Elephant Lounge

A classic espresso in a classic cup at Elephant Lounge in Parkgate.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, on The Parade on the waterfront in Parkgate.
  • There are two large, fold-back windows at the front, with benches beneath each window.
  • The door is around the corner on the right-hand side. However, there's more.
  • If you keep going up the slope, you'll find Elephant Bakehouse at the back. It's not open...
  • ... to the public, but just before you get there, a flight of steps leads to the beer garden.
  • A one-way system means the steps are currenly exit only, so it's back to the door to go in.
  • The view from just inside the door, the seating at the front catching the afternoon sun.
  • There's a table in the corner to the left of the door...
  • ... with more tables off to the right.
  • Both the windows at the front have tables, where you can sit in the window itself...
  • ... or, if you want to check out the views, you can sit on one of the chairs.
  • At the far end, a pair of armchairs sit under some retail shelves on the left-hand wall.
  • To ensure separation, there's a neat set of plants between the tables in the windows.
  • Talking of windows, these are the views, first looking over the River Dee towards Flint...
  • ... while in theory, over here you should be able to see my parents' house in Holywell!
  • Returning to the seating, here's a view back across the front from the far side...
  • ... and here's the view from the door, looking towards the back. The counter is on the...
  • ... left-hand side, set back from the windows. There's a table around a central pillar...
  • ... while off to the right, the space narrows and there's this little four-person table.
  • A view from the back, just beyond the end of the counter. However, there's more.
  • Turning around, a long, corridor-like space runs all the way to the back of Elephant Lounge.
  • There's a bar against the left-hand wall...
  • ... while on the right, there's a padded bench lined with more tables.
  • The view from the back...
  • ... with the bar...
  • ... and the tables.
  • If you keep going, the doors lead out into the beer garden at the back...
  • ... where you'll find bike parking spaces and this neat, two-person table.
  • The garden is sunken and shady, particularly with all the umbrellas.
  • There's a range of seating, from these picnic tables on one side...
  • ... through to these high tables on the other side.
  • Finally, right at the back, are these comfy seats and coffee tables.
  • The steps are, for now, exit only, but normally you can enter this way through the garden.
  • Let's go back inside...
  • ... pausing only to admire the drinking bowl for dogs...
  • ... and the obligatory light fitting shot. Although it looks a lot like a pub...
  • ... Elephant Lounge rather gives away its coffee roots with these retail shelves...
  • ... where you can find the house blend, decaf and some single-origins for sale.
  • Normally, I'd say let's head for the counter, but Elephant Lounge is table service for now.
  • The counter is still worth a look though...
  • ... since you can check out the cakes while you're there.
  • Had I arrived earlier, I could have checked out the bagels too, but they were all gone!
  • There's a selection of beer on tap, with spirits on the shelves behind...
  • ... where you'll also find the coffee and tea menus.
  • Finally, the three-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine is off to the right.
  • I decided to keep things simple and went for an espresso...
  • ... which was served in a classic cup...
  • ... although I'll leave you with the slice of cheesecake that I paired it with.
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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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