Here’s a small selection of what people have said about us.
  • WHAT does it say about one who retreats to their own empty workplace on a dark, winter, Sunday afternoon? 

    Cabin fever at home? Work ethic overload? A bid to drown the sorrows? Perhaps each one of those things leading to the other.

    After all, Launch 22, the business start-up hothouse on the top floor of the brutalist Tempest Building, in Tithebarn Street, does have free keg beer on tap, a suitcase full of bourbon and unlimited table tennis for when the heat from the Macbook Airs gets too much for its restless entrepreneurs.

    It's from where we’ve been operating Liverpool Confidential for much of this year and, after our attempt at a positive weekend story fell flat on its arse (a trip around the Liverpool Christmas markets, overlooked by a gigantic Shrek), it was time to make a sharp exit from the angry ogre’s land of make do and make believe (Shrek’s, that is).

    The refuge of choice was HUS. Occupying the ground floor of that very same Tempest Building, it opened at the back end of October.  Within days, it was greeting all comers with a level of sustenance, Scandi vibes, flickering candles and a sense of succour you would expect from a seasoned pro: all compelling reasons to send that “I’m working late at the office” text, and be practically telling the truth.

    So far, so good. However this independent fledgling was dealt a body blow earlier this month: a middle-of-the-night robbery executed by two men who assumed they had a right to the safe, the tills, the takings and hundreds of pounds in tips that Olive, Carl, Jayne and an assortment of chaps called Tom had been saving for their Christmases. 

    A cross between the Baltic Social and Leaf (from where many of them hail) HUS is otherwise a living, breathing photoshoot from the Danish edition of Elle Decor, complete with blankets and big hygges all round. 

    The food, masterminded by head chef Anna, is even better - from the smorgasbord of bold, inventive small plates, to cakes and pastries from HUS's own dedicated baker, Joanna. Why, they even fashion their own breadsticks (£3.50) which look every bit like the elm spindles on the Ercol furniture that litters this downtown den.

    These brittle, gnarled bakes are made for snapping into some earthy, creamy beetroot and goats cheese dip and a bright sludge of squash and garlic hummus (£1.50)

    But why stop there? The humble chicken thigh is rendered golden, juicy and flavoured by a marinade of lemon, rosemary and garlic. Then it's charred on the grill (£5.50) before coming to rest on a lush lawn of pea whizz and some herby creme fraiche for pouring.

    They have resisted the tiresome urge to describe shredded meat as “pulled” in HUS, instead it is forked. Well and truly.  Meek lamb shoulder, on this occasion (£5), emerges like a lion after a long incaceration with cumin, cinnamon and oregano and a sweet kiss of “Hus honey”. 

    It is presented in the sort of chandlers' cast iron frying pan that all lone bedsit dwellers with only one egg to fry will remember. So, too, does a startlingly robust stew of butternut squash and cannellini beans topped with feta and rosemary breadcrumbs (£6). 

    If there weren’t enough smiles emerging already, the honey brings more to the face of that most dour of brassicas, cauliflower (£5). It is aided in no small part by a radiant sea of romesco sauce and a flourish of toasted almonds to ease its chargrilled suffrage.

    Then there is the glittering spank of seared seabass (£7) perching over smoky chorizo-braised leeks, of which there are never enough, and a crispy shallot foil to the plot. 

    Nordic smoked haddock and cod cakes (£5) complete this womblike food fug, a gentle combo of fish in a cloud of perfect mashed potatoes with chives and crispy shards of smoked bacon. And of course, HUS brings it to you with its own creamy, garlicky remoulade, pushing the Viking longboat out to the max. 

    HUS is more than great food (a paragraph on the faultless breakfast will keep for another time). There is ice cold TankBeer and copious good wine, which is just the thing, we later discovered, when one is job interviewing.  

    An infomal lending library is piled high with books - don't be surprised to find a slim volume of Dickens accompanying the ketchup in your cutlery caddy. Then there is the very groovy soundtrack borrowed from Baltic Social’s Spotify list (The Kinks, Hank Williams, Corner Shop and Marvin Gaye).

    Add a bunker in the basement called Kolbox, a figurative teenagers’ bedroom where gigs and DJs and other loudness is muted down. By day it hosts yoga and craft workshops. Rooftop parties, among the beehives, are planned in the summer. 

    HUS will struggle to recover from its financial loss, we are told, but while such a festive punch in the guts might have been fatal to a lesser creature, this is a strong game bird with everything going for it, and will fly again.  

