journey to the (north) west

hey frens!

we’re back with another travel post! admittedly, i didn’t go too far afield but uni really hasn’t been letting me live this year so this was the best i could do pre-reading week.

even so, i ended up somewhere i’ve never been before and packed my weekend to the brim so hopefully, this is still a fun and informative read for y’all!

roll on the 3 facets of liverpool! (according to me anyways x)

fun!! 

partially due to my interests and partially due to terrible weather that made me want to stay indoors, most of what i did involved museums and art galleries. luckily, they’re all free entry so you can get your culture on without spending a penny! (central europe could stand to learn a thing or two…)

the museum of liverpool contains various exhibits relating to the city and its development but the main draw for me was the temporary exhibition “double fantasy” on John Lennon and Yoko Ono!

although i’m not a huge beatles fan (blasphemy, i know), i really wanted to see if this would explore a different side to their relationship. usually, whenever they’re mentioned in the same breath, yoko’s life is inextricably intertwined with john’s and it feels like her individuality is somewhat lost. this exhibition, however, highlighted yoko’s beginnings as an artist and her achievements before meeting john, as well as her music career during their separation. ’twas very interesting and insightful!

i also visited the international slavery museum but i’ve come out of it with conflicting feelings. i think my main gripe is that there’s too much in too small a space? there are three galleries taking us from west africa before the slave trade to the legacy of slavery today, with a central section on the middle passage. evidently, all these aspects are important but it feels like they should have concentrated more on one area and not spread the information so thinly?

it feels like they glossed over some of the more traumatic details in favour of lighter exhibition pieces. for instance, there’s an enormous reconstruction of an igbo house but the space could have perhaps been better utilised to present something more pertinent to the slave trade itself?

feel free to disagree but i personally think they missed a trick with making the museum more emotionally evocative. 

now, a trip to liverpool obviously wouldn’t be complete without going to the tate liverpool! i’ve been wanting to see the keith haring exhibition ever since it was announced and i’m so happy i finally got the chance to go! there were artworks spanning his entire career from his chalk drawings in new york subway stations to his famous giant wall murals!

yayoi kusama’s “the passing winter” was also an unexpected delight! i’ve been wanting to go to the yayoi kusama museum in tokyo for the longest time to experience one of her infinity rooms and this piece felt like a small glimpse into what those would be like!

i also made my way to the walker art gallery, where they have art from the 13th century all the way up to the present day! while i was there, they also had an exhibition of previous John Moores prize winners to mark the 60th anniversary of the award.

i paid a visit to the bluecoat, which is more of a contemporary art space and not really my vibe but their exhibitions change all the time so check out what’s on when you’re in the area!

fact is more of a film and media space with the building also housing a cinema. when i visited, there was a really arresting exhibition piece called “sweat” which involved testimonies from ten different south african sex workers. their anecdotes explore racially motivated/ gender-based violence in their line of work and they discuss the need for extending the labour rights of sex workers.

open eye gallery showcases photography, which usually isn’t one of my interests but there was a series of portraits that i was rather enamoured with. “The olympians” involved portraits of british athletes that took part in the 1948 olympics, which was the last time they were held in the UK before 2012. they looked at photos of themselves from the games and shared their memories from the time. it was a really poignant representation of the passing of time and the importance of personal histories.

aside from museums and galleries, liverpool is also popular as a vintage shopping destination! most of the shops are on bold street, meaning you can hit them all up in one go, but i do have to admit that they weren’t as cheap as i would have hoped/expected. we are cow had some really cute pieces but they were all completely out of my pitiful student budget. pop boutique, however, is my recommendation if you want a decently priced yet still well-curated shop!

side note: we also stopped by the St George’s Hall Beer Festival the night i arrived. i’m admittedly not a beer gal so i had my fill of ciders instead but i tried so many new flavours! two words: yuzu cider!! you have to try it if you ever get the chance!

*****

food!! 

think the variety of london but at a fraction of the price and you have the food scene in liverpool!

brunch:

moose coffee is home to some mouth-watering canadian and american-style brunch so if you’re looking for stacked pancakes or chicken and waffles, this is the place for you! i had the “double dutch” with a side of potato hash!

lunch:

fancy some poutine with loaded toppings? look no further than caribou poutine! it’s admittedly rather rogue that you can find authentic poutine on a liverpool high street but you definitely have to stop by! i got the “vladimir poutine” which is topped with a generous amount of honey chicken.

on friday, when i had lunch alone, i decided to grab something quick at the tate liverpool’s café. they have a student discount so everything’s fairly reasonably priced and i had a hearty bowl of soup to warm me up after being outside in the rain all morning.

dinner:

first option, maray! it’s a cosy little place that serves middle eastern food. alina and i got a few of their plates to share – hummus and flatbread; cauliflower topped with pomegranate, harissa, and tahini; caramelised mushrooms; and buttermilk fried chicken were our choices!

tokyo noodle bar is a great option for simple yet delicious asian food. we started with some salt and pepper tofu (which honestly could rival my mum’s) and some pork wonton. for mains, of course, a japanese dinner wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of ramen!

if you fancy casual dining, crust might be the place for you! they serve authentic italian wood-fired pizzas and they have a great selection of non-tomato based ones too! i had the “pollo” pizza which was topped with chicken breast, sliced potato, and rosemary.

notable café rec:

92 degrees coffee! somehow we managed to go three times in two days and i have no regrets. their roast is out of this world – it’s so full and aromatic and there’s a real depth to it. i also highly recommend trying some of their baked goods!

*****

photos!!

ya gal obviously doesn’t go anywhere without scoping out some good photo ops so here are my top choices!

firstly, we have the docks! somehow the grizzly weather added to the whole vibe?

we obviously can’t skip the beatles statue

it’s worth paying a visit to the central library as the inside is an architectural beauty.

the bombed-out church (as the church of st luke is lovingly called by the locals) has somewhat become an icon of the city. although its entire roof and interior were destroyed during the liverpool blitz, the exterior stayed standing!

liverpool’s chinatown doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of some of those in other cities but it is home to the largest Chinese Arch outside of China!

we also stopped by liverpool cathedral (which is the longest cathedral in the world) and had a wander around St James’ Cemetery at its base.

we walked through the georgian quarter, which has some wonderful buildings…

…and the baltic triangle is also nice for a little stroll – see if you can spot the liver birds mural!

that’s all for now, folks!

i hope this lil guide to liverpool was worth a read and i’ll catch you all very soon!

Soph x

film photos of liverpool

say how u feel lmao

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