Let’s get one thing straight, I am a Londoner born and bred, I love the place. The mix of cultures, the smells – each area in London has its own aroma (fact!) – the opportunity to do, wear and say anything I want whilst surrounding myself with people who feel the same. These things keep my butt firmly based in the coolest city in the world. However, today I am in Liverpool…and do you know what, London has some serious competition – Liverpool is a blast! Maybe its the great scenery, the ultra friendly, chatty locals, the cheaper than cheap black cabs (has to be seen to be believed) or the fact that everyone looks like they have just stepped off of the set of Hollyoaks. All I can say, is that I will be revisiting Liverpool (often)…
We took the London Euston to Liverpool Lime St direct train (via Virgin trains). Travelling First Class is great, really great. However, if you are on a budget then book early and the standard ticket won’t break the bank. Ok, you won’t get the fantastic service, food and space you would in First Class, but what you will get is to Liverpool in no time at all (just over 2 hrs from London). In terms of accessibility Virgin Trains are pretty darn good, they say: “We like all our customers to enjoy their journey with us. That’s what inspired JourneyCare, our service for those with a mobility impairment or other disability…Let us know of anything you need, at least 24 hours before you intend to travel. That way, we can make sure you’re happy.” Through JourneyCare, Virgin Trains can arrange all sorts of assistance as well as providing help getting on and off trains, reserving seats and wheelchair spaces. They also provide: accessible toilets with grab handles and alarms, wider doorways and highly visible exterior doors and wheelchair space in First Class and Standard Class.
Where we visited:
We knew it was predictable but we booked it anyway. Our visit to the Beatles Story transported us right back to the 60’s with replicas of the well known Casbah, Mathew Street and The Cavern. The story of the four band members is tracked from childhood all the way to their worldwide stardom. For those who want it, there is also audio and wheelchair access. They say: “Hear the story unfold through our ‘Living History’ audio guides which is available in ten different languages.”
Then off to the Tate we went for some culture and their latest exhibition – Chagall, Modern Master. Marc Zaharovich Chagall was a Belarusian artist associated with several major artistic styles and one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. The exhibition explores Chagall’s development from his early work of folkloristic narratives to his later work which evolved into a combination of different styles. They say: “Chagall: Modern Master focus’ on the artist’s time in Paris before the First world War, his visit to Berlin and his exhibition there in 1914, and the years he spent in his native Russia around the time of the Revolution in 1917. Chagall’s experiences during this period reinforced his highly personal visual language. The universal, timeless themes of these early works – including love, suffering and death – alongside self-portraits and depictions of the circus, music and peasants, recurred and formed the core of his art for the remainder of his long career.”
Where we stayed:
Hotel Indigo is located 15 minutes walk from Liverpool Lime St – so we jumped in a taxi (there is a taxi rank just outside the station) which cost us £4.00 approx. It was worth it, as our driver was chatty and friendly and gave us some handy tips on how to get about and where to visit. The hotel itself is super stylish, bright and clean with a fantastic restaurant – well it is Marco Pierre White after all…
It’s not just the food that is on point here, the accessibility is pretty good too – with first class customer service and wheelchair access in the main areas and beyond. We didn’t have time to visit the gym as we were too busy eating…anyway back to the food: They say “If you’re looking for a Boutique Hotel with that little something extra, you’ve found it. Introducing the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar & Grill Liverpool. The Marco Pierre White Restaurant Liverpool, offering guests an affordable yet glamorous and intriguing culinary experience. The menu comprises of everything you would imagine from a traditional steakhouse but with the superior individuality you would expect from a Michelin star chef. The stunning new decor of our onsite restaurant creates an intimate atmosphere where you can relax and unwind over a cocktail, a refreshing glass of wine and one of Marco’s signature dishes. Marco’s restaurants are all about the experience; the buzz, the unique atmosphere and the enjoyment of being out with friends and family in gorgeous, lively surroundings. Reserve a table for the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse today and see what the fuss is all about.”
Where we ate:
We ate with Gusto! No really…Gusto is an elegant Italian style restaurant with a modern twist (situated in Albert Dock). The interior is chic but not pretentious and the food is to die for. My prawn starter was followed by a rich and tasty risotto that was mouth wateringly good, the meal was then finished with a chocolate brownie that became the talking point for the rest of the trip. They say: “We pride ourselves on the basic philosophy of provenance. To us this means sourcing responsibly, seeking out suppliers who use traditional, sustainable and natural methods of husbandry to provide the best and freshest produce available. The menu focuses on freshly prepared classic and contemporary Italian dishes featuring an excellent range of pizza, pasta, seafood and meats. Open from early till late, GUSTO is synonymous with excellent, friendly service and not since Harry mixed that first Bellini in Venice has the cocktail been more at home in an Italian restaurant. The cocktail list is endless, stylish and fun, feel free to explore at your own leisure in any of our restaurants as they all have their own intimate and bustling bars.”
All in all Liverpool has lots to offer. From sightseeing to cultural experiences to food, Liverpool would give any city a run for it’s money.
Virgin Trains: http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/
The Beatles Story: http://www.beatlesstory.com/
Hotel Indigo: http://www.hotelindigoliverpool.co.uk/
The Tate, Liverpool: http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool