Thursday 29 January 2015

An afternoon at Fazenda Liverpool

Hi everyone, I hope that you are all having a good week. Today I have another restaurant review to share with you. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to review Fazenda* restaurant in Liverpool and I could not wait to see what everybody has been talking about! Fazenda is a Rodizio restaurant, which means a Brazilian style steak house where meat is served at your table until you have had enough. Since  I have heard nothing but rave reviews of Fazenda from everyone, suffice to say that I was more than a little excited, as I sprayed on some of my Zara Black Peony perfume and set off into the city wearing my standard black dress and heels combo (predictable, moi?!)
All the restaurants I have reviewed lately have been dinner reservations, so it was nice to do something a bit different and I decided this time to reserve a table for 2pm. That way, I thought we could enjoy our meal and then have a few evening cocktails at the Fazenda bar. Ah, never let it be said that I am a woman without a plan!

 Boohoo black dress, Primark heels and bag: 
standard times people, standard times! 

As soon as you arrive at Fazenda, you feel as though you could be in Downtown Manhattan. The entrance to the restaurant is in an elegant courtyard situated behind Liverpool Town Hall and the dramatic setting definitely makes it feel extra special. There is a large heated terrace outside, which is ideal for sipping a cocktail at any time of the year. Inside, we were welcomed warmly and dazzled by the elegant interior of the restaurant, with the plush reception area on one side and the chic (and extremely well-stocked) bar on the other. There is glossy wood panelling everywhere and eye catching indoor fire features which lend even more glamour to proceedings. We were led through the restaurant to a cosy table for two with leather banquette seating. Lunchtime service was in full swing, and the tantalising, smoky smell of sizzling meat swirled around us as waiters whizzed by carrying the hanging displays of meat, ready to be carved for you at the table. 


As we sipped our delicious Caipirinha cocktails, we were talked through how it works at Fazenda. First you go to help yourself from the ‘Salad Bar’, before being served the meats at your table. At this point I must add that the ‘Salad Bar’ is a conservative name for it, since the array of delicious foods on offer is simply incredible. There are cuts of cold meat, sushi, a cheese board, fresh bread, salad, couscous, tuna, various pickles and relishes, olives, cream cheese stuffed peppers...phew! You get the idea,  even before you are served the meats the food at Fazenda is simply awe-inspiring! When you have helped yourself from the salad bar, you sit back at your table where each diner has a little card, one side is green and one is red. When you want meat to be brought to your table, flip the card to green. Had enough for now? Simply flip the card to the red side to indicate that you don’t want any more and then flip it back to green when you want service to resume. This is a genius idea which allows you to control the pace of service and to be served more as soon as you are hungry.

Fazenda is a true carnivore’s paradise with so many meats on offer, but fear not as there is also a vegetarian option available, and vegetarians would certainly not go hungry, with a choice of vegetarian mains on offer and also the food on offer at the salad bar . 
I do not eat much red meat, but my plate was piled high with goodies from the salad bar, and I was soon served two cuts of tender chicken. Meanwhile, my dining partner was in clover, being served slivers of marinated pork, slices of tender steak and sizzling sausages! It was a running joke throughout the meal, that each time the waiters came past the table they tried to serve him even more meat! He enjoyed Linguica (a Brazilian sausage), Picanha (cap of rump steak) and Alcatra (rump steak with garlic). Meanwhile I tucked into the two cuts of Frango (chicken marinated in garlic and chicken breast wrapped in bacon) and many delights from the Salad Bar, including warm crusty bread, cheese and crackers, couscous and Provencal potatoes. I am making myself hungry just writing this and recalling the epic feast! 

 That Salad Bar though!

 A salad bar which even has sushi? Amazing!

 Cold cuts on the salad bar.

 The amazing display of flowers above the salad bar was so beautiful.

 An amazing array of wines.

 A selection of delicious goodies from the salad bar. 

Manuel carving steak at our table. 

