Take a trip to Liverpool for everything from famous football clubs and fashion to fine foods and the Fab Four. Cheshire Life: December 2018 Cheshire Life: December 2018
Someone once told me that unless you’ve strolled through the city streets in the cold light of dawn with the sun rising over the Liver Birds, you haven’t lived.
It may be an exaggeration, but anyone who has taken the time to appreciate Liverpool’s amazing architecture will know this isn’t any old city – it’s a remarkable one.
It boasts an iconic waterfront, more parks than Paris and the largest collection of museums and galleries outside London. It’s also a great place to go shopping.
With more than 170 shops, bars and restaurants, Liverpoolone is probably the premier stop for retail therapy - but it’s also worth wandering off the beaten track for quirky finds.
For independent boutiques and restaurants, Bold Street is a personal favourite. Leading up from Central Station towards the Bombed Out Church (which is a poignant memorial to the ravages of war), it sells everything from world foods and vintage finds to designer gifts and specialist books. Here, you can eat around the world, sampling stylish Indian street food at Mowgli or feasting on falafels in the fabulous Maray. Its latest offering? A Japanese style cat cafe with feline hosts.
Another vibrant hub to eat, drink and hang-out is the Baltic Triangle on the edge of the city centre. This is where Liverpool’s creatives work and play. Stalwarts include Camp and Furnace, Constellations as well as the newly resurgent Cains Brewery Village.
If you prefer something a bit more upmarket, book a table at The Art School Restaurant, where the chef patron Paul Askew will wow you with Michelin worthy dishes like Rhug Estate venison and Menai mackerel. Then, follow the footballers’ wives to Cricket in Mathew Street. This cult boutique stocks everything from Stella Mccartney to Celine and every designer label in between. Oh, and while you’re there, don’t forget to stop at the Cavern Club - birthplace of the Beatles, of course. In fact, if you’re a fan of the Fab Four, The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock is a great place to learn about the history of the 60s band. You’ll find a wealth of musical venues in the city, from pubs and clubs to the huge Echo Arena and the classical Philharmonic Hall.
Love theatre? Liverpool has something for everyone. There’s cool comedy at the Royal Court or West End hits at the Empire, while the Everyman and Playhouse theatres, which sit at opposite ends of the city, showcase the works of resident and touring companies.
Liverpool’s two contrasting cathedrals are also keen performance venues, hosting everything from choral concerts
to exhibitions as well as the annual Lightnight arts festival.
Not that I’m playing favourites here, but the Anglican Cathedral by Giles Gilbert Scott is a must see. Not only is it a stunning bit of architecture offering 360 degree views across the city and out towards the Welsh hills, it’s also home to a collection of art works, including a neon sign by Tracey Emin.
Talking of contemporary art, it’s worth noting that Liverpool is home to the Tate, called, naturally, Tate Liverpool. Nearby, at the Pier Head, you’ll find the famous Three Graces as well as the award-winning Museum of Liverpool. In fact, the breadth of museums that Liverpool has is something that’s rivalled only by our capital city.
Clustered around the cobbles of William Brown Street, you’ll also find the Walker Art Gallery, the wonderful World Museum, complete with Terracotta Warriors, as well as the reimagined Central Library, where you’ll find glass fronted bookcases filled with bibliographical rarities.
Finally, don’t leave Liverpool without taking at least one ‘selfie’ outside St George’s Hall. This Grade I listed building is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture that’s as imposing today as it was when completed in 1854.
Can’t fit it all in a day? Don’t worry, Liverpool is creaking with chain hotels, hip hostels and central apartments to suit all budgets. My top tip? Hire one of the luxe dockland apartments on Airbnb for as little as £50 a night, then watch the sun rise over the Mersey.