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Chinese food in Liverpool

I have recently started a couple of threads about specific areas of Liverpool, which I thought would help people looking for info, and add to the discussions. I think that Chinese food also deserves a thread of its own, so here you are.

There are Chinese restaurants all over the city, but most serve pretty average Cantonese fare. China Town is also over-supplied with these kind of places, but there are a few good ones. China Town sits next to and overlaps with the Rope Walks area. Here are some places worth a mention:

Chilli Chilli, Nelson St
The main menu is uninspiring, but the Sichuan food is pretty good. My favourites include the beef hotpot (sometimes called water cooked beef or something similar in other places); green beans with minced pork: twice cooked pork: minced pork dumplings; cold chicken in chilli oil; lamb chops; cumin lamb; Malaysian morning glory and many moree slightly less reliable than they were - it seems that it depends on which chef is on that night. It might also be that they have started to tone down the heat in the hotpot, which used to be outrageously hot - sometimes too hot for me - but on some occasions it has been toned down too much.

Yuet ben, Upper Duke St
This place is an institution, and it is consistently good. They have only a short menu, but the dishes are very different to bog standard Cantonese stuff. It feels like going home when we eat there, and it's hard not to pick the same things every time. And they have really nice chilli oil with a lovely toasted flavour.

Mabo, Nelson St
This is a rough and ready cafe, which specialises in noodle soups and roast meats. It's not perfect, but it has a loyal following. My favourite things to order are roast duck and rice (always comes with Chinese greens of some sort); a plate of cold char su pork or mixed meats; a noodle soup of any kind. No real licence, but they do sell Chinese beer. They used to let you bring your own alcohol - they probably still do, but it's worth checking.

Mei Mei, Berry St
A posher than average place, which is enormous and has an enormous menu, but manages to do it quite well - it's one of the better Cantonese restaurants.

Mr Chilli, Seel St
We had a bad meal the first time we went, but a much better one recently. It has a big dining room, which was buzzing with Chinese students. We had the double cooked pork, which was the best I have had; cumin lamb, which was very good too - the meat was slightly crisp at the edges and there were more chilli seeds than usual, which gave it a bit of a kick - but not too fierce; and broccoli with garlic - the perfect thing to have with the meat dishes - clean and plain and crunchy. We will return to check more of the menu out. The first time we went we had the mixed meat hotpot, which we didn't enjoy - it was very watery, and at the same time very hot with chilli - it had no depth of flavour. Many of the students were sharing huge Chinese "fondues" - steaming pots of stuff, with raw meat and fish to cook it in. I didn't check the menu for what it's called - but it was very popular. I think the dish I love at Chilli Chilli (mentioned above) might be called "hot and numbing beef" at Mr Chilli - it will be next on my list.

Mar 28, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

We tried Mr Chilli again last night and had better food this time - we tried a couple of the dishes you recommended to avoid disappointment! I'm going to start a thread on Chinese food in Liverpool, so I'll give more detail there.

We wanted to order the water cooked beef, but, again, couldn't find it on the menu. I asked the woman serving us if they had it and she didn't know what I was talking about - I even mentioned the chilli bean paste that is the base of the sauce, and she looked at me blankly! It was probably a language thing.

Mar 28, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Rope Walks area of central Liverpool (between Bold St and Duke St).

I thought it was time to have a thread on here for the ever-improving eating options in this area of SE central Liverpool.

I have recently been to Maray on Bold St, which advertises itself as being about falafel, cocktails and small plates. The menu is mostly middle eastern with some of the trendier dishes of the moment, such as whole roasted cauliflower. While it is very trendy (I don't ever use that word as a compliment ...), we really enjoyed it. The whole cauli dish is really better for sharing between 4, rather than 2, but it was good (I notice now that they have half a cauli as an option). The lamb with humous and a sticky chicken dish were both great, tabouleh less good. They clearly change the menu often, as most of the dishes they have on the menu now are different to the ones on offer a couple of weeks ago. I will definitely go back.

Mowgli, also on Bold St, was reviewed by Marina O'Loughlin in the Guardian a month or two back. Having eaten there now, I think she was a little unkind and the tone of the article wasn't great - a bit patronising. Anyway, it's yet another place that is all about street food, and I have mixed feelings. The yoghurt chat bombs were great - not as described in the Guardian review; the chicken curry was decent - very coconutty, but still had a poke; the house keema was good, although not the best I've had - there was almost too much going on flavours wise; the dahl was great. I'll go back again - it is nice to have something a bit different than your average curry houses and they are doing some good stuff.

