Last Sunday was my Mum’s Birthday (I won’t say what age as she’d kill me!) and we decided to go for lunch at The Old Blind School.
No, this isn’t some kind of facility for the blind but in fact a Gastropub that’s located on Hardman Street on the very outskirts of city centre Liverpool.
Before this visit I’d been once before as part of the charity-fundraiser, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ for Cash For Kids. That was the first time I’d been introduced to this rather beautiful building that had a real eye for it’s decor, as well as it’s food.
The first thing I noticed on both occasions was always the warm welcome you receive from whoever is at the main desk. The greeting feels genuine and they’re not just going through the motions.
There are two main floors. The ground floor has a beautiful bar area with plenty of places to sit and enjoy a drink. The first floor is where the kitchen is located and houses a good number of tables.
I’m glad that we booked when we did as it became very busy around 1pm, very quickly!
Nothing was too much trouble for the serving staff. They were there when we needed them and not bothering us when we didn’t. The restaurant is over three rooms, with the bar area located in the centre, which is where we were all based.
Despite the stretch, they were still at their stations and not once did we wonder where the food was or why our plates hadn’t been cleared. They were always on top of things and it felt like we were served by a well-trained and motivated team.
The little things I always appreciate such as looking you in the eye when they take your order, or pouring prosecco/wine/champagne properly with one hand behind the back (and no we didn’t order all three bottles!).
To me that shows proper training. That they haven’t been told to just go out there and do the job based on their individual past experiences. It’s the attention to these little details which is why this place is going to be such a success.
Our ordering system was a bit mixed as my sister wanted a starter whereas the rest of us wanted a main and dessert, although we ended up tucking into her’s anyway, which was the ‘Battered Halloumi with a Sweet Chilli Relish’.
And boy did that get us excited.
The relish perfectly balanced the cheese and it had really been thought through. Sometimes I look at a menu and wonder how on earth certain ingredients have been paired together just for the sake of being ‘different’.
This restaurant knows it’s identity and is proud of that. There’s no confusion or cross-over in style.
The mains were certainly a success too. This is a gastro-style pub/restaurant, not an A La Carte/Michelin one. The food is well-portioned and enhanced from the classics you’d expect at your local pub.
I ordered the ‘Boss’ Burger which was well cooked, meaty with an interesting ‘dropper’ that allowed you to add the quantity of hot sauce you preferred.
My father ordered the lamb which was the only time he was quiet throughout the afternoon! That disappeared very quickly but there were certainly no complaints. A good Sunday Roast.
For dessert we were treated to a selection of their finest options. From a mini cheesecake, to a slice of apple pie, to a chocolate mousse with infused orange sauce, as well as mint chocolate chip ice cream and more.
To me this is where the magic happened. They had gone that extra mile to make us feel like we were the table that mattered, although I have no doubt that this feeling would be reciprocated by the majority of the tables they serve.
I look forward to returning for a third time very soon and just hope that the manager knocks any potential complacency on the head because these high standards have been set and need to be kept for the future because we’ll all be coming back!
To book a table click here for their booking details & latest menus