December in England (Bath, London, Liverpool, York)

A few thoughts and updates on Liverpool

  1. Mowgli - book well in advance and personally I would always go for the Bold Street branch rather than Water Street. Water street is fancier but much louder ( bigger room, harder surfaces - upstairs a horrendous din at weekends ) and Bold Street was their first and for me the food is always better there.

Also on Bold Street are Maray ( small plates - hit and miss but the disco caulifower remains worth a try - I would usually choose it over Bakchich ( see below ) and Leaf - not a food destination but somewhere to nab a cup of tea and some cake if you need abreak from the chaos.

  1. Kasbah café - as recommended by Calam1ty no longer a freestanding gaff - merged with Bakchich
    Personally I stopped going to Bakchich several years ago as I thought it had gone downhill.

  2. I recently reviewed Manifest on here. Recommended.
    Book well in advance for Saturday nights. in the Baltic quarter so near the Jurgen and other murals.

  3. If you are up by the cathedrals or Hope Street, Rodney Street etc. The Pen Factory is a nice space and after a few iffy years my last two meals there (small plates, but good small plates ) have been great.

  4. If you are heading out to Crosby beach to see the Anthony Gormley statues let me know - its ten minutes walk from me so lots of places I can recommend.

  5. Also let me know if you want or need any recommendations for classic old pubs that retain their charm and which you might easily miss. . If you are doing the Beatles tour , or near the cathedrals/ Hope Street you must poke your nose into Ye Cracke where Lennon used to drink when he was at the Art College on Mount/Hope Street. Two mins from there is The Belvedere, five minute’s from there is the Philharmonic and two mins from there is the Pen Factory - see above.

In York I recommend

  1. 22 yards. wine bar right by the Minster. One of our favorite places of anywhere we ate last year.
    I see you’ve chosen Noble Rot in London (which I really like ) - I think this is similar but a bit less ‘London’ about itself …

  2. There is also Roots - owned by Tommy Banks of Black Swan at Oldstead fame. Best pudding we ate last year was their potato and chicory marvel. It was ‘lively’ though and if my wallet is getting a good going over I probably prefer it a little quieter :slight_smile:

  3. Daytime I highly recommend Partisan on Micklegate.
    Lovely slightly ramshackle, arty place, great food. A world away from your olde English tea rooms…but the former may be what you are after.


Tayyabs is awesome. Highly recommend this.

Bold Street, Bold Street…(Kasbah closed - sigh). Still, Bold Street is the liveliest street in town.

Welcome, Toby. Where are you from? Where do you live? What’s your food story? (Curiosity. Point me to an intro. I seem to be hijacking this thread more than I mean to.)

efreed2000 A note about Barbary. It’s been a long time since I visited but I remember being shocked at the prices, LOVED the seating arrangement. They do bookings now? I know we queued outside for about an hour to make sure we got a seat - it’s tiny in there. The food was very small portions, big prices. I had the best lamb chops maybe ever. Also no matter how many hundreds of times I’ve been there and how much I’ve always loved this little square (so much more popular and populated than it used to be, a shame really) I always get lost trying to find Neals Yard. Blushing, but it’s true. A local place in Dalston was far cheaper and always such fun to visit - Zer (Dalston branch) - Nostalgia is now taking over - looking forward to your report but also to hearing how your research journey is coming along. Where do you live now, by the way?

Yes, we were able to reserve online before our visit in May. It’s one of my favorite places anywhere and we ended up with delicious food, chatting with our neighbors and getting a round of shots paid for by the chef’s. It is a bit pricey but great quality.

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Thanks for the great suggestions and keep them coming. This chain is very helpful.

We will be in Liverpool for the new year and are looking for a celebratory New Year’s Eve dinner. What is the consensus about the Liverpool branch of Hawksmoor for a Sunday roast? We’re also considering Mowgli for the evening which I know is difficult to compare given the different cuisines.

Thanks in advance.

Are you sure you want to be in London and Liverpool in December? :rofl: A colleague from Liverpool used to tell me, its f**king cold in Liverpool in the winter. I remember asking myself all the time when I was in London for a work trip in December, ‘why is it always dark outside?’ Alright, I am not being helpful.

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The English winter is mild compared to a Canadian winter.

The benefits of England in December:
The Christmas foods, the Christmas decorations and displays, the seasonal music (England’s traditional Xmas concerts, more than the Christmas music on the radio and in the shops), less crowds.

Maybe easier to get tickets for some plays.

No one goes to England for the weather, anyhow! :joy:

It’s all relative.


I can’t write about the Liverpool branch or their Sunday roast, as I’ve never been or eaten. But I have been to their Manchester branch on several occasions. Then we had two consecutive disappointing visits - tough, overly chewy, steaks on both occasions . Both comp’d by the restaurant. We vowed never to go back but relented last January -


We’re making last minute changes to our trip because sky sports moved the Liverpool - Newcastle match from 12/30 to 1/1. The good news is that we now have one additional dinner in London. We’re looking at Indian and believe we’ve narrowed it down to Hoopers or Darjeeling Express. What’s the consensus, if any or is there another option we ought to consider? Thanks in advance.

Did you mean Hoppers, not Hoopers?

If so, my guess is that it’s Sri Lankan rather than Indian (hoppers being a Sri Lankan dish, I think)

We ate at Hoppers a few years ago. At the time they didn’t take reservations and we had to wait about 45 minutes to get seated. I think we went across the street and had a drink and they called us or texted. The food was good but I remember not being blown away-maybe too high of expectations after reading lots of reviews. We’ve also eaten at Dishoom 3 or 4 times (also a long wait!) and had a good Indian meal at Tandoor Chop House. Good luck and I will throw in that my favorite restaurant’s in London are The Barbary, Barrafina and Koya.

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It takes me getting on for an hour to get into Manchester city centre. And I’m not making that trip for somewhere that doesnt take reservations and may very well keep me standing around for a long time (you are not the first to comment on that about Dishoom). So, Dishoom - no thanks, however much the marketing hype.


Correct, that’s an inadvertent typo. Should read Hoppers. Having examined the menus, Hoppers looks like a nice lunch option and Darjeeling Express a dinner option.

Are you looking for something casual or fancy? Does it have to be Indian? Smoking goat is fun and northern Thai. Brat is really well thought of. Rochelle’s canteen is very good modern British. Gunpowder is modern Indian and in a cool little lane that’s atmospheric. spitalfields location either location is good - basque must book

See what you think. All are in the spitalfields/Shoreditch area. Very interesting to explore. If one might suit I can suggest what else to look at nearby.

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Chris, I’d love to know which Malaysian places you recommend! We’re back in England for a fortnight & hoping to get into London at least a couple days in the next fortnight. Thanks.