We’ve always meant to explore Liverpool, but with the sunny climes of Europe beckoning we kept pushing it unfairly down the list. Our 72 hours in Liverpool were a whirlwind of mischief, music, cocktails and naps. Yep. Naps.
Oh, Darling! It was a proper awesome city staycation – there’s Something in the water. It’s a city where we had a very vague idea of what we wanted to do, but nothing set in concrete. The majestic buildings are Here, There and Everywhere lining the wide streets reminding us very much of Glasgow & New York.
We arrived via train from London with a Ticket to Ride at 6pm on a Saturday evening – an array of hen parties had Come Together for mischief on an glitter scale – Twist and Shout was playing in more than neon-lit one bar (alongside Rihanna of course.)
“Liverpool is a maritime city in northwest England, where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea. A key trade and migration port from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, it’s also, famously, the hometown of The Beatles.”
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are the city’s most famous inhabitants, picking up their instruments as teenages and taking inspiration for their infamous pop songs from their hometown, and changing their own lives. Their incredible story heavily influences our favourite things about the city – they’re right at the top of our things to do in Liverpool list. Here’s a little Help! From Me to You so you don’t have to Think For Yourself…
The Cavern Club
Whilst this isn’t the origianal Cavern Club where the Beatles played, it’s still on Mathew Street, and they have live music in both of their lounges.
Some of the magic of the Beatles is their ablity to meld music and the magic of every day life; seeing the world in all it’s glory and applying universal thematic emotions. Oh, and adding more than a catchy back beat. Take Penny Lane for example; taking the very ordinary and making it quite beautiful – the barbershop, the bank, the fireman and a nurse selling poppies. Seeing these places for myself caught me in a way that I hadn’t quite expected.
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes,
There beneath the blue suburban skies…
Catch a Ferry Across the Mersey*
We just had to do this, and spent a very relaxed 90 minutes doing a round trip, whilst an onboard guide told us about the history of the city. The embarkation point is right next to the glorious Liver Building, one of the Three Graces – beautiful buildings along the river front.
The Albert Dock
Ther Albert Dock is a scenic renovated area of Liverpool right on the river, which hosts the famous Tate Gallery, home to a wide range of world-class art, and the Beatles Museum, a tribute to the famous rock group and a plethora of indie restaurants.
The Beatles Story
In this immersive experience, replicas of the Casbah, Mathew Street, Abbey Road Studios and The Cavern authentically capture the early ’60s, allowing visitors to personally experience the very places that helped make The Beatles the greatest band in the world. It was fascinating.
Where to eat in Liverpool
If I’m being honest we didn’t eat anywhere particularily fancy as we didn’t want to get dressed up after a day of exploring, but our highlights were;
- Moose Coffee + Dale Street Kitchen
Both busy, delicious brunch locations – make sure you book ahead though!
- Philharmonic Dining Rooms
Dazzling and flamboyant, these dining rooms have their own place in history as ‘the most ornate pub in England’. Known as ‘The Phil’, the magnificent hostelry takes its name from Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall opposite. Commissioned between 1898 and 1900, it is a showpiece in the style of a gentlemen’s club. It also took a starring role in the Beatles lives – and more recently the James Cordon and Paul McCartney carpool karaoke episode.
- Albert Schenke
I have seven words for you; beer cellar with freshly baked giant pretzels. All You Need is Love and their beer cheese…! An honourable mention goes to their chicken caesar salad & weiners.
Technically we went to the Manchester branch of this restaurant, but after trying their Pani Puri and Temple Daal I’m annoyed that we didn’t manage to pop into the Liverpool branch of this Indian street food gem. I’d take a Long and Winding Road to eat there again!
- Liverpool One Shopping Centre
With over 170 shops, bars and restaurants right in the heart of Liverpool city centre, we had a few meals at the mid-size chains on the terrace, and really enjoyed a drink or two on the extensive outdoor terrace of the Club House. Normally we prioritise supporting small businesses, but sometimes it’s just so handy to have something easy. The vibe on the terrace was fantastic.
- Lerpwl / Margot’s Oyster & Cocktail Bar
Learn how to pronounce Liverpool like a local (the name is phonetic) whilst enjoying cocktails.
Where to stay in Liverpool
We wanted somewhere really central for ease, but far enough away from the hen parties that we could still sleep soundly. The boutique Aloft Hotel is in the iconic Grade II-listed Royal Insurance Building where you’ll be surrounded by history and modernity encased in modern style and Mariott amenities.
I Want to Tell You about the easy-breezy access to The Pier Head, The Royal Albert Dock including The Beatles Story Museum, and Liverpool Echo Arena and Convention Centre. Also, guests can dine-in in the beautiful NYL Restaurant and Bar, recommended in Michelin Guide; it’s the perfect place for great food, and fab cocktails.
[To book your own hotel stay at the Aloft, feel free to use my booking.com affiliate link at no extra cost to you.]
Arrive in the Good Day Sunshine as a Daytripper, or take a couple of days as a leisurely city break where you mooch as much as you plan. I’ll Be Back soon.
*It’s a Gerry and the Pacemakers tune
** 15 Beatles song titles snuck in there, oops…