Brew Do You Think You Are?
We are truly blessed in Liverpool. Fabulous architecture, two cathedrals, two half-decent football teams, the best band in history. Basically, we are the first great city of the 21st century. So, when it comes to basking in our wonderfulness, it begs a question, which has confounded the best minds for centuries. Where can I get a decent cuppa?
By Kev McCready 17/10/2012
Of course, like any city in England, we have our fair share of Costa, Café Nero and Starbucks. All perfectly ok in their own way. It also remains a personal mystery why there isn’t a coffee shop in Liverpool called Tarbucks, but we are also gifted with plenty of places for the thirsty hipster to hang out.
In Liverpool city centre, I’d recommend Bold Street Coffee. Friendly staff, intermittent Wi-Fi, but an adventurous, constantly changing selection of coffees from all over the world. They play vinyl, so it can be like being in a mumblecore film at times, but it’s always packed at lunchtime.
Rear Window, on the bottom floor of FACT is a nice, open space to hang out. Tea and coffee are serviceable (tea from tea bags is WRONG) but the paninis and cakes are lovely. And the staff will package your order if you are off to see a film; FACT members also receive a 10% discount with their membership. Service tends to stop at odd hours of the day though, so be warned.
Leaf further down in Bold Street has a wide selection of teas, which change on a monthly basis. Butties are OK, but the cakes and light snacks are nice, larger meals and snacks are available for the peckish boho, or afternoon tea for the poshos. Add to this a book club, chess club, live music, the odd fashion shoot taking place and a spot of star spotting…my own personal favourite.
Outside the city centre, Bistro Noir on Lark Lane has the look of the tearoom from Withnail And I, but it serves excellent leaf tea, has accommodating staff, and dainty sandwiches. A short walk downhill leads you to Onion on Aigburth Vale. It offers Brew tea, which should bring a tear to the eye of the discerning tea drinker. Ditto OooMoo on Smithdown Road. Looking like it was constructed from a pile of orange Lego, it has more in the way of sweet than savoury snacks, but has a mixed clientele of students and trendies.
Further afield, the choices become wilder and more esoteric. A visit to Manchester always personally includes a visit to Teapot, run by DJ/musician/all-round British eccentric Mr Scruff. A fine selection of his own-brand tea Make Us A Brew, and other leaf-based brews are all excellent. Food is not what it was, but it offers a bonkers collection of cakes (giant custard creams, Smeaton – yesterday’s cakes blended together and covered in chocolate). Evenings see it offer gourmet meals, packaged as 'Supper And A Cuppa'.
But save that for another day. You can watch the Autumnal rain fall in Liverpool, and enjoy a decent cuppa too. It’s your round, no milk, no sugar for me.
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