Lunch Review: The Garden by LEAF
FACT, Wood Street, Liverpool
Review by Liam Deveney
Within a creative technology hub at the heart of Liverpool city centre, we find a lunch venue offering mouth-watering treats for all palates.
Having opened four years ago inside FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) on Wood Street, The Garden is from the successful team behind the ever popular LEAF on nearby Bold Street, and Oh Me Oh My on Water Street in the commercial district.
With a varied menu, veggies, vegans and gluten-free visitors can enjoy a wide range of soups, sandwiches, salads and tapas dishes, with a few options for carnivores included on both the breakfast and lunch menus.
Business savvy customers can combine their culinary enjoyment with a tasty 10% discount if they sign up for a FACT membership card too.
On the day of our reservation, the appalling winter weather outside made food selection a formality as the soup of the day (tomato and roasted red pepper) and sandwich combo (£7.25) was the obvious choice to regain some lost warmth. I opted for a chorizo, roast veg and pesto sandwich served on warm focaccia, whilst my plus one plumped for tuna with lemon and black pepper mayo.
The soup was lip-smackingly delicious and a timely antidote to the soaking we had just received. The high standard was maintained in the sandwiches, which were healthy, light and attractively presented, leaving us both sated and comfortable.
As one would expect from the younger sibling of LEAF, there is also a wide variety of loose teas available. My dining partner chose a ginger root tea (£2.20) whilst I opted for the traditional English breakfast (£2.15); both were piping hot (essential) and refreshing.
Between courses, I tested the WiFi speed (no registration process – a novel bonus) and was pleasantly surprised by the strength and pace of the connection. There were no noticeable delays to sending and receiving emails or surfing the net, and numerous power sockets on the left-hand side of the café meant dying batteries received a much needed charge.
There is also a wellbeing library area to the rear of the café, where meetings for small groups can be held in a “relaxing and welcoming environment where all are welcome”.
Before heading back out into the driving rain, we rounded off a truly satisfying lunch with dessert: one white chocolate chip cookie (£1.50) and one toasted teacake with jam and butter (£2.50). As with the rest of our order, our sweets were delicious and left us looking forward to our next visit.
Overall, we found no reason to fault this eatery which lives up to the standards of its stablemates. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy lunch with friends or an unstuffy venue in which to host a business meeting, you’ll be glad you opted for The Garden.