What comes to mind when you hear “Liverpool”? It depends on the person, but people may associate it with the soccer team or even The Beatles (who are from Liverpool originally). From December 7th, in that very same place in England, GP Liverpool was held.
Since there is no direct flight from Japan to Liverpool, we left from Narita airport, transferring in Brussels to Manchester, England. From there we took taxi ride to Liverpool, which took just under an hour. Liverpool, located along the Irish Sea, is a place that flourished as a port city, with docks that were used to build and repair ships. The venue this time was a huge convention center located near the mouth of the River Mersey which opens up to the Irish Sea.
The venue itself was located in the basement, with a grey carpeted floor that gave a very relaxed atmosphere. The chairs were exceptional, solidly built with nice cushions that made it easy to not get tired while working. The event hall was also properly heated this time; unlike Warsaw.
It’s often said that food in England is bad, but I was only half convinced. “Although it is bad, with the progression of globalization these days, it can’t be that bad!” Is what I thought. It’s not right to judge based on rumors alone, so I figured I’d give it a try first and then decide for myself; and during my stay I tried all sorts of foods.
Meal 1: Shrimp salad from the supermarket to eat at lunch during the GP
“There’s no way you can make a bad salad” I thought and I also love shrimp; so I landed on the shrimp salad. As far as the taste…. In short, I left over half. The boiled shrimp had no taste, the dressing was sauce with a faint taste that landed somewhere between sour and salty… On top of that the dryness of the leaves really stood out to me. It made me feel bad for my beloved shrimp, and threw out half of the salad completely untouched.
Meal 2: Oriental stir fry from the hotel restaurant
Since I couldn’t find any decent food during the day, I figured I would try and eat something healthy for dinner; so I chose something off of the “Healthy Options” menu. The meal discription read “Crisp salad vegetables & noodles, lightly fried in a sweet hoisin sauce.”
I have a picture of the meal below.
The looks alone obviously can’t be ignored, but there was barely any vegetables in the dish. This is the healthy menu!? I was baffled.
Meal 3: Fish and Chips
Speaking of England I decided to try the old standby, fish and chips. For the uninitiated, it’s literally just a piece of fried fish flopped on top of some fries. As for the taste… compared to what I’d eaten up to this point, it was pretty damn good. That said though, it was fried and as such was super oily. Other than the tartar sauce, I was impressed by the delicious side of mashed peas that came with.
This was my first time in England and I can definitely say I learned one thing from this experience: English food is bad. However, this is just my personal opinion and everyone has their own individual likes and dislikes. So yeah, go to England and try it for yourself!
Extra Edition: Local Event in Italy
After Liverpool we flew to Lucca, Italy to attended a local event called “Nebraska Wars”. Unlike a GP, this event was a fairly local event, so the customers were mainly Italian. The event was a four day event starting on Thursday, but people didn’t really show up during the morning hours; which made time sort of drag a bit.
As expected from Italy, the food at the venue was amazing. Risotto croquettes and fresh smoothies, they even went as far as having fresh ham and wine paired with fancy pinchos. On top of that, the wine was even served in a genuine wine glass! Kicking back, drinking wine all while enjoying some Magic really made me feel like I was getting the proper Italian tournament experience.
That night, we went to a pizzeria by the hotel and had some great pizza and ham. Thinking I was back in Japan and getting Japanese amounts of food, I order two sides and two pizzas and it was a bit too much to be honest. It was too much for just the two of us, so we took the rest back with us.
Coming from England, in terms of food, there was a world of difference in Italy.