Bakchich, Bold St - very good Lebanese place (selling itself as street food again - aarrggghh). Excellent lamb schwarma, great soft drinks apparently and they could teach Maray a thing or two about tabouleh! No licence for alcohol and no BYOB.

Roja Pinchos, Berry St - I've mentioned this before - but it needs to be here too. It's a small place which feels like a cafe more than a restaurant. Cold and hot pinchos at reasonable prices and a short, decent wine list. It's a while since we went, so I can't remember what we had, but every dish was good and we really liked the place.

Italian club Fish, Bold St - this place had a slightly up and down year or two after a strong start, but has regained its consistency. Lovely dining room, good food and the decent house wine is a good price.

There are more places in this area worth mentioning, but I'll leave it at that for a while and let others join in.

Mar 27, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

Thanks for the report - always good to get feedback. I didn't realise you could get food in the pub bit of the Phil - I thought you were talking about going to the upstairs 'preserved in aspic' restaurant. The bangers and mash looked good.

I should have said when saying the Botan is one of the better kebab takeaways - the doner is rubbish - the most basic of nasty "meat slurry" type doner meat. Their kofte kebabs are great though.

Liverpool lags behind London by some distance when it comes to Turkish food, as there isn't a big Turkish population here. However, there are two very good places on Lark Lane - the Elif and Belly (yes, really). They are not the amazing cheap cafes and takeaways you can get in London, they are more restauranty and are more expensive - but very good value for the amount of food and quality (along with plenty of extra dishes such as humous, grilled onions with pomegranate etc).

Mar 27, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Lodge Lane and wider L8/Toxteth area, Liverpool - some places worth trying

We had a takeaway last night from the Ceylon Cafe, mentioned above. We had two pretty good byrianis (a lamb and a chicken) for a total of £8. Being the British-types we are, we asked her if she had any sauce to go with them, and she gave us a small amount of very good lamby curry sauce. It turned out that it wasn't really necessary, as her byriani rice has a decent amount of onion, so it wasn't as dry as some can be. For a quick, cheap takeaway, it was the business - the only thing I would change would be the use of chicken breast meat in the byriani - it would be much better with thigh or leg meat. She is mostly a daytime place, so closes 7.30/8.00 ish.

We have continued to enjoy the food from Nasi Lemak (in the Heat Express chippy). There has only been one occasion we were a little disappointed, and that was when we ordered food for about 5/6 people - I think he struggled to do everything as perfectly as usual for a big order - but I'm being picky here - our friends thought it was amazing and I only had a couple of minor complaints.

Mar 27, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

I will give this place another go - it looks like we ordered badly. Thanks for this.

One of the issues for me is the names which are given to some of the classic Sichuan dishes in different places. The Water cooked beef is probably the same as the hotpot in Chilli Chilli, just down the road. We ordered hotpot in Mr chilli, and while it had a chilli hit, it was very watery and uninspiring. Fuchsia Dunlop also calls the dish I love at Chilli Chilli something like boiled beef in a fiery sauce. Their cumin lamb looks very similar to the one in your picture.

I will defo check out the other dishes you have mentioned and give the Middle Eastern place on Lodge Lane another go.

Feb 25, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

It is really good - very basic decor etc, but they are trying to do something different. There are so many interesting places opening up at the moment. And I had got really irritated by the influx of american/pulled pork/BBQ type places over the last couple of years. I really want to go to Maray on Bold St - have had great reviews. I must do some write ups on a couple of places I've been to recently.

Feb 25, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Lodge Lane and wider L8/Toxteth area, Liverpool - some places worth trying

I started to write this arising from a conversation on another thread, but I think it deserves one of its own.

Lodge Lane in L8 has developed into a street full of cafes and takeaways over the last few years - some good/very good and others rubbish.

I have already reviewed/commented on my favourite place, Nasi Lemak, a Malaysian takeaway - so if you want more detail, please read here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9780....

Nasi Lemak is not obvious unless you are looking for it, as it is disguised as 'Heat Express', a bog standard Liverpool chippy (the couple who now run it do an amazing home-cooked-style Malaysian food, but also do the usual Liverpool thing of having a full Chinese chippy menu to keep many of their punters happy).

Another interesting one is the Ceylon Café - the woman running it sells sweets and pastries, but also does two or three hot dishes a day - we've only tried it once, but it was pretty damn good.

