Blending Heritage, Design & Flavour: NORD

Situated in Liverpool's Commercial District is a restaurant that celebrates Northern heritage and takes influence from the Nordic Region, specifically Scandinavia. A blend that looks as good as it tastes.
Blending Heritage, Design & Flavour: NORD

Celebrating Northern heritage and combining them with influences from Scandinavia results in a restaurant that has never looked so good. Situated in The Plaza, St Paul’s Square in Liverpool City Centre, NORD has brought a whole new dynamic to the area where it’s usually bustling during the week with workers.

It’s not often you can take over the ground floor of an office block and create an atmosphere where you feel relaxed and, at the same time, have fun. Somehow, the team behind NORD have made it feel effortless and naturally, we wanted to find out how they did it.

“We created a space that’s about changing people’s mindset. You want people to feel like they have left work and are in a restaurant where they feel comfortable enough to spend time,” shared Matt Farrell, NORD’s co-founder. With music on in the background—neither too loud nor too quiet—you felt at ease hearing the muttering voices of over-due catch-ups and conversations from the tables around you.

this is a view of the dining area in NORD with the scandinavian and mid century modern inspired interiors this is a table for four in NORD in one of the dining booths

Collaborating with Phaus, an interior architect and design agency in Manchester, they developed a concept that recreates the atmosphere of a high-end hotel lobby. To gather inspiration, they visited sought-after spots such as Ace Hotel and Standard Hotel in London, both popular destinations for weekend getaways in the capital. The result is a blend of Scandinavian and mid-century modern styles with a slight 60s twist, highlighted by a bold green colour scheme and bright lighting.

“A lot of thought is going into how office spaces are changing and adapting to different lifestyles,” says Matt. “Office spaces are becoming more lifestyle spaces, where you have access to a bike store, gym, and showers, and the third floor [of this building] has been designed for a hybrid working model, so there are plenty of meeting rooms and a co-working space.“ We’ve seen a large uptake in this trend of dynamic spaces, especially since COVID, and not just in commercial spaces but also in new residential buildings that come with all the amenities at your fingertips. Now, what better reason do you need to spend a day at the office when you have a spot like NORD downstairs?

During our visit, we were greeted by a friendly woman at the welcome desk who made us feel right at home as she brought us over to the bar while our table was being prepared. We were lucky enough to get one of the best seats in the house by the kitchen. There’s something special about an open kitchen that’s hard to put your finger on, you can look in and see the team working in sync and slinging out one dish after the next, and yet it still felt calm.

this is a close up of a table in the dining area in NORD for two people this is inside the wood fired oven for the flatbread

Daniel Heffy, NORD’s Head Chef, has an established name in the restaurant scene up north. He was involved in some of the city’s best spots before moving to Stockholm, where he worked in highly esteemed Michelin-star restaurants, including Frantzen and Adam/Albin. His credentials and experience play a huge role in what makes NORD such an exciting concept to have in the city because no matter what, you’re going to try delicious food and be surrounded by heavenly Scandi-inspired interiors.

As you’d expect, the menu is as equally impressive as the interiors. Feeling fancy? Try the Colchester oysters and the Edge & Sons market steak. Looking for those emulsions? Go for the grilled chewy beetroots to start, with the Cavatelli and global artichoke for your main. Or, if you’re just looking for a good time, top it with something sweet but not too sweet, we’d recommend trying the duck egg creme brulee—and that’s one each, of course.

Outside of everything tasting fantastic, the menu is full of local suppliers, ten within a 20-mile radius of the restaurant. “The charcuterie is from Bootle, the coffee is roasted on the Docks, and the artichokes are from Warrington,” shares Matt. But for him, his favourite dishes are the crab toast, roasted monkfish, and finally, the flatbread which is cooked in a wood-fired oven.

This place is yet another example that’s made us convinced Liverpool isn’t just a huge player in hospitality, but it demonstrates and inspires what the future of work, leisure and play can look like. And honestly, if NORD is anything to go by then we’re here for it. See you on Monday?

*Disclaimer: NORD kindly gifted us a lunch to support this review of their Liverpool restaurant.

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