Everything you need to know about food and drink in Liverpool.


Liverpool Lockdown- An Update

Christ, what a year this week this has been. Before I get started with what is, I imagine, going to be an absolute essay of a post I want to reiterate this definitely isn’t going to be a ‘woe is me’ type of thing- I'm saying that to you as well as to remind myself since I tend to slip into whining before I've even realised. I’m not great at coping with things at the best of times and with what's going on at the minute my brain feels more like scrambled eggs than a functional, human organ so please forgive me if that's what it sounds like. I've been semi-absent from blogging for a lil' while now so I thought I'd better give you a bit of an update since the world appears to be coming to a stand still right now.

So, what's the plan for Eat Liverpool?

This whole blog came about after a long summer holidays of being restless in my house and, whilst I know it’s just me posting pictures of food on the internet,  it’s honestly done wonders for me and my mental health. It's kept me busy in my downtime, distracted me from stress at work, gave me a new outlet for my writing and pushed me to confront my social anxiety by meeting up with loads of strangers (other bloggers) some of whom I now love to bits and can thankfully call my friends. 

This blog has allowed me to go to so many amazing places, champion our amazing independents, promote new openings and meet the incredible owners and families behind it all. After three years of keeping on top of everything pub, bar and restaurant related in Liverpool it's heartbreaking to see them closing their doors and I can’t even begin to imagine what the owners and staff must be feeling. If you want to help, Hospitality Action are a charity working super hard at the minute to support the industry through these closures through hardship grants- if you're in a position to be able to donate anything you can do so here.

I have a backlog of food photos from restaurants I’ve been to over the past few weeks and whilst I’d planned to continue posting them it just feels a bit weird to do so knowing that it could be months before they re-open again, if ever! Fortunately for you guys I am an excellent cook/baker so I'll keep posting what ever I concoct in the kitchen as well as anything edible I can get through the post which leads me to my next point...

Supporting Local Business:

Whilst staying home is the most important thing to do right now,  I know that loads of businesses have managed to come up with innovative delivery ideas and I'll keep promoting these as long as I think it’s safe to do so. Queuing up to get takeaways is the last thing you should be doing but if deliveries can be made contact free then for the time being I’ll keep ordering. I've spent a small fortune this weekend ordering boxes of brownies, homemade Scouse and signing up to a ridiculously overpriced fresh pasta subscription box. So basically, I'm just as skint as I always am. Realistically though over the next two weeks I imagine deliveries and takeaways will need to come to a stop in order to keep staff safe. If that's the case then that's when buying gift vouchers comes in- buy one now if you can and give yourself or someone you love something to look forward to.

Working from home or hardly working?

I'm in a really fortunate position in that I know (at least I think) my job is secure for now and I should still be getting paid over the next few months but my heart goes out to anyone who is freelance, works for themselves, has lost their job or is losing their hours. Whilst I know the government are offering some compensation, at the moment it doesn't seem like that will be enough to cover the bare minimum of expenses- especially for those still expected to pay rent. There's a petition you can sign here to make sure the situation for the self-employed gets sorted soon.

A quicker commute to 'the office' this week.
If you're working from home take comfort in the fact that everybody seems to be hating it just as much as you and if you're minding your kids at the same time then I salute you. Nobody expects you to teach them: just keeping them safe, happy and inside is the most important thing at this point. To all the NHS staff, shop staff, delivery drivers, fellow teachers and anybody else that is unable to work from home you are amazing and selfless and hopefully when this is all over you won't be taken for granted ever again!

Being a teacher:

 Last week we were given two days notice to say our goodbyes to the children we’ve been teaching for the last 6 months. Everything we’ve worked on with them, all the effort we’ve put in to marking, assessments, our classrooms, and our relationships felt like it was just pulled from underneath us and continuing to teach them knowing they were completely unaware of what lay ahead was almost unbearable. I felt physically sick at the thought of those kids who live with domestic abusers, parents with mental health issues and those living in poverty and the thought of not being able to see them everyday to check on how they’re doing.

As a primary teacher in particular the prospect of working from home is much more achievable in concept than it is in practicality. First and foremost it relies on the assumption that parents are fit, well and able to teach and that they’ll have access to  the internet, books and various types of technology. Sadly this isn’t the case for most of the families in our area and I imagine many others across the country. Until this is resolved we've just got to keep tweeting out resources and activities out in to the atmosphere in the hope that some of them might pick it up.

