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Food feedback

Published:  14 December, 2007

Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton and fiancé Riad Erraji launched Hamilton's, their new coffee shop and delicatessen in Liverpool's trendy Metquarter last month. This intriguing combination of a café and bar is the first outlet of this fledgling brand from the couple, who also opened 'H', a late-night glitzy bar and private members' club, in Victoria Street, Liverpool, on the same day.

Prior to a meeting at Liverpool One, I was looking for somewhere to take a break and grab something to eat. I thought that I would take the opportunity to visit Hamilton's. Fortunately I met an agency colleague who was already in the restaurant, so we agreed to 'do lunch'.

The coffee shop and delicatessen is in a 1,500-sq ft unit, opens daily from 9.30am and offers breakfast, afternoon tea and light meals, with organic products sourced from Claremont Farm in Bebington, Wirral. The seating is on two levels, with an impressive double height shop front.

Between us, we had two cappuccinos, one still water, one cranberry juice, a Thai chicken panini and a ham and cheese jacket potato. The total bill came to £18.30, which I thought, for table service, delivered in quality surroundings, was on the slightly expensive side of reasonable.

The service was attentive, with frequent (maybe too frequent) checks on our progress and satisfaction. The food was OK, but not anything out of the ordinary. The furniture is relaxed, with more of a bar feel than coffee shop, but this is where, in my view, it goes a bit wrong. The bottles of champagne on the shelves behind the counter are juxtaposed with the cake display which is Starbucks. I really don't think the unit has made its mind up what it is yet, but the customers seemed happy enough.

This latest addition to the Metquarter is another good quality operation that sits well with Café Rouge, Costa and the high-end retail already trading. If it's intended to attract the beautiful people (clearly not me), then I think a more focused offer would help, and a small upgrade on the food.

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