I was wandering the bitter streets of Liverpool, the cold wind biting at my skin while the lack of gift ideas gnawed at my mind. I was Christmas shopping, the annual torture endured by all, with fake smiles and impatient thoughts, my degree of imagination equalled that of the stalls in the so-called ‘Christmas Market’. I’d bought nothing, unwilling to indulge the impulse for the meaningless and tacky crap that adorns the shelves this time of year. As I walked up Parr Street my tightly wound scarf helped with the cold wind but did nothing for the growing sense of social pressure. Abandoning the search for cleaver gift ideas I was indulging a far more selfish desire, something nice for lunch. This short walk had brought me to The Brink, not the edge of sanity, although that wasn’t far off, but Parr Street’s newest bar.
The Brink is a dry bar serving drinks, food and entertainment without alcohol, it’s a great concept and I hope it does well. What I found there was challenging cup of tea, peppermint and liquorice was perhaps not something I would long for again, but its warmth and surprising sweetness comforted me after my mornings troubles. The bright and colourful surrounds still manages to convey a sense of relaxed calm, it was quiet in a library sort of way but without being stifling or repressive. It made a pleasant place to further contemplate the onerous task ahead of me.
My plate of Moroccan chicken with roasted pepper couscous and mint yoghurt (£8.95) soon arrived and I tucked into what was a very pleasant little dish. The couscous had sweet chunks of pepper with a hint of mint from the yoghurt, that supported without overpowering, it was good. The chicken itself was very well cooked, soft and moist, a task some find difficult. However, the promised Moroccan spices were very subtle and really could have done with bigger hit to really lift the dish. This meal hit the spot, not perfect but very good for the price, a calm atmosphere and friendly service, this quiet little sanctuary could well become a regular stop for me.
As I left I tightly wound my scarf and firmly did every button on my jacket, I stepped once again into the biting wind not with any more enthusiasm but, thanks to The Brink, with a greater sense of purpose. I hope my family like socks.
The Brink 15-21 Parr Street Liverpool