Our pasta skeletons- worth a fortune in today's market.
What teachers are being asked to do is being changed minute by minute and whilst I know it's unavoidable whilst things are figured out it's putting nearly everybody I know completely on edge. The latest news is that several schools will be working together in one 'base' to provide emergency childcare (in other words, babysit) but if 'social distancing' is the aim I can't see it lasting long. Teachers who live with vulnerable people aren't sure if they'll be paid if they stay home, are putting their own families at risk by attending the 'hubs' and are afraid of disciplinary action if they choose to self isolate. I'm praying this next week will bring us a more sensible solution and an easier way to help our kids and families whilst we're off.

Obviously the freelance work I've been doing for Liverpool Confidential has also come to a standstill too as there isn't really a way to do reviews when everywhere is closed! My latest reviews for them were of the new Istanbul in Allerton, arcade/fried chicken bar Super Megabite and the Baltic's newest arrival Chapters of Us. The latter sadly never made it to press but it was so pretty and I loved it and hopefully my article will be posted when they re-open their doors.

Chapters of Us- Recently opened (and now recently closed) on Simpson Street.

Looking after yourself:

I have, I'll admit, cried like a baby nearly every single night this week. I know that sounds so dramatic and ridiculous but when you’re that overwhelmed and in that head space it’s really hard to get out of it regardless of what your rational brain is telling you. Even the funny stuff- the memes, the tweets and *ahem* the Tik Toks are pretty unbearable and not even the slightest bit funny when you feel that low. Frankly, I would have happily punched the next person to re-gram anything about this virus being 'Mother Earth healing', Idris Elba included.

I'm HONESTLY trying to be as calm as I can but I have GAD and whilst I usually manage well with medication, the arrival of a bloody pandemic has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. Combined with a very poorly grandad who I can't safely visit, a cancelled dream-holiday and an incomprehensible job situation I'm finding I can't sleep, can't breathe and I'm pretty sure my heart is going to pound out of my chest at any given minute. Did I tell you I got conjunctivitis for the first time this weekend, too? Incredible stuff. (*not* whining promise....just giving you the facts).

I've taken some solace in the fact that almost everyone is going to have to get through this together so we might have a bit more empathy for each other in the upcoming weeks. I've got friends who are isolated away from home, have had to cancel weddings and are being asked to work as unpaid medical students during the outbreak. In other words, it's going to pretty awful for all of us so we have to keep looking for the positives and supporting one another.

So, what can we do to keep busy?

Try *not* to dye your own hair pink 

10 (not so) useful ideas for beating the quarantine boredom:

1.  Read the book you've been trying  to read for years without success- mine is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 
2.  Watch films you'd never usually waste 2 hours of your life on. Some truly awful suggestions: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, The Hottie and The Nottie, Sharknado 1-6.
3. Related: watch the box sets all your work mates go on and on about so you can finally understand what everyone was going on about in the staff room. Don't watch GOT if you're fragile.
4. Having a big hot bubble bath in the middle of the afternoon just because you can.
5. Sort your stuff out. Clear out all the rubbish from your house. Sort out your clothes to go to charity. Throw away those cupboard condiments from 1997. Marie Kondo the shit out of your house! 
6. Enjoy being 'au natural' for a bit. Ever wanted to try that 'don't wash your hair until it starts washing itself' thing but didn't want to walk around looking like you've rubbed your head all over a chippy? Now's your chance! Let your brows grow out, give your skin a break from the makeup and enjoy not having to wear a bra for a while. Fella's... grow out a beard?
7. Eat like a king. Send your holiday gear back to the post office. All bets are off.
8. Pretend you're on Ready Steady Cook- pick 5 random ingredients from the cupboard and try and make something edible out of it. Talking aloud to 'the camera' optional but fun.
9. Practice doing a winged liner. When we're allowed out again you'll have it perfected. 
10. Send all your mates and family cute messages and pictures all the time and think about how much you want to squidge their little faces next time you get to see each other. Remember how much you love and appreciate every single one of them. Try not to cry.

Most importantly, if you don't want to do any of that then don't. You are not Beyonce (sorry but you're not!). Hiding under your duvet for the next couple of months and doing absolutely nothing but wallow is completely OK too if that's what you want to do. Let's face it I'll probably be right there with you.

I don't really know what the point of this was other than to let you know that despite all the crap I post online I'm sad and scared and frightened but I'm also trying to be hopeful and positive and I want to help as much as I can. Please keep in touch, send me message, let me know if you need anything and if you can, for the love of God, stay inside your house.

Becky xxxxxxxxx

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