Just sent this to www.fanzone.co.uk
Ok, let’s assume a Saturday game which doesn’t happen very often these days actually. If you’re a first-timer, an irregular LFC fan or an away supporter then try a two night stay in Liverpool City Centre. There are a number of B&B’s and budget hotels in the City Centre so you shouldn’t have to pay much more than £30 per night per person for something decent.
Formula One, The Feathers and The Lord Nelson are at the lower end of the scale both in quality and cost. For maybe about £27 per night per person you should be able to get into The Gladstone. The Gladstone was once a very fine hotel and is actually still not too bad if you’re not looking for the lap of luxury but is in urgent need of renovation. Best thing about The Gladstone though apart from its fine late night bar is the buffet breakfast.
The Campanile is a Travel Lodge type thingy and will probably set you back not much more than £25 per person per night.
If you really want to push the boat out you could stay at somewhere like The Crowne Plaza, Moat House, Holiday Inn or, if you’ve won the lottery, The Adelphi. Be prepared to pay between £50 and £100 per person per night, although if you book well in advance, which you should do really as all the hotels are chocker every weekend, you might be able to get a good deal.
Best if you get to wherever you’re staying at about mid-afternoon as ideally you should take a walk around The Albert Dock for an hour or so and take in such attractions as The Beatles Museum before hitting the town at around about 5 o’clock.
For the culture vultures try one of Liverpool’s fine concert halls or theatres such as The Philharmonic Hall, The Neptune, The Everyman, The Playhouse, The Royal Court or best of all The Empire. The Empire has undergone major renovation over the past couple of years and as an avid theatregoer I can tell you that it is now the equal of any of London’s West End theatres. You should be able to pick up tickets for most shows at any of the theatres on the day which would then give you the option of changing your mind but if you really wanted to see a top production at The Empire it would be advisable to book in advance. Most shows end at around 10 pm so still giving you four hours or so to explore the nightlife and there’s plenty of it!
If you just fancy a bit of a pub/club crawl though start at The Beehive in Mount Pleasant at about 5 o’clock. The Beehive has one of the best jukeboxes you’ll ever see and is laden with classics from every era – proper vinyl singles too! Try Riley’s virtually next door before moving on the very cheap ale at the Punch and Judy behind Lime Street station.
Historical pubs, The Vines on Lime Street known universally as The Big House and The Philharmonic near The Philharmonic Hall are well worth a visit.
Whether or not you do go to the theatre try the brilliant theatre pub of Ma Egerton’s behind The Empire. Known locally as Ma Edgie’s it is a very friendly place run by Marie and her army of staff. Next stop would be Wetherspoon’s in Great Charlotte Street before taking a walk across the road to The Blob Shop – a good old-fashioned wine lodge, once again selling very cheap ale and a very potent brew called a Blob. For those of you that don’t know, a Blob is a heady mixture of Yates’ Australian White Wine (itself a mixture of wine, brandy and spices) sugar (or honey if you ask nicely for it) boiling hot water and a slice of lemon. Sip the mixture very gently while it’s hot and feel it take effect as the drink cools down. I tell you, it is absolutely gorgeous and you’ll certainly want more than one. Be prepared though once you step out in the fresh air to feel as if you’ve been hit by a cricket bat! I was an avid devotee of Blob for many years ‘til the medical profession cut off that avenue of heavenly pleasure.
If you want to keep up the cheap ale mode then Slater Street is the place for you but be careful – it can get very nasty up there sometimes, especially for those who don’t know the city. The same could be said for Hardman Street so I wouldn’t really recommend it.
A more “trendy” Yates’ can be found in Concert Square along with a lot of other themed pubs such as Edward’s and The Walkabout. Derby Square will provide similar fare such as The Rat and Parrott.
Metal heads wanting ear-blasting, head-banging rock should visit The Krazy House in Wood Street.
My own personal recommendation would be to stick to the more touristy but infinitely safer Mathew Street. Mathew Street is no more than about 70 yards long but houses an incredible number of pubs and clubs such as The Grapes, The White Star, Baty’s, Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, The Cavern Club, The Cavern Pub, The Lennon Bar, Boogie Nights, Labinsky’s, The Tube, Flares and my own personal favourite – the world’s greatest Irish bar and authentic at that, Flanagan’s Apple.
