The city's tried and tested suntraps for all your chilling needs

THE sun is out, the sky is blue, it's five o'clock and the only shadow is the prospect of going home. Wee tincture? Just the one? Oh go on.

Here's our list of where's good for flora, fauna and just having a furtive few. Smoking outdoor areas or places with pavement chairs and tables are not included, that's too easy. But those places in the city centre who have made an effort are. 

Pen Factory Garden

The Pen Factory, Hope Street, L1

Imagine how the old Everyman Bistro would have been with fresh air and sunshine instead of artificial light and ciggie smoke. Too much for some, admittedly. But they (the first two) were always on proprietor Paddy Byrne’s wish list and it all came right when he reopened as the Pen Factory, in the basement of the Annexe next door. A lush new world opened up for the lushes in the shape of a delightful sunken courtyard. Directly reached through big iron gates on studenty Arrad Street and the more gentrified Hope Street at the front, it’s a firm favourite on balmy days and nights.


The Monro, 92 Duke St, L1

The self-styled gastropub has changed hands more times than Stormy Daniels. But if the grub doesn't grab you then aim straight for the back of the pub and the great outdoors. They will even reserve a table for you. The USP is the sun, which beats down on the yard of flowers and herbs until 9.30pm in the height of summer. You will obviously be needing a pint of Sundowner with that.

Ye Cracke

Ye Cracke, Rice Street, L1

As the courting spot of the late John and Cynthia Lennon, there is no more appropriate place to raise a glass to Liverpool Art College’s starriest couple. Ye Cracke remains the watering hole for the mad, bad and dangerous to know, and its main attraction has always been its beer yard. A 9pm curfew operates and you will be shooed indoors after that. Wine is sold by the tiny bottle after bottle. The most fancy cocktail is vodka and Coke. For the rest, a pint of Black Sheep and a packet of pork scratchings will have to do for your tea among the, er, herbs.

Kazimier Garden Pint Of Lager Liverpool Glass Drink Beer

Kazimier Garden, Seel Street, L1

The Garden is brought to you by the collective behind the hugely successful Kazimier and Invisible Wind Factory. Good things come from this lot who, without a whiff of corporate indie about them, manage to be cool without conscious effort. Often copied, but rarely bettered, the Kaz Garden blossoms year round like a feral flower in this former car park. There’s a mezzanine, a wood fire and lots of great food from pop-up kitchens.

The Botanical Garden Sunshine Times

The Botanical Garden, 49 New Bird Street, L1

Nobody will ever think of looking for you in here. Tucked away down a narrow street in the shadow of the looming Anglican Cathedral, this urban oasis boast a heated greenhouse - and not the sort you find in a loft in Huyton. Gin is the thing, like the New Bird Cooler with Sipsmith London Cup Gin, ginger ale and refreshing fruit, and the Rhubarb Fizz with lemon sugar, soda and rhubarb gin shakes, which you may have the next day.

Rigby's / Lady of Mann courtyard, Dale Street, L2

Practically the only open courtyard in Liverpool’s business district, and therefore a babbling businesslike place to be on a warm early doors evening. With its Yorkstone flags and hanging fuchsias, it does have a City of London air about it so pretend you are in EC1 by knocking back pints of London Pride, oh Isle of Man Okells then, on your imaginary fat cat bonus.

2019 08 25 Goodness Gracious

Oh Me Oh My, West Africa House, 25 Water St, L2

This beautiful building is an iconic location and secret space. If you like marvelling at the architecture of the waterfront and enjoying the finest sunsets this is one of the best vantage points in the city. There's a garden-inspired cocktail and drinks list including summer cups, fruit spritz and home made G&T infusion. 

Tempest On Tithebarn Rooftop Liverpool Business District

Tempest on Tithebarn, 12 Tithebarn St, L2

The beautiful venue harks to New York’s meatpacking district eateries, focusing heavily on brunches, lunches, cocktails and craft beer. Owned by Iain Hoskins of Ma Boyle's - another cracking little outdoor gem - Tempest has one of the city’s best roof-top views - 10 storeys high - which looks out across Liverpool with incredible views in all directions. There's something for everyone across the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, through to music and events, including a jazz festival in the summer.

2019 07 23 Free State Kitchen Garden2

Free State Kitchen, 1 Maryland Street, L1

You are "encouraged" to order a burger or the best buffalo chicken wings in Liverpool before they will give you any alcoholic beverages to consume in this sprawling green space that used to be the private preserve of an order of nuns. A statue of Our Lady still keeps a watchful eye over Liverpool's very own convent garden. Don't think you are amusing by asking for a Bloody Mary. You're not.

Buyers Club Liverpool Hardman Street Pizza Pasta Al Fresco Beer Garden
Orange wine? Vino good Image: Buyers Club/Facebook

Buyers Club, 24 Hardman Street, L1

Squished on the cusp of the Knowledge Quarter and the Georgian Quarter and resident in the old Flying Picket since 2015, Buyers Club is a neighbourhood bar and kitchen-restaurant, complete with gallery, garden with coffee and spritz kiosk, and even an intimate music venue. The Buyers Club garden was originally a much smaller affair but since Oktopus moved out has spanned the entire courtyard. It's a gorgeous place to come and enjoy cocktails, local brews, Belgian lambic, and orange wines from Spain and Italy. The food is boss too with fresh pasta and pizzas readily on the go.

Last updated 26 March 2022

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