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


Lockdown with the LIDS

It's been a couple of weeks now since my last post and I hope that life in lockdown is starting to feel a little bit less daunting. One of the things I mentioned was that whilst our indie businesses, bars and restaurants are closed I still wanted to support them if I could providing, of course, that it was safe to do so. With takeaway food still being blessed by the UK Gov and a new system of doorstep deliveries making it entirely contact free, it's been pretty easy to keep on getting good food without having to step foot outside my house.

I'll admit I've had a few qualms about my ordering these past few days. Is ordering food making more people go outside? Is the demand for takeaways pushing restaurant kitchens to stay open thereby putting more staff at risk? I'm really not sure. But if restaurants, producers and suppliers are putting themselves out there and asking for our support and our business then surely we should support them as best we can? I'd love to know what you lot think and hopefully it'll put my mind at ease. 

I've had a fair few takeaways land on my doorstep over the past fortnight but I'll tell you all about them in my next post (gotta stretch out that content these days!). When it comes to ordering in actual groceries instead of braving the big shop my first general order comes from the LIDS.

Liverpool Independent Delivered Service

Launched by Dave Critchley, executive head chef at Lu Ban, the Liverpool Independent Delivered Services (aka The Lids) is a group of independent suppliers and producers still operating amongst the Covid chaos. Ideal for those who are, or who are living with someone vulnerable, those who would prefer not to risk it in the big supermarkets or even those who fancy something a bit different. 

With supermarket delivery slots booked up for months now the LIDS delivery service is a super quick way to get fresh food dropped right your doorstep, in some cases even by the following day.

How does it work?

Have a look through the LIDS shopping page and click on each supplier to see what they're offering. To make it simple there are 3 options you can order from each place so rather than choosing individual items you can choose a small (£10), medium (£20) or large (£30) bundle.  I wanted a bit of variety (and some actual food in my fridge) so I chose 6 places and ordered the 'small' option from each one.

So, who did I order from?

Liverpool Produce and Catering Supplies
Whilst my cupboards are thankfully bursting with condiments, carbs and junk food it's the healthy stuff I've been lacking so a box of fresh fruit and veggies on my doorstep was just the ticket. My box came with a good mix of the staples: bananas, apples, oranges, pears, an onion, carrots, spuds, two (enormous) leeks and a turnip. I'll probably use most of the fruit turning it into some sort of cake or pastry filling but the thought's still there, isn't it?

Harry Jesse Son & Co Seafood
I know seafood isn't everyone cuppa but it definitely floats my boat. The small option from this Prescot-based fishmongers got me 3 fillets (about 500g) of mixed white fish including bass, cod and haddock which I've thrown straight in the freezer ready to make some spicy fish tacos later in the week.

The small option from McKuhens was a pretty generous amount and came with 2 beef burgers, 2 pork chops, 2 steaks, some thick-cut bacon and a little bundle of sausages. Again this has all been portioned and put in the freezer until I can decide what I'm going to do with it, though I reckon those pork chops are crying out for some roasted apples and mustard mash.

The Little Shoe
Formally known as a EA Bakehouse, The Little Shoe re-branded their Bold St restaurant at some point last year as a British restaurant and micro-bakery. My parcel from them came with two loaves of (incredible smelling) bread, leek and potato soup to dunk it in, a chicken pie and a chocolate brownie.

Laura's Little Bakery
You'll be no stranger to Laura's cakes I'm sure (I am certainly not) so if you're after something sweet the small box from her gets you a pick 'n' mix of four different items. Mine came with a PB brownie, a red velvet cupcake, a chocolate cupcake and a cookie sandwich. Ideal for treating yourself but would also make dead nice gift to send to your friends and fam from afar.

Pruno Wines LTD
Not essential for the store cupboard but definitely essential for keeping in 'good spirits', my last order was from Pruno Wines.  Trust me, there's nothing quite like a cold bottle of Sauvingon Blanc and some fancy bottled water being delivered to your house to perk up your Tuesday afternoon.

A few things to note before you order...
  • This way of shopping ain't that cheap. If you're on a budget (or even just...fiscally responsible), doing your full weekly shop from here is going to cost you an arm and a leg so  make sure to choose what you actually need or what  will be better quality than what you'd get in the supermarket. I don't actually think its designed for you to purchase so much at once but I got carried away! Shipping and VAT also gets added on at the end so this an extra cost to keep in mind.
  • It won't all come together. Obviously, with each supplier operating independently your orders will be relayed to them and then arrive separately depending on each supplier's delivery days and times.There's no time window at the moment either so you'll have to put your daily sanctioned government outdoor time on hold until you've got everything.
  • I did mention earlier but this isn't the same as online shopping- you won't know specifically what you're getting until your mystery boxes start arriving on your doorstep. If you're a fussy eater (or drinker) it's probably not the best idea for you but I eat almost everything so I'm choosing to see it as my own personal 'Ready Steady Cook' challenge!

I'm pretty chuffed with my order from LIDS and the exciting thing is that new suppliers are being added daily. Since I ordered at the weekend they've already added places where you can order cleaning supplies, spirits, juices, pasta and antipasti and I've heard there's more to come. Everything I've received has been good quality and arrived super quickly so if you're looking to get your hands on anything in particular, avoid the shops and support independent businesses across Merseyside then this is ideal.

Nice one, LIDS!

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