Summer is our favourite day of the year.
What is that in the sky? Is that the mysterious ball of fire that our ancestors used to talk about? We think it was once referred to as “the sun”. Despite its lack of presence over in the good old United Kingdom, when the sun is out it illuminates beer gardens that almost feel covered in darkness the remainder of the year. If there’s anything better than blowing the dust off your shorts, heading to a beer garden with your friends and having a few drinks, we’re yet to experience it. Those nights that start with “shall we just go for one?” and end up being anything but.
Here’s some places you’re going to want to call home this summer. Always remember; drink responsibly with irresponsible people.
Gin, summer and plants make this secret urban wonderland the quintessential British garden but believe us, it is not what you expect. It is only open until September so make sure you check it out before it is too late and either the plants or us drink all the gin. The beauty of the space is that it feels as if you have just stumbled, almost by mistake, on a venue that just seems to make sense from beginning to end. It looks accidental but it is purposeful. The very definition of a hidden gem, so much so that even Google Maps doesn’t know where you’re on about. Look out for a sign stating “Gin Lane”. That’s as much as you’re getting from us.
Address: Somewhere on New Bird Street, Gin Lane
The Pen Factory
They say the pen is mightier than the sword, we say The Pen Factory is mightier than both. The interesting name is a nod to the ancestry of the building as it was once, you guessed it, a pen factory. Nowadays, however, the ballpoints, biros and fountain pens have been swapped for a great menu and excellent drink and one of the prettiest places for a pint in the city. A very peaceful place where you’ll be surrounded by herbs and flowers and fellow patrons enjoying a tipple.
Address: 13 Hope Street, L1 9BQ
Unchanged for years, Ye Cracke is a popular pub located on Rice Street, just off Hope Street with tonnes of history. One of the oldest pubs in the city, they will offer you a smile, a nice drink and a promise that you’ll return. If that wasn’t good enough, head outside to the courtyard where you’ll find an array of interesting characters who will keep the conversations and drinks flowing.
Address: 13 Rice St, Liverpool L1 9BB
Airy, polished setting with floor to ceiling windows and waterfront terrace with delicious Pan Asian cuisine, what more could you want? Oh, you wanted possibly the best view of Liverpool whilst having a drink? No worries, they’ve got that too. From either side of the restaurant you’re promised a personal and unique shot of the city but their outside rooftop terrace is rather special. The Three Graces feel so close you could touch them and the detail on the buildings when so up close and personal is a sight to behold.
Address: 2nd Floor, Mersey Ferry Terminal Building, Georges Pierhead, Pier Head, L3 1BY
The Dock’s former pumphouse was built in 1870, and has been lovingly restored as a cosy traditional British pub, renamed The Pump House. One of the most distinctive buildings at the Dock, The Pump House’s soaring tower is Grade II listed, and an unmissable landmark. The traditional waterside pub-restaurant is a good place to feel right at home and an even better place to go for a drink. Bask in the beauty of the Liverpool skyline with an alcoholic beverage, we’ll raise a drink to that.
Address: Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AF
One step into the gardens and it feels as if you’ve stumbled upon some sort of secret paradise. The unavowed space is a refurbished car park and it has a Caribbean feel to it, the only thing missing is someone slashing coconuts like a scene from Kill Bill in the corner besides the DJ. The Gardens is a special kind of place and offers something for everyone and whilst The Kaz closing was a sad casualty in Liverpool’s independent scene, the gardens are here to stay. There is a fantastic array of frosty ones on draft and bottled so you’ll never leave thirsty (or sober). Under either sunlight or fairy, the one constant is that the space looks beautiful.
Address: 32 Seel St, Liverpool L1 4BE
Free State Kitchen
Despite being just a few yards from the main dining area, the outside has a completely different feel to it. The surrounding area is so neat and tidy we wouldn’t be surprised if some maverick pensioners broke in after hours for a game of bowls. At night the whole garden is lit up by golden lights that look like stars so there is a reason to go during the day and return in the night or better still, never leave in the first place.
Address: 1 Maryland St, Liverpool L1 9DE
Goodness Gracious Roof Garden
Arguably one of the most beautiful spaces in Liverpool to get a drink. On the rooftop of Oh Me Oh My, the whole building is a secret. So much so you can only speak about it whilst whispering. The drinks are fantastic but people come for the awe-inspiring views. The Royal Liver Building is quite literally a stone’s throw away and The Three Graces feel almost touchable. If you fancy a breathtaking and unique snapshot of our city with some great drinks, head to Goodness Gracious as soon as possible.
Address: West Africa House, 25 Water St, Liverpool L2 0RG
The Clove Hitch
The renaissance of Liverpool seems to have been synchronised with the growth of Hope Street. The places that occupy it alongside the impressive architecture of each building makes this Georgian Quarter a must visit.. Their garden has a very Parisian feel to it, the spiralling stairs draped in flowers and branches that almost looks man-made and off the set of a Romeo and Juliet play. The abundance of greenery and vegetation makes the sun trap a perfect environment to pull up a bench and sip on one of their beers. It just so happens they have one of the best beer selections in the city.
