Liverpool is without doubt one of my favourite cities. I was thinking about why I like it so much and I’ve decided it’s because it reminds my of my hometown quite a bit, albeit a bigger and perhaps with a teeny bit more polish than #hull (I’m not being negative as I say this- the city is redeveloping and will be on top form before long!). Let’s consider the similarities:
Both are Northern towns with no ‘through’ access to anywhere else except a ferry out of the county. If you’re there, it’s because you were going there.
Both awarded the City of Culture status (Liverpool in 2008, Hull is the current 2017 title holder for the U.K.)
Both have a waterfront area close to the town centre that is a vibrant hub of sociability and local culture
Both have a wealth of cool, independent cafes, quite street art and thriving music/comedy scenes
Both have friendly locals with very distinctive accents!
Myself and the Mr usually manage an annual visit to enjoy food, cocktails, shopping and some local culture (the latest being this past Easter weekend) so with this in mind I thought I would share a few ideas about what there is to do and recommendations for some of my fave places to visit.
Where to stay
We like to base ourselves round the Dale Street area as it’s very handy for the shops, nightlife and the docks without being right in the thick of the action.
This time we opted for Travelodge Exchange Street East as we booked last minute which is just off Dale Street. On previous visits we have stayed in Ibis Styles (simple with quirky decor and breakfast included) and Malmaison (beautiful but more on the expensive side and slightly further away)
We started our trip with a walk down to the docks, taking in some of aliverpool quirky art and iconic landmarks
For lunch we headed to Vinea on Albert Dock which is a wine bar/cafe that we’ve enjoyed eating at before. I had a delicious rarebit and the Mr had the more traditional lamb scouse, a must try whilst in Liverpool.
They also do great deli boards, which I’ve had on a previous visit.
Our next stop was The Beatles Story. We walked the long round from Vinea, only to realise they actually had a back door that would’ve taken us right to the entrance…fail!
We arrived a little before 2 and there were a lot of people The but it wasn’t overwhelmingly busy* (surprisingly as it was a #BankHoliday ). It’s been a long time since I last visited so I wasn’t sure how much I would remember, but the audio tour is a great mix of information and little extra touches like videos and extra sound bites.
Even if you’re not a huge Beatles fan (as we’re not) it’s still a great source of local history so worthy the visit. They have a cute cafe at the end as well which sells themed cupcakes (amongst other things) strawberry fields, lemon sorbet submarine, you get the idea.
*Tip: For any tourist attraction I’d suggest arriving as they open or a couple of hours before they close if you’re wanting a less busy visit.
In the evening we visited one of my fave restaurants, Alma de Cuba.
I did my first ever food post on them a couple of years back (you can have a nosey here, however I’d like to think my picture quality has improved since then!) it’s inside an old church and is just so unique and quirky.
The restaurant is on the top floor and is built as a really lovely terrace overlooking the main bar below.
The food was just as fantastic as before, however the food is no longer South American themed. This came as a surprise and perhaps a bit of disappointment as this is what we had expected, but the quality was still there so we had a very enjoyable foodie fest indeed!
Make sure you sample the cocktail menu, ask the bar staff for their recommendations based on what you usually drink and see if you can try something a little bit different.
Oh breakfast- how were looking forward to you more than is probably healthy for human being! Thanks to a recommendation my friend Lynsey I had already become obsessed with Moose Coffee so there was no question where we would be heading on our first morning. Literally a three minute walk from our hotel we trotted down there for 8.55 as it can get very busy, to discover we had to wait in a small expectant queue of fellow foodies…you know a place is good when there’s a line to get in before it opens!
My only frustration when I visit there is that there’s too much choice – do I want sweet or savoury? Tea or coffee? What kinda coffee? On this particular visit, this is what we had
It was amazing! Our previous visit looks a bit like this
As you can see, someone is a creature of habit…hint, it ain’t me! One thing to bear in mine when eating at Moose is that they won’t alter any of their dishes to suit a preference – it comes how it says on the money, if you don’t like anything, don’t order it! I found a good way around that for me was to order a veggie dish with a side of meat I wanted, and I was able to remove things like jalepenos myself really easily.
After a hearty breakfast you need a spot of cardio, so I made like Carrie Bradshaw and hit the shops! Peaches & Cream is virtually next door to Moose and sells makeup and beauty items in ultra girly packaging up front, behind that is a team of make up artists ready to glam you up for a glam night out.
After an exhausting morning for both ourselves and our debit cards at Liverpool One, we dropped our shopping bags back at the hotel and headed to another of our fave places,The Smugglers Cove. Fully comitted to them theme of a pirate ship, it probably wouldn’t look out of place in Las Vegas, but instead sits nestled in a corner of Albert Dock.
They have a great variety of ‘hearty’ food as well as several different types of rum and cocktails, and that what keeps us coming back.
Forget #bowlfood It’s all about the barrel food here!
Walking off the food with a lap of Albert Dock; there are a wider selection of places to eat and drink along the back varying from chains to cool and independent.
Walking back through tons to pick up the last few bits, heading through Cavern Walks and Mathew Street to take a look at the beautiful boutiques and quick street art.
Our dinner recommendation for the evening came from a lovely sales assistant in River Island. She suggested we try Bold Street for somewhere different, mentioning that Mowgli Street Food was one of her favourite places to eat. This turned out to be a great suggestion.
Bold Street doesn’t LOOK that enticing from a distance, but walking down it uncovers an array of bars, cafes and eateries so is worth the visit.
Mowgli is a street food/tapas place, the food comes out as soon as it’s ready and it’s recommended that you order 3 dishes each.
We found that sharing all of this left us pretty darn full! It was pretty good value for a central restaurant too.
A short stroll from here is Concert Square, where we ended the night sipping cocktails and shoulder shuffling to some fab choons.
Another thing I found useful is that #uber now operate in Liverpool. I know people have mixed views on using them, but I’ve usually found them really efficient and cheap. When we had spent so much of food and shopping over the weekend, getting 4/5 cabs for less than £15 that debits straights from your account is well worth bearing in mind.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my whirlwind tour around Liverpool! I’m keen to know if you’ve tried any of the places we visited, or if our have any recommendations for our next visit, so make sure you comment or get in touch on social media.