Liverpool Food and Drink Festival is back for another year, opening the tent doors on 15 and 16 September for a weekend showcasing the incredible food, drink and cuisine of Merseyside.
An annual highlight for any Scouse foodie, the 2018 festival is set to be the best yet with big names in the Chef Tent and an eclectic mix of stalls serving up everything from succulent cuts of steak to freshly fried Spanish churro.
It’s time to ditch the summer diets and embrace some good, old autumn feasting in time for the colder months. Here’s ten reasons you should head down to Sefton for the weekend and explore one of the city’s most-loved festivals…
1. Raymond Blanc will be there
Legendary French cook Raymond Blanc – who’s trained top chefs including Marco Pierre-White and Michael Caines – will be taking to the stage in Sefton Park to share some of his extraordinary culinary secrets. Catch him in the Celebrity Chef Theatre tent for a demonstration on how to prepare a Crab Salad served with Pink Grapefruit, followed by a fluffy Cherry Clafoutis.
Other chef demonstrations come from Liverpool’s very own Gary Usher, who’s behind the Wreckfish Bistro on Seel Street, and BBC Masterchef The Professionals 2012 winner Anton Piotrowski, the owner of Roski on Rodney Street. Plus, Ellis Barrie from Anglesey and Francisco Martinez of Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill fame.
2. The tastiest pizza in Liverpool is setting up shop
Bold Street’s premium pizza parlour is setting up stall, bringing its mammoth slices of heaven to all festival-goers. Liverpool has loads of incredible and authentic pizza outlets across town, but American Pizza Slice is a favourite amongst locals.
Setting up in the ‘restaurant’ section of the festival and serving up delectably delicious slices such as Little Italy (meatballs smothered in mozzarella cheese) and The Spanish (shredded chicken, chorizo, smoked cheese and picante peppers) , we reckon this stall will be serving up some of the most popular food over the weekend (and some of the best!)
3. The Street Food selections are bigger and better than ever
Head to the Street Food area at the weekend to indulge in a mix of cuisines including Japanese, Indian, Thai and Spanish.
Highlights include Bao Now, serving up traditional Taiwanese bao buns (with delectable fillings such as duck breast, pulled pork and a vegetarian jack fruit option), the ever-popular wood smoked barbecue feast from Cowfish Smokehouse, and colourful kebabs from the Armenian Family Street Bar.
4. You’ll be able to stock up on bottles from the Craft Beer Tent
It’s time to get beer tasting. Quench your thirst after indulging in the delights of the foodie part of the festival by heading to the Craft Beer tent where some of Liverpool’s best breweries will be offering refreshing glasses of the good stuff.
The Dead Crafty Beer Company, The Local Wine Company, Black Storm Brewery and the George Wright Brewing Company will be open for business throughout the weekend.
With locally brewed ales, and wines from across the world, you’ll be able to take an alcoholic trip around the globe from one tent.
5. You can grab a morning coffee from the best cafés in town
If you’re heading to the food festival first thing in the morning, and don’t quite fancy a gin and tonic at 10:30am, look out for the Café Tent to grab yourself a freshly brewed coffee from the likes of Crosby Coffee, Space Coffee and Neighborhood Coffee.
Simply Cakes Direct will also be there, offering sweet treats to enjoy with your hot drink.
6. All your favourite Liverpool bars will be in one place
Hop around the best bars of Liverpool without racking up a taxi fare. From Red Door to The Florist with fabulous companies including Diaronno, Aperol Spritz and Sipsmith London in between, you won’t be without a drink in hand all weekend.
Make sure you head to the live Prosecco Tent as well to enjoy some local musical talent and dancing opportunities for all.
7. You’ll be able to buy a year’s worth of dinner at the Market Place
From gourmet cheeses to natural chutneys, the LFDF market place is set to be jam-packed with scrumptious delicacies on sale.
Bexley’s Craft Butchers will be offering their local, award-winning cuts to meat-lovers, while adventurous cooks should look for Yorkshire Drizzle to investigate the unique specialty oils company that can liven up your weekday tea (we fancy trying the Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil with Basil).
There’s also set to be deli-stalls galore, including Little Jack Horner’s sausage roll stand (The “best sausage rolls” ever tasted according to GQ magazine), Continental Cottage’s selection of savoury treats, and a wide variety of cheese from the classic Cheshire Cheese Company to the unusual St James Ewes Milk Cheese.
8. The Good Life Zone is perfect for veggies and vegans
With veganism exploding onto the food scene this year, you couldn’t host a food festival without a nod to the hottest healthy living trend in town.
The Good Life Zone at LFDF will be pulsin’ with plant-based produce making it heaven for veggies and vegans (and any meat-eaters who fancy a walk on the wild side).
Catch Vausage for meat-alterntive hot dog dishes, Rockin Buddha for Chinese cusines with a vegan twist and MO for baked treats without the animal products.
9. You can indulge your sweet tooth at the Sweet Treats Zone
If your Instagram has been filled with mountains of sugary delights and breath-taking bakes this year, it’s your turn to get your feed up to speed with some of Merseyside’s best bakeries.
The Sweet Treats zone will be serving up sugar rushes all weekend, with brownie slabs, white chocolate crepes, cookie dough, chocolate and fudge galore.
Look out for American Desserts company The Yummy Yank. whose classic US cheesecakes, slices and brownies give an authentic taste of state-side baking.
10. There’s going to be a whole garden serving Liverpool’s favourite tipple
Finally, it wouldn’t be a Scouse festival if there wasn’t a Gin Garden. The city’s most fashionable tipple trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, so you can bet this part of LFDF will be jam-packed over the two days.
Contemporary concoctions and fruity flirtations will be out in force as distilleries from as close as West Kirby (Tappers Gin) and as far away as Edinburgh and even Japan head to Sefton to serve up some refreshing gin and tonics.
How to get tickets for Liverpool Food and Drink Festival 2018
The Liverpool Food and Drink Festival is running from Saturday September 15 (10:30-19:30) to Sunday 16 September (10:30-17:30) and is a ticketed event.
A day pass cost £7 (£8.50 on the day), while a weekend pass is £11,50 (£12.50 on the day). Children under 14 go free.
For more information visit the website.
Can’t wait until the 15 September for a lazy weekend in the late sunshine? Check out our updated guide to the 21 Best Beer Gardens in Liverpool to discover the best outdoor boozers in the city.
For more fantastic events happening in the city this month, make sure you read our definitive Signatures Liverpool’s What’s On in September guide.
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