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LEAF On Bold Street Make An Incredible Historic Discovery By Finding 100+ Year Old Menu In Its Walls

The Much Loved LEAF Café Makes A Fascinating Discovery Inside Its Walls

Advertisement of the various offerings that the former catering residents of 61-67 Bold Street provided (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Advertisement of the various offerings that the former catering residents of 61-67 Bold Street provided (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

Listen to this article narrated by The Liverpudlian's Peter Eric Lang.

Overview - Key Findings:

  • LEAF find 100+ year old menu, items and memorabilia from former tearoom, The Yamen Café, as local structural engineering company conduct renovations.

  • Items found in the walls also included a staff member’s hat, a Whist book and playing cards with table numbers on them.

  • LEAF intends to recreate a number of dishes from the former café's dishes and add them to the menu.


The Liverpudlian tea establishment-come-eatery is a favourite with many from across the Liverpool City Region flocking to absorb its fantastic ambiance. Over the last few days though, they have made a phenomenal discovery.


As the beloved café was renovating its mezzanine area, they stumbled upon a variety of historic artefacts, with the fantastic discovery happening entirely by chance.


'Everyone is so excited, we can’t believe it and it is already inspiring us with new ideas. And also how similar what we do now is to what they were doing all that time ago.' - Natalie Haywood, Co-Founder of LEAF.

Being unaware of the hidden gems behind the walls and various cubbyholes being uncovered, the team conducting the renovations noticed an old piece of paper fall out from the rafters as they where removing various parts of the wall and ceiling.


After inspecting the item they realised that it was a menu from a café that once used to occupy the very building LEAF is located in, and it was dated: 'WEDNESDAY, January 15th, 1913'. After informing the team at LEAF they carefully looked for any more items of historic value.


Upon further exploration of the mezzanine area, they uncovered a staff member’s hat, a Whist book, playing cards with table numbers on them, an advertisement for the café alongside other Bold Street businesses, as well as clear torpedo-shaped glass bottles with the imprints Caley & Son.


The mezzanine space is used for private functions, speeches and lectures, meetings, workshops and gatherings. With the refurbishment striving to only improve upon the current offering.


The café that resided in the building more than 100 years ago was known as The Yamen Café & Tea Rooms. It was a beacon of fine food & drink across the Region and attracted countless guests.


'When I saw it I was staggered, it’s like a time capsule hidden in the walls.' - Natalie Haywood, Co-Founder of LEAF.

It offered a wide selection of food and drink and served a multitude of refreshments, lunches, afternoon teas, dinners and suppers. As well as a variety of specials including Sweetbreads & Peas, Irish Stew and Banana Fritters.


This is worth noting as this is not too dissimilar to LEAF, it is also uncanny how similar they are, with The Yamen Café also providing phenomenally similar offerings, including making extensive use of the mezzanine area for events, concerts, lectures and gatherings.


Something remarkable about the menu is that it is dated on 'WEDNESDAY, January 15th, 1913', which implies that menus such as this, where printed on a daily basis. The prominence of the date seems to signify that these are today's, or at least this week's, dishes and specials. However, this cannot be confirmed as of yet without further research.

LEAF on Bold Street's bohemian space that acts as a multi-purpose space including a tea room & cafe, a venue for artists to perform and for family and friends to gather and celebrate special occasions (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
LEAF on Bold Street's bohemian space that acts as a multi-purpose space including a tea room & café, a venue for artists to perform and for family and friends to gather and celebrate special occasions (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

One of LEAF's Co-Founders, Natalie Haywood, was delighted with the finding. She said: 'It’s really blown our minds that this has been in our building all along, for over a century.' She added: 'And to see what they were doing then, how forward-thinking and creative as a restaurant, is so inspiring - especially as Liverpool is such a hospitality city.'


She said: 'When I saw it I was staggered, it’s like a time capsule hidden in the walls. We are so thankful to Max who found it whilst working as part of our expansion.'

Natalie Haywood, Co-Founder of LEAF, in her iconic staple Liverpudlian cafe (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Natalie Haywood, Co-Founder of LEAF, in her iconic Liverpudlian cafe (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

The items where uncovered by workman, Max Kearns, of Clan Contracting, a structural engineering company based in the Widnes area of the Borough of Halton in the Liverpool City Region.


