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Ziferblat (Russian to English): Clockface

Ziferblat has just opened a second venue in Liverpool’s business district. An interesting eating concept and one which I took to immediately on a visit to the Albert Dock Colonnades some time ago.

This is the name for a new kind of social space; where everything is free except the time you spend there. The idea was founded in Moscow by Ivan Meetin back in 2011 with Ziferblat meaning in a way, I suppose, a “treehouse for adults”.

At 8p per minute; this pay-by-the minute ‘cafe’ has had great success so another has opened in St Paul’s Square. This phenomenal cafe idea is also a first for Liverpool having two Ziferblat’s opening in one city.
Visit Unit 7 The Colonnades Albert Dock http://www.ziferblat.co.uk

On arrival, you get a shared space in which you are free to work, study, relax, hold a meeting or workshop, read a book, play piano (although I stopped when sensing the needs of others with the’peace and quiet’ looks.
There are lots of opportunities also to get acquainted with people through the enjoyable events held in one or more of the homely rooms dotted around the cafe.

I like Ziferblat, with this idea of each little guest becoming a micro tenant of the space and ‘living’ in their little home area, where you can help yourself to all the kitchen goodies or special Ziferkitchen treats. All drinks and snacks are free, including cakes, fresh coffee, tea varieties, biscuits, fruits, breads, cereals, brownies, juices and some super strength Wi-Fi.

Make Ziferblat a must for your unwinding at the Albert Dock which may be a little busy at the weekend but the new commercial district venue is a hit on weekdays. I found the free wifi available for as long as you stay a great bonus in the Ziferblat atmosphere.

An early morning meeting I had last week at Ziferblat, was a great hit with colleagues who raided the kitchen area stocked with juices, cakes, breads, cereals and we even had a bacon sandwich!
Meeting rooms are charged at a lower rate of 6p per minute.

In all, you will not be sorry with time spent at Ziferblat so….in your own time…….take a visit this week.

Liverpool’s Grand Designs really impress!!

Yes, this week has seen thousands of visitors flock to the Echo Arena Labour Party Conference and stop….think, and take a closer look at Liverpool in all its glory.

I have heard so many comments about Liverpool’s fantastic waterfront, the historic buildings, entertainment, hotels and brilliant shopping facilities. Positive comments have abounded day after day and rung in my ears as I flit from conference to conference.

Involving myself in the many Fringe events connected with Culture, Brexit, and…… ‘How can we engage more young in their local communities’ gave me an opportunity to tune into the many visitors positive perceptions of the city during breaks, when we explored the ‘complimentary food and refreshments’ on offer.

Many visitors had travelled from the south and were on a first visit, but having seen what the city could offer……… promised a more in-depth visitation later in the year, to sample the ‘culture’ and the many museums, art gallery’s, and theatres; some even suggested a need to tread the many trails of the Beatles, or seek out educational establishments such as the LSTM in the Georgian or now also known as ‘the Knowledge Quarter’ some suggested even traveling further afield to the football mecca’s of Liverpool and Everton.

During the week, I became immersed in many of the public debates with leading politicians and thinkers, centering around bringing people together to strengthen communities through art, culture and social cohesion. L8 and the Biennial became a discussion point with ownership and belonging: reclaiming and reinventing public space a serious issue of discussion.

In one such meeting, favourable comments about Liverpool were voiced by Anna Turley MP during her ‘instilling skills, uniting communities’ conference debate chat.

Anna made it clear how the fantastic value a city’s heritage could make to the economy and the well-being of everyone, with Liverpool seen to be a perfect example of this.
I was pleasantly pleased when she recommended that Redcar her local constituency, look to Liverpool as an exemplar turn-around city using its wonderful historical assets.

‘Preston on Sunday’ did wonders too and gave the Titanic Hotel a good plug. The future of that area is really opening up and dissolving the city’s “divided” aspect. Hopefully more investment will pour into the Vauxhall and Bootle areas so we can become a more inclusive city and try successfully for the ‘European Green City Award’ with the Atlantic Corridor area fully serviced and developed with a development drive right up to Crosby.

