Bold Street, Liverpool
Review by Lawrence Saunders | Café | £££ | 10 Bold Street, L1 4DS | 0151 709 9992
Full disclosure before we begin: I love cats. I’m a feline fanatic, moggy mad, kitty crazy.
My fiancée and I have two little treasures of our own, Alfie and Audrey, who have the run of our house.
You get the picture, I’m a fan of cats.
So, as you’d imagine, when my editor asked if I fancied trying out Bold Street’s new Cat Café, I pounced on the chance faster than a prized British Shorthair.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a cat café is just like any other café, except it’s full of cats. Also, unlike most coffee shops, you’re charged for the pleasure by the hour.
For £12 you get 60 minutes of unlimited hot and cold drinks, and the freedom to explore and enjoy three floors of exquisitely appointed cat habitat.
After applying a pair of unflattering blue surgical shoe covers in the vestibule, our party of three (my cat mad sister insisted on joining my partner and I) was briefed on the ground rules.
First rule of cat café: don’t pick them up. Second rule of cat café: don’t feed them. Third rule of cat café: don’t mess with them if they’re asleep.
Follow these three simple instructions and you’re golden.
After a tour of the building from an uber-professional café team member, we grabbed a couple of cozy couches on the first floor, ordered a cappuccino, a latte and a pot of tea, and waited.
A hushed team talk soon developed. Should we get up and catch one? Tempt one over with some food?
Remembering the first two rules of cat café we sat back and braced ourselves for our first cat contact.
After five minutes of increasingly desperate cat toy shaking, a gorgeous Ragdoll named Maximus mercifully moseyed over to our table for a play.
Leo, an elegant mink Bengal; and Todd, a stunning strawberry blonde Somali; soon joined their mate. A joyous playtime session ensued.
“The Cat Café isn’t a gimmick. It’s an elegant café with lovely staff and a well-priced and well-stocked menu. It’s also got 26 or so magnificent cats.”
Amidst all the excitement we’d neglected our drinks, thankfully they’d retained adequate warmth to still be well appreciated.
A good cup of tea or coffee is always improved with something sweet and spongy though, so it was for the food menu we reached next.
Delivered in double quick time by the ever observant staff, my toasted teacake with butter and jam (£2.99) definitely hit the spot at six o’clock, whilst my partner’s scone with clotted cream and jam (£3.25) warranted two thumbs up.
But it was my sibling’s choice of a crumpet with butter (£2.75) which became the centre of attention for one permanent Cat Café resident.
Todd, who’d hung around long after Leo and Max had hightailed it, plonked himself proudly in my sister’s lap.
According to his online profile he’s quite a needy cat, partial to a cuddle or two – judging by his behaviour during our visit, he’s clearly partial to a slice of cake or two as well.
Luckily, a quick-witted team member was on hand to stop Todd helping himself to an unattended crumpet.
Although my sister grudgingly acknowledged he was more than likely only sticking around due to the prospect of some grub, Todd’s stop off was the undoubted highlight of our visit.
With the food finished and Todd off on his merry way we decided to relocate for our final few minutes, but not before meeting Dobbie, a striking Sphynx who we were told can often be found sporting a colourful pullover.
Up on the second floor another lucky punter had made best pals with another four-legged local. With a ginger tom firmly planted in his lap, mining a mouthful of carrot cake was proving difficult for this gentleman.
Before we knew it, our 60 minutes were up and it was time to rejoin the cruel, miserable world outside.
The Cat Café isn’t a gimmick. It’s an elegant café in a great central location with lovely staff and a well-priced and well-stocked menu.
It’s also got 26 or so magnificent cats. Which means it’s Liverpool’s best café of all time. Ever.