Top 10 | Best beer gardens in Liverpool

Except this goes up to 11. Here are the city's tried and tested suntraps for all your chilling needs

Written by  Angie Sammons | Follow @twangeee | Monday, 23 May 2016 12:06

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 revised 2016 list of where's good for flora, fauna and just having a furtive few. Smoking outdoor areas or pavement chairs and tables are not included, that's too easy. But those places in the city centre who have made an effort are.

All you need now is the, ahem, weather.

 

The Attic, Parr Street, L1.
Brand new for 2015, this tinny terrace, on the sunny side of Parr Street, is open Wednesday to Sunday from noon until late. It too is south facing, for those dawn to dusk serotonin-inducing beams. Bright, colourful tables and chairs are sheltered by vast parasol and you can even hire it out for a do.

With views across the Liverpool skyline, the good folk in The Attic promise barbecues every weekend. There are also big speakers to pump tunes out to the punters. Remain In Light anyone?.

 

Cuthbert's Bakehouse, 103 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L2 5TB
Strictly the choice of daytime imbibery, this pretty backyard suntrap is reached through a twee interior that would make Cath Kidson weep with joy.

Cuthbert's makes cakes, lots of lovely cakes. Cup, trickle, loaf, whoopie and tart. They do sandwiches and afternoon teas too.

Hmmm. Cheeky glass or two of Prosecco with that? Why the hell not? Buy a bottle for £14. Nobody will ever think of looking for you in here.


Ye Cracke, Rice Street, Liverpool L1.
As the courting spot of the late John and Cynthia Lennon, there is no more appropriate time to raise a glass to Liverpool Art College’s starriest couple.

Ye Cracke is the watering hole for the mad, bad and dangerous to know, and its main attraction has always been its beer yard. But unlike the characters who occupy it, Ye Cracke's residential neighbours don't get more and more disturbed as the night goes on. A 9pm curfew operates and you will be shooed indoors after that.

Wine is sold by the tiny bottle after bottle. Cocktails = 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.

 

The Grapes, Roscoe Street, L1.
If you can't stand the heat of Ye Cracke, or those heady “plant” aromas, step down the road.

Landlady Ann Marie Slater tended this blissful whitewashed haven with the same care as the rest of The Little Grapes which she resurrected in the mid 2000s. New and improved for 2016 the flower buckets, and baskets continue to tumble, not to mention the clientèle.

 

Courtyard, Rigby's/Lady of Mann pubs, Dale Street, L2
The commercial heart of Liverpool is strangely starved of outdoor drinking opportunities, bar this and The Cornmarket on Fenwick Street.

This, then, is the den of choice in L2, practically the only open courtyard in Liverpool, and therefore a babbling businesslike place to be on a warm early doors.

Pretend you are in EC1 by knocking back pints of London Pride, oh Okells then, on your imaginary fat cat bonus on the Yorkstone flags amid the hanging fuchsias. No under 18s allowed, one is frequently reminded.
 


The Clove Hitch, 23 Hope Street, L1.
Anything goes in the secluded garden of this elegant Georgian townhouse: Have a full English breakfast, a large tequila or both together. Observe the group of Lunchtime O’Booze college staff downing jugs of Pimms like there was no tomorrow, let alone a lecture to take in half an hour.

Facing east and surrounded by handsome period houses, this is sunshine city until about 4pm, but look in at 10pm in the evening too, when the fairy lights are twinkling and the patio heaters are on. Goosepimples? Check out the basement 23 Club for all your whisky needs.
 

 

Hidden Garden, Constellations, 35 Greenland Street, Baltic Triangle. L1 0BS. 0151 345 6302.
Opened last July, this 6,000 sq ft warehouse space, designed by brothers Hugh and Howard Miller, is about to bloom into its first full summer.

The huge, imposing bar is one piece of impressive carpentry which lights like a starship after dark.

But the Hidden Garden is more than a place for the 2,000+ Baltic dwellers to get the beer in. They work hard to keep em coming: food and drink events, arts markets and gigs. Drop in Wednesday to Sunday (although if it is a sunny Monday or Tuesday you may the gates open and pumps pumping). It's contemporary yet entirely in keeping with the area’s Scandinavian history. From May, food served from noon to midnight every day. Norwegian wood? We would too.
 


Free State Kitchen, 1 Maryland Street, L1

Currently, 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. But that is set to change.

The evidence? FSK have just built a whopping standalone bar in what 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.

 
 

The Kazimier Garden, Seel Street, L1.

All things must pass, and while the Kazimier prepares to bow out of Wolstenholme Square forever, the good news, for now, is that its enchanting garden on Seel Street remains, having just signed a new lease.

Often copied, but rarely bettered, the Kaz Garden blossoms year round like a feral flower in this former car park. For the nesh, there’s a real train carriage to hide out in, cinema shows on the mezzanine, a wood fire, lots of great food from a barbecue and a kitchen. And above us only bees, tens of thousands of them, from hives installed in the bell tower last summer.

 

The Monro, Duke Street, L1.
The self-styled gastropub, once run by our very own Mayor Joe Anderson, has changed hands again in the last year. But if the grub doesn't grab you (try the dizzying Monday night offer, two courses for £15 and a bottle of wine EACH) 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 a pint of Sundowner with that.


The Pen Factory, Hope Street, L1.

Imagine how the old Everyman Bistro would have been with fresh air and sunshine as
optional add oDon't Google himns. They were always on proprietor Paddy Byrne’s wish list and now that he has moved his operation next door, a lush new world has opened up for the lushes. A secluded courtyard is bedding in, directly reached through big iron gates on studenty Arrad Street and the more gentrified Hope Street at the front.

A bespoke barbecue AND a separate outdoor bar are currently being installed, and a log fire is never far away.

For those who like it even hotter, you won’t go wrong with a shot of Ron Jeremy.