Ziferblat

There’s a place in the Albert Dock where you can wash dishes, not get paid, and it be totally legal. Ziferblat (clock face) is an international pay by the minute anti-café chain at which customers pay for the time spent there, rather than the food. The emphasis is on taking your time.

Customers are welcomed and give their name at their door before serving themselves and washing their own dishes and paying on the way out.  So technically, if you could wolf down a loaf of bread in 60 seconds, you’d still only spend 8p. It’s unique in that everything you receive is free, from the cake to wi-fi. Even the toilet is free no matter how much of a stench you make. 

There’s a huge choice of drinks, biscuits, cakes, cereals and you can even make toast (our Spanish pal’s Marmite face was gold). There are 43 kinds of tea and a microwave so you can bring your own scran.

Keep an eye on the time though, because you could spend hours playing board games, records or the piano. There’s a children’s play area so they can be seen but heard a little less, and even dogs are welcome (as long as they don’t poo). Luckily after four hours your time is capped so the rest of the day is free – good thing only London has a designated nap zone.

This place is unique but not try-hard. It feels genuinely inviting and cosy, giving off a vibe something like a hostel crossed with the Brink. You would never think you were even in the docks, and it’s drawing in locals because they don’t need to take out a mortgage to eat.

Back in 2011, Ivan Mitin established Ziferblat in Moscow, its prototype a common space called the Tree House. Ziferblat began as a community of poets aspiring to progress their work.

The main concept of Ziferblat is not only to use an unusual pay system, but to create a space cushy as home where it’s comfortable for you to work and to entertain as well, a place where it’ll be easy to meet new people. One of the main Ziferblat’s features is a tendency to allow the guest to be autonomous, if you want you can become a part of the process: cook food and make drinks at the common kitchen, organize events. People aren’t paying for consumption; we pay for the space and they pay for the time, so it’s about participation. – Ivan Mitin.

As of 2015, Ziferblat has opened in four countries: Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia and the UK (London, Manchester). The Liverpool branch is located near the Tate and the sweet shop with a Sgt Pepper’s canvas made of jelly beans in the window.
 

Most of the photos below are swiped off the website, although it was significantly busier on Saturday afternoon.

The voluntary opportunities are interesting, too. For every hour you help, you will receive two hours free back – boss for those struggling to feed themselves or even just wanting to get out and people watch or meet others.

 

 

 

 

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Illustrations by Hazel Bee

When we’re bored in town without fail we’ll wander into Utility and chuckle at these cards by Hazel Bee. We’ve seen the same ones countless times but they’re still boss. If Hazel created a comic we would read it.

This is our go-to design for basically anyone that needs a card whether they’ve died or given birth (Hazel, please replace ‘hangover’ with ‘popped out another didn’t I.’)

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Each card is 100% recycled, fair trade and printed with vegetable oil in case you get hungry. Here are a few more of our faves:

 

And we don’t usually buy into Valentine’s commercialism but WHERE ARE OUR RALPH & ALAN PILLOW CASES GOD YOU’RE SO NEGLECTFUL.

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If that’s not your cup of vodka, here are some more sensual designs:

For the full range of items including temporary tattoos HAHAHA DAD THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY NOBODY CARES ABOUT FOREHEAD TATTOOS ANYMORE visit http://www.hazelbee.co.uk.

Epicured

Epicured on Gradwell St would be a great place to go on a first date/to dump someone. A meticulous mishmash of curiosities, Mickey Mouse is trapped in a net suspended high above brunchers whilst a book dedicated to 80s trainers is sooo interesting you just didn’t notice your ex drowning in a puddle of his own tears.

Gutted on said ex when he worked out the cheerful fire was just a projection so he couldn’t swiftly dispose of us, tho.

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Aherm, anyway. The music was decent, with tunes like Lola, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Jammin’. 

Epicured is a haven for beardy topknot pug enthusiasts. If there was a convention for these people they’d all be too cool to go, so this place lets them all pretend they discovered it and a wall is covered in hipster jeans in their honour. It’s dead cosy inside and we could have whiled away the whole afternoon there despite not being beardy topknotted pug enthusiasts.

