Thursday, 10 August 2017

Appreciating Liverpool

Appreciating Liverpool
I’ve been to Liverpool a few times now but I’ve never really written about why I’m starting to fall in love with the city. As it’s on the opposite side of the country from where I grew up in York, it wasn’t in the day trip zone, so I’ve only really been as an adult, and it’s always been on race weekends where I’ve been there supporting the half marathon.

I headed across the Pennines recently, again to support another race, but ended up having such a lovely time that I wanted to share what I did, where I went and why it’s making me love the city.

I jumped on the train over, which takes about 1hr50 from Leeds to Liverpool Lime Street and spent the entire journey losing myself in Louise Pentland’s new novel, Wilde Like Me. If you’re a chicklit fan, I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy – I actually have two copies as I went to her signing in Manchester recently so I have a signed copy for best and the copy I pre-ordered to actually read. Does anyone else do that when they have a signed book?

Once I arrived, I checked into the Ibis Styles hotel on Dale Street, which is about a 10 minute walk from the station and I don’t know whether it’s because I was on the top floor or because I was at the back of the hotel, but it’s the quietest hotel room I’ve ever been in. My room was ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ themed and that was pretty cool. The Ibis Styles hotels tend to be a quirky version of the standard hotel, but when I paid just over £100, including breakfast, this definitely did the job. It was functional but the staff were great, room was clean and comfortable, and the continental breakfast was perfect for me (though very carb-heavy so if you’re gluten free/on Slimming world, you might struggle).



Ibis Styles Liverpool



I headed to Liverpool One, a shopping complex which I’d never really had chance to explore before, to meet my good friend Alex for dinner. It turns out that on the top level of Liverpool One, there’s a rooftop park?! Who knew! I’m now desperate to return to Liverpool to go shopping as they have absolutely every shop ever and I’ve never had chance to explore before. Alex introduced me to Wagamama for the first time, a restaurant that’s been on my ‘to try’ list for a while. We enjoyed a whole load of delicious food – I went for pulled pork gyoza and then a duck dish.


wagamama Liverpool One


After Wagamama, Alex took me to his favourite bar/cafe which is called Leaf – they have a massive tea menu which is perfect for after dinner when Alex doesn’t drink and I had an early start. It’s definitely one of those places you’d never normally go to as it’s a little off the beaten track, but somewhere that’s entirely under-rated for visitors as it’s so chilled. The gin and tonics looked incredible so maybe the next time I’m there...



Leaf Liverpool loose leaf tea



As I mentioned, I was in Liverpool for a race and though I wasn’t even up to walking the race after having been on the verge of death from the plague that week (AKA, had a cold), I still went down to support my sister and her friends who were running the Women’s Running 5 and 10k races. I’ve never met such a fantastic group of women when it comes to running – they get together every year to do this race, wear matching purple tshirts and then have an amazing picnic afterwards. We’re talking ultimate picnic goals!



Women's Running 10k Liverpool Sefton Park Picnic


That weekend definitely made me fall in love with Liverpool and though I always talk about solo travel, this time it was 100% the people that made me leave a little bit of my heart there. I can’t wait to go back, whether it’s to shop by myself or have a full weekend there with friends. I already have plans for my annual trip to support the marathon, but I think I need to get a trip in before then! Do you love Liverpool too? Let me know in the comments.
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