Food and drink columnist Jen Perry runs the 1930s-style mobile afternoon tea business, Room Forty. This week the former Lymm High School student explains why the ‘flash’ experience of pop-up restaurants taps into our desire to be in the know and talks about her high hopes for the new Warrington Market

IN my last column in Weekend I commented on the exciting pop-up restaurant/dining trend that is transforming the food scene in the UK and around the world. I’m sticking with that theme again.

Street food, pop-ups and secret dining clubs manifest in many ways - market stalls, people’s homes, vacant shop units and even disused warehouses are becoming overnight restaurants and bars.

The commonality is that it is exciting, creative and fresh and available temporarily be it for a day, a week or a few months.

It flies in the face of being staid and offering processed ‘chain’ food.

The vendors are passionate and energetic about what they do and serve.

The phenomenon provides an outlet for the gifted amateur or professional to set up at low cost and create and sell food that they love.

The ‘flash’ experience taps into our desire to be in the know and plays on our fear of missing out (FOMO).

Although I draw the line at classing myself as ‘gifted’, my own business Room Forty I suppose emulates this – we set up a 1930s style tearoom at your home or venue serving afternoon tea.

Everything is hand made, bespoke and served with passion and pride. We create an experience and an event.

Pop-ups and street food are memorable experiences – conversation provoking events that live in the memory and on the taste buds and we want to share them on social media.

Did anyone watch BBC Two’s My Million Pound Menu? It’s a sort of Dragons’ Den for pop-up restaurateurs to seek funding to grow their business.

Winners ‘Pilgrim’ – who have popped up in London, Manchester and Liverpool – have graduated on to their first restaurant at the new Duke Street Food and Drink Market (in itself a home for pop-ups) in the heart of Liverpool for a one-year tenure.

In the interests of research (of course) I recently went over to check them out.

Their mezzanine level restaurant and terrace with an open kitchen and a centrepiece live-fire grill serves up a diverse and exciting menu of Spanish and Iberian flavours.

The concept was inspired by a trip through the Camino de Santiago, a network of pilgrimage routes that lead to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia.

The menu serves exciting small plates of food and changes every day. Similarly the wine list is an inspiration in itself, diverse, delicious and quite unlike anything that I’ve sampled before.

Liverpool now has a number of pop-up foodie destinations. Duke Street Food and Drinks Market, The Baltic Market and events at Camp and Furnace.

Manchester has Mackie Mayor, Wirral has just opened a pop-up food market at Woodside and Southport is set to do the same.

I hope Warrington joins in that success and I have high hopes for the new Warrington Market.

Last time I cheekily threw out the idea of a dedicated pop-up facility in Warrington to allow this creative foodie energy and enterprise to flourish here in Warrington I was overwhelmed by the response and reaction from business, chefs and foodies alike.

Watch this space...