St Michaels opens the door to an alternative Liverpool experience. The south Liverpool station may only be a short train ride from the city’s central stations, but its selection of green spaces, bars and restaurants is able to compete with the main tourist district. So, if you haven’t found yourself drinking in Lark Lane’s charming atmosphere or stretching your legs in one of Liverpool’s largest parks, then a trip to the south of Liverpool by way of St Michaels really ought to be in your plans. Sound good? It’ll sound even better when you realise there is a wealth of activity waiting for you within 10 minutes of the station.
Although only a short 10-minute journey from Liverpool city centre, the contrast in surroundings is quite significant. Emerging from St Michaels station immediately places you in the heart of one of Liverpool’s leafiest suburbs, and a popular point of attraction for people on nights out and tourists alike. Upon leaving the station and stepping on to Southwood Road – with its tightly knit houses, shady lanewith arching trees leaning into the position of a rustling roof – there are two separate directions to take in terms of attractions. Head west, and you’ll find yourself part of the vibrancy of Lark lane and its surrounding streets. Begin your trip east and you’ll be able to follow the slopes towards the Mersey promenade and its views of the sleepy southern tail of the river.
If you’re prepared to stretch your legs for the full 10 minutes, and then stretch them a whole lot further once arrived, then Sefton Park is well worthy of your efforts. One of the largest public parks in the Merseyside area, the green space engulfs a stretch of landscape covering the boundaries of Toxteth, Aigburth, Wavertree and Mossley Hill. While the sheer size of the park leaves much to be explored, including numerous walking routes, there’s notable attractions situated within its perimeter – none more so than the Palm House. The Victorian designed palm house is a grade II listed conservatory that plays host to numerous events throughout the year, alongside a wide collection of rare and sense arousing fauna. The park itself also provides the backdrop to two of Liverpool’s biggest music festivals, Africa Oyé and LIMF, both of which take place each summer.
Liverpool Festival gardens, curated as part of the 1984 International Garden Festival, grew from an embittered political landscape which covered the city through much of the 1980s. An era dominated by upheaval and economic downturn, the gardens offered a momentary distraction from the ensuring social unrest, and can be credited for helping to begin a reversal of the city’s tourism fortunes. Situated just a short walk from the station towards the river promenade, the opposite direction to Sefton park, the festival site still stands as one of the most unique green spaces in the area with its remaining collection of oriental gardens, pagodas, lakes, waterways and waterfalls.
Alison Appleton Tea House
There’s no shortage of places to stop and have a drink on Lark lane, but when it comes to a cup of tea, Alison Appleton knows what it takes to serve up a good brew. The ceramic designer has been spent the last two decades creating her own sleek and stylish range of teapots and tea cups, many of which will harbour a vast range of teas (over 50 to choose from) when visiting her homely tea house. It’s fair to say Alison Appleton understands the philosophy of making a cup of tea, with a further understanding of the numerous facets required to ensure a satisfying experience. With a wine, brunch and afternoon tea menu, Alison’s tea house is a necessary stop for loose leaf connoisseurs.
Keith's Wine Bar
Keith’s isn’t so much a wine bar as it is a Liverpool institution. The restaurant and drinkery has been a favourite for multiple generations since opening in the 1980s, winning hearts with its shabby chic décor and warm atmosphere. As expected, the bar is home to a dizzying selection of wines, but also offers a range of vegetarian plates and European cuisine. Although the bar underwent a refurbishment in 2017, it has retained its bohemian, shoulder length hair freedom in its design and continues to be one of the best loved stops among the hustle and bustle of Lark Lane.
Arts Hub 47
Lark Lane has always been a fertile ground for Liverpool’s independents. Embodying the creative DIY ethos shared by many of the streets occupants, Arts Hub 47 has proven an integral addition not only to the street itself, but also for many of the regions aspiring artists. Since opening in 2012, the hub has been committed to providing a space for creatives to collaborate and hone their skills. And the products of this creative freedom are on display throughout the shop-front of the building. Here you’ll be able to grab a Lark Lane memento while supporting aspiring artists in the creative in the area with an array of cards, bags, paintings, prints, clothes, jewellery, textiles, clothing and much more on offer.
St Michaels doesn’t just offer close proximity to Lark Lane. Alongside green spaces such as Sefton Park and the International Festival Gardens, the station is a short walk from Otterspool Promenade. The leisure area, situated within the Aigburth and Grassendale area, offers stretching views of the river Mersey which are as equally alluring in peak summer and through winter – providing you’ve layered up to defend against the breeze, that is.
Love & Rockets
If you’re looking for a laid-back Lark lane pubbing experience, then Love and Rockets effortlessly encapsulates the vibe of the street. Of course, there’s a wide selection of beers on tap, including IPAs and rotating cask ales – even better when paired with one of the pubs signature stone baked pizzas or plates of nachos. The entertainment isn’t limited to the drink and food selection, either, with regular bingo nights, quizzes and live music from acoustic groups and jazz & blues bands.
Lark Lane is one of the best locations to dine out in Liverpool, and Chili Banana is by far one of the best spots to sample the best Thai cuisine has to offer. Growing from a family business to spread to numerous locations within Cheshire, the Liverpool restaurant provides an atmospheric experience for both the taste buds and the eyes, with its vibrant selection of small plates, street food and A La Carte dishes all tied in with fitting Lark Lane bohemian décor.