If you're on Instagram, I'm sure you'll know all of the clichés by now. Dungarees and a Breton top, straw bags, Diptyque candles and, of course, flowers! We all love a good bloom, whether they're fresh and in a vase, on our clothes or in galvanised buckets outside a perfectly Instagrammable florist. So you can imagine my delight when I was invited to the opening of Liverpool's newest bar, which promised to be every floral lover's dream!
The Florist is on Hardman Street in Liverpool city centre, in the building which was previously The Old Blind School (and actually a school for the blind, once upon a time). Like much of Liverpool's architecture, the building itself is a stunning sandy coloured Georgian building, with huge sash windows and an imposing front. Upon entering The Florist, our breath was instantly taken away. They predict that it will be the most photographed bar in town, and I don't think they'll be wrong! Huge trees provide a canopy of blossom over plush floral velvet chairs, a vintage bike with a basket filled with flowers leans against a glass cage of vintage birdcages entwined with vines and flowers, and the whole place is super light and airy. There are photo opportunities at every turn, and the place is HUGE to boot!
As soon as we arrived we were handed a cocktail, their Rhubarb in Bloom, which is made with rhubarb infused gin and flavours of ginger, apple and raspberry. Everything has been created to gently awaken the senses, with florals and delicate botanicals carefully selected to complement each other and provide a decadent experience. Everything felt high end; the ingredients in everything from the food to the cocktails felt carefully selected and exceptional quality.
We were given a tour of the building, which spans both floors thanks to an absolutely stunning staircase with the most amazing light fitting; oh to have a staircase big enough to accommodate one at home! Floral wall murals and neon lights adorn the walls, which are meticulously distressed and hold interesting botanical prints in a brilliant juxtaposition of vintage and modern style.
The venue is cleverly designed with separate rooms and sections all offering slightly different vibes. There are a couple of gorgeously private little rooms that are available to hire, including a private dining room with a luxurious huge round table that you can book for a quiet meal with family or friends. There were workshops going on in every corner of The Florist, and we were treated to floral arrangements, botanical cocktail making, a gin masterclass with Manchester Gin, food tasting and an ale class. We only managed to get to the gin and cocktail classes, but both were so much fun and we actually learned so much about the role of botanicals in drinks!
I, of course, volunteered to go behind the bar and be the guinea pig at the cocktail making class. You can't take me anywhere!
We spent a good portion of the night wandering around and looking at the amazing decor; you'll find yourself doing the same! There is just so much to take in visually, we didn't find ourselves needing to seek out any other entertainment. There was a brilliant live saxophonist playing along with a DJ and percussionist downstairs, which gave it a really relaxed and cool vibe. We tried a few more different cocktails, my husband loved his smoky oak moss gin Old Fashioned and I had an excellent espresso martini! Espresso martinis are not all made equal, but this one was divinely smooth. Other than Rhubarb in Bloom, my other favourite was Peaches and Prosecco, which was a peachy twist on an Aperol Spritz complete with the most darling little bouquet of herbs and flowers pegged to the glass; the scent of thyme and nasturtium really lifted my taste experience of the drink. That is what The Florist is all about, those extra sensations to heighten the senses and make your experience of what you're eating, drinking or seeing all the more vivid.
The staff were fantastic too, so friendly and helpful. We learned that they all have intensive training in all the ingredients and techniques used, and it really shows. One of our favourites was this cocktail maestro Miguel, look at him go!
We were very lucky to be invited back on the Sunday for a roast dinner, and there couldn't have been a more perfect hangover cure. The venue is so light, airy and calming, it's impossible not to relax as soon as you're seated in a squishy velvet chair. The roast dinners were HUGE with a Yorkshire Pudding as big as my head! They were also able to do a gluten free Yorkie for me that was actually delicious - and that is no mean feat let me tell you. Their offer of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian food is excellent. It translated into a calming Sunday daytime venue effortlessly, and the food was top notch.
Thank you so much to The Florist for a truly fantastic weekend; it was the most generous launch event I've ever been to. If you're in Liverpool and you want to go somewhere utterly stunningly beautiful, you need to go; just make sure you remember your camera!