Turfed rooftop gardens, botanical sanctuaries, rustic yards – here’s where to get some vitamin D
Liverpool might not have one of the most sprawling skylines in the world but, when the skies are clear, we’ve got views for days and an array of roof top bars to enjoy them from to boot. The city-that-loves-to-party is also home to a whole host of outdoor terraces, which all make for the perfect place to pop a bottle or four when it’s crackin’ the flags out there.
So, if you fancy discovering some celebrated watering holes off the beaten track or exploring the city’s independent scene more intrepidly, we recommend swinging by any (or all of) these hidden gems…
Eden at Red Door
While the seasons have been changing, the big spenders over at Red Door have been splashing £100k on a brand new rooftop retreat. The newly-opened terrace goes by the ethereal name of Eden and looks to be every inch as heavenly as that might suggest. Whitewash furniture, climbing botanics and shabby chic furnishings make it a luxe little hideout that is set to become a hot topic this summer.
Drinks include The Poison Apple - a technicolour muddle of rhubarb & ginger gin, apple, cinnamon, lemon juice, vanilla foam and a blue pea flower shot. Capacity will be no more than 100 guests in order to ensure an intimate and exclusive experience for all.
Red Door, 21-23 Berry Street, L1 9DF
The OG of outdoor bars in Liverpool city centre, Kazimier Garden - ‘Kaz Garden’ to locals – is definitely somewhere to send straight to the top of your list if you’re looking for cool places to drink al fresco this summer. Make no mistake though, this unsuspecting little nook is about more than just the a-a-alcohol…
Kaz Garden describes itself as a ‘venue, bar, ecosystem, café and art gallery' so it’s easy to see how the hours can just while away at this botanical sanctuary slap-bang in the centre of the city. Open Tuesday to Thursday, this is the kind of establishment where your Birkenstocks ‘n’ socks ensemble will get nothing but nods of mutual respect.
Kazimier Garden, adjacent to 32 Seel Street, L1 4BE
Well, yeah, goodness gracious indeed because the panorama at this eighth floor cocktail garden is nothing short of spectacular when the weather is playing ball. Sitting atop of charming (and coveted) venue OH ME! OH MY!, the Goodness Gracious rooftop bar spoils with vantage views across the city and a repertoire of picture-perfect cocktails.
Just be aware that when the weather isn’t playing ball, these guys prefer to stay warm and dry so make sure to check the forecast before putting this terrace sans-roof on your agenda.
Goodness Gracious, eighth floor, West Africa House, 25 Water Street, L2 0RG
Everybody wraps their tongue around it differently; is it Huss? Is it Haus? Is it H-U-S? Who knows but, then again, who actually cares when there’s a turfed rooftop bar complete with deck chairs, beehives and plenty of good grub on offer?
At the epicentre of Liverpool’s business district, HUS is the perfect go-to if you want to grab a bite to eat and a coffee at lunchtime when your meal deal is looking particularly mediocre. It’s also the ideal overspill for when Friday afternoon drinks at the desk need relocating to more cool and casual surroundings.
HUS, Tempest Building, Tithebarn Street, L2 2DT
Tucked away behind the façade of Hardman Street, Buyers Club is one of those hidden gems, away from the mainstream melee, which you want to tell all your friends about but also want to keep it all to yourself too.
Year-round, it’s a twinkling candlelit bar and venue dedicated to locally-sourced edibles and an enviable beer, spirit and wine repertoire. In the balmier months, it’s a rustic outdoor yard with a calendar of regular garden parties and expertly muddled beverages served ‘til late. You may even be lucky to catch an exhibition or two while you’re there.
Buyers Club, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9AX
Liberté’s rooftop bar may not have opened its doors quite yet but word on the grapevine is that this is going to be an unmissable stop in the city this season. It has bragging rights to panoramic views of Liverpool covering 2,000 sq. ft, as well as an indoor cocktail bar and Pan Asian restaurant which have already gathered quite the acclaim.
