The New World Trading Company has rolled out its latest concept, The Florist, in Bristol and Liverpool. Mark Ludmon reports
In February, a new concept burst into bloom from leading operator The New World Trading Company (NWTC). It unveiled The Florist in Park Street in Bristol in the former site of bar and restaurant Goldbrick House, followed two months later by a second in Liverpool in what was previously The Old Blind School. Born from the same team as the 15-strong group of The Botanist bar-restaurants, this new concept is as floral as its name suggests, with light, airy interiors filled with flowers and specialising in cocktails inspired by floristry.
NWTC has transformed the 1850s Grade II-listed building in Liverpool’s Hardman Street which was once the home of the Royal School for the Blind. With touches of vintage elegance, the interior combines Victorian features coupled with a striking large central staircase, with cosy open fires for the colder months. Spectacular floral installations such as two full-size in-bloom trees ensure it has become a regular on Instagram.
Beautiful, harmonious colours and patterns are complemented by natural, tactile textures, from smooth and shiny surfaces and materials to soft ribbons, coarse string and crinkly wrapping paper. Contemporary artist Gemma Compton and graffiti artist Jody Thomas have created bespoke pieces to add to the sensory experience. “The Florist needs be seen to be believed how pretty and light the site has now become,” says general manager Joel Lee.
The Florist offers an extensive list of beers from around the world, with over 60 to choose from, alongside wines and a food menu strong on deli, rotisserie and grill-inspired dishes. The cocktails are inspired by three styles of floristry: English summer garden, Japan’s ikebana flower design and “modern contemporary”. Under the title of “ikebana”, drinks include the light and fragrant Geranium and Lychee Cooler, made with gin, lychee liqueur, geranium syrup, peach and white grape juice, bay leaf bitters and lemon juice. Summery offerings include Roses on the Heath with rose and poppy liqueur, pink peppercorn, peach bitters, white Zinfandel and Hush Heath Sparkling Rosé.
Open from midday seven days a week, the Liverpool site is a destination for all-day dining, with plans to introduce brunch from 9.30am on Saturdays and Sundays, while each night it hosts DJs and saxophonists to soundtrack the party atmosphere. It also offers “sensory-enhancing” masterclasses in the crafts of not just cocktails but also floristry as well as gin and ale tastings.
NWTC has already secured another site for The Florist, which is due to open in a 9,030 sq ft unit later this year as part of the 1.4 million sq ft extension at retail and leisure complex Intu Watford in Hertfordshire. With new sites also lined up for The Botanist including Coventry, The Florist is providing NWTC with a second scaleable concept to bring something fresh and fragrant to the bar scene.
The Florist, Hardman Street, Liverpool L1 9AX
Tel: 0151 294 4695
Originally published in the June 2018 print edition of Bar magazine.