It is very rare that I go to a bar or restaurant and am totally, utterly and wholeheartedly blown away. You've got to do quite a bit to impress this girl. But ever since I visited The Florist a few weekends ago it has been pretty much all I have thought about since.
Housed in the site of the former Old Blind School pub on Hardman Street, The Florist is the latest concept bar-restaurant from the New World Trading Company (the ones behind The Club House and Smuggler's Cove in Liverpool). Not knowing much about it beforehand, I initially thought that there would be the odd daisy and bunch of tulips dotted around just to add a little theme.....oh how I was wrong!
The Florist looks like it has been plucked straight out of your dreams. Stepping in from the busy street outside and enter the main foyer you are entering a world of floral fantasy. The restaurant has pulled out all the stops and spared no expense to give you a full sensory experience from the second you walk through the door.
Having never visited the premises when it was The Blind School I didn't realise how extensive the interior is. A series of rooms make up both floors with an ornate staircase connecting the two floors. It's magnitude and opulence is really a sight to behold and The Florist has really utilised the space in the best possible way. Downstairs, leading off from the main foyer are two bars, both of which are light and airy, with ample seating where you can sip cocktails or just sit and take it all in. Each bar is decorated in a different way, but there is an effortless cohesion between the two and no matter where you look there is always something new to see.
Take a meander up the staircase (not forgetting to stop off at the stunning and oh so Instagrammable flower wall) and you'll find the restaurant. The attention to detail continues here, and whereas you might think that such a fancy-looking place might make you feel uncomfortable dining there, it is actually more like walking into a big country cottage kitchen. The dining area is big and area, with big Georgian windows welcoming light through, and yet there is an undeniable intimate feeling about it that makes you feel at home.
I was very kindly invited down to experience both days' events at The Florist but unfortunately I was unable to attend on the Saturday evening. Checking in on all the snaps of the evening enviable through Instagram it made me all the more excited to head there on the Sunday. Both Ryan and Eric were coming with me and I couldn't wait for them to experience it with me. It would also give me the chance to catch up with some of my Liverpool blogging buddies. As fate would have it we all appeared at the restaurant at the same time and were very kindly offered the private dining room to use for our meals.
One thing that I will mention is that The Florist isn't the most pram friendly. I don't think there is a lift in the restaurant so that means if you are dining you need to get everything up the stairs. This wasn't an issue for us as everyone came to our aide and lent a hand, but something that I think you need to be aware of if you are planning a trip during the day for a family dining experience.
The private dining space was tucked away behind the main restaurant and had ample room to seat all of us and house the pushchair. Even though there was only a small corridor separating us from other diners it was really quiet - if you strained your ear there was only the faint hubbub or noise in the background. Otherwise it was a really peaceful place to eat and would be ideal if you are visiting for a special occasion and wanted to enjoy your time at The Florist without many outside interruptions.
The Sunday Roast
Having already heard so much about the extensive array of amazing cocktails the first thing I did once we all sat down was have a good look through of the drinks menu. Everything sounded amazing but the one that really stood out to me was Roses On The Heath (I love anything rose themed and the name just reminded me of Wuthering Heights).
When it came to food it didn't take me long to decide what I wanted. Even though there were quite a few different dishes to choose from the Outdoor-Reared Slow Roast Belly Pork was screaming my name. Roasts come with vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puds and gravy as standard but there is also the option to order additional sides, so Ryan and I ordered some of the Baked Courgette, Sage and Apricot Stuffing Balls and Buttered Carrot And Parsnip Mash too.
However the portion sizes are very generous so the sides - although a welcome extra - aren't really needed. If you have a hungry tot in tow though, they come in very useful. Eric loved the stuffing, mash and all the other tit-bits he had from our plates. All the food was cooked perfectly, with my fork sliding through the pork belly like it was butter. The vegetables had the ideal amount of crunch and the roasts with a crispy coating and fluffy middle. It's always difficult gauging how much bang for your buck you're going to get at a new restaurant but The Florist definitely did not disappoint!
Dessert was also a no-brainer. The Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake had my name written all over it. And it was gorgeous. Creamy, rich but not at all heavy. The ginger cut through the chocolate in a subtle way and the sauce that came with the cheesecake was yummy too (I just wish there had been a little bit more of it).
It looks as though The Florist is set to be the destination of Spring / Summer and it's pretty clear to see why. With amazing decor, delicious food and the prettiest cocktails you've ever seen it really does have it all. Oh, and did I mention they are also offering masterclasses in gin, cocktails and floristry too? I can see these being really popular with hen parties and birthday princesses
If you are looking for a new destination for dates, dinner parties or drinks with the girls then I honestly suggest you get yourselves down to The Florist. I know I'm already itching to head back and sample more of their cocktail menu - I'll just have to find a babysitter first!