If you’re looking for a short break in the UK and want to go far enough off the beaten path to avoid capital crowds, but not so far that you miss out on ostentatious fun, Liverpool is the perfect choice. Here’s where to eat, stay and play in Liverpool.
Old Blind School
Restaurant, European, $$$
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No prizes for guessing the original usage of the building in which this restaurant sits. After a campaign by the Liverpool Echo to reopen the city’s dilapidated but beautiful buildings, restoration has become a running theme in Liverpool. With a curious ambience, the Old Blind School has a grown-up kitsch vibe, with Braille signs on the walls and original Victorian typewriters as decoration. The à la carte menu is safe, but pick from the specials board for a showstopper of a meal, such as seared duck breast with confit duck bon bon, red cabbage purée, spiced pak choi and lotus root crisps.
Although this is a self-proclaimed “café, bar and hideout”, there’s no hiding here. Filter and Fox opened with a bang in March 2015 and remains as bustling as its first night of tender. During the day, expect bright young things ordering Instagram-friendly smashed avocados; and by night, they’ll pair carefully selected wines and craft beers with simple dishes.
With its arty, modern vibe, LEAF is the meeting place for many of Liverpool’s creative types. Whatever your taste in tea, one of the baristas will help you choose from their 56 different types. The lunch menu, too, is full of flavour with chorizo, pomegranate and halloumi flatbread being a favourite. Pro tip: ask to be seated upstairs for the best ambience.
Courtesy of Aloft Liverpool Hotel by Marriott / Expedia | Courtesy of Aloft Liverpool Hotel by Marriott / Expedia
After just a year on the Liverpudlian hotel scene, Aloft has slotted in perfectly to its surroundings. With history and hipster-style in equal measures, you enter into a vaulted foyer with marble pilasters reaching up towards a classical ceiling. But the hyper-cool branding of the Aloft Hotel ensures there’s a neon ambience to prelude the overall techie experience. At the time of writing, the team launched a TiGi (text it, get it) service, allowing you to send a series of emojis to the front desk via WhatsApp. Within minutes, the hotelier will appear at your door, armed with whatever you’ve requested.
Courtesy of Titanic Hotel Liverpool / Expedia | Courtesy of Titanic Hotel Liverpool / Expedia
The Beatles may be Liverpool’s very own pop culture behemoth, but Titanic is certainly a close second. Situated in the heart of Liverpool’s celebrated docklands is the Titanic Hotel, where you can revisit old-world luxury with rooms twice the size of a standard UK hotel room. While retaining many of the building’s original brick and iron features, wide corridors and huge vaulted ceilings, the raw architecture is now complemented by high-quality fittings and eclectic designer furniture throughout.
Courtesy of Hope Street Hotel / Expedia | Courtesy of Hope Street Hotel / Expedia
One of Liverpool’s most prestigious boutique hotels, Hope Street Hotel is a stylish, luxurious establishment which boasts chic interiors in rooms displaying solid wood floors, oversized beds draped in white Egyptian cotton, and soft warm lighting, thus creating an incredibly cosy atmosphere.
Feeling lucky but not sure where to begin? Grosvenor Casino Leo Liverpool offers Learn to Play packages, allowing groups of five or more to sit with an experienced poker dealer for two hours. They’ll take you through everything you need to know to win big at the poker table. And when you’re taking a break, you can visit its à la carte restaurant, late-night bar or live entertainment stage.
Whether north, south, east or west, England has an insatiable appetite for festival culture. Unfortunately, the weatherman is usually less than obliging. Enter Camp & Furnace, acting like a year-round, rain-or-shine festival. This behemoth of a warehouse has seemingly endless spaces for fun times. There’s an indoor campsite, party space for gigs, and in the giant bar space, a free-runner will twist, turn and leap off unspeakably high beams to ensure your martini is as shaken as humanly possible. This is a city that has perfected the art of playing.