Museum of Liverpool: £72m has been spent on the city’s new flagship museum. It provides an inventive exploration of Liverpool’s relationship with the world without ever falling too far into the parochiality trap. Pier Head. T: 0151 478 4545.
International Slavery Museum: Liverpool has an excellent range of museums and galleries, but the International Slavery Mueum is arguably the most interesting. It explores Liverpool’s not-so-proud past as a slave trade hub and provokes thought about the resulting legacies. Dock Traffic Office, Albert Dock. T: 0151 478 4499.
Magical Mystery Tour: Beatles nuts will appreciate this two hour jaunt around the main sites in the story of how four lads from Liverpool became the biggest band in the world. Childhood homes are on the route, as are the likes of Penny Lane, the church where John met Paul and Strawberry Field. T: 0151 236 9091.
Chaophraya: Hitting that jackpot combination of good food, good value and a sense of style, Chaophraya offers a sophisticated take on Thai cuisine. The in-floor fish tanks and open kitchen add an impressive swagger. 5 Kenyons Steps. T: 0151 707 6323.
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BOOK YOUR OWN ADVENTUREThe following sites are usually my first port of call when booking a trip - so I recommend them as somewhere to start when booking your own holiday.
HOTELS: Hotels.com (£) or Agoda (£)
FLIGHTS: Skyscanner (£) Kayak or Roundtheworldflights.com
CAR HIRE: Car Rentals (£)
GUIDE BOOKS: Amazon (£)
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES: Viator (£)
The Monro: If all gastropubs were like this attitude-free delight, then the world would be a better place. The ingredients are fresh, the puddings are hand-made, the range of wines and beers is good and the food is indisputably excellent. 92 Duke Street. T: 0151 707 9933.
London Carriage Works: Regularly dubbed the best fine dining spot in town, the Hope Street Hotel’s restaurant manages to be smart without being overly formal. 40 Hope Street. T: 0151 705 2222.
Liverpool bars and pubs
Philharmonic: The heritage-listed Philharmonic is arguably the most gorgeous pub in Britain. The wood panelling, stained glass and chapel-like alcoves are worth a visit alone. Luckily, there’s a good range of beers on tap too. 36 Hope Street. T: 0151 707 2837.
Alma de Cuba: Cocktails and champagne by the bottle are the focus at this dress-to-impress venue with a Latin twist. It’s a converted church, and has an undeniable wow factor. St Peter’s Church, Seel Street. T: 0151 702 7394.
Cavern Club: It’s not the same venue that the Beatles famously played in, but the new Cavern Club is a fairly faithful reconstruction on the same site. Marvel at the brick archways and listen to a Fab Four cover band with glass in hand – it’s cheesy but fun. 10 Mathew Street. T: 0151 236 1965.
Hotel Indigo: This new kid on the block gets that right mix of personality and good value luxury. There are numerous colourful nods to the local cotton industry, while the complimentary minibar and free WiFi are amongst the many admirable touches. 10 Chapel Street. T: 0151 559 0111.
Base2stay: The rooms are a striking monochrome, the beds are gloriously comfy and little bonuses such as wall-mounted flat screen TVs and microwaves are thrown in. Bargain rates are often available, with the lack of on-site restaurant (you’ll have to nip out for breakfast) being the only trade-off. 29 Seel Street. T: 0151 705 2626.
Hard Day’s Night: The inevitable Beatles-themed hotel manages to pull the gimmick off with style. The memorabilia is tastefully presented – it’s luxurious homage rather than cheap cash-in. Central Buildings, North John Street. T: 0151 236 1964.
Further information: Visit Liverpool.
Disclosure:was a guest of Visit Liverpool.
All content copyright David Whitley.