What to do in Liverpool during December

Hello? Is this thing on?

It’s me, Chanel, the girl who used to write on this blog quite a lot. Yep, that’s the one. Well I’m back and before you all think I’ve given up completely on blogging, I haven’t. In fact, I’m really inspired to take my blog to new levels in the new year, especially now I have a car and a bucket load of new found freedom!

At the start of the month, me and a few of my gal pals took a trip to Liverpool to get into the Christmas spirit and scope out the markets. We did Edinburgh in 2017, so it was only fair we tried a new city to see what they had to offer.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS

First thing I will say about Liverpool’s Christmas Market is…if you’re going specifically for the markets, choose a different city. Although, Liverpool does offer a handful of stalls and two mini bars, the scale of the market was tiny in comparison to Edinburgh, Manchester and London’s Winter Wonderland. However, if you live near the area it’s probably worth a pop in to see all the independent sellers for one-off gifts.

ACCOMODATION 

We found the most perfect little apartment on the docks of Liverpool to house the 5 of us during our stay and I couldn’t recommend it more. Located right next door to the Echo Arena (perfect if you’ve got a gig lined up) and a stones throw away from Albert Docks, the apartment had everything we needed and more. An amazingly charming host, Dave, who greeted us on arrival to show us about and the fridge stocked with essentials all for or own use. The tv even had Netflix if you decided on a cosy night in. I’ll leave the link here for anyone who’s searching for the perfect place to stay.

FOOD

As we were self catering we were searching all the time for great places to eat. However, Liverpool, especially in December gets VERY busy at night and you may want to reserve your table in advance to avoid any let downs. On the first night, we ate at a restaurant on the Albert Docks called What’s Cooking? which we all found did a fab range of foods to suit even the fussiest members of the group. The food was delicious and we all left feeling well fed and looked after!

We also ate breakfast at the cutest little cafe next to the Liverpool Lime Street station called Key Lime Coffee, which again served an assortment of meals from breakfast, brunch and lunch. If you have a chance, pop in and try their breakfast fully loaded omelette it’s the bee’s knees!

 

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Cocktails at What’s Cooking?

DRINK AND PARTY

As pretty much newbies to Liverpool, we really had no idea where to start looking for places to dance the night away. We had a few recommendations from friends and as Liverpool has so many options for clubs and bars we felt a tad overwhelmed.

On the first night, we decided to keep it lowkey and stick to bars rather than full on clubs. From the get-go we wanted to visit the Peaky Blinders bar. As fans of the show we were pretty excited about all the hype we’d seen online earlier in the year. However, if you’re going to go to the PB bar…don’t expect Cillian Murphy to be there to greet you with his finest G+T. The bar was ok, there was some live music which was good but the decor was a bit sparse if anything. It’s the type of place which felt like it had been rushed and not much thought had been put into it and really only for the purpose of making a bit of money of the back of a popular TV show. It was a completely different experience to the Breaking Bad bar I wrote about in July. Although, the area which the bar was set had quite a few novelty bars, including a Yellow Submarine which might be fun for someone looking to take their mates somewhere a bit different!

When we were all dolled up on the second night and ready for something a bit more dancey, we hit the city centre. We went to a tiny little tequila bar called Bar CaVa where they sell assorted and wacky flavours of tequila for only £1 a shot. The perfect place for pre drinking, and to prank your mates into drinking baked bean flavoured tequila (sorry for telling you it was passionfruit, Ellen).

A short stumble from Bar CaVa is Concert Square, a place we had all been told about from other friends who’d visited the city before. Here, you can choose between a number of different bars/clubs in the square and if you fancy a sit down, they have a huge outdoor seating area where you can hire shisha.

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Peaky Blinders Bar

THINGS TO DO

For the longest time, I wanted to go to the British Music Experience after I’d heard about the installment at The O2 in London. When I was searching for things to do in Liverpool, I seen the Experience had now moved to Liverpool and immediately notified my friends that I’d be going to see it whether they wanted to or not. To my suprise, they all wanted to come and we had the best time looking around the museum at the history of British music, admiring genuine costumes worn by the likes of Freddie Mercury and the Spice Girls. To top it all off, we even had a go at playing our own musical instruments and had a whirl in a recording booth. We sounded horrific but the Experience was great and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in music.

Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. If there’s one place that’s an absolute gold mine for finding everything you need for Christmas it’s the sheer amount of shops available to browse in Liverpool.

Of course, there’s the typical tourist Beatles experiences such as the Cavern Club, which is well worth a look if you’ve never been, and the plethora of Beatles museums dotted around the city.

That’s all I have for you on Liverpool,

If you’ve never been then it’s definitely worth a visit and the locals are very welcoming and helpful if you need advice or directions!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

 

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ABQ London- Breaking Bad Bar Experience

Hello,

If you’re a TV show fan like myself then you would have definitely seen or if not, heard of the television king that is Breaking Bad. A show all about a chemistry professor on his mission to pay for his own cancer treatment through the production and distribution of crystal meth, which leads to some… interesting scenarios.

I watched the show about 3 years ago and was completely blown away with the quality of the production, script writing and the performances by the actors on the show. Who doesn’t love Bryan Cranston?

As me and my best friend, Ellen, are both huge fans of the show we decided that whilst we were in London for a short break, we’d visit the Breaking Bad bar which we’d seen a friend post photos of a few years ago.

The bar is located in Cambridge Heath, close to the Cambridge Heath overground. Although we found it easier to just hop on the tube, get off at Bethnal Green and do the 10-15 minute walk to the bar. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the bar, we ended up having to run in 21 degree heat to make our time slot!

