Whilst our kid Gef and the gang here at Gef The Mongoose are massive advocates of our tropical island here in the Irish Sea; we fully appreciate the necessity to sometimes escape it – for risk of contracting terminal cabin fever…
For that reason, every now and then we’ll be spotlighting a new city and giving you the lowdown on what’s hot, hip and happening in and around that area. We’ll start with those that have a direct link from the Isle of Man and who knows, if this feature’s a hit, we might just venture further afield!
This month’s spotlight is shining on our closest living relative, and somewhat of a kindred spirit, Liverpool. Yeah, yeah, we know most of you know the scouse capital like the back of your hand, and we’ve all had that night in Concert Square that we’d rather not have… And that’s fine, because we’re going to take hold of your other hand and give you a whistle stop tour of the not so beaten path.
1. #eat – Baltic Market
Eatin’s not always cheatin’, particularly when the eat is so worth the cheat. Set in the old Caine’s Brewery out in Liverpool’s creative quarter; the Baltic Triangle.
Brainchild of the fellas behind ‘Independendent Liverpool’, Baltic Market is a big bad a$s warehouse packed out with a bar, prosecco bar, DJ booth and stage. Showcasing a rotating roster of all things incredible from Liverpool’s ever-expanding food and drink scene.
We ate Halloumi Fries (OMFG worth the trip alone) from Hafla Hafla, a damn tasty squid situation from Oktopus, and drank Rhubarb Negronis from the bar.
Seriously though, this place is frickin’ awesome. Imagine dying, walking through those pearly gates and rolling into the most kick-ass food court, like ever… Yup this place is the kitten’s knickers!!
2. #drink – Furnival’s Well
If you’re after a cute candle-lit date space, this is the place. Set inside an old prison – stay with us – they sure make the most of the space, with little booth areas inside the old cells. Their drinks menu is epic too, so much so it was shortlisted for an award at this year’s Imbibe Drinks List of the Year Awards.
From the team behind another of our favourite haunts, the Liverpool speakeasy institution Berry + Rye, Furnival’s Well was guaranteed to be a hit. We drank classic Manhattans and house creation “Captain Cuttle’s Armada” – a kinda sherry cobbler type situation.
3. #party – Camp + Furnace
In terms of party, this place brings giving it big beans to a whole new level. Selling itself as an eclectic warehouse space with all the best bits from all the best festivals; boasting a restaurant, bar, live music venue, hireable event space and ‘cultural hangout’, could they BE anymore on the money?!
Camp and Furnace is in many respects the beating heart of the Baltic Triangle, being one of the first venues to open up in the now thriving area. Each and every week you can expect a downright diverse mash up of an event listing, ranging from pop-up dining experiences to live music, club nights, sports screenings, stand-up comedy and erm… Bingo?!
Yup, aside from being awesome on a whole new level, Camp and Furnace can be proud forever more for being the birthplace of the now global sensation “Bongo’s Bingo”, the most alternative and quite honestly random AF game of bingo you’ll ever play in your life.
4. #afterparty – El Bandito
After the party, comes the afterparty, and boy f*****g George do these guys know how to throw one hell of an after hours session!
Liverpool’s first and only tequila bunker is a tiny little basement space beneath the not so shy nor retiring older brother Santa Chupitos, serving all things agave to an epic soundtrack ‘til the wee hours.
5. #morningafter – Filter + Fox
We weren’t quite sure where to fit Filter + Fox into this list; the coffee is amongst the best in the city, the food is epic, the drinks are (good) bangin’ and holy f**k do they know how to bring the party.
That being the case, we figured making this tiny corner hangout space on Duke Street our pick for the morning after category gave you scope to indulge in all of the above by doing the whole thing again the next day.
First up, sort yourself out with one of the best Bloody Mary’s you’ll ever try and get some greasy stodge back in you, with the naughtiest of grilled cheese situations, setting yourself up for the day ahead. Soul restored, start work on their top-notch house cocktail menu, pausing sometime around 4pm to pick yourself up with their signature serve, the Café Menta, think mint/coffee/madness. As the lights dim, the tunes crank up and the party ensues. Same time tomorrow?
6. #wildcard – Invisible Wind Factory
Our wildcard choice is a well out of town warehouse style complex and gets our vote due to sheer versatility. Invisible Wind Factory is a self-proclaimed “cultural theme park of the future”; a 1200 capacity ever developing destination for visitors, artists and tourists. The venue is kitted out to an incredible high-tec, whilst retaining its industrial soul; a state of the art creative hub if you will. It’s home to a performance venue, rehearsal space, workshop and 18 artist studios.
Boasting an eclectic schedule of events month in month out, from exhibitions, theatre, large-scale productions, corporate events, film shoots and gigs. We saw progressive electro kids ‘Mount Kimbie’ upstairs, before heading downstairs to dance our pants off ‘til the small hours in their basement club space.
So, there you have it, our guide to the hips and happenings in Liverpool. Go forth and enjoy folks, you can thank us later!
If there’s a city or venue you’d like us to feature, drop us a line in Gef’s Suggestion Box and we’ll be happy to go sniff out the sesh, investigate on your behalf and report back our findings! It’s a hard life huh?