My Liverpool: Candice Fonseca
Question. What did Liverpool do before Delifonseca? We waited an awfully long time before we welcomed our first proper city centre shrine to charcuterie and squidgy cheese. But boy was it worth it. We talk focaccia and flat caps with our favourite deli queen.
Where do you go for peace and quiet?
Sounds lame but my garden – I’ve just moved out to the ‘urbs after 15 years of living in the city centre, so tweeting birds and rustling leaves send me into a zen-like trance. Otherwise, I’m drawn to water so a stroll or leisurely cycle along Otterspool Prom to the Festival Gardens particularly when the sun’s setting on these late evenings through the week is lovely.
Where’s your favourite table?
Too much choice! The tasting menu with wine pairing at the Buyers Club on a Friday or Saturday is great, I still love Etsu for Japanese, the Chung Ku for Sunday afternoon dim sum with a view. Fraiche in Oxton for a rare treat.
What is it about the city that inspires you? Keeps you motivated?
The city has a sense of optimism, pride and community which over the last 10 years seems to just keep growing despite the recession and trends in the rest of the country. It’s a really creative place at grassroots level with all manner of random eclectic events which just pop up all over the place.
Some small scale like ‘Improvathon’ and then other home-grown events such as Africa Oye, Sound City, Liverpool Food & Drink Festival. What’s also brilliant though is the ambition and work of the council to make bigger events happen like the Three Queens, the Giants, Light Night, LIMF. It really makes Liverpool an exciting and interesting place to live in and be part of.
What does the city need more of?
Restaurants with plates – no more cartons, baskets, boards, flatcaps…
What surprises people most about Liverpool?
The amount there is to do and see. When they come for a weekend break they usually come back again, because they just can’t squeeze it all in.
Where are your ‘wow’ places?
I do like my architecture so St George’s Hall and the two Cathedrals are high up on my list. The newly revamped Central Library is brilliant, and a great asset to the city centre. I was recently bowled over by the transformation of the Royal Court. Their plans for the roof, a terrace above the entrance and an annex where the Penny Farthing is are brilliant.
Also the Liverpool ONE development itself. It transformed the city and it’s hard to remember the days of the Moat House. I think the project has been crucial in the re-emergence of Liverpool and the buildings involved are eclectic and ambitious, and all the best for it.
Your favourite place to let your hair down and live it up?
Your favourite hidden gem?
Remora (S Hunter Street) for great Indian and ‘bring your own’ booze; Mr Chilli’s (Seel Street) for hotpot ‘fondue style’ soups bubbling away on the table or crazy untranslated dishes off the Chinese menu. Rough Hand Made Bakery on Penny Lane who do fantastic dulce de leche pastries. Radio City Viewing Gallery up St Johns Beacon, even though it’s in plain sight loads of people seem unaware that you can go up and take in the views. It’s an amazing experience and the cityscape changes with the seasons and the weather.
Where would you go to escape the city for the afternoon?
Delamere Forest is always lovely and not far away.
Who are your city heroes?
Frank Cottrell Boyce – a great writer, advocate for the city and all round nice guy; Lynne Saunders at the Liverpool Film Office for working tirelessly to promote Liverpool as a great place to film; Paddy Byrne for the Everyman Bistro. Pen Factory and for giving (Delifonseca chef ) Martin Cooper his first job in the city; Maggie O’Carroll for being one of the driving forces behind the Woman’s Organisation; (Hillsborough author) Phil Scraton for all his dogged determination and commitment to uncovering the truth.
Read more features from It’s Liverpool magazine here.