Natalie said: 'We knew our site used to be a restaurant a long time ago, but we had no idea what they were cooking and how advanced it all was.'


'We have always known this is a historic building but having the menu in our hands has made it all feel real, something dating back to before the First World War.'


'Everyone is so excited, we can’t believe it and it is already inspiring us with new ideas. And also how similar what we do now is to what they were doing all that time ago.'


The team at LEAF are excited to recreate a number of select dishes from the historic menu which will be announced in time. The team believe this will be a great opportunity for Liverpudlians to experience what the food & drinks scene was like from more than 100 years ago.


In honour of the fascinating discovery by chance, LEAF also stated that they intend to make a small selection of dishes permanent additions to their menu at the Bold Street venue where the discovery was made.


Images Of The Historic Yamen Café Menu

The menu uncovered during refurbishment works in LEAF that dates back to 1913 (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu uncovered during refurbishment works in LEAF that dates back to 1913 (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu offering a wide selection of delicacies in The Yamen Cafe that resided in Bold Street more than 100 years ago  (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu offering a wide selection of delicacies in The Yamen Café that resided in Bold Street more than 100 years ago (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu uncovered during refurbishment works in LEAF that dates back to Wednesday the 15th of January 1913 (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu uncovered during refurbishment works in LEAF that dates back to Wednesday the 15th of January 1913 (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu offering a wide selection of delicacies in The Yamen Café that resided in Bold Street more than 100 years ago  (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The menu offering a wide selection of delicacies in The Yamen Café that resided in Bold Street more than 100 years ago (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The Yamen Cafe & Tea Rooms menu, dating back to 1913, that was found when workers where removing part of the ceiling in LEAF's mezzanine (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
The Yamen Café & Tea Rooms menu, dating back to 1913, that was found when workers where removing part of the ceiling in LEAF's mezzanine (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

Image Of The Yamen Café Staff Cap

A cap once worn by staff at The Yamen Cafe in Bold Street, uncovered during refurbishment works (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
A cap once worn by staff at The Yamen Café in Bold Street, uncovered during refurbishment works (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

Image Of A Variety Of Drinking Bottles

Found in a cubbyhole was clear torpedo-shaped glass bottles with the imprints Caley & Son (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Found in a cubbyhole was clear torpedo-shaped glass bottles with the imprints Caley & Son (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

Image Of The Yamen Café & Tea Rooms Advertisement

An advertisement of what The Yamen Cafe had to offer to potential customers (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
An advertisement of what The Yamen Café had to offer to potential customers (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Advertisement of the various offerings that the former catering residents of 61-67 Bold Street provided (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Advertisement of the various offerings that the former catering residents of 61-67 Bold Street provided (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Advertisement of a variety of Bold Street residents in 1913 (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).
Advertisement of a variety of Bold Street residents in 1913 (Credit: Supplied by The LEAF Group).

Image Of The Whist Book

The Whist book that was found in the refurbishment of the mezzanine in LEAF, alongside a pack of playing cards (Credit: The LEAF Group).
The Whist book that was found in the refurbishment of the mezzanine in LEAF, alongside a pack of playing cards (Credit: The LEAF Group).

The LEAF Group also own several other fantastic ventures in the city; including One Fine Day on Old Hall Street, located in The Commercial District. As well as the delightful Oh Me Oh My in The Waterfront District along The Stand.


LEAF has tearooms across the Liverpool Bay Area and are currently open for outdoor dining. They will be able to welcome guests inside from Monday the 17th of May 2021.


You can visit LEAF tearooms and soak in its history through the addresses below:

LEAF Bold St.,

65–67 Bold Street,

Liverpool City Centre,

City of Liverpool, L1 4EZ,

Liverpool City Region, UK.


LEAF West Kirby,

19 Black Horse Hill,

West Kirby,

Borough of Wirral, CH48 6DS,

Liverpool City Region, UK.


You can also contact LEAF using the information below:

Phone Number (Bold Street) - 0151 707 7747

Phone Number (West Kirby) - 0151 558 0521

Email - info@ThisIsLeaf.co.uk

 

© The Liverpudlian, 2021, unless credit is given otherwise.

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