Described as a ‘grazery and cocktail cocoon’, it  basically translates to fancy breakfasts,  tapas-style cured meats, cheese and bread with the option of sharing picnic blocks. To wait we were given popcorn, and between two of us we went for:

– patatas bravas, which promised to be ‘an epi twist on a classic’ (£4)
– sobrasada bonbons (£4.50)
– a little stew pot i.e. a daily changing mini stew or cassoulet ‘bursting with favourite cured meats and treats’ (£5)
– bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (£2.50)

An Independent Liverpool card knocked 15% off the bill – nice one! The food was tasty, well portioned and served on bondage paddles in case your ex decided to beat you to death instead.

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There were plenty of carnivorous choices on the menu including Scottish venison salami and iberico bellota lomo, a ‘special treat from acorn-fed pigs’. Right.

As far as we could tell the only cheesy light bite was the torta canarejal (£12.50), a ‘dreamy, meltingly soft cheese for sharing + dipping’. We’d like to see some smaller cheese options that don’t resemble fondue ‘cos we happen to have a phobia of fondue (don’t ask).

We’re raring to try what else is on offer, and maybe even indulge in a cocktail next time. PS,  how boss is their bathroom?

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epicured

Stay Beautiful Hoop Dance

When: Tuesdays 6:30pm

Where: Dolphin Dance Studio, Devon St

How much: £4.50

Native American hoop dance is a form of storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to thirty hoops as props. These props are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, which represent various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. The dance is generally performed by a solo dancer with multiple hoops.

Don’t worry though, you’ll only have one. Or two.

Both beginner (Tuesdays) and intermediate (Mondays 6:30, Live Wire Dance Studio) classes are run by Kirsten, who also hosts Clubbercise AND can dance with fire. Baiscally, if you take all of our posts as gospel you’ll be as cool as Kirsten.

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Photo by Tomas Adam

Hooping has re-emerged over the past few years, widely credited to jam band The String Cheese Incident. Members started throwing hoops into their audiences in the mid-1990s, encouraging fans to hoop and dance, spreading the word.

Not only is it boss exercise, you can also be one of those glittery pixie souls at festivals that CARRIES A HULA HOOP ALL THE WAY TO A FESTIVAL WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING.

And it isn’t just about gyrating ’til you get bored/are crap and letting it drop to the floor. Hoop manipulation looks dead cool and you’ll learn ‘on body’ and ‘off body’ tricks in the form of breaks, isolations, leg hooping and double hooping.

Hoops are provided and you’ll learn how to keep one spinning around your waist then add more tricks as the weeks progress into a basic routine. [Insert creative and original line about coming full circle].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brink

Look at it. Just look at it. They said the Egg’s cheese on toast would never be kicked off its throne, but there’s a new king in town. This isn’t just cheese on toast – this is the Brink’s Posh Cheese on Toast.

A wedge of freshly baked bread is smothered with Smoked Applewood, topped with optional parma ham. GET IN MY MOUTH. But it’s inside you’ll find the real surprise which really sets this apart, in the form of pickle. Now, we don’t care much for pickle, but we respect that the chefs plonk it in front of you without any hint on the menu because it’s for your own good, damnit. It’s truly glorious – just trust us.

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Besides the sex on toast, this place is an absolute gem and so much more than your usual café bar. Based on Parr St, the Brink is revolutionary in its status as Liverpool’s first dry bar and provides a welcoming, creative space where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can dine, hang out, socialise and relax. The food is just as colourful as its mocktails and interiors, with ingredients locally sourced and meals lovingly prepared.

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They’re passionate about promoting the health and creativity of their local community and work closely with local artists, musicians, poets and performers to produce a wide range of events (we love the Heartbeat Community group drumming). Best of all, The Brink is a recovery social enterprise, meaning all profits go directly back into the community to fund support for those who have suffered through alcoholism and addiction.

The Brink is one of our favourite places to while away lazy Sunday afternoons. You’re guaranteed to leave inspired and with a satisfied gut.

