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.
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)|
|Chain||No||Visits||29th December 2017, 29th December 2018|
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