WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Whether you’re after fine dining options or casual spots for a quick bite to eat, Liverpool has all eventualities covered. Eighteen-storey community hub The Plaza recently welcomed a new restaurant in the form of Nord, headed up by chef Daniel Heffy. The all-day dining spot showcases ingredients from regional producers, while the interiors have a touch of glamour thanks to a retro colour palette and plush banquette seating. Menu highlights include burrata with zucchini, mint and hazelnut; fazzoletti pasta with creamy roast leek and black truffle sauce; cod ‘kiev’ with tartare sauce; and duck egg crème brûlée. For fine dining, book a table at The Art School where diners sit in its light-flooded dining room to enjoy modern dishes full of colour, like confit jersey royals with roasted king oysters and wild garlic dressing; rump of lamb with spring greens and asparagus; and baked hake with a smoked anchovy and parsley crust. Save room for its signature trio of desserts which changes regularly. Barnacle is also worth a visit for sophisticated British plates served in its beautiful blue dining room.
Röski in the city centre is a favourite among locals. The small 28-cover restaurant is a romantic spot with parquet flooring and white tablecloths. Headed up by Anton Piotrowski (winner of Masterchef: The Professionals), the menu features modern dishes paired with world wines. Diners can choose from the likes of elevated cod and beef fat chips; asparagus with XO sauce; and beef carpaccio with hollandaise sauce. On the outskirts of town, is a neighbourhood bistro and wine bar worth the taxi ride. Dishes are inspired by the team’s favourite places around the world and the menu changes every few weeks. The current selection includes Jerusalem artichokes with hazelnut romesco; lamb neck fillet with salsa verde; and steamed sea trout with chicken and mussel sauce. Then there’s Middle Eastern Maray, one of the city’s most popular restaurants – just make sure to book well ahead of time. Start with mezze boards of hummus, hot dips and pickles, labneh and cauliflower bhajis, before moving onto falafels, fried aubergine, salads and grilled meats and fish.
For a quick bite, Madre (from the team behind Belzan) is a Mexican restaurant and bar with a fun vibe. Sit in the dining room or outside in its spacious garden where DJs set the vibes at weekends and spicy margaritas flow all day. Choose from fried chicken, pork, tempura fish or mushroom tacos, followed by churros with chocolate sauce for dessert. Liverpool's first street food market Baltic has similar vibes and there’s a great selection on offer – count on pizzas, burgers, shawarma wraps, fried chicken and Thai street food. Next weekend it’s hosting a mega Eurovision party with projectors screening all the action, themed cocktails and food, and live music.
WHAT TO DO
Liverpool is famous for its shopping, so set some time aside to visit the independent boutiques and shopping centres like St Johns and Liverpool One. For cool vintage clothes, head to Bold Street where you’ll find stores like eco-friendly Cow as well as Liv, an organic food market and vegan café. Elsewhere, Royal Albert Dock has a few independent womenswear stores, while the Bluecat Display Centre is full of unique homeware and artwork by local artists.
For a culture hit, make a beeline for the Georgian quarter with its two must-see cathedrals, the gothic Liverpool Cathedral and the brutalist Metropolitan Cathedral. Walk along its cobbled streets to see impressive Georgian townhouses next to traditional pubs and venues like the art deco Philharmonic Hall. Other cool areas to explore include Royal Albert Dock, home to the largest collection of Grade I-listed buildings in the country, the Baltic Triangle (often referred to as the Shoreditch or Brooklyn of the city) and Chinatown, home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community.
During a weekend, book tickets for Tate Liverpool or drop into one of its free exhibitions. Currently, there’s an exhibition on JMW Turner (until September) and an ongoing display by South African artist Candice Breitz. The Walker Art Gallery is also worth a visit for its extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art from the 13th century to the present day, as is the Museum of Liverpool – a great option for kids. The spirit of Liverpool’s most famous export, The Beatles, is very much alive today, and visitors can learn about the band’s origin story at The Beatles Story Museum. Music buffs will also appreciate the British Music Experience which charts the rise of pop music from 1945 to the present day.
WHERE TO STAY
Liverpool has accommodation options for all budgets. Newcomer The Municipal will open its doors on Wednesday 10th May – just in time for last-minute Eurovision bookings. Set in a Grade II-listed building on Dale Street, the hotel is set over four floors with opulent design details that nod to the building’s past, from vintage furniture to art-deco features. There are 179 rooms, from simple doubles to spacious suites, as well as a restaurant and lounge for drinks and live music in the evenings. It’s also one of the few hotels in the city with a swimming pool.
Another top choice is the boutique Hope Street Hotel which has great city views and minimalist Scandi-chic design – Liverpool FC players often stay when they’re in town. Located in the Georgian quarter, it’s close to some of the city’s best cultural sites like the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and both cathedrals. Each of its 89 rooms have large windows and exposed brick, while larger suites have freestanding baths on a mezzanine level. Its restaurant, London Carriage Works, is also worth visiting for hearty British classics made with local produce.
For a home away from home, book a room at 2 Blackburne Terrace, an upmarket B&B in the Georgian quarter. Set in a late-Georgian townhouse, it is filled with an eclectic range of artwork – particularly in the lounge with its marble fireplace and antiques. There are only four rooms, with the staff going out of their way to ensure you have a comfortable stay. Some rooms have views of the cathedral, and all have modern marble bathrooms with Noble Isle toiletries. A generous breakfast is served in the mornings and staff are more than happy to help you plan an itinerary during your stay. Titanic Hotel by Stanley Dock is equally characterful. Plus, rooms are incredibly spacious, offering excellent value for money – doubles start from just £99 per night. The building itself has exposed brick, original vaulted ceilings and neutral interiors throughout. Superior Dockside Rooms have some of the best views and include everything you need for a weekend, including separate living areas and large bathrooms with rainfall showers.
Need more Liverpool suggestions? Ask the SL Community.