How well do you know this city? Yeah, sure, of course you know it. But we’re all creatures of habit, right? We have our favourite route through town. Our ‘go to’ places. Well, what would happen if you ripped it up and started again? In all probability you’d get a new perspective on the place you call home. And that’s gotta be a good thing, yeah? Chances are you’ve done a couple of these, but we seriously doubt you’ve done ’em all…
Garstang Museum, Liverpool University
No, not in Garstang (it’s named after Egyptologist John Garstang), but hidden in that warren of pathways and squares between Oxford Street and Myrtle Street, this is a small but scholarly collection (considered one of the most important in the UK) of antiquities from Egypt, the Aegean, Sudan, Jericho, Anatolia and Great Britain.
The museum’s a pocket-sized powerhouse in our midst, regularly lending pieces to the Louvre, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. And you’ve never heard of it?
This licensed restaurant is part of Liverpool College, offering trainee chefs an opportunity to serve real people (that’s us). Great, inventive cooking, themed evenings, especially delicious pastries and friendly service. The future of the city’s food offer is safe in these hands, trust us.
Open for lunch Tuesday – Friday 12-2pm; Tasting Menu dinner every Thursday 6-9pm; call 0151 252 4512
Pilgrims Progress, Bridgewater Street
There are other antiques and restorers’ showrooms, but we love the theatricality of Selwyn’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Go for the room sets, the Gostins-built 1970’s reproduction writing bureaus, and the possibility (rare, admittedly) of finding a bargain.
Patsy’s Place, The Grange Centre, Botanic Road
Within this bunker-like warren of rooms, next to Wavertree’s Botanic Gardens, hides sleek G-Plan units, bakelite phones, old valve radios and dramatic 1960s vases – from Victoriana tea sets to strident artwork and costume jewellery, this is a welcome stop off en route to town from Edge Lane. Good coffees too.
Old Dock Tours, Liverpool ONE
Yes, you’ve peered down the porthole outside John Lewis, but how many of you have taken the tour? This is a world-first in our midst: the first ever commercial wet dock. And, by some miracle of subterranean serendipity, much of its original walls remain. For the first time in centuries the actual riverbed of the Pool that gave Liverpool its name can be seen. Amazing. Well, it floats our boat, anyway.
LIPA Shows, Mount Street
The talented folk at LIPA put on 30 or so shows every year. And, in our experience, they’re always absolutely brilliant (we still rank their production of CHESS as the best musical we’ve seen in the city). Dirt cheap ticket prices, lovely pocket-sized auditorium, and seriously impressive talent. It’s the most dependable show in town.
Musical Box, 457 West Derby Road
Proudly keeping vinyl alive, through all its machinations, this north Liverpool shrine to the black stuff has seen off CDs, Mini Discs and downloads, and its groaning shelves of Wishbone Ash albums, and rare blues, jazz and prog is a Record Store Day favourite and a must-visit for collectors from here and far.
Liverpool Meat and Fish Market, Prescot Road, Old Swan.
You know we have a thing for markets? This is a firm favourite of ours – tucked between Kensington and Old Swan and, mostly, doing business with trade. But you’re welcome too: go for the great, caught-that-morning fish, meaty sausages (track down the pheasant sausages if you can. Amazing) and farm-fresh poultry. Veggie? Keep driving.
The Piermaster’s House, Albert Dock
Yes, it smells a bit like your great aunt’s house – but that’s because this really is the real deal. The last house standing, this is the only dock residence to survive the May Blitz of 1941. And you’ve never gawped at its painstakingly reconstructed bedrooms, living room and scullery? It’s free, fascinating and only takes five minutes.
Adam Partridge Auctions, Jordan Street
Frequently filmed for Bargain Hunt (and other ‘flog!’-style shows), this Baltic showroom is fine art-central, nowhere near as stuffy as nearest rival, Chester’s Bonhams, and always worth a look: especially if you’re in the market for Asian & Oriental Art, Northern & Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments, Silver, Jewellery, Ceramics, Glass…well, you’ve seen Bargain Hunt, right?
Mercure Liverpool Hotel bar, Chapel Street.
What’s with this city? Where’ve you gotta go to get a bird’s eye view of that waterfront? Well, don’t go to Matou, wait ’til it’s a little warmer and sneak away to the Mercure (formerly Thistle Hotel)’s bar. This hotel offers that rare thing – a chance to have a drink, outdoor, with a great waterfront view. The food’s ok, too, but really it’s that UNESCO-approved backdrop (and the fact that you’re acting like a tourist in town) that really seals the deal.
St Bride’s Wednesday Liturgy, Percy Street.
Not for everyone, we know. But the Wednesday morning liturgy at St Bride’s is a way to stop the city for an hour or so, grab some quiet contemplation, enjoy a coffee, and soak up some soul-warming spirituality in this creative, inclusive and magical space.