub of Bootle’s shopping experience and offers an array of shops, stores and boutiques ranging from big high street names to independent businesses. In and around the shopping centre there are loads of restaurants, bars and pubs. The ideal place to stop off for a refreshing pint or a tasty bite to eat after a day of retail therapy. If you are after some fresh air then Bootle still has plenty to offer. As well as loads of lovely walks along the footpaths and byways that run along the LeedsLiverpool Canal, Bootle has a number of small parks ideal for a picnic on a sunny day or a family outing. North Park is home to the local leisure centre and South Park is situated

Bootle Golf Club

Antony Gormley Sculpture

Elegante Beauty IT'S not exactly ‘hidden’ but Elegante Beauty on Stanley Road is certainly a gem. Open for more than 10 years, the salon is warm and welcoming with a laid-back vibe which makes the whole Elegante experience even more relaxing and enjoyable. The salon offers a comprehensive range of beauty and holistic treatments including waxing, eye lash tinting, manicures and nails, as well as aromatherapy full body massage, reflexology, facials, Botox, spray tan, make-up and much more. The salon also specialises in treatments for men. Visit Elegante Beauty & Holistic Therapies on 396 Stanley Road, L20 5AB, call 0151 922 1900 or log on to



Bootle New Strand Shopping Centre

alongside Firwood Bootle Cricket Club. Central to both of these parks is Derby Park, a Victorian park which has its own bowling green, a children’s play area, a bandstand and even a zip wire for the more adventurous visitors! If you are a golfing enthusiast, then Bootle Golf Course is a great place to visit, stretch your legs and enjoy getting into the swing of some golf. Situated just off Dunnings Bridge Road, this 18-hole public course has a putting green, a practice area, a club house, a bar and a pro-shop, and is perfect for all levels of golfers from beginners to professionals. So next time you are passing through Bootle, don’t pass it by – stop off and stay a while, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Best of Bootle

MAY 11


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MAY 11

Scream if you want to go faster! The UK’s theme parks are open for the summer season and Paul Baker runs down some of the best THE summer season has well and truly arrived and with it come those doe-eyed looks and harassment from the kids as they beg you to take them to a theme park. There’s something strangely magical about the theme park experience, no matter your age, so the carnival atmosphere and crazy characters, the fast food and even faster rides combine to make everyone feel like a kid again. There are some major theme parks in the UK, whose size, quality and, most importantly, amount of visitors each year puts them into the Premier League for thrill-seekers and family daytrippers alike. But there are many others that are well worth paying a visit to and which can still provide a blend of white-knuckle rides and that all important family fun factor. What’s more, many of them are to be found right here in the North West, with many more within a few hours’ drive of Liverpool. Here’s Best of Liverpool’s run down of some of our favourites:



Camelot Theme Park OFFERING a great blend of fun and thrilling rides for all the family all set to a theme of valiant knights and magical sorcery, Camelot makes for a great local day out just off the M6 at Chorley. Experience spectacular jousting tournaments, falconry displays and ride the amazing Knightmare, a £3m ride that will subject you to more G-force than any other rollercoaster in any UK theme park, pulling 5G at some points. Wowzer! Visit Camelot, Park Hall Road, Charnock Richard, Chorley, PR7 5LP,

Camlelot has a lot to offer

Drayton Manor

Blackpool Pleasure Beach IT'S world famous, it attracts nearly six million visitors a year, it offers over 125 rides and attractions, plus spectacular shows. Oh yes, and it’s just over an hour’s drive away so there’s really no excuse for us Scouse rollercoaster riders not to head to Blackpool and feel those Gforces in action. Highlights include the Valhalla, Infusion and the 235 feet high Pepsi Max Big One, boasting spectacular views and speeds reaching 85mph. Plus there’s family fun too with the brand new Nickelodeon Land, new for this year. Visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Promenade, Blackpool, FY4 1EZ,

Gulliver’s World Warrington AIMED more at younger children, Gulliver’s World is perfect for families with children between the age of two and 13. With resident characters, Gully and Gilly Mouse on hand throughout the day, kids will have a blast. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rides for the thrill-seekers – the wooden coaster, pirate ship and log flume see to that! The 16-seater spinning Pirate’s Cove ride is brand new for 2011. It’s close to Liverpool too – off the M62 at Junctions 8 or 9 and then follow the signs. Visit Gulliver's World Warrington, Old Hall, Warrington, WA5 9YZ



ALSO in Staffordshire, not far from Birmingham, Drayton Manor is the UK’s largest family-owned theme park with a combination of awe-inspring rides and even its own zoo. For this reason, Drayton Manor offers a lot for the family, with exciting rides like Shockwave, Stormforce 10 and Apocalypse alongside family adventures in Thomas Land. New this year is the Ben 10 Ultimate Mission roller coaster! Visit Drayton Manor, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW,

IF theme parks aren’t your thing, you can enjoy a family fun day closer to home at The Albert Dock, here in Liverpool. We’re offering you the chance to win a great day out for all the family, including a family ticket for two adults and two children for both the Beatles Story and the Yellow Boat Cruise. Then enjoy a family meal at What’s Cooking. The meal is for two adults and two children and includes two courses: either a starter/main or a main/dessert. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question: What colour submarine did The Beatles famously sing about?

