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.'