Once upon a time a VERY beautiful Young Scouse Bird met friends for drinks in the new place to be in Liverpool, a bar on Victoria Street called The Living Room (“TLR”). All the cool kids went there and there was even talk of Gazza himself making an appearance. The Young Scouse Bird was excited as she walked through the door but, ten minutes later, she walked back out through the same door because the bar was full of gobshites.
This was the first time I went to TLR on a Saturday night (well over 10 years ago) and, back then, it was the kind of place pretentious people went to so they could pose and pout around other pretentious people (I believe that the collective term for such people is a gaggle of gobshites).
Flash forward many years, posing and pouting in night clubs has evolved into the ubiquitous tweeting of the selfie, Gazza is officially mad and that Young Scouse Bird is now an Old Scouse Bird who has a lot more wrinkles but much better shoes.
I really hate pretentious bars. It makes me incredibly sad to see young birds standing around, all hair and bones, having a pout off over an untouched cocktail because they can’t afford the calories. However, when in Rome and all that and, so, based on my previous encounters with TLR, I prepped for an evening of boss posing and pouting like a champ.
I wore Dolce and Gabbana, practised my bored and disinterested face (turns out it looks a lot like my “fine” face which I give to my husband when I really mean “is it shite fine”) and then strutted into TLR like I owned the place…well, that was the look I was going for but, in reality, I got out of the taxi and stepped into a big puddle of water. So, in the end, I kind of limped into the bar shaking the water out of my shoes.
However, this meant that I was a few paces behind SBP and perfectly positioned to notice the doormen checking out her ass as she walked into the bar (to be fair, she has got a lovely ass). They never looked at my ass so me and TLR immediately got off to a bad start.
I walked into the bar to the sound of a James Bond tune being played on a baby grand. It was beautiful, it was classy, it was elegant…it was getting on my nerves. I am so sorry, piano playing chick. You are amazing and so talented but the piano music just seemed a little out of place on a Saturday night. Perhaps though it was just me lacking class and finesse so, with due diligence, I asked SBP what she thought: “I don’t like it and I want it to go away”. Maybe not just me then…
As I walked the short distance between the entrance and the bar what struck me immediately was that there did not appear to be any posing or pouting going on that night. Men and women were scattered around the room in groups of twos, threes and fours and they looked comfortable and relaxed as they made light conversation about (I suspected) potato salad and Homebase (trust me, they just had that look about them).
I would put their average age at about late twenties/early thirties and, on the plus side (for single birds anyway), there were definitely more men than women. However, the men there that night seemed a little too quiet and sensible for my liking and maybe a tiny bit boring.
The atmosphere was laid back and chilled but maybe a little too chilled for a Saturday night. However, it was very easy to hear conversation. For example, I could hear SBP very clearly when she pointed out that there was a bird at the bar wearing a woolly hat (an actual winter one that you may wear if it was snowing heavily outside but you really needed to go to the shop for two bottles of wine some milk). Apparently the TLR has relaxed its Saturday night dress code. I wasn’t so bothered, I like a bird who takes her knitwear out for a drink.
At 2 o’ clock we spotted a party of female wools (a kitten heel shoe boot and a general lack of back combing gave the game away). After swallowing the little bit of sick in my mouth, I knocked a point off the bar’s total score for failing to be vigilant about kitten heels.
We got a couple of seats without a problem so points were scored here as I hate to stand up in a bar. I find it much easier to sip my cocktail and pretend that I am in Sex and the City when I am sitting down (usually Carrie and sometimes Samantha when I’m feeling a bit slaggy but never ever Miranda).
TLR has a very impressive cocktail menu (trust me on this, I am an expert). We started off on Basil Grandes which are £8 per drink. There were two barmen serving and I ordered our drinks pretty much straight away from the one who was not wearing braces (not mouth braces I must add: the kind attached to ones trousers. Yeah, I don’t know why either).
I am extremely impatient and hate to wait over 15 minutes for a drink that I will probably finish in less than ten (what? I’m a quick drinker). However, the non-brace wearing barman placed down two perfectly made Basil Grandes in front of me in just over five minutes.
We stayed for a couple more cocktails which were lovely. However, the atmosphere was so chilled that I was starting to feel sleepy. We left just after 11pm and headed over to Moniques. Four hours later I fell through our front door clasping a half eaten McChicken Sandwich which was unusual because yes, I never leave food, but also because I don’t actually eat meat.
At one time, TLR was the “in” bar and the place to be in Liverpool on a Friday and Saturday night. No bar or club ever keeps this title as drinkers invariably move onto the next new thing. In 2013, on a Saturday night, TLR is a really nice place to go for a good cocktail and a chat with your friends before maybe moving onto to somewhere a little more lively.
- Dress well if you plan to have a few drinks in TLR on a night out. For example, if you are coming to Liverpool on a hen party then wear a nice dress. I suspect that neon pink feather boas and t-shirts saying things like “horny hen” would not make it past the doormen (unlike those kitten heels).
- TLR does two for one cocktails on Sundays.
- If you are after the kind of man who will pull your hair and smack your ass then you are probably not going to find him in here.