When we were first seated, the waiter also asked how we prefer our meat cooked. He explained that the meat at Fazenda is usually served medium-rare, but you can request to have some cooked to your preference if you prefer it cooked another way. I thought that this was so accommodating and once again, it shows the attention to detail which makes Fazenda so popular. 

Enjoying a glass of Merlot with the meal!

The enjoyment of Fazenda is not only in the quality of the food itself, but also in the way the food is served, with the smiling waiters rushing past theatrically, stopping to serve sizzling meat to anyone with the green side of their card displayed. The selection is incredible, and you can also help yourself from the salad bar as often as you wish. I think the prices of Fazenda are so reasonable for the amount of food you actually get, and the atmosphere is so alive and vibrant that you feel happy just being there and soaking up the good vibes before you even start on the amazing food! The service was made even more enjoyable by how friendly all of the team were. The lovely Manuel chatted to me about out my love of photography, smiling as he posed for pictures.  I also met the lovely Rory, who was happy to have a picture with me at the end and we had a good laugh together about how much delicious food we had eaten! We were made so welcome, and Dayle who is the Business Developmet Manager of Fazenda came over for a long chat and we had a lovely gossip about food and later on we had another chat at the bar, when the topic of conversation turned to cocktails and possibly even make up....well put two girls together and the topic of make up is bound to come up eventually right ladies?! Thank you Dayle for such a lovely chat, it was such a pleasure to meet you!


 A Marquise de Chocolate dessert

After all of the exquisite food, it was time to round of the meal with a look at the dessert menu. I had already heard from a few people that the Marquise de Chocolat is the most rich and delicious chocolate cake, so whilst my eye was also caught by the coconut panacotta, there was only ever going to be one winner and I of course chose the chocolate! The dessert did not disappoint, with rich and delicious chocolate and cream layered on a biscuit base. It was served with cream and Dulce de Leche too which only added to the taste explosion. My partner had an Espresso coffee which was served with a shot of condensed milk, which made it deliciously sweet. After all of the food he decided against having a dessert himself, which is practically unheard of!

Then it was time to retire to the bar area for a couple of cocktails including a non-alcoholic one for the driver! I had an amazing dry gin Martini, a Beterrabas Blend, and a lovely glass of Rose wine.
The bar at Fazenda is so chic and it reminded me of being in the 1920's as there is definitely a touch of 'Great Gatsby' glamour to the bar, with the classic cocktails on offer and the rows of hanging glasses. It is so pleasant just to sit there and watch the waiters shaking a cocktail or two and it is definitely somewhere that I would go just for a drink even if I was not dining in the restaurant. To me it is the sign of a very good restaurant when there is a stand-alone bar area as attractive as this one. I have a feeling I will be sitting there again in the not too distant future, sipping another exquisitely dry Martini and pretending that I am in The Great Gatsby and that any moment I will be swirling across a dance floor in a beaded flapper dress!

A 'mocktail' 

The Betarrabas Blend

 Me with the lovely Rory.

Me with Dayle, what a gorgeous and friendly lady. She made our time at Fazenda so much fun!

The lovely Daniel who is from the Czech Republic. It was a pleasure to have a fascinating chat with him as he prepared us some delicious drinks!

A delicious dry gin Martini

Bathroom selfie time!

As always, I cast a critical eye over the bathrooms and the bathrooms at Fazenda were immaculately clean. I was somewhat perplexed that there was only one sink until I discovered that each cubicle had not only a toilet but also a sink (with hand wash and lotion), mirror and hand drier. This was an incredibly luxurious touch and it is the first time have ever come across this!

A few more shots of the chic interior at Fazenda.

Excited in the car on the way to Fazenda! 

