What’s it about?
Up in the north-west of England is the Tories’ bête noire, the working-class left-wing city they keep trying to kill but that will not die.
Churchill ordered gunships to train weapons on striking workers, Thatcher made sure there were no workers left to strike, but still it staggers on, kept alive by its own invulnerable self-importance. That and the fucking Beatles.
The docks have been converted to art galleries and fancy shops, it’s studded with grand buildings that owe it all to the slave trade, and every resident is convinced they have a great sense of humour. Which becomes wearing, over time. For example a day.
Any good points?
They’ve rebuilt a lot of it, whether from the Luftwaffe raids or Thatcherism. You’re no longer a short stumble in the wrong direction from a deserted, derelict street with a circle of locals closing fast. You’d have to drive for upward of five minutes to find that now.
The city is the UK’s number one spot for hen parties, capitalising on a long-standing reputation for drunken lawlessness.
As a local, you can benefit from this by drinking in a pub dressed up to have its own vibe that’s owned by one of four companies that own the lot, do one of the 48 escape rooms dotting the city, or have the most expensive breakfast you’ve ever had in your life. Outside London obviously.
There are also a couple of football teams based in the area. One of them used to be successful a long time ago, but nobody can remember which one.
The river Mersey is big. Even better, on the other side of it is the Wirral, where you can be glad you’re not.
Enjoy a stroll along the Albert Dock, home of the Tate and the fucking Beatles museum, a lovely modernised waterfront which also includes the Maritime Museum explaining how slavery built all this.
There are two cathedrals – one Gothic, one modernist – and plenty of places to go for a pint like the Philharmonic pub, where you can piss against the only Grade I National Heritage listed urinals in Britain, or The Poste House, a charming pub which was Hitlers favourite drinking spot when he visited the city as a young, terrible artist.
Hang out at…
Where you go on a night in Liverpool depends on how much self-respect you have.
To swill luminous alcohol from fish bowls there’s Concert Square, a city centre containment area made up of several different bars you can bounce between until you pass out in the street. If you’re cooler and less prone to shrieking, there’s The Baltic Triangle. A newly developed area of the city where you can overpay for craft beers.
For students there’s The Raz; you may remember entering, but never leaving. It’s actually a club called The Blue Angel, where according to legend you could once get a pint for 90p. That’s changed, but it’s all that has. The sticky carpets, pissy smell and sweating walls are all of 1960s vintage.
Where to buy?
Every inch of free space in the city centre has been snatched up by hotels and students, so city centre living is beyond your reach. You’ll have to hear the echoing screeches and luggage-wheeling rumble of the hen dos from afar.
Kensington’s close to the action. It’s also not too pricy for an area that is only 15 minutes away from Liverpool One, but that’s because your neighbours are either seven drama students or a large man with a large dog retailing small bags of substances not available legally.
Still that’s better than Croxteth, where the ice-cream vans used to sell smack.
From the streets:
Lucy Parry, aged 19, drama student: “It’s such a wonderful, vibrant place! Like combining a gap year in the Global South with going to uni! I’ll leave straight after graduation!”
Stephen Malley, aged 78: “I used to work down on the docks. We built this city with our bare hands. Now it’s the fucking Beatles Museum.”