On May the 5th it was my birthday (woohoo, celebrate good times c’mon!) and to celebrate I boarded the train up to the city of Liverpool to catch some rays, eat some fodder and partake in a few drinks to mark my 28th year.
(I know, I don’t look that old do I… DO I?)
On the Sunday I headed up to the city with bearded one for some much needed “me and him” time away from the kids (aka, the hairy hounds) and off to our home for a couple of nights, Travelodge Liverpool Central The Strand.
Travelodge are famed for their clever £29 marketing campaigns where you can bag yourself a hotel room across the UK for a complete bargain. Their no frills hotels have always provided travellers with a comfortable base within the heart of cities for a snip of the price of some of the more pretentious prices you’ll find in the city (£200 for a night in Liverpool? I think not.) A number of Travelodge hotels are being given a spring cleaning and a bit of a facelift to make them a bit more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing to your eye. The Liverpool Central Strand hotel is smack bang in the middle of the good times of Liverpool. Located on the Strand which seperates Liverpool One from Albert Dock, you may be able to bag yourself a view of the docks itself or the famous Liver Building and you’re only a short stroll from the main shopping complex, the Docks and of course, the infamous Matthews Street which is home to The Cavern Club.
I’ve been to Liverpool a couple of times previously and have always stayed in a similiar area for the same reason: there’s nothing worse than trecking all the way across the city in your heels at the end of the night because you can’t find a cab or you spent your last fiver on something from a greasy takeaway (we’ve all been there).
The rooms are to be expected, white bedding, white walls – all very simple, but most importantly, they were clean and the beds were comfortable and inviting of my body after a long day of walking around the city. The only thing that I can grumble about was the temperature and water pressure of the shower and sound from the road. I suffered from a few chilly moments in the shower first thing in the morning (which certainly woke me up) and we did end up sleeping with the window closed as the road outside is rather busy, but once they’re closed you’re well away and even the call of a hot buffet breakfast in the morning with all you can eat bacon can’t stir you from your slumber.
After checking in we went for a wander around Albert Dock and tried in vain to find an empty seat outside in order to bask in some “rays” and make the most of the sunny weather, no such luck. Instead we went on a bit of an “old mans pub” crawl through the city, supping on ale, letting our hair down like a Herbal Essences advert and wound up stuffing ourselves full of meat at Fazenda (review coming soon!).
We also went in search of Central Perk, a Friends themed cafe that I saw on Terri’s blog and just HAD to visit. Could I BE more excited? After using my trusty iPhone as my GPRS system and winding through the streets of the ‘Pool, we put our feet up with a coffee in the comfort of Central Perk and marvelled at the detailing within the cafe, the nods to the TV show and watched an episode of the show on of their many TV screens. A must for any Friends fan. I could quite easily have kept the caffeine a-coming and indulged in a Friends marathon, but their was the World Museum to visit to soak up some culture (not a good idea on a bank holiday: lots. of. children) and then we were meeting my lovely mum and brother to carry on the birthday festivities!
After checking my mum in at the hotel and enjoying one or two or three Spritz’s in the hotel room, we headed out to sample some more of what Liverpool has to offer which srangely for us happened to be alcohol and food. Interesting.
We headed down to The Pumphouse on the Docks, The Lady and Mann (a little bar within a courtyard that Dan and I had stumbled upon on the previous evening), the beautiful Italian restaurant San Carlo where we enjoyed a Bellini and then it was off to Jamies Italian for several hundred bites to eat. With a night cap at the Venetian Small Plates restaurant Salthouse Bacaro (must go back here for food soon!), we were all far too full and *cough* old *cough* to enjoy the nightlife that Matthews Street had to offer with its bustling bars and with that it was a booty call from my hotel bed with my food baby.
BIRTHDAY MORNING consisted of a Starbz in bed from Dan, presents and card opening and the arrival of my dad to Liverpool. The weather definitely wasn’t on our side come birthday day and we were greeted by a gloomy and raining miserable which isn’t so fun to wander around. With this in mind we headed into the shops, picked up my birthday present from Dan (a shiney new laptop!) and then to Bills Restaurant for more food (pass me stretchy clothes from now on please) and headed home full and a little tipsy vowing to return to the city very soon to fully embrace Matthews Street in the way it deserves.
Where are your must eats and must sees in Liverpool?
* our stay at Travelodge was complimentary but my review was completely honest as always and their beds really are super comfortable.