Liar Liar

Some lovely latte art in my flat white at Liar, Liar in Oswestry.Liar Liar, in the small town of Oswestry on the England-Wales border, has been on my list for some time now. I first visited right at the end of 2017, on my way back to Guildford from my Dad’s, but I couldn’t stay very long. I vowed that I would return the following year, but what will all the travelling I have been doing, 2018 came and almost went before I was able to call in again, exactly one year to the day later, while (you guessed it) on my way back to Guildford from my Dad’s.

Liar Liar is a real gem, located in the (semi-pedestrianised) heart of the town, spread over three floors (only the first two are open to customers) of a lovely old shop right on the corner, giving it windows on two sides, plus plenty of outside seating. A multi-roaster, Liar Liar uses some of the best roasters in the country, including the nearby Hundred House Coffee & Manchester’s Ancoats Coffee Co., changing up the options (always single-origins) on espresso and filter (V60, Aeropress, batch-brew) roughly every monthly. There are interesting breakfast, lunch and panini menus from in-house caterers, Hayes Kitchen, plus plenty of cake.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Liar Liar on the corner of Albion Hill/Bailey Street in Oswestry back in December 2017...
  • ... and here it is looking remarkably similar exactly one year later at the end of 2018.
  • There's plenty of outside seating: one table on Albion Hill and three along Bailey Street.
  • Stepping in through the door on the corner, the counter greets you from the back.
  • And here's a view back towards the door from the counter.
  • The seating starts to the right of the door with this neat window-bench.
  • It continues to the left of the door with this table in front of another window-bench.
  • There's more seating along the left-hand wall, but before that, there's this...
  • ... little recessed L-shaped bar in the corner.
  • There are three tables along the wall, ending at the stairs...
  • ... each table made from an old gear wheel.
  • Then come the stairs, narrow and quite steep.
  • And with an important sign. Let's go up!
  • The view from the top of the stairs. The kitchen is off to your left...
  • ... while at the front, there's a large sitting room.
  • The seating is arranged in around three of the four walls...
  • ... starting with this four-person table in the front corner.
  • Next comes a smaller, four-person table in the window...
  • ... followed by a pair of armchairs flanking the window above the door.
  • There are more tables along the back wall, starting by the window...
  • ... and getting bigger as they get closer to the door.
  • Talking of which, there it is, seen from the opposite corner. Nice fireplace, by the way.
  • There is another flight of stairs up to the top floor, but it's off limits.
  • Instead, it's time to go back down... Why do stairs always look steeper from above?
  • I loved the paintings on the walls by the way. This is from downstairs...
  • ... while this is some detail of the picture on the upstairs wall.
  • There are lots of lovely light bulbs in metal cages downstairs...
  • ... so obviously I had to take a picture or two.
  • This one is from my first visit in 2017.
  • So, to business. The large counter is at the back...
  • ... with the menu on the wall behind it.
  • The coffee and (extensive) tea is on the right-hand board, everything else on the left.
  • When I first visited in 2017, the food was by Fat Rabbit...
  • ... but since January 2018, it's been Hayes Kitchen, with breakfast, lunch and panini.
  • There's also a daily soup and sandwiches menu on the wall to the right.
  • Cakes are on display in this case on the counter-top...
  • ... while off to the left is the filter station.
  • Meanwhile, the espresso machine is on the right-hand side at 90⁰ to the counter.
  • I started off with a flat white on my first visit in 2018.
  • Nice latte art.
  • I also had a feta, pine nut and poached pear sandwich which was excellent.
  • On my return at the end of 2018, I had another flat white.
  • Lovely latte art...
  • ... which lasted to the bottom of the cup.
  • This time I had breakfast: The Hipster.
  • I was also given an espresso on the house before I went.
  • I love watching espresso extract and the machine is well placed at Liar Liar.
  • My espresso, the perfect send-off for 2018.
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Oswestry’s not where I’d expect to find great coffee, but Liar Liar came highly recommended by the likes of roasters, Hundred House, plus the baristas at Providero told me it was one of the few places that they visit (it’s over an hour’s drive from Llandudno!). In the heart of the town, Liar Liar is on the corner of Albion Hill/Bailey Street, facing Bailey Head, the town square.

Although the address is Albion Hill, the door, at 45⁰ on the corner, shows no favouritism to either street. It’s flanked by large picture windows on either side, plus a second window on the right (Bailey Street). The large counter is at the back, facing Albion Hill, while there is seating in both windows and along the left-hand wall. A short corridor at the back on the right leads past the counter to the toilets, while on the left, a steep, narrow staircase leads upstairs, where you’ll find a short landing, the kitchen at the back on the right and a large sitting room at the front, spanning the width of Liar Liar.

Back downstairs, a three-person bench seat occupies the right-hand window, while there’s a four-person table with benches in the left-hand window. Another bench lines the left-hand wall with three two-person pedestal tables, mounted on old gear wheels. Finally, in the front left-hand corner is a recessed, L-shaped bar with four stools.

While I enjoyed sitting downstairs, where you can (and mostly do) interact with the staff and other customers, the sitting room upstairs is lovely, probably the best place to get some work done or read a book. You enter at the back  left, the seating arranged around the back, right-hand and front walls (the left-hand wall has an old fireplace). There’s a large, four-person table tucked away in the front, left-hand corner, then a small, four-person square table by the window in the front wall. There’s another window above the door, flanked by a pair of armchairs, then a long wooden bench runs along the back wall with three tables, each increasing in size, starting with the smallest by the window and ending with the largest, which could easily seat six, by the door.

Everything is wood, including the wooden floorboards and counter. Only exceptions are the whitewashed walls and ceiling, plus the geometric-patterned wallpaper on the back wall upstairs. There are also some lovely murals on the walls.

On my first visit, I had a flat white made using a naturally-processed Ethiopian from Hundred House, which went very well in milk. On my return, the espresso was Ancoats Coffee Co.’s Graphene Espresso, currently a naturally-processed Pacamara from El Salvador, whose fruity notes came strongly through the milk. I also tried it as an espresso, where it was lovely, really well-balanced and sweet.

I had lunch on my first visit and breakfast on my return. When I was there at the end of 2017, Fat Rabbit was doing the catering. It’s now moved into its own restaurant (just across the way on Bailey Street) and since January last year, Hayes Kitchen has taken over.

For lunch, I had a feta, pine nut and poached pear sandwich on wholemeal bread, with the poached pear really lifting it above the ordinary. The bread was also lovey and soft. On my return, I had The Hipster for breakfast, poached eggs (or you can have scrambled) on smashed avocado on sour-dough toast, with cherry tomatoes on the side. For meat-eaters, bacon and/or sausages can be added at a price. My veggie version was excellent, by the way, the perfect end to 2018.

2 ALBION HILL • OSWESTRY • SY11 1QA
https://liar-liar.co.uk +44 (0) 7845 666620
Monday 08:00 – 16:00 Roaster Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 16:00 Seating Tables, Bar, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 16:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:00 – 16:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power Yes
Chain No Visits 29th December 2017, 29th December 2018

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