Mister Grimm’s Little School of Horrors

Where: Gostins Building, Hannover St

How much: £15 per session

The Little School of Horrors is the UK’s ONLY special effects school for children (there are grownup classes, don’t worry). They cover a wide range of special effects topics, varying from the creation of masks and prosthetics to film and TV inspired props. No matter the topic though, this is a boss way to get t̶h̶e̶ ̶k̶i̶d̶s̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶h̶a̶i̶r their imaginations going.

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Classes run in an award winning special effects workshop and Head Teacher/Dean of Demonology Amber has worked on shows like Dr Who and Sherlock. The mischievous Mr Grimm, the school’s resident monster and mascot, overlooks proceedings.

In the surroundings of Grimm’s fantasy realm kids can design and create their very own projects in 2D and 3D form with no strict deadline. You can tell they’re in good hands, because even the 7-11 year olds’ finished projects are dead good – we would proudly display that rabid plant in our window, because it still looks healthier than anything we’ve tried to keep alive.

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They also run kids’ parties, and everybody gets to keep their own creations meaning you don’t even have to bother with party bags.

We reckon Mr Grimm would particularly benefit the 16-18 bracket, whose classes follow a little more structure in order to simulate working for a client. Aimed at those who either have an interest or  are looking at a career in the creative industry, whether it be special effects/theatre production/prop making or artistry, they’ll learn new skills and build a portfolio of mad creations. From lightweight armour for a Cosplay meet to prosthetics for a low budget student movie, they’ll receive advice and hands-on experience with a range of materials. Each student is given a sketchbook to record all the stages of the project (great to discuss in portfolio meetings/interviews) as well as ideas and sketches. Once the project is completed, professional photographs are taken – ‘built own Yeti suit’ is bound to make any UCAS application stand out. Classes thoughtfully start at 11am, because no self-respecting teenager is up before brunch.

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Adult classes take the format of “Chaotic Crafting”, where students set the projects themselves. You can bring along a project you started at home and need help finishing (we blame YOU, Neil Buchanan – our damned angel is still a bottle of Fairy Liquid) or maybe you need a prop for a theatre production, or a sculptural piece for an exhibition, or have proper volcanic adult acne only SFX makeup will disguise. All you need to do is come with an idea and they will help make it a reality in their wacky workshop. Classes operate on a flexible basis, meaning you can attend when you like. You simply pick up from where the project was last worked on, and there is no deadline as it’s a weekly ongoing club.

For more information and bookings visit http://www.littleschoolofhorrors.com.

 

Clubbercise

When/where: Mondays Live Wire Dance Studio on Renshaw St, Tuesdays Dolphin Dance Studio on Devon St. Both 7:30pm.

How much: £3.50 includes hire of official Clubbercise glowsticks

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There are apparently 2000+ Clubbercise classes nationwide, so considering how much we LOVELOVELOVE pretending to be angler fish but hatehatehate exercise, it stands to reason they’ve cancelled each other out and we’re only just hearing about it.

Clubbercise involves SOBER (oh no) dance fitness to club anthems under disco lights and lasers (the darkness disguises your camel toe/wedgie so you can really let go).

Choreography involves a blend of simple aerobic and street dance moves offering high and low impact options aimed at all abilities, which is good if your only ability is making a show of yourself – hopefully deprivation of vodka will minimize this risk (that “water bottle” isn’t fooling anyone).  

Clubbercise doesn’t rely on just one music genre but varies from 90s rave to recent dance anthems, so if you’re a bit skint and can’t afford a night on the town you can pretend you’re getting on it à la This Is England – just don’t try and snog the instructor (although Kirsten is quite fit). The loos probably have toilet roll, too!

The founders recognise that their ‘clubbers’ drink loads of water at every class and are keen to share the success with Oxfam, as sadly some of the skintest people on the planet don’t have the luxury of clean drinking water. Every time a new Clubbercise instructor signs up they donate to help Oxfam provide enough water for 10 people in need. Nice one.

These classes are dead popular, so booking your spot by ringing 07989 731569 is essential.