    Its most valuable collateral remains safely in place - its accomplished, skilled kitchen team, its likeable front of house and something… something which lends an air of there being nowhere quite like it in Liverpool.

    Wintertime and the living is easy. So HUS, don’t you cry.

  • A stomping ground for the besuited, rubbing shoulders with neighbours like The Living Room, Liverpool’s commercial district may seem an odd choice for a Scandi-inspired social space, bar and kitchen concept. After speaking to Alison Lockett-Burke (the brains behind hip Liverpool spot The Baltic Social), though, it begins to make perfect sense. In such a small city, there’s really no reason to confine hip concepts to certain quarters; and just because you work in an office block doesn’t necessarily mean you want to spend your nights supping overpriced champagne in a ‘private booth’.

    HUS means house in Swedish, and that’s exactly what this concept is all about. Set over three floors — including a roof terrace complete with beehives — HUS demands your attention from brunch to dancing on the tables at 2am (this is common practice in Liverpool by the way). In short, Lockett-Burke wants you to feel at home, relaxed … in her words: ‘not to worry that you’re wearing the wrong shoes’.

    A sleek retro Scandinavian décor (put together by R2A Architecture) helps convey that hygge ethos; inspired by trips to Copenhagen, Alison sought out vintage furniture and had her finds recreated for the bar area. This is combined with a pared back aesthetic that revels in its building’s Brutalist architecture; all adding up to a distinctive, clean look in a neighbourhood defined by glitz.

    HUS sets its stall as a multi-use space — DJs and the first beer tank of its kind in the city keep punters happy until the early hours; an underground space has a concrete bunker appeal, and has a permanent stage perfect for intimate gigs; and its rooftop will come to life with barbecues and locally-brewed craft beers when the sun decides to rear its head.

  • Dubbed the dream factory, there's a glitterball in the foyer as well as table football and treehouse-like spaces to chill out in.

    How would you like to feel like you're simultaneously on a beach, in a nightclub and exploring a jungle - all whilst being at work?

    Well for staff at Invasion it might be a possibility as they launch their new Salford office space dubbed 'the dream factory'.

    The gap year specialist, who swears by the ethos 'work hard, party hard, make a positive impact' has decked out a converted warehouse space on Orsall Lane.

    With its team of around 40 staff in mind the office doubles up as a jungle-themed lecture space and nightclub with disco lights fitted in every meeting room and a glitterball over the main foyer.

    This inside-outside theme runs throughout the office, with seaside deck chairs, artificial grass and cubby holes disguised with hanging plants.

    Not to mention the six metre palm tree that they shipped in especially from Universal Studios.

    Lunch breaks here must be a laugh with table football and treehouse-like spaces to chill out overlooking the office.

    Or if you're feeling more energetic you could have a go of one of the limited edition lightsabers with a lifesize Darth Maul figure looking on approvingly.

    As a specialist in tours, gap years and summer camps Invasion packs a multi-cultural punch with national flags decorating the walls and scaffolding platform.

    After hours also looks like a lot of fun with a locally stocked bar, disco lights and space for DJ decks to keep the staff entertained.

    Co-founder Nick Steiert said: "We're very proud with what we have created and achieved with the Invasion office at the Foundry.

    "When we purchased the unit, we were effectively buying an empty warehouse shell unit and so we wanted to create and build an office environment that was a reflection of the fun and vibrant products that we create and sell.

    "Guests visiting the Invasion office have said that it feels akin to going on a holiday, with one person even calling it the 'dream factory' and so we're delighted with the end result and the plaudits people have given it.

    "We firmly believe that companies that foster a workplace culture of creativity are likely to have happy, motivated and productive employees and this was one of the main driving forces for us going down this route.

    "In addition, standing out from the crowd, innovating and disrupting industries is in our DNA and we hope that our office is a reflection of this personality."

    The office was designed by the eccentric Atul Bansal of the Cheetham Hill-based Sheila Bird Group.

    He is also behind the lavish Missguided offices, fit with floating meeting rooms, sleeping booths, and a selfie tunnel.

    Atul said: "It is a place that really comes to life... so we’ve got different light scenes, including disco lights and a giant mirror ball, ‘cool’ working space and a great café space with its own license.

    "The height allowed us to have some fun with meeting room rooftops, as well as giving us space for a fantastic giant tree, which is a Manchester first, was shipped from California and made its way down the Manchester ship canal."

    "The inside /outside theme, gives staff a relaxed and open sense of space with ‘room to breathe’, which you don’t get in many working environments."

    Foundry was developed by Manchester based property developer, Capital & Centric.

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