What do you know about Liverpool and The Beatles? Hopefully more than I did before we went there! My knowledge of the Beatles was at an all embarrassing low! A weekend trip to Liverpool has fixed that. But it’s not all about the Beatles…
Saturday – Albert Dock, The Pump House, Tate and Bakchich Lebanese
We started our weekend with an early morning train trip from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street. Thanks Virgin Trains! A few hours passed and we had escaped London for somehow an even colder location. After a quick check in at our Adagio City Centre Apartment, we were ready to explore! Definitely recommend Adagio if you visit Liverpool. We had a super large comfortable bed, self-contained kitchen and the location was perfect, hence the ‘City Centre’ inclusion in its name! Also I’m guessing travelling in winter (January 2016) means nicer rooms for nicer prices.
Anyone who reads my blog posts knows we love food. First stop of course was lunch. We were easily attracted to The Pump House, a beautiful old brick building built in 1870, now a cosy British pub. It was popular and we were lucky to get a table without booking! The food was delicious. Another recommendation for you!
We explored the dock area and stumbled across the Tate, an art gallery and museum. Harry loves exploring art galleries and museums so we wandered through at a leisurely pace in hope that the rain had stopped outside. It looked promising on our exit and then out of nowhere we got hailed on! It was really windy so those little ice pellets were quite painful when they found skin contact! At this moment we were thankful for our snow clothing purchases from Mountain Warehouse for Russia a few months back.
The freak hailstorm lasted all of a few minutes so we explored Albert Dock a bit more before retreating back to our apartment. We got ready for our evening out in Liverpool which involved warmer clothes and an umbrella. But hey! All part of the England experience, right??
We were equipped with a map and a desire for asian food but despite our efforts could not find our ‘x’ on the map. A whole china town was missing. We did manage to find a gentleman’s club though. Have you heard the expression ‘hangry’? But we walked on to Bold Street where there were plenty of nice restaurants to choose from. And busy! Unfortunately the first few we walked into had VERY long wait times!
Luckily we found Bakchich, a Lebanese street food restaurant where we only had to wait a few minutes before being seated. Delicious pickles, bread and hommos, haloumi salad, Lahem B’agine (minced meat pizza) and meat and vege wraps! We couldn’t eat it all and asked for what was left to be packed up for one of the homeless people we’d seen on our walk around half of Liverpool. Of course we didn’t see any on the cold walk home so it ended up in our fridge and in our bellies the next day.
Sunday – Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Bus and Walking Tour
Okay! Time to get educated on The Beatles! We booked tickets on The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Bus and were ready to learn! Also it was raining again so it was nice to stay warm and dry whilst exploring Liverpool. We saw the following places:
- 10 Admiral Grove where Ringo lived for 20 years, across the road from the pub where his Mum worked as a barmaid
- the famous Penny Lane
- 12 Arnold Grove, the birthplace of George Harrison and home until he was 6 years old
- the road Julia Lennon was hit by a car and killed
- Strawberry Field which was a Salvation Army children’s home
- The McCartney Family home
- The Cavern Club
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, entertaining and patient. We got dropped off near the Cavern Club where The Beatles made their first appearance on 9 February 1961. I love that they were rebellious and played their rock n roll! It’s a really unique venue oozing with history. So many people have etched or written their names on the walls and ceiling! Harry and I played a game of finding each other’s name amongst it all! I found a John loves Jodie! Sorry Harry!
After a quick lunch stop near The Cavern Club unfortunately not worth mentioning, we made our way to the walking tour that was soon due to start at St George’s Hall. It was raining but we were still keen to explore more of Liverpool before heading back to London. There was another couple there waiting and thanks to them the tour was able to go ahead with four people. Apparently it’s the most people that had turned up so far this year! Weather!
We explored Grand Central Hall which is a former church now used to house alternative shops. It’s got a Sagrada Familia vibe to it. Probably because it was restored about 20 years ago into a Barcelona bar and nightclub! We then made it through some more miserable weather before arriving at the Liverpool Cathedral. It’s not just another Cathedral and definitely worth seeing. It is one of the biggest and most impressive churches I’ve ever seen. You can hear the church bells ringing from quite a distance!
Nearby is St James Garden and cemetery. It’s also different and strangely worth seeing as there are headstones lining either side of the pathway down to the garden as well as headstones in the cemetery as per normal.
We walked past the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts which was co-founded by Paul McCartney. In fact, he goes back to Liverpool every year to hand out their graduate certificates. Pretty special moment for those people! Not far away is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Did you know it was an orchestra from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic that sunk with the Titanic?
And finally the mens toilets in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms are also worth seeing. They’re a tourist attraction! The architecture is old and weirdly beautiful if you forget that they are urinals! They have an orange china crockery look to them. You’ll have to see them for yourself.
After the walking tour we made our way to Mister Miyagi in Bold Street to have dinner before heading to the train. We’d seen Mister Miyagi last night and tried to have dinner there but the waiting time was around 2.5 hours. We were early today (around 6pm) so they managed to fit us in. The food here is DELICIOUS. Capital letters for a reason. So good. It’s a japanese restaurant or what they call themselves a ‘new take on traditional japanese food’. One of our favourite menu items was the black sesame custard doughnuts. Take. Me. Back.
In summary, Liverpool has a lot to offer and worth a weekend visit! Even if you only go to Mister Miyagi. But book in advance.