I'm undecided about the Middle Eastern Restaurant, but having read a good comment from JFores on here, I may give it another go. They do middle eastern breakfasts as well as lunches/evening meals, and I've heard good reports on them too.

There's also an East African place - can't remember it's name off the top of my head, but it's a block up from the Middle Eastern Restaurant. They do some good 'homely' stuff - some decent 'small meat' stews/curries and Somali biryanis.

Kebabish is strange - it is a small NW chain, which does Punjabi/Pakistani food which, I believe, is all prepared in a central place - or at least the sauce bases and marinades are - but it isn't as rubbish as that sounds. The fish curry is good and the seekh kebabs and lamb chops are pretty good too - so long as you can persuade them not to overcook them...

I will try to keep this thread updated when I try other places or have more feedback on the above. All contributions welcome. Maybe I need to start a Lark Lane area thread too - there are several places there worthy of mention.

Feb 22, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

I don't know Benchill at all - but Liverpool 8 (which is what we call Toxteth in these parts!) has normally been compared to Moss Side in Manchester - although Liverpool's minority communities have different origins to Manchester's - and thus different food cultures.

I live in Granby, which used to be the thriving centre of L8, with food shops selling stuff from all over Africa and the Middle East. But Lodge Lane has taken up that mantle since Granby was destroyed by unemployment and 30-40 years of dodgy government policy/local housing policy. We're in the process of trying to reverse that as local residents - but that's another non food-related story!

Lodge Lane is only a five minute walk from Granby though, and while there are a lot of rubbish takeaways, there are also some good/really good places springing up. I originally wrote a fair bit more here on the Lodge Lane "food scene", but I decided that it needs a thread of its own - so for more details please go there!

Feb 22, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

I've only been to Mr Chilli once, but I didn't rate it at all. We weren't able to try many dishes, but I was unimpressed with what we had. Maybe we chose badly? It was a while ago, but my comments on it are in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8929...

I've found the Middle Eastern Restaurant on Lodge Lane quite mixed - I think it's because it has changed hands or had different chefs quite often. I'd be interested to know what dishes you have enjoyed - it's very near where I live, and I gave up trying a year or so back as some dishes seemed really bland and it was so unreliable quality-wise.

One thing that really does surprise me is that, while you are someone who has promoted the cafes of the "tougher" areas of London, New York and elsewhere, I'm surprised at your comment about having to wear a hoody in Toxteth. Lodge Lane is certainly not somewhere you would wear a suit when eating out (or getting a takeaway) - which is no different to many of the neighbourhoods you have explored food-wise across the planet. But equally, it's not a place I would say required wearing a hoody (and the threatening atmosphere that that implies). I spend a lot of my time there and it has always felt safe and friendly.

You have always been a regular reviewer (and discoverer/pioneer!) of the more obscure places in London, which I have found really useful when I have been down there for work, so it's a shame you haven't commented on the places you like in Liverpool - especially when you say Mr Chilli is one of your favourite places in the whole country! I would welcome your views. Please do post your thoughts on here - we have very few contributors from places outside London, which means the UK board continues to be very London-centric.

Feb 21, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Happy Pancake day!

I've always found that English pancakes are thin, along the lines of a crepe. I am also a fan of the lemon and sugar - and the sugar has to be whit granulated - one of the best things about this is the granular texture of the sugar before it dissolves.

Other pancake toppings I like are butter and granulated sugar (fabulous as the saltiness of the butter and the sweetness of the sugar really work) and also butter with drinking chocolate powder sprinkled over (not cocoa powder, and definitely not nutella) - the powder melts into the butter and it is divine - again, salt and sweet combined.

I think - but could be wrong - that pancakes in Britain tend to be a snack or a pudding, rather than a meal, so our traditional ones tend to be sweet rather than ones stuffed with savoury fillings.

Feb 18, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

The Baltic Bakehouse does the most amazing sourdough bread and also is a café - good bacon butties and other stuff. It's in the Baltic Triangle.

There is also a café/bakery on Bold St - called East Avenue I think, for some bizarre reason. Their bread is good (nothing can surpass the Baltic one though) and the menu looks good too, so maybe a good lunch stop off.

I don't really go out for a coffee much, but, again, Bold St is a good place for independent places. Not sure who does iced coffee all year round, but there's always the Starbucks/Costa type places.