So eventually, after an incredible afternoon of food and fun, it was time to bid Fazenda a fond farewell. It is worth noting that we had such a good time, that we did not actually leave until nearly 8pm! A long and leisurely lunch, topped off by a few hours sitting chatting at the bar...what better way to spend a grey and wintry Saturday in the city? We had a amazing meal and I honestly cannot recommend this restaurant enough for an extra special evening or afternoon out. It was such a lovely experience from start to finish and I am so looking forward to dining there again in the future! A massive thank you to Dayle and the team for treating us like royalty throughout our time at Fazenda!
What do you guys think, have you ever been to Fazenda or somewhere similar, would this be the type of restaurant to tickle your taste-buds? Let me know your thought, as I always to hear what you think!

Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers. 

Until next time, 



Horton House

0151 227 2733

£17.30 Monday-Friday 12-5pm
£19.30  Saturday/Sunday 12-5pm

£27.30  Sunday-Thursday 5pm-12 midnight
£29.20 Friday/Saturday 5pm-12 midnight


We were kindly invited to try the delicious food and drinks at Fazenda as a guests of the management. The meal was therefore complimentary for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are nevertheless my own and honest, we had a wonderful time and I highly recommend the restaurant to everybody.

Friday 23 January 2015

Champagne wishes, Caviar dreams...

Hi everyone, how are you all? It has been another busy week for me but I managed to find the time for a fun night out in the city at one of my favourite bars, The Restaurant Bar and Grill in Liverpool. I needed cheering up, so we ordered some Champagne which is always guaranteed to put a spring in my step! I think everyone would agree that January is quite a dreary month after all the fun of December, so it is nice to unwind with a couple of drinks and keep that festive feeling alive.To me, there is nothing nicer than slipping into a black dress and heading out for the evening for drinks at a glamorous bar such as this one. 

As for my outfit, I ordered this dress from Boohoo a couple of weeks ago and I was so impressed with how quickly it arrived. They were having a free next day delivery offer and it really did arrive the very next day. It was my first time ordering from Boohoo and I was so impressed! I think that a long dress is always an elegant choice and this one has a side split which adds a hint of allure to it as well. Of course, you guys know by now that I can never resist a black dress! 

Dress - Boohoo.
Clutch bag, heels and sunglasses- Primark.




Bubbly is always a good idea!

A delicious 'Porn Star' Martini, which is served with a shot of Champagne. I know, even more Champagne!

 A 'Vesper' Martini, 

     Home time! 

My faux-fur jacket is perfect with this dress! 

So that is a short but sweet update from me, what have you all been up to lately? Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers :) 

Look out for my next post, I have been invited to review Fazenda restaurant in Liverpool this weekend and I am super excited! 

Until next time, 



Monday 19 January 2015

An evening at Maray Liverpool

What an amazing time I was lucky enough to have on Saturday. A cold and dreary winter's evening, was brightened up by the dinner invitation I had received from Thom, Dom and the rest of the talented team at Maray on Bold Street in Liverpool. I have heard nothing but praise for this place for months, so I was more than eager to try it for myself!
Maray specialises in a wide array of small plates, such as Falafel, Kofta, Hummus and Halloumi. The emphasis here is on sharing; reaching over to sample a bite of this or a mouthful of that from your companions. I think that this approach to dining is fun and sociable and fun is exactly what going out to eat should be about.
As the sun set, I threw on a long black dress and heels and slipped out into the night, ready to experience the flavours of Le Marais district of Paris in cold and windy Liverpool. Nestled at the top of Bold Street in an area which is now bursting at the seams with great restaurants, Maray is inspired by the cocktail bars and Falafel restaurants of Le Marais, aiming to bring that same lively but laid back Parisian vibe to the Liverpool scene. I can safely say that they have achieved their aim. The restaurant threw open its doors in Summer 2014 and it is already attracting rave reviews. I hopped into a taxi to the top end of town to meet my plus one, and I was delighted to see the welcoming maroon facade of the restaurant awaiting me, as I vaulted from the cab under a cloud of hailstones!
Maray would not look out of place on a Parisian street and I soon discovered that the atmosphere inside was delightfully warm. It was bustling with contented customers, many of whom were seated at the long table which dominates the room. There was soft candlelight flickering from the tea lights and I immediately felt at home. There was a relaxed but busy feel to the place, and not only is the long table a focal point of the restaurant, but it also encourages a sociable style of dining. Thom beckoned us over straight to two seats at the bar, and after a warm welcome he quickly whipped up two Cynar Gin Fizz cocktails topped off with a healthy dose of Prosecco and garnished with ribbons of cucumber. These were delicious in every way and certainly got the night off to a great start. There is a good selection of cocktails on offer, as well as wines and beers too. There were also glass bottles of water provided, which I thought was a lovely touch, as many places do not provide water until you ask. 

