Worth getting out of bed for
Visit the Everyman Liverpool and/or Liverpool Playhouse theatres, both of which are leading a resurgence of fine drama in the city (www.everymanplayhouse.com); the hotel can check ticket availability for you. The beautiful 19th-century Albert Dock now houses Tate Liverpool as well as the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Beatles Story (which is a lot of fun) and a couple of decent cafés. Croxteth Hall and Country Park (+44 (0)151 233 6910) has a walled garden and a Victorian farmyard (with some very sweet pigs) as well as various activities on offer, including horse riding.
60 Hope Street (+44 (0)151 707 6060) has an impressive fine‑dining room upstairs, a bar, and a cosier café on the ground floor. Clove Hitch on Hope Street (+44 (0)151 709 6574) serves classic Brit dishes such as bangers and mash, as well as more exotic offerings such as swordfish with chimichurri and orange-glazed carrots. Leave room for a home-made pudding. Opposite the hotel, Host (+44 (0)151 708 5831) is a first-class option for pan-Asian dining. The Shipping Forecast on Slater Street (+44 (0)151 709 6901) hails itself an alehouse and eatery and the spot to head for live music and great beers.
Co-owned by electro band Ladytron, Korova on Fleet Street (+44 (0)151 709 7097) is a funky, music-focused venue that combines playful bar, canteen-style restaurant and buzzing club with panache. It’s a good place to catch promising young acts play live.
A smart, great‑value basement bistro beneath the theatre of the same name, Everyman Bistro has a daily changing menu of Francophile tarts, flans and quiches (+44 (0)151 708 9545).
While Caribbean‑themed Alma De Cuba on Seel Street (+44 (0)151 702 7394) attracts the footballers’ wives and popstrels of Liverpool, it is also a great cocktail bar in a beautiful 18th‑century church building. The Living Room (+44 (0)151 236 1999) is another decidedly decadent bar with lots of beautiful people to see and be seen by.
February Chinese New Year is enthusiastically celebrated in the city’s Chinatown. March LEAP, a diverse festival of contemporary dance showcasing the talents of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (www.merseysidedance.co.uk/leap.html). April The Grand National meeting at nearby Aintree Racecourse (www.aintree.co.uk). July The Liverpool Comedy Festival. August The massive Mathew Street Music Festival boasts a strange but sometimes wonderful musical line-up: old favourites jostle alongside up-and-comers, pop waifs and cover bands (www.mathewstreetfestival.com). International Beatles Week attracts more than 200 bands from around the world to play tribute to the city’s favourite sons, with markets and exhibitions dedicated to the famous foursome (www.cavern-liverpool.co.uk/beatleweek).
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Smith extra at Hope Street Hotel
A bottle of prosecco on arrival, plus free late check-out (usually charged at £10 an hour and subject to availability)