You might have already read about me somehow getting lost in the smallest hotel room… ever! That was in Liverpool.
Liverpool is one of the coolest cities I’ve been to in the UK. There’s SO MUCH to see and do, and great places to eat and drink, I think I will be back soon.
You can do a whole lot in 24 hours though… so much so that I started to write this and realised it needed breaking down, and food and drinks could take their own blog post.
Liverpool is perfectly sized to get around on foot. Everything was walking distance, it’s better for you to walk around and you get a better feel for a place when you take it in that way.
We went at the start of this summer scorching weather, but hadn’t realised that because it’s on the coast, it’d be a tad chillier. I didn’t take a jacket and thinking about our evening plans, I realised I’d need something. Thankfully Liverpool is amazing for shopping too!
I was exploring Liverpool with Niall, my boyfriend, and the best company ever for trips! We both like sightseeing, eating and drinking, so Liverpool was a great choice for a mid-week getaway.
Accommodation-wise we stayed at the Cocoon Pod hotel. It was a 15 minute walk from the central bus station / Liverpool One. I’ve already written a little bit about it – it was no Ritz – but a good location and a great price.
Eating and drinking is always a favourite part of our trips and we chowed down on some excellent grub and tipples. A little research definitely goes a long way.
We started out with drinks, beginning in a bar off Bold Street somewhere. It was nothing to write home about other than the fact it was outside and the sun was shining hard.
Then we mooched through town past Radio City tower and Liverpool One towards the docks and drank in the courtyard of the Pump House overlooking part of the dock. It doesn’t offer any particular unique experience, but it is a cosy pub inside of a listed building from 1870, and it has a decent amount of outdoor seating for the nice weather.
📍 The Pump House, Albert Dock, Hartley Quay, Liverpool L3 4AN
After walking around the dock for a short time we agreed it was too too hot and took refuge on the rooftop of the 30 James Street – also known as the Titanic Hotel – with… another drink.
Carpathia Rooftop Bar – 30 James Street
I was looking forward to checking out the 30 James Street hotel after seeing it a few times on Groupon. It’s mainly the reason I decided to plan the trip. I decided I wasn’t desperate to stay their particularly, so I found somewhere cheaper.
It was a really fun place with blinging interiors replicating a plush bygone era. We got in the lift and headed straight for the Carpathia Rooftop Bar at the top. Through the heavy doors with porthole windows we were greeted promptly and told we could sit anywhere. It was table service, but honestly, we had to wait a really long time to be served. The service was pretty disappointing, and on a midweek afternoon, it was pretty quiet (but ample staff around). With a seat at the edge of the roof terrace you could get decent views down the waterside. When we finally got served we enjoyed it, but didn’t fancy waiting around for another drink.
After finishing our drinks at 30 James Street we took a walk to a different, less touristy part of town known as the Baltic Triangle.
📍 30 James Street Hotel, Albion House, 30 James St, Liverpool L2 7PQ, 0151 236 9659.
As we walked towards the Baltic Triangle we noticed beautiful abandoned warehouses ripe for development. As it turns out, that’s what the Baltic Triangle is really, a creative quarter telling a tale of glory days when 40% of the world’s trade passed through the city’s docks during the 18th and 19th centuries. I could imagine, looking at the redeveloped buildings, lots of creative and digital agencies taking up office space here, spilling out at tea time on a Friday and gathering in one of the many hidden bars for craft beers.
Botanical Gin Garden
Speaking of which, we passed some guys working on building a skate park and went for a nosy. After crossing the road we spotted a small sandwich board, with ‘Botanical Gin Garden’ chalked up. A secret hidden gin garden! We crept through the gate in the high fence and found a large courtyard with picnic benches, step seating and deck chairs, rope lights, potted plants, graffiti on the walls and a large bar.
