Historic Pub Interiors

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A pub with a nationally important historic interior

A pub with a nationally important historic interior, the result of CAMRA's pioneering effort to identify and help protect and promote the most important historic pub interiors in the country.

MERSEYSIDE - Liverpool, City Centre, Philharmonic Dining Rooms

An historic pub interior of national importance

36 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BX

Directions: Corner of Hardman Street.

Tel: (0151) 707 2837

Website: http://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/thephilharmonicdiningroomsliverpool

Opening Hours: 11-midnight

Real Ale & Cider: Real Ale

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Liverpool Central) and Bus Stop

Food: Lunchtime and Evening Meals

Listed Status: Grade II*

List Entry Number: 1207638

Listing Date: 1966

View this pub in WhatPub for full details of this pub's facilities

This is a truly spectacular pub whose opulence is explained by the fact that when it was built Liverpool was a vastly rich centre of commerce and among the greatest cities of the Empire. This was no working man’s back-street boozer, but a place where well-to-do middle class clients could congregate. It is rivalled only by the nearby Vines and Belfast’s Crown Bar. Built about 1900 for Robert Cain’s brewery by local architect Walter Thomas, the exterior is waywardly eclectic, the high point being the glorious metal gates on Hope Street, which are surely the finest such Art Nouveau work in Britain. They lead into what is, in effect, an up-market version of a northern drinking lobby, off which other rooms radiate. The customer is met by the whole gamut of embellishment that makes the ‘the Phil’ so special – plasterwork, mosaic (even on the counter front), mahogany, copper reliefs (by German-American artist H. Bloomfield Bare) and stained glass. In the delightful fireplace-alcove the drinker is presided over by stained glass heroes of the Boer War (being fought as the pub went up). Facing the counter are two fine panelled rooms, originally a smoke room (left) and news room (right) with St Cecilia, patroness of music, in stained glass. Further small (now linked) spaces line the angle of the streets. A small office lies within the servery. At the back is a vast room, which was a billiard hall (said to have been in use until the 1960s), sumptuously embellished with a huge frieze incorporating the crowning of Apollo (over the entrance) and ‘The Murmur of the Sea’ (opposite) by artist Charles Allen: lavish fireplaces, panelling and copper reliefs (again by Bare). Finally, don’t miss the gents’; easily the best in a British pub (when not in use ladies may, and indeed should, inspect).

Philharmonic Dining Rooms, Liverpool, City Centre