There are even rumours of a 'rooftop summer brunching club,' which are four glorious words we are more than happy to see being used in the same sentence. So, in the meantime, watch this space…
Liberté, 50 Brunswick Street, L2 0PL
Name a better trio than live music, great food and good drinks under the beating sun… Go on, we’ll wait. There’s all of the above in absolute abundance at the venue which surely requires no introduction at this point: Constellations.
Catch something on the eclectic calendar of events, from food pop-ups and vintage kilo sales to live music and DJ sets. Alternatively, just pull up a pew at the Constellations garden and outdoor bar and enjoy your fill of local spirits, craft beers or even a sip of Liverpool-made soft drink, Soda Works.
Constellations, 35-39 Greenland Street, L1 0BS
Picture this: sun blazing down over the Baltic Triangle… BBQ sizzling away in the background… the sound of live music moving through the air and a well-stocked bar serving up some of the most Instagrammable cocktails in town… That’s the deal over at Birdie’s Bar & BBQ.
Nestled beneath the Cain’s Brewery sign on Parliament Street, Birdie’s has set up shop in the city’s most up-and-coming district. It’s a summer garden, street food eatery and live music venue all rolled into one sweet, sticky bun of seasonal hedonism (with a few palm trees thrown into the mix for good measure).
Birdie’s, 29-31 Parliament Street
Botanical Gin Garden
Proudly branding itself as ‘Liverpool’s only outdoor space dedicated to gin’, the Botanical Gin Garden is an open-top bar which is rough around the edges in all the right places. Purposely ‘make-shift’, the turfed bleachers, graffitied walls, miscellaneous disco balls, brick booths, picnic benches and barrel tables all help give the Botanical Gin Garden its charm. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d blinked and landed in Kreuzberg, Berlin.
Order enough G&Ts and, well, pretty much any outdoor space could be dedicated to gin but this lot really do know their distils and how to mix ‘em. It’s also home to the infamous Gin in a Tin and a roster of pop up foodie residencies - catch it while you can because it’s only in bloom March through October.
Botanical Gin Garden, 49 New Bird Street, L1 0BW
If a ferry ‘cross the Mersey isn’t really your style, do a bit of boat spotting from the comfort of the second-floor outdoor terrace at Matou instead. The drinks list is as long as your arm but we challenge you to get past the classic Piña Colada, which these guys shake up to utter perfection.
Oh, we should probably also mention that this waterfront terrace belongs to one of the most coveted Pan Asian restaurants in the city – by the same name, of course. Matou boasts an extensive menu of delicious dishes (including a mean Pad Thai) so, should you get a case of the mid-drinking session munchies, satiation is but a menu flick away.
Matou, 2nd Floor, Ferry Terminal Building, George Parade, L3 1BY
Head upstairs to Wahaca Liverpool’s colourful Rooftop Cocktail Bar, where you’ll find the team shaking fresh Tequila and Mezcal inspired cocktails and shots of Mexico’s finest spirits overlooking College Lane and Hanover Street.
There you'll find an evergreen patch of artificial grass with a few low tables and lounge chairs, benches and bucket seats - a perfect hideaway on a nice sunny day.
Wahaca, 24 College Lane (off Hanover Street LiverpoolONE, Liverpool L1 3DS
Last, but probably coolest, is The Merchant. The place to be for a well-garnished G&T or a craft beer in casual, urban surroundings. You never quite know who you’ll end up sat next to on the giant picnic bench unless, of course, you’re huddled in one of the coveted heated booths at a perfect talking distance away from the live DJ box.
As if that wasn’t enough to entice you, The Merchant is also the Siamese sibling of the notorious Nightcrawler Pizza. Take the backdoor out of the bar and you’ll find yourself under the neon glow of Nightcrawler, taking your pick from a glorious array of pizza slices the size of your face.
The Merchant, 40 Slater Street, L1 4BX