Citybase Apartments: A girls' weekend in Liverpool
Citybase Apartments: A girls' weekend in Liverpool
In the latest of Citybase Apartments’ tried and tested series, our very own ‘Fab Four’ - aka Jayne Parry, Rosin Hine, Claudia Richardson and Lynnette Davies from Citybase and SilverDoor's Lancaster office - enjoy a girls' weekend in Liverpool sightseeing, shopping and relaxing in a chic city centre serviced apartment.
Citybase and SilverDoor’s ‘Fab Four’ (L-R) Jayne Parry, Rosin Hine, Claudia Richardson and Lynnette Davies.
Getting to Liverpool was really easy. A couple of us arrived on the train and the others by car. The apartment has a secure covered car park which is priced at about £12 for 24 hours. We stayed at Staybridge Suites on Keel Wharf, it’s a brand new development, everything is really easy to find and well signposted. In the car, head towards the Waterfront and Echo Arena and the apartment block is right there. On foot, the serviced apartments are about a mile from Lime Street station, you can walk down the main high street, through Liverpool ONE and it’ll take you about 20-30 minutes, depending on how quickly you walk, or how many shops you visit on the way... there are also taxis and Uber if you don't fancy the walk.
Our city pad for the weekend As soon as we walked in, there was a big sign saying “Welcome Home” and the reception was really welcoming and tastefully decorated with loads of little quirky design touches. The culture and character of Liverpool can be seen everywhere in the interior design at Staybridge. It was refurbished only last year so everything is of great quality.
You go up to reception, which is very chic and minimalist with lovely chunky furniture, a log fire and drinks cabinet. There is also a little shop where you can buy essentials like bread, milk & eggs– perfect if you're staying for a longer time or as a corporate guest and wanted to prepare food in your own apartment. The reception staff were really friendly and helpful, there were lots of couples and families about enjoying a weekend in the city.
Our apartments were really spacious and spotlessly clean. Some of us had one-bedrooms and some studios, but we all had the same living and kitchen areas. It was a really good use of space, the apartments feel very modern with nice interior design and a high standard of fixtures and fittings.
The apartments were peaceful, despite the fact that you are only a few minutes’ walk from the hustle and bustle of Albert Dock, which is where we headed on our first day.
So much to see and do in Liverpool There is so much to do in Liverpool! We were spoilt for choice. We wandered around Albert Dock, went to The Tate Modern art gallery and the Beatles’ Story museum in the morning. There are absolutely loads of places to eat and drink along Albert Dock and we just grabbed a sandwich, but there are some lovely restaurants if you want something a bit more formal.
Even though this was a child-free treat for some of us, there is lots to do for families in Liverpool as well as adults: Mattel Play is a great interactive kids' play centre; there are some amazing museums, many of which are free; Chavasse Park has fountains to play in, a green open space to run around on and there are sometimes events and entertainment.
Back to the adults’ fun… Despite being fairly local to the city, we’d never really done the tourist thing before so we embraced it and started with an open top bus ride (we took the City Explorer but there are a few available). It was a really great way to see the city and explore areas that you might not normally find. There was live commentary from a guide during the bus ride, so we learnt a lot about the city, its rich and varied history and the different stories that make it such a fascinating place. It wasn't our case, but if English wasn't your first language you could also have it translated into other languages through earphones.
You pick up the bus at Albert Dock and you can get off wherever you want, so we decided to hop off at the Cavern Club - because how could you not when in Liverpool?
We walked back down to the waterfront through Liverpool ONE and had to resist going into all the shops as we had planned to do a little retail therapy the next day. For now, our feet were getting tired and it was almost time to head back for some rest and relaxation before our evening out. But we couldn’t resist a small detour along the pier head to see the famous Three Graces. The weather wasn’t fantastic, so we decided against taking a Ferry 'cross the Mersey as we experienced enough of the wind and spray from the safety of dry land!
Hitting the town for dinner and drinks. We headed back to our apartments which were lovely and cosy: just what we needed after our day out. The great thing about having an apartment is that the four of us could share a few glasses of wine and snacks while we were getting ready; rather than piling into a hotel room, we had a table, a fridge and places to sit and relax.
At Liverpool ONE there are so many places to eat! Whatever cuisine takes your fancy, there will be something there to please everyone. There are also lots of bars where you can just get a drink and enjoy the atmosphere. We ate at Chaophraya which has incredible Thai food and a wonderfully opulent atmosphere. Then we went for drinks at the PanAm Bar followed by Revolution, both on Albert Dock. For those who are inclined, Liverpool has lots of clubs, but as we are sensible ladies who had had a busy day, our beds were calling.
Rest, relaxation and retail therapy After a great night’s sleep and a lie-in (undisturbed by children or pets) we were refreshed and, after grabbing some coffee and pastries at our apartments, ready to hit the shops for some serious retail therapy. Liverpool ONE is an absolute mecca for shopaholics. At the time it opened in 2008 it was one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects and completely transformed the centre of Liverpool. It now comprises over 200 shops, more than 500 apartments, two hotels, 25 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, four office buildings and a five-acre public park.
After a few hours' shopping and a delicious lunch at Jamie’s Italian, we were ready for some peace and tranquillity. And we certainly found it at Nourish. This blissfully serene paradise is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Hatton Garden and you can enjoy spa treatments, do yoga classes or work out in a state-of-the-art gym with highly qualified personal trainers on hand to help you. We were scrubbed, wrapped, massaged, facialed, manicured and so relaxed we were all virtually comatose. Both the gym and the spa are female-only so perfect for a girly catch up in your very own piece of heaven. If you are looking for a truly luxurious pampering treat then look no further.
Feeling thoroughly chilled out, we picked up a few bottles of wine and headed back to our apartments where we watched movies and enjoyed a quiet evening in.
Ta-ra for now! In the morning we reluctantly checked out of our apartments and said farewell to Liverpool. We had the most amazing time in this beautiful city; anyone who hasn’t visited before, or in recent years should definitely go – you will be blown away by how much the city has changed and how much there is to do there.