If you’re anything like me you’ll want to mix the night up a little by spending an hour or so in one of the city’s many lap dancing bars. Sugar and Angels are very good but my season ticket is for Dreamers in Old Hall Street. A ten spot will get you into Dreamers plus a “free” dance. Each dance after that will cost you just a flim. The downside is the ale – wildly expensive bottled lager being virtually the only thing on offer. Worth spending an hour and twenty quid or so in there though.
If you’re not sure where you’re going then best to flag down a Fast Black. Three squid or so should pretty much get you to anywhere in town point A – B and is a far safer option than walking around a strange city late at night asking for directions
Okay, you’re legless and you want a big, fat scran. There are loads of eating places featuring cuisine from all over the globe but if it’s chippy fare you want then look no further than the Lobster Pot opposite Central Station. This is, without a shadow of a doubt the finest chippy in the world – the whole wide world.
Matchday: If it’s an early kick off then aim to get to Anfield for drinky poos about two hours before the game. Most pubs will be open at 11 o’clock and you might even get some, with a knock on the window or side door, that will let you in at 10 o’clock. For a three or four o’clock kick off then starting your Anfield drinking day at high noon will suffice.
Right, where to go. The Arkles is the nearest pub to the away supporters end and has been established as the away supporters pub for many years. However, my advice is to stay away as an increasing level of violence in there means that it is not always safe. Best sticking to the many pubs on Walton Breck Road - the road the Kop is on. There are no pubs that don’t allow away supporters in. The likes of The Park, Sam Dodds and The Albert might be great pre-match sing-songy pubs (if matches were played in the alehouse we’d win the League every season) but they are just absolutely far too chocker. The Sandon is a far roomier pub and is the best option if you want to drink up that end of Walton Breck Road near to the ground. My advice though is to head for The Stanley (DEFINITELY NOT to be confused with The Stanley half –a-mile away near Goodison Park – that is a big blue house) by the traffic lights on the junction of Walton Breck Road and Sleepers Hill. The Stanley too gets packed but will allow standing outside. There are sometimes more people outside than inside! There are plenty of buses that will get you to Anfield from the City Centre and the train from Central will take you to either Kirkdale or Sandhills although it is a bit of a hike to the ground from those stations. Best if there a few of you to jump in a Fast Black. Shouldn’t be much more than a flim so a squid or so each for five of you would be a cheaper option anyway than the bus or train.
Post-match you should definitely head for The Albert. Like every other pub it will be absolutely rammed for about an hour after the game but it is worth getting pushed, shoved and ale spilt over you for an hour to sample the unique Albert atmosphere. Please though do be careful to keep a constant eye on your wallet, purse, handbag etc and belongings as, just like any other crowded place, especially pubs, pickpockets abound. Give it another hour or so after that and head back down to The Stanley. Try a little “quietener” in The Salisbury (known as The Little Solly) on the way down. You can be sure when you get to The Stanley that singing and carousing will still be going on. An hour in there and you will be well up for returning to town to repeat the previous night’s drinkfest. If the match is played on a Sunday though I wouldn’t really bother drinking in town as it is very quiet on a Sunday night and not really worth it.
Forget the stereotypical “rob the eyes outta the back of yer ‘ead and come back and spit in the holes”, “I’ve come to Liverpool to visit my hubcaps” and “calm down calm down” image of Liverpool and it’s people. Liverpool is a very friendly city. Like anywhere else in the world though, especially in major cities, we do have our share of loonballs. If you go round giving it the large one saying “calm down calm down”, “okay wack” or “alright der kidda la” then expect (‘cos you will get one) a slap. Respect our city, our people and our culture and that respect will be more than reciprocated. Let your watchword be – TO BE SAFE BE CAREFUL.
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Hope all that helps.
Peter Etherington (known as Evo (NOT EEVO) to my friends so you can call me Evo).