This week I visited The Florist Liverpool, the newest and most instagrammable place to eat and drink in arguably the world’s greatest city. I was invited along with lots of other much more credible bloggers and press people to go and have a sneak peek. Here’s the lowdown on the event, the food, and how I found my new favourite drink.
Location, Location, Location
The other much more credible guests took gorgeous selfies, made swanky videos, and photographed their cocktails and food in a way that I could only dream of. You only need look the tagged photos on The Florist Liverpool Instagram to see for yourself. I, on the other hand, I was left selfies that looked like outtakes from The Walking Dead and phantom hayfever – and yet crucially, no hangover the next day (more about their secret ingredients, later).
The press launch gave us all chance to see it in full swing on a Saturday night and go back the next day to check out its Sunday lunch vibe. It’s equally instagrammable whether day or night. Choose from indoor trees, floral wall, the cute pastel bicycle, feature staircase, neon signs, statement wall art and flowers just about everywhere to make your selfies stand out – or as Scarlet Wonderland put it: make your ex jealous.
Hardman Street History
Yes it was beautiful. Really, really beautiful actually. The building itself (and you know me, there was never any chance of me mentioning its location without talking about its history) sits on busy Hardman Street, a sturdy yellow Grade II listed building in a neoclassical design. Its original incarnation was as Liverpool’s school for the blind, and what you can see from Hardman Street was only the tip of the iceberg; there was quite a network of buildings behind which ones housed resident students with visual impairments. You can still see the wording on the stone façade outside – and before The Florist came to its rescue it had been sitting empty after its fairly short lived tenure as bar and restaurant The Old Blind School.
Visiting today, its tall windows letting in as much light as possible remind you of its former usage, but it’s had many lives between now and then: Merseyside Police HQ, trade union centre, and the famous Flying Picket – which played host to big names on the Liverpool music scene over the years including The La’s and The Coral. It’s a beautiful building and The Florist have made it a beautiful space for food and drink.
Food & Drink
It’s not just a pretty space; The Florist has some real substance to it. The Sunday Roast was out of this world with generous portions (always a sure sign of a good roast), well sourced meat, and tasty, perfectly -cooked, colourful veg. Even if you’re not visiting for a meal, get something to share just to enjoy the effort they’ve gone to with the menu. My recommendation is the lavender bread with whipped goat’s cheese butter from the Nibbles section on the main menu.
There is a kids’ menu available but I haven’t road tested it with young Spaghetti Legs.
The drinks as you can imagine are trendy and well thought out. Lots of botanicals, lots of mixology, lots of boozy buzzwords. But more than that – their bar staff really knew their stuff and the drinks were really tasty. Each cocktail was a work of art and makes The Florist the place to go for cocktails. What made it extra special for me (because I’m not a big drinker) was that the same thought and effort was applied to the non alcoholic cocktails too, and it was here that I found my new favourite drink – and the nicest non alcoholic cocktail I’ve ever had – the Juniper Garden.
If you don’t drink, don’t fancy a drink, are a designated driver or pregnant, but don’t want to be stuck with Coke or “just a tap water for me please” then you no longer need to feel left out. The Juniper Garden has a decadent ingredient – Seedlip – which is basically fake gin. Imagine. Gin without the hangover. What a time to be alive.
Between the Saturday night boozing and the Sunday morning abstinence (unless you count a killer Bloody Mary – The Florist has made me fall in love with them again!) I’d strangely never felt better. Must be something in the botanicals!
People watching on the terrace, instagrammable flower walls, artwork and feature staircase, live music with sax and percussion and DJ – The Florist has it all. For special occasions and groups, check out the Masterclasses available – choose from gin tasting, cocktail making, and floristry.
Couples, mate dates, baby showers, hen do’s, sunday lunch, mother’s day, family groups (they do a kid’s menu). The Florist is perfect for anyone visiting Liverpool for the weekend wanting to go somewhere memorable with plenty of stunning Instagram pics to remember their trip.