Your best option for lunch on Wednesday depends a bit on what you are planning for the morning and where you'll find yourself at lunch time. If you are up around the Hope Street area, then I would recommend the Pen Factory over the Quarter; if you are in the business or shopping area of town, then Fonseca's is a great option, and there are the other places in between along Bold St. But if you're exploring the Baltic Triangle, you can eat at the Bakehouse, Baltic Creative café, Camp and Furnace and the Baltic Social. Too many places, so little time.

Just one other thing - Bakchich on Bold Street does great kebabs, but not sure if they are open for late night ones. They don't serve alcohol, but the food is very good. Love the lamb schwarma wraps/kebabs.

Feb 18, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

Ah - thanks John - was wondering if it meant aperitifs!

Feb 17, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

The Salt House place on Hanover St is Salt House Tapas, which is different to Salt House Bacaro which I recommended for bar dining - just in case you thought they were the same place. Bacaro is on Castle St.

I've only been to the Monroe once, and I wasn't particularly impressed, but some people like it - it's a pub that does food - no bar dining; The Quarter is fine - it's a cafe/bar serving mainly pizza and pasta, but also some more modern British/European dishes on the black board - no bar dining. I haven't been to the Philharmonic Dining Rooms for about 35 years, but I remember it as being a very old fashioned restaurant above the pub, and it doesn't sound like the kind of place you are looking for.

Botan Kebabs on Berry St is a takeaway only - but they do pretty good kebabs.

If you decide against the bar dining, small plates and cocktails at Salt House Bacaro, then Berry and Rye is a good shout for cocktails, and you can get very decent and cheap Thai food in the Grapes pub just up the road on Mount St. You can eat at the bar there - we have done a couple of times - it can get very busy, but on a Wednesday night it should be ok. If you do go to Bacaro, there is also another excellent cocktails place near there called Jenny's Bar.

A long-established pub with a great rock juke box is the Swan on Fleet St. The Baltic Triangle is about 15/20 mins walk from the Liner, at a rough guess.

Feb 17, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

Does bar dining mean dining in a bar or at the bar? If you mean at the bar, then Salt House Bacaro wold be a great choice - I went there recently and had a very good meal (sorry - haven't done a review yet ...). It's Italian small plates, there's a lovely bar to sit at and very good staff. They do cocktails too - not sure what you mean by "couple apps" though! It's about 10/15 mins walk from your hotel.

Fonseca's on Stanley St is a good shout for lunch, as is the new old Everyman bistro, which is next door to the new(ish) Everyman bistro! It's on Hope St, a door or two down from the Everyman theatre and is called the Pen Factory - it's run by the people who used to have the franchise at the original Everyman Bistro before they rebuilt the theatre. It's good and a nice place for people eating lunch alone. Bold Street is good for independent cafes and restaurants - Helen has mentioned some worth trying - others are the Italian Club and the Italian Club Fish. Roja Pinchos, just around the corner on Berry St is also very good (another review I need to do).

Feb 16, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Liverpool lunch advice

Well - it would have been easier with a bit more detail, but if I was wanting lunch in the city centre I would go for one of these:

Bakchich (good lebanese, no alcohol)
Kasbah Café (not been, but run by the people above - looks good)
Salt House Tapas
Lunya (tapas)
Roja Pinchos (not been, but sounds good and I want to try it)
Italian club
Italian Club Fish
There are lots of noodle bars springing up around the periphery of China Town, and some of them aren't bad at all - the Big Bowl Noodle Bar has two places on Berry St, and they do some decent stuff - not always 100% authentic (whatever that is), but a tasty bowl of food.

Lots of the places I've mentioned (and others) are on Bold St or nearby, so you can walk down and check them all out and see what you fancy. All of them are within 5/10 mins walk of Lime Street.

Jan 30, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Liverpool lunch advice

As far as I know, there is nothing near the stadium, so central Liverpool is your best bet - but it's a bit hard to narrow it down, as there are hundreds within walking distance of Lime St. Do you have any preferences for the type of food, the type of place and budget?

Jan 29, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Best biryani in London?

It looks like you are aiming for the higher end of Indian restaurants (I mean compared to high street curry houses - so typical of the uk - and Indian or Pakistani cafes). Go for the type of place you prefer, but it would be a shame if you didn't experience Tayyabs or the Needoo Grill - both serve very good tandoori dishes and I really like their other stuff too (lamb dry curry and the lamb and spinach for example). Others have got a bit critical of them over the last few years, but I still think they are far better than 99% of the other Indian/Pakistani places - very good food and great value, but no alcohol (but you can bring your own) and Tayyabs always involves a bit of a queue - but it's worth it.

