Our weekend in Liverpool had been choc-a-bloc full of food and shopping and neon Christmas trees; on our last day we felt like we should take in a bit of culture. Our Travelodge looked over the Albert Dock – home to a number of museums, gorgeous views across the Mersey and a selection of tourist-trap shops selling the best cheap tat you could ever hope for.
Probably the most famous part of the docks is the Tate Gallery, the sister branch of the famous museums in London. Well known for its collection of modern art, we first went into the Matisse exhibition. It’s much smaller than the recent showing in London, but free to get into and it’s always exciting to see such famous pieces. The more abstract art on the other floors included some folded laundry and an eight-seat bicycle. I’m obviously not au fait with that sort of thing, and to be honest I found the view from the window much more interesting.
We wandered around the docks trying to find a cup of tea, and although there were two Costas within spitting distance of each other we stumbled across Ziferblat. It’s a pay-as-you-go cafe which means that everything in there is free, instead you pay 6p per minute to be in there. It took some persuasion to get my mum to agree to go in, but within two minutes (or 12p) she declared that she loved it.
We helped ourselves to cups of tea, a slice of cake and a bowl of cheesy nibbles and settled into some big comfy armchairs. Groups of people were playing board games available, or simply making the most of the free wifi and the relative peace and quiet away from the busy dock outside. All we had to do was make sure our plates and cups were washed up once we were done and pay up as we clocked out. We spent under £5 for comfort, quiet, a decent mug of tea exactly how we each like it and a cheeky snack that we probably didn’t need. The concept is being recreated across the country, and after my initial skepticism, I’m completely sold.
A short walk along the river and we came to the Museum of Liverpool. Completely free to go into, it is genuinely really interesting. The city has such a rich cultural history that goes way beyond The Beatles. From poets to actors, to sporting heroes and activists, you’ll spend the whole time going, ‘Oh yeah!’ when you realise how many famous Scousers you recognise. And the spectacular views over to the Royal Liver Building were gorgeous in the crisp, clear winter sunshine.
Let me know in the comments if there’s anywhere in Liverpool that I should hit up next time.
Disclaimer: Our accommodation was kindly paid for by Travelodge as part of their #Bloggerlodge campaign.