I have to start off this post with a picture of the amazing food!

Thom puts his mixology to work!

Cynar Gin Fizz 

It was lovely to chat to Thom about the Parisian inspiration behind the restaurant , and how Maray has been a real labour of love for himself and Dom. Before long though, the conversation was halted as the amazing food began to arrive. The first dish was a special of slow roasted Lamb shoulder with crispy onions and Harissa hummus. I do not eat Lamb, but my plus one said it was delicious and cooked to tender perfection. I sampled the crispy onions and hummus, which were amazing all on their own. 

Slow roasted Lamb Shoulder served with delicious crispy onions and Harissa hummus. 

Whilst I was still glorying in the flavour of those onions and Harissa hummus, my heart skipped a beat as a Halloumi dish was presented to us. This was not just any Halloumi however, but rather a genius marriage of flavours as it was served on a bed of roasted vegetables and garnished with Pomegranate seeds and a Balsamic glaze.
What an amazing combination this was, and my tastebuds took flight as I savoured the best of the Mediterranean and the Maghreb combined on one plate. The mild and creamy flavour of the Halloumi was perfectly complimented by the crispy and sweet roasted vegetables and the tangy pomegranate seeds which danced around the edge of the dish adding a subtle tang.


 Halloumi with roasted peppers, red onion and pomegranate.

 As I began to eagerly devour the Halloumi, Maray's signature Falafel arrived, served with an amazingly refreshing Bulgar Wheat salad and Hummus. 
This was already a feast fit for a queen  and I was literally in my element tucking into so many incredible dishes The Falafel were crispy and delicious and the Bulgar wheat salad was light as air with a refreshing hint of mint.All around us, laughter and conversation filled the air, reminding me of the 4th arrondissement. Some restaurants just feel cold, especially when you have not visited them before, but Maray has such a warm and welcoming feel to it which makes even the shyest souls feel at ease. 

Falafel with hummus and Bulgar wheat salad. 

The plates were jostling for space already when another wonderful dish arrived. This was a fried egg served with the perfect slightly runny yolk, flat bread and a Harissa and tomato sauce. This dish made me think of a glamorous version of egg and soldiers for grown-ups. The flat bread was just begging to be torn up and dipped into the egg yolk and the tomato sauce. Yes everybody, I was overcome by enthusiasm for this dish to the point where I abandoned my decorum (and my cutlery!) and tucked straight in. Intense and delightful flavours tap-danced around my mouth. The spicy and sweet sauce had a delightful zing, which was complimented by the perfectly fried egg and the flat bread. It was a dreamy dish which tasted as good as it looked. Now I just want somebody to come to my house and make this for me every morning for breakfast. Did I mention that Maray also serve a range of delicious flat bread sandwiches from 12-5pm? Hmmm, maybe I should just camp outside until they open every day. I am just kidding, sort of!

These dishes were almost too pretty to eat. I said almost!

 Egg with flat bread and a spicy tomato and Harissa sauce. 

 After savouring the last bites of the egg and flat bread, a colourful dish of homemade slaw garnished with sesame seeds arrived. This was fiery, crunchy and sweet in equal measure and both the flavours and the presentation were show stopping. Alongside it appeared grilled Salmon with Quinoa, I must say I was enchanted by this dish. So healthy and perfect for anybody following a 'clean' style of eating, but lacking nothing in terms of flavour and heartiness. My plus one then happily devoured a plate of Lamb Kofta and we decided to order a Latte and an Agent Cooper to round off the evening. Had you guessed that the cocktail was for me?! Well I would hate to be predictable, but a good Espresso Martini is one of my favourite drinks, and the Agent Cooper was one of the best I have ever tasted. Rich coffee flavour with a decadent alcoholic kick, it was the perfect way to end the feast. Or so I thought, as little did I know that we were also about to be treated to two excellent desserts!