Jan 13, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Windermere, Cumbria] Gilpin

I haven't double checked the geography of the Lakes, so this may be too far away from where you'll be, but I have heard good reports of the Jumble Room in Grasmere - unusual, bohemian and good food. Maybe a good option for lunch?

Jan 13, 2015
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Ypres over the Christmas break

Cheers John - that makes me feel a bit better about going into the wrong one - although I think we would have preferred the more homely feel in the Klein Stadhuis. Maybe our choices were just not the best. I was very impressed with the Flemish stew we bought from the traiteur down the road.

Thanks for the link - it's an interesting point some of them make about the football. I don't know what the artist's plans are, but a few of us felt the same. And the point about the 'stiffness' of the figures is spot on too - I think it makes us feel the tension they would have felt when they couldn't have been sure of each other, and also they would have been really cold and damp and wearing thick coats and boots, which would have made them stiff in their movements.

Dec 30, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

Just found this blog written by someone who happened to be there on Xmas day:

http://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/chri...

Dec 30, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

We got back late on Sunday, and it's taken a couple of days to recover and get back into the swing of things. Beware - this is quite a long post ...

We had a good five days - food-wise not as good as I had hoped, but that was for many reasons, but mainly because we were busy with the statue for a lot of the time (moving it from place to place). I'll give you a brief run down of what we did each day - both food and statue related - sorry if this makes the post longer, but people seemed interested in both!

Xmas eve - In the morning, we set the statue up in the bandstand in the main square in Mesen/Messines. The group had been in discussions with the Mayor for some time in advance, so the people in the village were all really pleased to see it there. As were the tourists who were around. There was an Australian guy there, travelling alone, who we adopted for the day - he was really enthusiastic about what we were doing.

In the evening, we had a ceremony in the church (non religious) - there was about 40 people - about 2/3 were from the village. Very moving and it finished with mulled wine while Silent Night was played on the Carillion bells for the first time. Over the following 24 hours, this was to happen in 99 other places across the world (all with Carillion bells).

That night we celebrated Xmas at a B&B one couple were staying in (in Moorslede, East of Ypres). They had arranged for a meal to be delivered by outside caterers. We had serrano ham and rocket to start, along with a gorgeous celeriac soup. We then had the choice of lamb casserole (very, very good) or a tepanyaki where they provided lots of raw meat and fish to cook on the hot plate - this was quite good fun, but not brilliant food. The main thing about this night was that it was a special atmosphere, even though some of our group of 17 were strangers before that day. We were in a lovely room, with a long table and an open fire. The Australian bloke we had adopted was invited for the meal, which was great, and he was loving every minute. We even ended up with a spontaneous half-hour of poetry reading/reciting (mostly related to the 1st world war) which worked really well - I'm no big fan of people getting up to do this, but on this occasion it was just right - the the Aussy recited one too!

Xmas day involved moving the Statue to different locations for photo opportunities - the Irish Peace field, where they were playing football later, and the memorials at Ploegsteert, and then back to Mesen square.

We had Xmas dinner that evening at one of the group's apartment in Ypres (they took responsibility for shopping/sorting it all out, so my partner and I just did the starter - asparagus wrapped with parma ham, fried and drizzled with a balsamic reduction - very nice).

Boxing day was time to ourselves, so the two of us went to Ostend for a few hours - the food highlight of the trip was on this day! We went to the Enoteca Berebene - a place I've wanted to try before. It's a fabulous 'slow food' place. We had mixed antipasti for one starter, which was a good mix of lots of 5 or 6 things such as frittata, artichoke hearts and a wild mushroom thing, and for the other we had cured ham with the most amazing mozzarella (stracciatella) that I have ever eaten. Divine. For mains I had pasta alle vongole - this was a very good version - although no chilli that I could detect. But I think my husband had the best dish - it was described as just 'veal and porcini' - but it was brilliant. Really good, slightly pink veal which was perfectly matched by the mushrooms and a type of pasta which I initially thought was some kind of yellow lentil. Delicious. And really good wines by the half bottle.

Back in Ypres that night, the Statue was moved to the Menin Gate for the Last Post (we had got permission form the Last Post Association, and they had originally wanted it to be on Xmas day, but they left it too late to tell us, so we didn't have the time to move it from Mesen). It was quite an attraction there - both before and after - and we left it in situ for the rest of the night. It returned to England the following morning. It's likely to be on the pitch just before the Stoke vs Manchester United game on New Year's day.

