Micro-breaks, what are they you ask? No, it’s not just five minutes away from your desk for a stretch and a brew (although these types of micro-breaks are important to prevent workplace health issues). I’m talking about the type of micro-break that can make you feel like you’ve had more than just a day out while saving those precious leave days for longer holidays. Speaking as someone who spent three weeks interrailing across Europe earlier this year despite having a full-time job, I’m penny pinching every last minute of leave I have left until April comes round again, but the thought of not going anywhere at all until then makes the winter seem very long indeed. Londoners are in a unique position; you can get to so many places in a couple of hours by train without having to make a bunch of connections.
Here’s my top choice to start you off.
A direct train from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street clocks in at 2 hours and 13 minutes, meaning you can get to the once Capital of Culture for 9.30am just in time for breakfast. Liverpool does a mean brekkie, from American and Canadian style Moose Coffee where you can get Maple syrup drenched bacon and French toast (Grande Bouche) to one of the best vegetarian breakfasts you’ll ever have at the Egg Cafe. If you want it fast and cheap with a pint on the side, head to The Pilgrim for a Full English for less than £4; a favourite with students and locals alike, and handily located within Liverpool’s historic Georgian Quarter underneath
the towering Anglican cathedral.
Moose Coffee: www.moosecoffee.co/our-menu
Egg Cafe: www.eggcafe.co.uk
The Pilgrim: twitter.com/The_Pilgrim_Pub
Now you’re nourished and ready to take on Liverpool and what it has to offer. Take a walk around the Albert Dock; easily one of the most famous Liverpool landmarks. From there you can get up close with the Three Graces, or take a ferry across the Mersey to view Liverpool’s skyline in all its glory, head to the Museum of Liverpool or the Maritime Museum and find out about Liverpool’s musical and cultural heritage. The Maritime Museum has a terrific restaurant and does a mean afternoon tea. You can also head to Tate Liverpool where they will be hosting the UK’s first major Keith Haring exhibition from June 2019. If you want to check out Liverpool’s thriving Independent scene then head to the Baltic Triangle, a short taxi ride from the Docks area, or 20 minutes’ walk. You could spend an entire day in the Baltic Market alone; pop up food stalls to suit every taste, incredible vintage furniture and clothes stores at Red Brick Vintage, a Peaky Blinders themed bar where you can dress up and have your very own Peaky Blinders inspired photo shoot and miniature golf at Ghetto Golf among many other great bars and pop up shops currently residing in the old Cain’s Brewery. If you’re able to time it well, head across the road to Camp and Furnace, the home of Bongo’s Bingo and spend the funniest and strangest evening playing bingo you’ll ever have.
If bingo meets rave doesn’t sound like your idea of a
good time then there are far more relaxed options for an
evening in Liverpool. Watch the sun set over Liverpool from the top of the Anglican Cathedral, or find a cosy pub like Peter Kavanagh’s and grab a seat by the fireplace. Once the sun goes down, you’ll get to experience Liverpool’s nightlife. There’s something for all tastes in Liverpool from Mathew Street, where the rowdiest of revellers are, to classic pubs such as the Philharmonic Dining Rooms on Hope Street, the Grapes and Ye Cracke, allegedly one of John Lennon’s favourite haunts. One of my favourites is Jacaranda Records where you can hire a booth and listen to a range of Vinyl records. Find one you like and pay for it at the bar!
You can’t go to Liverpool without considering the Beatles, but you can decide how much Beatles mania you can stand and go from there. There are the Fab Four taxi tours; black cabs that can take you all across the city and into the suburbs, they’ll show you where John, Paul, George and Ringo grew up, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and countless other Beatles hotspots. If you have a larger group or just fancy the company of fellow Beatles fans join the magical mystery tour bus.