 Homemade slaw with sesame seeds, red cabbage, carrots and onions. 

Grilled Salmon with Quinoa.

 Lamb Kofta with Pine Nuts and Tahini.

The Agent Cooper cocktail:
Vodka, Kahlua, Frangelico, Espresso and Chocolate Bitters. 

The icing on the cake (so to speak!) of this excellent meal was the appearance of a wonderful pair of desserts. Firstly, there was a chocolate, peanut butter and salted caramel tart garnished with handmade nut brittle. My goodness, what a slice of heaven! The crumbly pastry crust and the gooey chocolate and peanut butter filling was made all the more delightful by the crunchy brittle. This is a dessert which I will be remembering for a long time to come! The Rhubarb jelly with meringue was light, sweet and sharp. It was a pot full of fresh and summery flavour, everything you could want to contrast with the rich decadence of the peanut butter tart.

 The desserts!
An excellent chocolate and peanut butter tart with homemade peanut brittle and a Rhubarb jelly with meringue.

 This was heaven on a plate! 

 The long table provides a lovely focal point to the restaurant and lends a convivial feel to the whole dining experience. Dom explained to me how much people really embrace being seated at the main table and I can see why. 

 Even the water bottles have the Maray logo, which I thought perfectly illustrated the attention to detail which runs throughout the whole restaurant.  The coffee was excellent, deep and rich with a definite caffeine kick! 

 Agent Cooper I presume?! Pleased to meet you.

 The chic bar area, I love the exposed brickwork and the Anglepoise lamps.

 A delicious Agent Cooper cocktail being prepared. 

 Here I am with the lovely co-founder of Maray, Thom. Thank you for the lovely evening of food, drink and conversation. It was such a pleasure to meet you all!

 The chefs hard at work. 
I always think that an open kitchen is the hallmark of an excellent restaurant, and this is certainly true of Maray. 

 The welcoming facade of the restaurant. 

 Clipboard style menus, again an excellent eye for detail! 

Not a morsel left in sight, always the sign of a good meal! 

As we enjoyed the food, Thom explained that the experience he and Dom had gathered in the bar and restaurant scene stood them in good stead for founding their own restaurant. After inspiration hit, Maray was born and you can truly feel their passion for the restaurant in every little detail from the eclectic interior and excellent cocktails to the exquisite food.
Maray has a uniqueness which sets it apart from the crowd, merging Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with a hearty sprinkling of Parisian je
 ne sais quoi which results in a charming combination. 
It is a true pleasure to see a place like this emerge on to the Liverpool scene, where so many chain restaurants seem to dominate. As restaurants go, this new kid on the block has captured everyone's attention for all the right reasons and I feel that this will be only the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Liverpool and Maray. It is the perfect choice for lunch with friends, a romantic dinner for two or a family meal. In fact, every occasion you could think of would be made more pleasurable by all that Maray has to offer, it is bohemian and fun and the food is just divine.

After a wonderful meal, it was finally time to bid everyone at Maray a fond farewell. I felt like it was the perfect ending to a fairy tale evening, when soft flakes of snow began to fall as we wandered back through the city full of good food and happy Parisian vibes!

Good luck guys, you deserve every success and thank you for an amazing evening!

91 Bold Street, Liverpool. 
Telephone: 0151 709 5820

Instagram: MarayLiverpool
Twitter: @marayliverpool


We were kindly invited to try the delicious food and drinks at Maray as a guest of Thom, Dom and the team, the meal was therefore complimentary for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are nevertheless my own and honest, we had a wonderful time and I highly recommend the restaurant to everybody.