During this week our TV has given us a constant nightly drip feed of impressive Liverpool backdrops giving the nation a full view of Liverpool’s iconic seafront and grand designs during casual interviews of political characters.

No matter what your politics though, this Labour Conference event was a showcase for the city. I was proud to be a Liverpool citizen while seated in the Tate sipping an espresso surrounded by envious southern colleagues.
I retold the old, old story of standing in the same warehouse room, windows smashed and pigeons galore flying about, telling Michael H. what a fine architectural city this was.

The vision in those early days was to clean up the Mersey, create the Mersey Forest and develop a Garden Festival. This was the blueprint for today.

The future plans for the city on both sides of the Mersey look stunning…. but that’s for another day.

Liverpool’s biggest festival of history and culture- Heritage Open Days!

I think this is one of the most exciting cultural events of the year on Merseyside. An event which many Merseysiders look forward to and plan with relish. It’s one of England’s largest voluntary cultural events and it gets underway right across Merseyside NOW!.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s outstanding architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public, or normally charge for admission.

Every year during September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. Properties ranging from castles to factories; town halls to tithe barns; parish churches to Buddhist temples.

It’s a once-in-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring local history and culture alive for everyone.
Check on-line for the local heritage events happening near you this weekend.
http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Today at the Albert Dock, heritage did come alive for me and another few hundred people attending one of the “Heritage” on the Dock events.
I opted for several tours such as ‘Meet the engineers’ on board the newly restored Steam Ship Daniel Adamson, a Heritage Walk, Tate architectural tour, and the Pagoda arts Guzheng ensemble sound.

Later in the afternoon yesterday, I joined the knowledgeable tea expert Alison Appleton who guided a group of visitors with a fascinating talk and session of memorable Chinese tea tasting!

We sampled several South China teas such as the Fuding White tea, a pressed, brick white tea from the same plantations that produces silver needle tea; a Phoenix mountain Oolong tea, an exceptionally rare tea from a family owned single tea tree, not a plantation; a beautiful Bohea tea with a naturally fruity smooth with caramel after taste and a Lapsang Souchong, a classic and favourite tea of Winston Churchill.

This was all new to me and the experiences gained will no doubt drive me to seek out the more flavoursome varieties instead of the usual Yorkshire tea bag. Well, they do say ‘variety is the spice of life’.

At its peak, the Albert Dock was Liverpool’s chief port for Chinese and East Asian trade so, it was definitely a fitting place to hold this presentation and an innovative way of bringing history alive.

Sitting in an airy, fireproof Albert Dock warehouse room surrounded by antique 18th Century fold over tea tables and designer chintz fabrics, provided us all with the ideal historical location were this valuable cargo,tea, was once stored. The setting and atmosphere made the afternoon.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the authentic loose teas, all served in beautifully flowered ceramic cups and certainly became a ‘devotea’ of the exquisite leaf while socialising and enjoying the afternoon.
This is certainly an acquired taste I will develop further, now that my taste buds have been tantalized.
I recommend a trip to the Tea House!
@_TeaHouse http://www.alisonappleton.com 21 Lark Lane L17

Another exciting visit on my Heritage quest, took me somewhere completely different but a place I’d passed many times on the E. Lancs……. the Gillmoss Materials Recovery Facility tour…. to see at first hand what happens to the items I put into my recycling bin.
This was a very interesting and informative talk and guide around the working site conducted from the level and covered walkway.

Using the latest technologies in mechanical sorting, mixing recyclables from the kerbside collections of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton are delivered to the MRF for sorting.

This hour long tour provides you with a second by second all action viewing of the whole process from beginning to end with 25 tonnes of material an hour processed before your eyes.
uk.veolia.dicoverycentre@veolia.com
http://www.veolia.co.uk/merseyside-and-halton
If you wish to have an interesting alternative to the weekend then log onto the above websites and take a tour…all FREE
Tomorrow…….. Croxteth Park, Speke Hall, Liverpool Old Dock, several churches and the Waterhouse University complex tour.

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