Thursday, 7 June 2012

Liverpool From A Tourist's View

When you live down the road from somewhere you tend to take it for granted and don't really appreciate it as others see it. That's the case for Liverpool - a place that we visit often and have done so for years. Marion's cousins Lynne and Sharon are visiting us this week so we decided to take them to the city and became tourists for a day.

Like most visitors we headed for the Waterfront and parked at the Albert Dock. With The Beatles Museum, the Tate and the Maritime Museum close together on the dock and the Museum Of Liverpool Life a short walk away there's more than enough for a day out on the site. We opted for the Maritime museum which houses the International Slavery Museum and is also currently running a Titanic exhibition. You couldn't fail to be impressed by these wonderful and free attractions which are informative and very well laid out. We enjoyed the slavery, the smuggling and the Titanic exhibits.

I don't know if it's the public spending cuts but sadly there were a few areas that needed attention with several interactive displays marked as out of order, the waste paper bin in the gents overflowing and the cafe's coffee machine broken down. These are all minor points that didn't greatly detract from the excellence of the museum but turned a five star experience into perhaps four stars.

It's a pity that the catering we experienced didn't come close to four stars. If you're a regular visitor to this blog you'll know that we often eat in Liverpool and have written plenty of good things about the food in The Salt House, Leaf, FACT, Waterstones, The Monro and San Marco - in fact I can't remember having a bad experience eating in Liverpool for a long time - until yesterday that is. We went into a bar called Blue but found dirty uncleared tables and a generally grubby atmosphere so we beat a silent retreat and walked further around the dock to a place called Revolution. It looked a lot brighter, the menu was fine for what we wanted so we went in. We had a reasonable meal but the service was poor. It took ages to be served. When we were served  the waitress did that clever thing where they don't write anything down but remember it all - fine if they've got a great memory. Ours clearly hadn't; so when our main courses arrived after what seemed an eternity there was the minor oversight of the starter that failed to materialise and three portions of chips when we'd ordered just one. The waiter who delivered the food was a nice lad and very apologetic about the oversupply of chips although he failed to remember to knock them off the bill which, like the food, took forever to arrive. We weren't alone in feeling disappointed and watched the people who sat at the neighbouring table leave before their waitress  arrived after pointing out to another waiter that the table was dirty and being told that it wasn't one of his tables. Who trains these people? 

So all in all, from our one wet and cold day, we concluded that Liverpool Waterfront is an excellent place to head to for a look around but, from our experience, the catering on offer leads a great deal to be desired.

Marion saw that there's a sale on in the baby department at Marks & Spencer today so she went and bought some clothes for Rose. When she got home she used Skype to check out whether Sarah liked them. I always thought that we'd start to use Skype regularly. When it first started I fitted out all the desktops at work (yes I know I've told you before) with webcams and waited for a rush of callers that never arrived. In those days the calls were unreliable unless you fine tuned each workstation properly but today the calls are clear , the sound is perfect and I've no idea why anybody who has it prefers to use a phone.