Liverpool is one of the UK’s most popular cities for a weekend break. Famous for football, The Beatles and the music that has come out of the Merseyside city ever since – which probably was a factor why Liverpool was chosen to host the Eurovision Song Contest next May.
Easy to reach by train, car or bus there are a lot of new things to discover in the city this autumn as I was to discover on a two-day break. Here are a few ideas to whet your appetite
Liverpool Beatles Museum
There are two Beatles museums, this central one and also The Beatles Story at Albert Dock. We chose the first as it is run by Roag Best whose father was Neil Aspinall, road manager and confidante to the Beatles. Neil later became the head of Apple Corps, the Beatles own record label.
Roag’s brother is Pete Best, the original drummer of The Beatles who spent two years with the band from 1960 to 1962. With these close connections all the exhibits seemed to have a more personal touch.
Spread over three floors you will find original guitars and drums from the band’s Hamburg days, John Lennon Sgt Pepper medals, the white cello from Magical Mystery Tour and Paul McCartney’s bass amp.
Walking across the three floors, The Beatles’ success is in chronological order. Even if you are not a Beatles fan this is still a fascinating journey into the world of the band who have never been equalled
Dr Who Worlds of Wonder – World Museum
If like me you are a big Dr Who fan then this interactive exhibition is one you will not want to miss. You will discover costumes worn in the TV show, props such as inside the first version of the TARDIS and of course the monsters which are a big part of Dr Who’s enduring success – we all love to be thrilled, amazed and scared by these alien beings. Will you dare to step inside the Monster Vault?
If you do pick up the courage you will find yourself standing face to face with life size versions of the Ice Warriors, Cybermen, Sontarans and of course the Daleks and their creator Davros – you can even step inside a Dalek as well as recreating your own voice into a Dalek done by means of a piece of technology called ring modulation.
The Beatles are even included as apparently, they were due to make a fun cameo appearance alongside the first Dr Who, William Hartnell but sadly the idea was vetoed by their then manager Brian Epstein.
I found the exhibition thrilling and one of pure escapism – Dr Who still has limitless possibilities of where it goes next. The exhibition has been so successful that it has been extended by a week and will now end on 6 November.
Tempest on Tithebarn
I had heard that some of best burgers in Liverpool were served at this fairly new restaurant. The venue harks to New York’s meatpacking district eateries, focusing heavily on brunches, lunches, cocktails and craft beer; stone walls and bare wood with lots of natural lighting feature in the ground-floor open plan restaurant and bar, upstairs you can experience one of the city’s best roof-top views – 10 storeys high – which looks out across Liverpool with incredible views in all directions.
The service was very friendly and efficient – it felt like visiting friends whom I had not seen for a long time. There are at least six different burgers on offer including a vegetarian version. I tried The Big One – three homemade beef patties stacked with bacon, melted cheddar cheese and salad, served in a sourdough bun baked in a local bakery – I could taste the difference, though priced at. £13.00 it was not cheap although it does come with fries. Go on a Tuesday though before the end of November and all burgers are two for one.
Novotel, Paddington Village
Liverpool’s newest hotel which only opened in July is a short ten-minute walk from the city centre. It felt like you were close enough to the main attractions but without the hustle and bustle associated with the central area.
Try and stay on the 15th floor – which affords sweeping views over Liverpool right across the River Mersey with the North Wales mountains in the distance. They looked so near you feel you could have almost reached out touch them!
We stayed in a studio apartment which was on the corner of the building giving more space. They come with a super king bed, a double sofa bed & kitchenette which was perfect for longer stays. The en-suite bathroom came with a powerful rain shower, though they seemed to have forgotten to replenish the shampoo via the on-wall dispenser.
I liked the idea of having the large television on a swivel so you could either watch your favourite programme from either the bed or the sofa – a great idea.
There is the Kensington restaurant on the first floor, though we did not have an evening meal. The buffet breakfast included a full English and Continental options. This was copious and of excellent quality. No wonder they have a gym too so you can work off all those extra calories.
There is a new multi-storey car park which is a 5-minute walk away and this can be booked in advance which then allows you to come and go.
I am very fussy when it comes to hotels, but this new hotel was faultless. At the price point, I think the hotel is good value and will certainly be coming back next time I visit Liverpool.