Alton Towers

Legoland Windsor

THE UK’s most popular theme park, even the rides are household names – Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Thirteen and the unfortunately titled Rita, Queen of Speed. Of course, the great thing about Alton Towers is that it’s set on a huge park with beautiful gardens to explore, rides for all ages. New for 2011 is Sharkbait Reef, a pirate-themed aquarium with sharks, rays, seahorses and over a million litres of water. Visit Alton Towers, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB,

IT'S great fun playing with Lego when you’re a kid. Heck, it’s great fun playing with it when you’re an adult. Most of the attractions are aimed squarely at the young ‘uns, so if you and your kids are fans of those multi-coloured building blocks, pay a visit to Legoland. See the world re-imagined in Lego, visit the Kingdom of the Pharaohs and ride The Dragon through the Legoland castle. New for 2011 is a world first attraction, an underwater adventure on the Atlantis Submarine Voyage. Visit Legoland, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY,

Send your answer on a postcard, including your name, address and daytime telephone number to: Best of Liverpool, Commercial Editorial, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB. Closing date for entries: Thursday, May 19.


MAY 11




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MAY 11






04 TALK OF TOWN City gossip



06 SHOPPING FOR HER Practical luxe and sporty chic

08 SHOPPING FOR HIM Cool cover ups and spring jackets


12 FITNESS Suzanne’s on the run




Our must-see gigs

16 HOMEGROWN TALENT Gillian Kearney and Cast

18 WHAT’S ON Unmissable May events

CHILDREN 20 WONDERFUL WILDLIFE Meet the city’s newest animals

21 OUTDOOR TOYS Fresh air fun

FOOD & DRINK 22 MATCHDAY PIE RECIPE Plus win a year’s worth of doughnuts!

24 TASTE TEST We put Matou to the test

HOBBIES 25 LIVERPOOL GETS CRAFTY New club makes crafts cool-again


Editor’s letter WELCOME to the May edition of Best of Liverpool! As regular readers will know, our editor Michelle Rushton is taking some time off to have her second baby and has left Best of Liverpool in my while she’s away. We wish her luck and can’t wait to meet her new arrival! Speaking of new arrivals, spring’s a busy old time in the animal world and whilst we’re not about to give Kate Humble a run for her money on Springwatch, we do love looking at cute photos of newborn lambs. Check out page 20 to see the newest arrivals in the city’s farm attractions – we guarantee it’ll make you go ‘awwww!’ With the Everyman theatre about to stage its last major production before a multi-million-pound redevelopment, we catch up with Gillian Kearney on page 16 as she rehearses for Macbeth. Plus we speak to cult band, Cast, as they prepare for this month’s Liverpool Sound City and our resident muso Paul Baker highlights the must-see gigs of this year’s festival on page 15. On page 12, Brookside star Suzanne Collins, shares her training diary for the RunLiverpool Marathon, whilst on

page 7 we show style-savvy women what to wear for the Women’s 10k, which takes place later this week. Men aren’t forgotten either as Sarah Hooley finds the best jackets to wear this Spring on page 8. For those of you, like me, whose idea of exercise is to do a lap of Liverpool ONE on a Saturday, we bring you gorgeous clobber that’s more suited to the runway than the running track on pages 6-7. On page 25 we take a look at the latest craft phenomenon to arrive in Liverpool, whilst on page 10, Sue Kelbrick visits the city’s first hot yoga and wellness centre. If you’re stuck for ways to entertain the kids over the Whit holidays, take a peek at our theme parks feature on page 30. Plus on pages 2627, Emma Thompson, shows you how to add some seasonal style to your home. Enjoy!

Katie McLoughlin

26 GORGEOUS GARDENS Get green fingers


DESIGNERS Zoe Bevan and Colin Harrison



FAX 0151 330 4924

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.


Give your home a touch of flower power



Bootiful Bootle

WRITERS Michelle Rushton, Paul Baker, Sarah Hooley, Sue Kelbrick and Emma Thompson


PHOTOGRAPHY Trinity Mirror photographers

Days out for thrill-seekers



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Best of Liverpool May 2011  

Monthly Liverpool entertainment and lifestyle supplement from the Liverpool Echo