Sometimes I get so obsessed with going abroad that I forget the wonderful places right on my doorstep. But as a birthday treat, we headed to Liverpool for a long (and much needed) weekend away.
I fell in love with the city when I first visited it in 2011 on their university open day and was looking forward to heading back – this time to explore the place as an adult.
With only 48 hours there we had a lot to pack in (and by a lot I mean plenty of eating and drinking).
So thinking of heading there? Here’s what to do when you visit this beautiful city…
1PM – Jump on a Virgin train with a couple of cans of pre-mixed G&T and a sandwich.
3.30PM – Arrive in Liverpool, take the short stroll from Liverpool Lime Street station to the 4*, boutique Indigo hotel.
5PM – Head out to the city centre. LEAF on Bold Street has a great vibe with a mix of coffee drinkers with books, and gossipers with wine in hand (we were obviously the latter). Alternatively, head to BrewDog on Colquit Street for some craft beer.
6.30PM – Beat the rush-hour dinner queue and opt for an early meal at Mowgli, an Indian street-food restaurant. Trust me, there was an hour and a half waiting list when we got there and only got seated because we chose to take the table by the door that no-one wanted.
The Bhel Puri was delicious, as was the Angry Bird chicken thighs and the Mowgli House Keema.
7.45PM – Hop in a cab and head to Anfield or Goodison park for a bit of Friday night football. We went to see our local football team Crystal Palace go head-to-head with Everton.
10PM – Head back to town and pop into Berry & Rye for a completely wild cocktail experience. These guys are real experts – forget a menu, tell them to surprise you and they will.
9AM– Breakfast at Indigo is good. Stock up, grab your coat and take the quick stroll down to the famous Albert Dock. First stop, the Museum of Liverpool (free – but donation welcome).
11.30AM – The Tate is next, across four floors, inside an old dock warehouse. While we were there Tracey Emin’s infamous bed artwork was being exhibited. My favourite was a shiny Grayson Perry vase.
Once you’ve soaked up some art, head to their cafe, decorated by British pop artist Sir Peter Blake, for some coffee and a slice of cake.
1PM – If it’s a nice day, meander along the docks for a while or stop for a drink in the Pump House pub. As it was raining, we headed into town for a bit. What’s a city break without a spot of shopping?
3.30PM – Afternoon tea at Malmaison is a must. Albeit a little quiet due to its out-of-centre spot, the strawberry pavlova is divine and a mini burger was a nice addition to a traditional afternoon tea.
5PM – Head back to the hotel for a quick rest, and get ready to head out (with the masses of stag and hen dos of course!).
6.30PM – Start off in the Cavern club. Yes it’s so touristy… but you can’t go to Liverpool without having a pint there! If you’re lucky they’ll be a live band playing.
7.30PM – Next stop, Kazimier Garden… if you’re not careful you’ll miss it (it looks an entrance to a building site). It’s outside so wrap up warm under the heaters if it’s cold, or embrace the sunshine if it’s not.
9PM – Stumble over to Hanover Street Social for good food and a relaxed brasserie vibe. The moules were delicious, and I recommend the roasted hake loin for mains.
10.30PM – Stay out in town if you want (Wood Street was thriving with clubs), or head back to the hotel bar. The cocktails at Indigo are delicious, I necked one too many Hendrick’s Cooler cocktails while I was there.
10AM – Check out isn’t until 11am so nurse a sore head with a Full English before heading out into town.
11AM – The city centre is still very quiet so use this time to embrace the quietness and walk the streets. Stop for coffee at independent coffee house, Rococo.
1.30PM – Before hopping on the train, head to Salt House Bacaro for some tapas. For £12.50 for three small plates you can choose things such as parmesan chips, pan fried seabass and fried calamari.
3PM – Hop back on the train at Liverpool Lime Street and sleep off everything you’ve eaten and drank over the weekend!