Once we arrived, we found the infamous RV, which was already blasting music and were greeted by energetic staff who were hyping the energy up. After we clambered inside our yellow jumpsuits and felt like true cooks, we stepped inside the RV to be greeted by insane decor. A array of little tables with metal drums to sit on, a massive Heisenberg wall feature, mood lighting and scientific apparatus. Fitting in about 25 people into one RV, they made fantastic use of the space they had.

On arrival, we were met by Z and Becks who, along with the rest of the staff were always in character and helped us feel at ease and made sure we were making our drinks correctly.

We were given two Mojito’s with an extra twist as a welcome drink as the drink list and mixing were explained. We then got a choice of what drink we wanted to make for ourselves first. Being prosecco lovers, the Wendy Martini was a certain pick for us.

With the Wendy Martini, we first had to infuse the alcohol through funnels and beakers. Possibly the most fun/tastiest part of the whole night was then creating white chocolate bubbles by blowing into a beaker filled with a concoction of food science goodness. After, we served up the drinks and maybe overdid it with the amount of bubbles we scooped on!

By this point we were already pretty tipsy (hence the bad photography, I’m sorry im incapable of using my camera at the best of times and a few drinks don’t help).

Our second choice of drink experiment was ‘Blow’. We asked which drink was the strongest and that’s how we came to pick this particular mix. When the ingredients arrived, Ellen and I gave each other a suspicious look…we were definitely in a Breaking Bad bar. But don’t worry it’s just sugar and all part of the fun.

Once we’d finished our drinks, we took a few pictures, had a quick chat to the staff and the lovely couple we were sat opposite too before taking off our jumpsuits and heading off into the night (onto another bar…and then another…and then my head was down the toilet bowl).

We had an absolutely fantastic time at ABQ London and I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend the experience, especially if you’re a fan of the show! Great atmosphere, lovely staff and a whole lot of fun making the drinks. It’s definitely amazing value for money!

You can find the link to their site and more information here.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

 

 

A Trip to Bergen, Norway.

Hello!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you’ll probably know that I’ve been on a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. It was my first time out of the country in almost two years and the Fjords were a little area of the world that my Mam had always talked about visiting. In our mission to make as many memories as possible, we booked a cruise from Newcastle to Norway as soon as we had positive news on the progression of her treatment.

Our first port of call was the beautiful city of Bergen on the west-coast of Norway. The city is surrounded by seven mountains and it honestly feels like you’re in some elaborate film set, it’s surreal.

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I’d googled online prior to our travels to see just what the city had to offer. What stood out immediately was that the main tourist attraction of Bergen was the World Cultural Heritage Site, Bryggen. Bryggen, sits proudly on the dock of Bergen showing a display of Hanseatic wooden buildings which date back to the 14th Century and were used by merchants and traders to share their goods. Although the buildings have been victim to several fires over the centuries, reconstruction has allowed merchants to carry on the tradition of selling commercial goods. If you’re not too bothered about the historical content then you’ll definitely enjoy the wooden village and all the pretty colours.

We walked around the city centre for a while, visiting the park and gardens, looking at statues of Norwegian Fishermen and admiring how even McDonald’s and Starbucks were in most gorgeous buildings. There is the option to travel by cable car to the top of the mountains but unfortunately we felt that there wasn’t enough time for us to fit everything into a few hours.

If there is one thing to say about Norway, it’s that….it is expensive. We spent the equivalent of £30 on three meals at Burger King which was a bit of a shock to the purse. We also heard by a fellow passenger on the cruise that she had asked for a glass of prosecco from a bar in Bergen centre and they had charged her £29 for one glass. Safe to say she probably needed a stronger drink after that! However, we knew that all of the Scandinavian countries have a higher wage and therefore we were aware things could get a tad pricey.

All in all, if you’ve never visited Norway then I highly recommend you do at least once in your life. From the gorgeous wooden buildings to the breathtaking Fjords, Norwegian culture is everywhere and does not disappoint.

If you want to read my previous blog post you can find it here

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

Staycation: Seahouses + Holy Island

Happy Monday!

This weekend my parents and I decided to pack up our bags and travel one hour North to Seahouses and Holy Island. As we can’t fly with my mams condition, setting up the car and visiting places in the UK has become our escape from reality for a day or two. As we live in the North-East we have the best of every type of retreat, countryside, coast and city!

Seahouses is a little village in Northumbria which hosts a few pubs, a handful of shops and an arcade for the young ones (and also the child in all of us!). We stayed at a lovely little B&B called The Olde School House which was fantastic and had a big comfortable room, delicious breakfast and a very friendly host!

During the evening we had heard great things about The Olde Ship Inn so decided to try it out for ourselves. It was a little crowded but it added to the atmosphere of an old, village pub. Plus, I ordered a crab salad and it was bloody huge!

The next day we set off for Holy Island, somewhere I had never been before despite living only an hour away! If you’re thinking of visiting make sure you read when the tides come in and out otherwise you’re at risk of being stuck on the island as the causeway will be underwater!

I loved Holy Island and the quaint lifestyle the villagers seemed to lead. We had a look around the Parish Church and the beautiful stained glass windows. Holy Island is steeped in history, from religious escapades to Viking invasions and you can really feel how special the place is when you’re there.

We had a cheeky look where Lindisfarne Mead is made and slipped in a few tasters before making sure we left in plenty of time before the tide was due in!

We had a great few days and it felt amazing to just step back from the real world and enjoy some beautiful sights this country has to offer!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

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