It turned out that the place was genuinely a gin bar, and it seemed rude not to try one! The bartender was a very sweet girl who was super chatty and asked what sort of gins I like. I told her I like the perfumy ones so she served me a local gin called Three Graces Rose Gin from a beautiful bottle that I wanted to take home.
📍 Botanical Garden, 49 New Bird St, Liverpool L1 0BW.
Further down the road we found a similar place called Constellations. We were really heading for Camp and Furnace, but they seemed to have an event on. Constellations didn’t really have the same vibe as the Botanical Garden, but it was much bigger and I imagine had a much better vibe on a weekend. They didn’t serve prosecco by the glass so I opted for a wine which was served in a plastic cup. Enough said. I like my drinks serving in the correct vessels so it’d didn’t impress me much. Like I said, probably gets a bit wild on a weekend.
📍 Constellations, 35-39 Greenland St, Liverpool L1 0BS, 0151 345 6302
Baltic Market, Cains Brewery
Eventually we got to the FOOD! I’d heard about the Baltic Market in Cains Brewery Village. I love the option of trying a few things so the informal setting of communal seating and numerous independent vendors specialising in different cuisine is always a winner for me. For a Thursday night it was quite busy! Maybe that’s because is it only open Thursday – Sunday.
We started at the Mad Bantam with their nuggets. They specialise in fried chicken and loaded tater tots. We ordered the salt and pepper version, we both love salt and pepper everything – but it wasn’t the tastiest or most flavoursome we’d ever had. I didn’t get much five spice or salty sensations on my palate!
We also ordered halloumi fries from Hafla Hafla and they were quite frankly insane. Big crunch and a good sized portion. I’ll be looking out for them at food festivals more locally in the future.
📍 Baltic Market (within Cain’s Brewery Village), 107 Stanhope St, Liverpool L8 5RE.
At that point we had to hot foot it to the Cathedral for sunset. More about that in another post.
Our last stop (I think?) was at The Grapes, and independent jazz pub close to where we were staying. It was a lovely place with a rooftop terrace, perfect for a stuffy evening. I wouldn’t recommend the white wine though.
Bakchich Lebanese breakfast
Part of my research was to find cheap eats, and one place that kept coming top in my results was Bakchich, a Lebanese restaurant. I had planned to go there for dinner the night before, but then came across some reviews of their breakfasts, and thought that could be interesting. We got there at about 11am and it was quiet with no other customers. The decor was a contemporary take on eastern, with white tin pendant shades, and lots of tiles with coloured geometric patterns, copper-topped tables and wooden bistro seats.
It was difficult to choose which dish to order, they all sounded appetising and different to the usual brunch places. In the end I chose shakshuka, and Niall went for the Arabic breakfast.
I have a borderline phobia of hard egg yolk, so I checked with the waitress that the egg would be soft. There was a bit of a language barrier, so I said it didn’t matter. Worth the risk. She asked me back if I meant I wanted the eggs well-done. NO. No, no. Not well done. Sadly the language barrier stayed up and the eggs were served rock hard, so I had to cut them out and give them to Niall. He kindly gave me some of his mushrooms and sausage to try.
I didn’t feel like I’d missed out at all. The shakshuka was delicious. There was quite a lot of rich butter or ghee which made it very comforting, and the tomato wasn’t too spicy at all for breakfast, just a toasty warmth. It was served with some arabic flat bread which was great for mopping up the tomato sauce.
📍 Bakchich Lebanese Restaurant, 54 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4ER, 0151 707 1255.
Baltic Market… again
Our final culinary destinations were back at the Baltic Market. We’d gone back to play Ghetto Golf but it was closed for a private event, so we went for a drink in the Spanish themed Alhambra bar followed by ice cream and cookie dough from the Midnight Delivery. It wasn’t the best ice cream I had ever had in my life, and Niall’s banana boat was underwhelming, but it hit the spot!
And that concludes our Liverpool adventure in food and drink.
So, what did I miss? Give me a reason to go back!