We hadn't spent much time in Ypres at all by this point, but when we first arrived on the 23rd, we bought a few things from the traiteurs and delis on Rijselstraat, and these were very good - particularly the flemish beef and beer stew, the "grandma's mashed potato" and a good vegetarian lasagne.

On the 27th, we went to the museum, which was really good - lots of different ways to find out more about the war in Flanders and its impact on Ypres and the wider area. We ate on the square at lunch time, and this is where I messed up. We had intended to go to Klein Stadhuis (Harter's recommendation), but in the rush to shelter from the rain, we went into Den Anker next door by mistake! It looked like it was the last one on the block, right next to the cloth hall, but Klein Stadhuis is slightly set back, so we didn't see it - and I didn't notice until we got the menus. The food was ok, but not great, so it was a shame we got it wrong. I had a tasty fish pie, but the fish was a bit over-cooked, and my partner had the steak, which was ok, but again, a bit overcooked.

There's loads more I could add about Ypres - its beauty, but also its identity being so tied up with war and suffering - but this is already way too long and I wouldn't want to go off topic ... :)

One surprising food tip is the good quality of the meals served at the Eurotunnel cafe in Calais. I had an excellent steak frites (about €10/11) and my husband had a really good English breakfast (€8.80) - all cooked to order except for the sausages and tomato. Really good sausages and bacon. And half a bottle of red wine was pretty damn good value at €6.75. Way better quality and prices than any I've had in similar places this side of the channel.

I haven't got the best pictures yet, but the two photos show the statue being unloaded in Mesen, and then in the square just before they put it on the bandstand behind.

Dec 30, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Another London Food Question: Spanish that's not primarily tapas

Moro - really good Spanish food with a north African influence.

Dec 14, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Ypres over the Christmas break

Thanks for this - it's really useful. We'll have to decide what we're eating and who's going to do what on the day - I'm gravy and roast potato queen, so I'll probably go for that!

Dec 05, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

That made me laugh :o)

Dec 02, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

Yes - it's not cheap, but doesn't look to be "top-end" expensive - I just really like the look of the menu and the sound of the place. I've emailed them to see if they're open on Boxing day or the 27th. If they are, it's likely all the tables will be booked already.

Football truce-wise, you are much better informed than I am, but it's interesting as there are (apparently) some stories of games all along the front. But things like this do get embellished and romanticised over time.

It's Messines we'll be going to on Xmas day - I believe there are a few football pitches there. I imagine they are used all year round, but I don't know if they play every Christmas day, or if it is just on big anniversaries though.

Dec 02, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

Yes - the people who have made the statue (actually it will still be cast in resin) have been talking to people over there, and there are going to be lots of football games being played at the same time. They will be trying to raise the funds for one or more statues to be cast in bronze - and there are people in Belgium and Germany who are really keen on the project.

The FA have been involved and the statue will be on the pitch before the game at Stoke (vs Chelsea) on 22nd December before we head off to Ypres the next day.

Here's some more info:

http://www.liverpoolconfidential.co.u...

Dec 02, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

Thanks for the info on shops - we will be arriving on the 23rd, and will need to do a big shop on the 24th. We will be a big group, but we are hoping to be able to cook our own Christmas dinner in one of the houses we rent - it might not be a sit down meal, but it will be nicer all cooking together than eating in a restaurant or hotel that day. We have a kitchen in the apartment we have booked - I can just picture me and my husband walking across town carrying a couple of roast chickens and a tray of roast potatoes!

Dec 01, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

Actually - our reason for going is to take a big statue made by a Liverpool sculptor - it's a German and an English Soldier reaching out to each other and the plan is to unveil it there. We will be playing football on Christmas day on one of the pitches in Flanders Fields. It's a bit of a last minute thing for my partner and I, but a friend of ours has been planning it for some time now. There will be about 20 of us. We've booked an apartment for the two of us, but the others are looking for houses or hotels. It will be an unusual Christmas.

Dec 01, 2014
Theresa in Europe

Ypres over the Christmas break

Thanks John - just the kind of recommendations I was looking for - everyday places doing decent grub. I'm not completely resistant to traditional stuff, it's just that everywhere seems to do croquettes and stew and I'd like to find some variety.

If we get to visit Ghent, there's an outlet of In de Wulf I'd like to try, budget and opening hours permitting, but as De Steenen Haene is taxiable from Ypres, and as their reviews are fantastically good, I think we'll make that our one special meal.

Nov 30, 2014
Theresa in Europe