We did our best to make the rounds in Liverpool – from tacos at Lucha Libre to $5 shakes at Santa Chupito to going back in time at Berry & Rye, with their perfectly executed cocktails and pre-Prohibition vibe. Our night out on the town was a raging success and we can’t wait to visit again.
Here are our highlights, so first up…
Where to drink
Berry & Rye
This venue isn’t easy to spot … so don’t be put off when you can’t find any signage (there isn’t any). Just knock on the black door and step back in time. While the speakeasy concept isn’t revolutionary, the team at Berry & Rye are doing it a great deal of justice: the service is friendly and the music is a genuine throwback to the days of yore. Saddle into one of the cozy tables and chew on some of their tasty nibbles presented in glass jars before you delve into the superb cocktails. The menu is hidden within a leather-bound dictionary and the short list consists of a few classics which are consistently executed. Plus there are some drinks that we wish we could see more often (think Blood and Sand: Johnnie Walker Black, Antica Formula, cherry brandy and orange juice served straight up – this is a great choice for the whisky lovers out there and for those wanting to try and ease themselves into that tier of drinking).
Underneath Lucha Libre is the delightfully decadent Maya. This is the boozier tequila-soaked brother of the upstairs restaurant. A fun cocktail list, intimate booths and great dirty blues music (a common theme of Liverpool) creates an atmosphere perfect for getting loose. We recommend the Valiente: Calle 23 tequila teamed with peach, lime, agave and pineapple foam.
The Kazamier (Winter Garden)
Located near the end of Seel street is this wonderful winter garden. Mulled wine, big beers and simple spirit mixers are the order of the day here . A fantastic meeting spot for your first couple of sherries where you can soak up the rhythm and bluesy tunes (think Fats Domino as opposed to Craig David). We couldn’t help but notice the massive channelling of Shoreditch vibes (in the best of ways).
Alma de Cuba
Set within Liverpool’s oldest church, this bar has been a staple of Liverpool’s bar scene for nearly a decade. With stained glass windows and ornate arched ceilings – you can indulge in their rum-heavy cocktail list in the most striking of settings. Great at the weekends when they have live music and Carnival dancers (these ladies are the real deal, so be careful not to get feathers in your eye).
This is the perfect place to finish off your night: a mid to late twenties crowd munching down on tasty American-style dogs and sipping on punny cocktails: Rum For Ya Money or Salt Dog Millionaire, try the latter if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Keep an eye out for their beer pong league where you could win £100 cash, but be careful not to blow it all on more beer. And if you’re looking to spice up your night, we recommend drinking some Mexican Salt Dogs and eating a couple of Atomic Dogs (jalapenos and scotch bonnet sauce? We’re in!)
This raucous venue is where you head to really cut loose – so you better check your inhibitions at the door and prepare to indulge your guiltiest of pleasures. The highlight cocktail here is the signature $5 shake (we were lucky enough to snag the last one of the evening … yes folks, they do sell out). This is more dessert than cocktail, so leave room in that belly – but the delightful combination of Chambord, vodka, blueberries and vanilla ice cream served in an old milk bottle is nothing less than a treat. The crowd here is young, single and ready to mingle but this place is also for anyone with a yearning to have their own Pulp Fiction moment.
Where to eat
A very popular Mexican taco joint that consistently comes out top of the Liverpool dining scene. Very popular with locals, they specialise in proper corn tacos with rich delicious toppings such as slow cooked pork marinated in orange and achiote, prawns with mango salsa, and beer-battered fish. The Icarus wings are a must, but only for the adventurous (despite our bravado with spicy foods, this one was nearly too hot to handle … nearly. Obviously we finished it). As with any Mexican restaurant worth its chilli salt, they also serve a mean Margarita and an awesome Sangrita.
Camp and Furnace
This huge space is a festival venue, gallery space as well as a restaurant. They have caravans parked inside serving up dishes like Jerk Pork with cornbread or the Suckling Pig Sandwich with apple chutney and black pudding. Sadly we didn’t get to visit this venue but as far as the feedback goes, this is very much one of the best spots in Liverpool. Next time!
Where to stay
This beautiful alpine-inspired hotel will make you feel like you’ve just had a full day on the slopes (without the sore muscles). The wood-heavy interiors create an oasis of calm, boosted further by their impeccable service. Each room is individually designed, so you’re in for a one of a kind treat — plus you’ve got one of the city’s best dining spots just downstairs: The London Carriage Works. There’s no need to leave your furry friends at home either since Hope Street is dog friendly (we don’t have a pup yet, but soon enough). With underfloor heating, Egyptian cotton sheets, flat screen TVs, free WiFi and 24-hour room service — you may be tempted to stay in all day and night (we wouldn’t blame you).