Pop into one of these excellent historically minded Liverpool pubs.
These maritime themed pubs and bars carry the true spirit of the sea.
I often get emails through my contact page from prospective tourists asking if there are any places to eat or drink in Liverpool that have a particularly nautical theme, or have some kind of historical provenance, so I thought I’d put together a quick post summarising my top picks for this particular topic. Now, as I’m sure is the case in cities all over the world, there are no shortage of pubs in Liverpool that claim to have a historical link. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that these links are nothing more than rumours, like the one about Adolf Hitler staying at The Albert which is completely unsubstantiated (although his presence in Liverpool has been reported by many locals over the years).
The good news is that there are many pubs and bars in Liverpool that have a genuine historical past, many of which are often hired out for the purpose of holding period-dress costume parties and other such events. The prolificacy of pubs that have survived since the 18th and 19th century means that you’ll find no shortage of grand places to drink, some of which have been looked after better than others. The following places are my personal favourites and also have ties to the city’s maritime history:
30 James Street – Home of the Titanic
Certainly not one for ‘just a casual drink’, 30 James Street is a certified ‘swanky’ bar, hotel, restaurant and spa that was once the home of The White Star Line. Albion House, as it was then known, was originally built in 1898 as an office building and oversaw the international operations for the company, including the registration of the ill-fated Titanic. After the dissolution of The White Star Line, the building was left abandoned until the property was refurbished in the grand style of the Titanic. The hotel is popular with tourists and the restaurant space (a clear tribute to the dining rooms of the Titanic) is often hired out for grand parties complete with dancers, ice sculptures (Glacial Art) and buffets.
The Ship and Mitre
Built in 1935, The Ship and Mitre might have an Art-Deco exterior, but the interior of this pub is nautical through and through. In addition to a hatch serving tasty pub grub throughout the day and night, makeovers to the pub have included plenty of nautical touches intended to make visitors feel that they are inside a ship. As hokey as this sounds, the pub is one of the most popular in the city for beer lovers. There are literally dozens of cask ales on offer here, not to mention a dazzling array of continental beers and lagers for those who are a little pickier.
The Baltic Fleet
A favourite haunt for the remaining sea dogs of the city, The Baltic Fleet is comprised of two pubs: the Turner Vaults (c. 1853) and the original Baltic Fleet (c. 1856). The former pub was initially built for the local community, whilst the Baltic Fleet was intended to serve the dockers who would pop in for a drink throughout the day and night. At the start of the 20th century these two pubs were joined together to create the current building. The pub is a real architectural curio, a strange mix of Victorian and Georgian styles that are clearly defined thanks to its heritage. If you’re lucky you might catch a few salty sorts singing some traditional sea shanties!
The White Star
Finally, a worthy mention for those nautical fanatics, The White Star is a traditional Liverpool pub named after the infamous shipping company. Whilst the pub itself has no real historical link to that company, the rooms are stuffed with nautical pictures, paintings and bric-a-brac that you’re free to peruse at your leisure. This is by no means the fanciest pubs, many would even describe it as a little ‘rough around the edges’, but the locals are friendly and the drinks are very affordable.