Last week’s (very short) Coffee Spot Tour of the Wirral started at Wylde Coffee in Heswall and ended not long after in Parkgate with Elephant Lounge. Having previously said that I could see the Wirral from my parents’ house across the River Dee in Holywell, I am fairly sure that (with a large enough telescope) I could see Elephant Lounge itself!
Elephant Lounge has occupied its waterfront spot on the main road through Parkgate since 2016. It’s part of a small chain that includes Elephant Coffee, a coffee shop in nearby Neston, and its latest addition, Elephant Bank, a smokehouse and bar, which recently opened across the road from Elephant Coffee.
Coffee shop by day, and bar by night, Elephant Lounge bases its coffee menu around a bespoke seasonal espresso blend. During the day, porridge and various toast options are available for breakfast, with bagels and soup for lunch, backed up by a range of cakes. Then at four o’clock, Elephant Lounge switches over to pizzas for the evening, along with a range of draught and bottled beer, cocktails, gin, rum and wine. All this can be enjoyed in the spacious interior or in the large, shady garden at the back.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Elephant Lounge sits right on The Parade, the main street that runs along the waterfront (sea front? estuary front? marsh front?) at Parkgate, next to The Red Lion Pub and looking for all the world like a pub itself. Two wide, multi-paned windows (which can be folded all the way back), look out across the River Dee to the Welsh hills. If you want to sit outside to admire the view, there’s a bench under each window, while the entrance is around the corner on the right.
Inside, Elephant Lounge continues to look like a pub. Seating runs along the front, with tables in the widows, a small table in the corner to the left of the door and a pair of armchairs under some retail shelves on the far side opposite the door. Immediately to your right as you enter is another seating area with a four-person and a two-person table. Finally, a two-person and four-person table form a short row across the middle of the space.
The counter, complete with beer pumps and the other accoutrements of a well-stocked bar, is on the left-hand side, set back from the windows. The only thing that really gives the game away is the three-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine at the right-hand end along with the in-built cake display case next to the till.
The seating continues in the shape of a four-sided, eight-person high table built around a central pillar next to the bar, while off to the right is a short, high, four-person table against the right-hand wall. A long, corridor-like extension runs down the centre of the space towards the back, with a bar on the right, complete with tall, plastic stools, and a long, padded bench with three tables on the right.
At the far end, glass double doors lead to the sunken beer garden. In normal times, you could come in this way, with a flight of steps providing access to the street at the side of Elephant Lounge, but for now, a one-way system means it’s exit only. There’s a range of seating out here, all sheltered from the sun (and rain) by large umbrellas. You’ll find a couple of picnic-style tables, four high, two-person tables with stools, a cosy coffee table with a pair of wooden armchairs and, finally, two low coffee tables, each with a pair of padded wooden bench seats.
Normally you would go to the counter to get served, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, Elephant Lounge is operating table service. If you take a seat, someone will bring you a menu and take your order, as well as ensuring that you’ve checked in with the NHS App.
When it comes to coffee, Elephant Lounge has a standard espresso menu using a bespoke seasonal house blend, Dé Jà Brew, roasted up the road in Birkenhead by Adams + Russell. You can buy retail bags of the coffee to take home with you, as well as a single-origin or decaf.
I was there late afternoon, as Elephant Lounge was making the transition from coffee shop to bar, so I decided to keep things simple, ordering an espresso and a slice of the biscoff cheesecake from the dessert menu. My espresso, which was served in a classic cup, was a well-balanced, well-pulled shot, offering classic notes of chocolate and nuts, while my cheesecake was rich and creamy, the perfect companion to my coffee.
|HAMILTON HOUSE • THE PARADE • PARKGATE • CH64 6SB|
|www.elephantcollective.co.uk||+44 (0)151 345 4850|
|Monday||09:00 – 23:00||Roaster||Adams & Russell (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||09:00 – 23:00||Seating||Tables, Armchairs, Sofas, Bar; Tables, Benches (outside)|
|Wednesday||09:00 – 23:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cake|
|Thursday||09:00 – 23:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||09:00 – 23:00||Payment||Card Only|
|Saturday||09:00 – 23:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||09:00 – 23:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||24th May 2021|
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