Address: 23 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BQ
Constellations is a multifaceted venue space that tries to encompass everything the Baltic represents in a few hundred square feet. The outside has an almost garden centre feel to it as you’re surrounded by such an eclectic mix of flowers and plants. The area itself is huge and a perfect place to catch some rays or stare at the stars at night. Either sight will leave your eyes sore. The decor is a haven for illuminati conspiracy theorists, triangles are everywhere to pay homage to the area.
photo by Samantha Milligan
Address: 37-39 Greenland St, Liverpool L1 0BS
When you think of an attic you automatically think of a secret hideout, a room detached from the rest of the world where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in your very own little spot. The Attic are serious about beer, it is the adult version of walking into a sweet shop, each label, each bottle and design are enticing in their very own way and if it weren’t for your pesky liver, you’d find time to try them all. The terrace is full of vividly multi-coloured chairs that look as if they’d illuminate during the night and is the perfect place to catch up with friends and completely forget time exists.
Address: 33-45 Parr St, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4JN
Alma De Cuba
Alma de Cuba, Liverpool’s most spectacular restaurant and bar, an island in the heart of the city, an independent spirit that leaves a lasting impression. Set inside the magnificent conversion of the former St. Peters Catholic Church, Alma de Cuba in an eclectic mix of Cuba, Hispanic, and Latin American influences that are enhanced with a good dose of Scouse. Alma has become famous for their garden and the cool cigar-smoking mural of a woman who looks like she could drink you under the table.
Address: St Peters Church, Seel St, Liverpool L1 4BH
Lady of Mann
The Lady of Mann adjoins Thomas Rigby’s with which it shares a courtyard for open air drinking. Named after the eponymous Manx ferry this is an open plan pub where exposed beams and woodwork lend an almost rustic feel. Owned by the Isle of Man brewery O’Kells three hand pumps dispense Okells Bitter and 2 guests. We’ve found it’s also the kind of place where the line between strangers and friends is lost on a hot summers day.
Address: 19 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2EZ
The Dovedale Towers
Originally “The Dovedale Towers”, this local held a place in most people hearts in the Penny Lane area but was sadly shut for what seemed an eternity. After a few licks of paint and a bit of love, The Dovedale Towers was re-born ‘The Dovey’ and provides a sanctuary for those who like good drinks and company. Don’t let the superstructure of this pub exert your capacity of being impressed as the building is steeped in history. Rumours are that Freddy Mercury had a brief spell here during the psychedelic 60’s. Whilst paying deference to the roots of the building, the Dovey has been modernised and revamped in regards to the interior and the beer offering. You can tour a good majority of the world through their bottles but leave just enough to try an excuse for another visit.
Address: 60 Penny Ln, Liverpool L18 1DG
Seel Street is the mecca of the Liverpool nightlife. A night isn’t complete without visiting at least one place on the strip. Blind Tiger specialises in delicate drinks and damn good dim sum. As great as the interior and food is, much more attention should be paid to their outside area. Thin and long tables are the centre piece where revellers of the night squeeze up together. The line between strangers and best friends is lost after Sake. The whole outside is over-looked by a beautiful mural of a geisha girl who totally isn’t judging you for your antics.
Address: 71 Seel Street, L1 4AZ
Heebie Jeebie’s Courtyard
Heebie Jeebies courtyard is the kind of place you walk in not knowing a single soul and leave with a handful of new best friends. The building is cemented firmly in the Liverpool nightlife and always promises good vibes. Some would argue there’s no better place to be than outside, surrounded by a cocktail of equal measures friends and strangers and with a drink in your hand. Heebie Jeebies have been serving up alcoholic beverages and life-long hazy memories for nearly a decade, go find out why.
Address: 80-82 Seel St, Liverpool L1 4BH
Red Door Rooftop Terrace
Behind one red door lays endless possibilities. Kind of like Narnia but with lots of alcohol. Red Door are shaking up Berry Street, literally, with their eclectic mix of cocktails and impressive theatrical elements. They recently changed the world of drinking by opening up a rooftop terrace that is the perfect place to bury yourself in a world of prosecco and drink yourself out of. They have a whole host of free events planned for the summer months with BBQ’s and more so make sure you pop down.
Address: 21-23 Berry Street, Liverpool L1 9DF
Pizza by the slice and gin by the goblet – a combination that goes pretty well in The Merchant’s lovely sun trap. If you manage to get one of the heated booths, guard it with your life and don’t for one second believe you’re going home early. The sun may disappear but the fun won’t stop and with buy one get one for £1 gin and tonics, you might be out late enough to see the sun return.
Address: 40 Slater Street, L1 4JN
Like the sound of drinks in the sun? We’re having a gin festival and you’re all invited. Expect gins from all over the world, disco DJs, jazz bands, gin masterclasses, gin ice cream and Liverpool’s only gin garden to sample them all in. Tickets are selling fast, don’t miss out. Grab them here.
Honourable mentions: Que Pasa, The Lodge, Love & Rockets, Baltic Fleet, Grove Beer Tap & Grill, Buyers Club, Elephant.
Special thanks to Marketing Liverpool for the picture.