Liverpool has always made me brave, choice-wise. It was never a city that criticised anyone for taking a chance – David Morrisey.
It is ridiculous how much I have spoken about moving to the countryside lately. I need to put a stop to it because I am sure everybody is sick of reading the same old words on this blog at this point. However, I had planned to write this post for a little while and I wanted to share some of my favourite things about the city that I have called home for the majority of my life. I remember going on the ferry (across the Mersey) when I was little with my mum and dad and feeling in awe of this city with the huge buildings and the hundreds of shops. Then I started going to town with my friends in my teens, and then I started going to town town at sixteen/seventeen which began some of the most incredible nights of my late teenage years and all the years after. It is the home of the place I began to learn about culture and history and incredible food and drink, where I felt that little bit more cosmopolitan along Castle Street and got crazy drunk on the sticky dancefloor of Superstar Boudoir. Liverpool is the place that I introduced to Warren, to my friends from Australia and most importantly, it is the place where I call home… no matter where I am in the world. Here are just thirteen things I miss about Liverpool which doesn’t include the obvious like friends and family. They go without saying.
1. How close everything is. Living in the countryside means that your car is your very best friend and if your car does not work (hello failed MOT, rusted brake plates and crippled exhaust – in the space of two months), you are pretty much screwed. In Liverpool, everything is on your doorstep, from high street stores to independent boutiques, high class cocktail bars to traditional pubs and everything in-between. I miss being able to jump on a bus and be in town within fifteen minutes flat.
2. The blogger community. I have never been a huge part of the community, but when I got invited to an event, I tried my very best to attend. The Liverpool bloggers are the best bloggers around, the loveliest girls and some of the most insane creatives I know.
3. Barre Balance. Now that Natalie has gone completely self-employed, I really wish I could have been there for more of her journey! I am so grateful that I could be a part of Barre Balance from the start, not even a year ago! It’s incredible how quick her business and community has grown in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to visit the new studio and plan to return for a special weekend class at some point. Since I moved down south, my fitness has been on a rollercoaster ride – doing barre a couple of times a week would have certainly steered it in the right direction!
4. The feeling that I’m home. It is a strange concept because I now feel that The Cotswolds is my home, but Liverpool is like a huge family and whenever I hear the accent, I automatically feel pride, safety and a sense of love, even with people I don’t know.
5. The famous skyline. No matter how many times I’ve set my eyes on the Liverpool skyline, it never ceases to amaze me. When I used to walk along the prom at home, I’d always look over to see how she was doing: always glorious. I have postcards from a local Liverpool artist somewhere that I need to put up in my home, so I can always see its beauty, even if I’m not in the North West.
6. Moose Coffee. My best mate, Kev, introduced me to Moose. It is well-deserving of the queue that forms along Dale Street every Saturday and Sunday morning for a table. The American-diner style combined with intriguing Moose artwork makes for a place that transcends the four corners of the café. The food is incredible; the portion sizes huge, and they have amazing hot chocolate too.
7. Mowgli. Born in Liverpool (something I am so, so proud of), this taste of India is authentic cuisine with street food being at the very heart of the brand. The ambience as soon as you walk through the doors of either Bold Street or Water Street is a mix of excitement and complete relaxation. The food is mouth-watering, spicy with tradition in every mouthful. The cocktails are pretty mind-blowing too.
8. Rococo Coffee. There seems to be a running theme here… Exploring Liverpool’s cuisine scene is definitely one of the best parts of the city. Rococo has a lot of memories attached to it. Mum and I would go every single time we visited Liverpool; sometimes I’d go on my lunch break and it seemed to be the spot that we ventured to every time we spoke about my trip to Australia, even going there straight after I first booked my trip.
9. Gay town. The place where I began my clubbing days (mostly), and the place where I head to now whenever I go out. That’s because I only ever go out out with my brother these days, and it is usually on a weekday. At least it was before I moved south and began working the Monday to Friday job. It is the friendliest, most colourful and most fun place to be in town. Nobody cares what you’re dressed like (Liverpool is notorious for glamour, which I also love), everybody has a laugh and a joke and the drinks are super cheap, so it’s a far cheaper night than the easy £100 I’ve spent in the past… can’t do that any more, unfortunately.
10. Bongo’s Bingo. Now, I admit, I’ve only been once. Tickets are notoriously hard to get because of its sheer popularity, and yes, there are other cities that Bongo has taken over, but it would never be the same atmosphere as being in its home, in Camp and Furnace, dancing on original tables and being surrounded by people from home and those who travel just to be at the original spot. I would love to go again and get caught up in the ridiculous atmosphere. One of the best things is that it starts early and finishes before midnight so this Cinderella could be home and in bed close to midnight.
11. The theatre scene. I know, I have Stratford-Upon-Avon on my doorstep and I really should go and check out the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre sooner rather than later, but I have always related my theatre-goings to Liverpool ever since I was a little girl. We used to visit The Empire Theatre as a family, watching the classic pantos during the festive season in the winter and seeing plays such as Beauty and the Beast on stage. Then came the times I visited with my mum and school. I went to see Chicago and Cats at The Empire which paved my love for theatre even more. I volunteered at Liverpool theatres like The Playhouse and The Everyman during school when digital media was first up-and-coming. My love for theatre started in Liverpool and so that is where my original love will remain.
12. The Albert Dock. Whenever I visited the Albert Dock for food or drinks or both, I instantly felt a little classier. Perhaps it’s the more expensive prices or the historical atmosphere and the boutique bars and restaurants. Although by the end of the night, I never felt classy due to a concoction of shots, dancing and stumbling out onto the cobbles: a night out on the town at its best. The Albert Dock isn’t just for making memories after dark, it is full of history that spans centuries, a place that has seen 40% of global trade pass through its barricades and the first port of call to the people who have come to find a home and legacy in Liverpool.
13. Bold Street. I’ve always wandered up Bold Street ever since I could go to town with my friends. Back in the day, there was a HMV and a Waterstones where I spent a lot of my time… and pocket money. They lost their places in the independent part of town where it became home to illustrious shops full of quirky goods and gorgeous cafés and restaurants that bring together a host of cultures and specialties from across the globe. One day I’ll eat in every single restaurant, but I’m pretty happy with the places I’ve gotten to eat and drink at so far in my life.
Liverpool is a city that will always be home and it will grow and change through time, but the heart of it will always be the same: its people. It sounds sappy, but it’s true. Scousers are one of a kind and they are the “thing” (definitely not a thing, but you know what I mean) I miss most. I wonder what Liverpool will be like in a decade’s time, if anything will have changed radically, or whether it will always feel the same. I think I’ll have to make a little more of an effort to visit town when I’m back home next time; I haven’t actually been since August which is crazy, especially when at one point in my life I was heading across the Mersey every single day for work.
If you left your home city, what are the top things you’d miss most? For those who belong to our beloved Liverpool, what am I missing on this list?
Love, Faye xo