Visit Liverpool with me
It’s famously the birthplace of Beatles, the home of UK no. 1s, the European Capital of Culture 2018 and the site of the ‘Three Graces’ buildings that line the World Heritage Site on the waterfront. Not yet ticked Liverpool off your bucket list? This might change your mind.
With such a rich culture (did I mention the music heritage?) including its brilliant museum offering and the fact that it has more listed buildings than any other city outside London, Liverpool had always been up there on my ‘places to visit in England’ list. I knew that my boyfriend, who I can barely tear away from his piano, would be keen and so I plotted to take him there on a surprise trip for his birthday.
A quick search on Expedia (who very kindly offered to compensate the travel) and I had a return train and a hotel in the bag. If you haven’t used it before, here’s a little more… You can browse on your mobile (I did my research on commute) and once you’ve got the train nailed, Expedia asks if you’d like to book a hotel to go with it. Easy peasy. I didn’t want to book the accommodation on my phone so it was pretty sweet to discover that Expedia remembered my searches when I moved over to desktop (and no, the price didn’t change). Another nifty tool is that you can search for hotels based on location using a map or by price by toggling between views. Once you’re done, you can easily view your itinerary plus there are recommendations of things to do in the place you’ve booked.
I’m a sucker for a booking things to do when I go on short trips. I realised the power of the email-receipt-flash after slipping in front of many a long queue in Dublin so this feature of the website is really rather handy. I went right ahead and booked the British Music Experience and then felt really to roll.
Scroll down to see more on that plus where we ate, stayed and visited on our 30 hours in Liverpool.
Love Thy Neighbour
Believe it or not, my boyfriend chose this one! With palm print wall paper and a neon sign visible from the window I was more than happy to oblige. Once my sweet potato, hummus and peanut plate and those halloumi fries hit my palette I knew it was more than just a pretty face.
Celebrated for being a World Heritage Site, the waterfront is where high culture is at. The Maritime Museum, The Tate, The Liverpool Museum, take your pick! We went for the Tate after spotting a Roy Lichtenstein exhibition and it didn’t disappoint especially when we were treated to a free pop up talk by a curator. If museums aren’t your thing, there’s always the floating works of art to look at. Spy painted docked vessels or catch the Mersey ferry across the river boarding the most dazzling of them all – the Sir Peter Blake-adorned Snowdrop ferry.
The boutiques of Bold Street
If indie shopping is your goal, head to the streets around Bold Street (which to be honest, you may as well stay on thereafter – it’s got all the best recs). Vintage haven Pop Boutique, menswear go-to The Outsiders Store plus art and gift shops are all around here.
The British Music Experience
Whilst I appreciate The Beatles and all they’ve done for us, I did think that going to a museum solely dedicated to them (sorry Paul et al) might be a bit much so The British Music Experience won my dollar. Set out in eras that each extend in short, radiating corridors from a central room meant you could easily go back to parts and navigate to the start at all times. It was pretty quiet when we went along which made it more absorbing and hats off to the staff for being so attentive. My only tip would be to leave lots of time before closing to go and play on the instruments! (To save time you can skip the last ‘present day’ era, we didn’t think it cut it). In the end we were practically kicked out of the place, drum stick wrenched from our hands as they tried to lock up. Sorry guys.
The secret bakery
There’s nothing quite like uncovering a hidden gem and Little Hardman Street off Pilgrim street drew us in to discovering two. The smell of freshly baked sourdough led us to the teeny tiny Wild Loaf where we found ourselves ordering their huge filled doughnuts without a second thought. A little peek around the corner revealed Oktopus – a fine dining seafood restaurant with a cosy vibe. We didn’t get to go in but it’s on the list for next time.
Diner at home
It’s always nice to have somewhere booked for dinner when you visit a new city and even better if it’s close to your hotel. The Clove Hitch was a recommendation from the sweet Liverpool-based Harriet of HungryHarriet.com, its homeliness and locally-sourced produce put it in front of the rest. The converted residence did literally feel like you were stepping into someone’s home, especially as the staff were so welcoming. Whilst our dishes weren’t the best they could have been, it still made for a quaint and pleasurable evening.
Hope Street Hotel
I probably wouldn’t have found this indie gem of a hotel if I hadn’t booked through Expedia but I am relieved I did because it was perfect in every way. Easy to access, modern whilst still unique and stylish, fuss free but luxurious, lovely staff and brilliantly big rooms. I couldn’t recommend it more. The second option on our list was The Titanic if you’re looking for something closer to the waterfront.
Book the Hope Street Hotel on Expedia
A hearty breakfast
When you’re only staying in a city one night, I’d always advise skipping the hotel breakfast and getting out there to taste the town. After all, you’ve only got up to 5 places you can try before you pop! Leaf on Bold Street popped up as a recommendation time and time again on Twitter and their eggs Benny didn’t disappoint. Be sure to have a snoop around upstairs whilst you’re there and a sniff at all the colourful loose leaf teas.
Big thanks to Expedia for giving us the opportunity to visit Liverpool. Have you been or is it on your wishlist? Where would you recommend I visit next?
For more city breaks and places in England, take a look through my posts here.