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Pre-war 1913 food and drink menu found in walls of LEAF, Liverpool

AN incredibly historic discovery has been made in Liverpool; and entirely by chance; which is over a century old. More than 100 years ago, Liverpool's Bold Street was the equivalent to London's Bond Street, the City's opulent and thriving centre along which resided car show rooms, extravagant retail and some of the Region's finest eateries.

1 restaurant, The Yamen Café, operated from the same location as LEAFduring this time. The café was one of the Region's leading food and drink destinations, with uncanny parallels to LEAF in the present day, including a focus on teas, events, concerts, lectures and more.

As a thriving port, Liverpool fully embraced its maritime heritage and this was reflected in its cuisine, too; decadent French bistro dishes and magnificent menus from around the world, capturing the magic of a bygone and mostly lost era. That is, until now.


LEAF are renovating the mezzanine space of their grand venue on Bold Street ahead of welcoming customers back inside from 17 May 2021. With a team from Clan Contracting peeling back old walls and roofing, adelicate piece of paper came fluttering from the rafters. An eagle eyed workman, Max Kearns, saw the date; Wednesday, 15 January 2021, 1913; and salvaged a piece of history; a menu from The Yamen Café, in incredible condition, along with a trove of other artefacts including a Yamen staff hat, Whist book and playing cards with table numbers.


But it is the menu which has really captured the imagination of Natalie Haywood, LEAF's co-founder, featuring dishes including Tournedos Bearnaise, Consommé de Volaille and Meringues Chantilly with pears.


Natalie says:- "It's really blown our minds. That this has been in our building all along, for over a century. And to see what they were doing then, how forward thinking and creative as a restaurant, is so inspiring; especially as Liverpool is such a hospitality City. When I saw it I was staggered, it's like a time capsule hidden in the walls. We are so thankful to Max who found it whilst working as part of our expansion. We knew our site used to be a restaurant a long time ago, but we had no idea what they were cooking and how advanced it all was. We have always known this is a historic building, but having the menu in our hands has made it all feel real, something dating back to before the 1st World War. Everyone is so excited, we can't believe it and it is already inspiring us with new ideas. And also how similar what we do now is to what they were doing all that time ago."


The LEAF team will recreate select dishes from the historic menu on soon to be announced dates, with an opportunity for Liverpool to experience what its food and drink scene was like over 100 years ago. And a small selection of dishes will also be made permanent additions to LEAF Bold Street's menus, in honour of this magnificent discovery, which has all happened by chance.

PM writes to Southport School Competition Winner

A 10 year old girl from Southport has received a personal letter from the Prime Minister after he inspired her award winning Easter Extravaganza design. Scarlett Silcock Prince created her impressive scene of Boris Johnson presenting a Covid19 Downing Street briefing for a competition at Scarisbrick Hall School, where she was crowned the winner.  The inspirational pupil used an egg to make the PM, took hair from a Barbie Doll to make his hair, created props for the Downing Street briefing room on her computer and printed off images of Chief Medical Officer Sir Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.  The sign on the podium read:- 'Stay Home > Protect The NHS > Eat Easter Eggs!!'

In his letter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote:- "Dear Scarlett, your local Member of Parliament, Damien Moore, has shared with me a photo of your entry to Scarisbrick Hall School's Easter Extravaganza and I wanted to write to congratulate you on your win. I am sure that your entry, showing me giving a Covid19 press conference, brought a smile to both teachers and pupils alike, just as it did to my team here in Number 10. You are a very deserving winner. You can be proud of your work and, once again, well done on your achievement."

The letter, on paper with a 10 Downing Street letterhead, was hand signed:- 'Best Wishes, Boris Johnson.'

Scarlett's proud Mum, Serena Silcock-Prince, said:- "It's fabulous. Scarlett was so thrilled with her letter from the Prime Minister. It was just heart warming that he has taken the time to do that with everything that is going on. Damien Moore contacted me to say that Boris Johnson had seen Scarlett's egg, and that he had a letter which he had been asked by the Prime Minister to hand deliver to her. He came and met Scarlett and I outside Silcock's Funland with the letter. It was really nice of Damien Moore and Boris Johnson to do that. Scarlett said 'Mummy, I can't believe it, the Prime Minister has taken the time to write me a letter.' She painted her egg in a competition at School. Initially she asked me for eight eggs, because she wanted to create Snow White and the Seven Dwarves! Then she had the idea of creating Boris Johnson delivering a Covid19 press conference. She cut the hair off her favourite Barbie doll to use as his hair and then started printing out props which she had designed. Scarlett was really pleased to win the competition. Scarisbrick Hall is such a great School, she loves it there."

Southport MP Damien Moore said:- "Scarlettproduced a worthy winner for her Easter Egg Extravaganza competition at Scarisbrick Hall School. The Prime Minister was very impressed with what Scarlett had created, and he asked me to personally present his letter to Scarlett to congratulate her for her work."

Scarisbrick Hall School Headteacher Mr Shaw said:- "This Easter, more than any other, it was so important to celebrate a sense of hope and light. The Scarisbrick Hall School egg competition was very competitive, and we are delighted that the Prime Minister enjoyed the winning entry from Scarlett."


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