The Georgian Quarter

Published by Treaded Travels, August 2016

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Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter is home to the largest concentration of Georgian architecture outside of London. Its cobbled streets are flanked with ornate lampposts, wide pavements and townhouses skirted with wrought iron railings. The slopes of Hardman Street and Upper Duke Street offer views over the city, rolling all the way down to the docklands that jut into the Mersey.

The area is a reflection of Liverpool’s rich past; a fifth of the world’s shipping once passed through its port. Sitting squarely next to the region of Toxteth – a neighbourhood made infamous for 80s riots and consequential poverty thereafter – the whole area declined and homes were left abandoned. The Georgian Quarter, then referred to as Canning, came to be known for its cheap bedsits and sordid pleasures. Prostitutes plied their trade along Gambier Terrace and derelict houses sulkily sat, once shuttered over, now boarded up. It evolved into the perfect setting for bohemians and artists seeking cheap rent, eventually experiencing gentrification in the 1990s. Much like the rest of the city, the area has since enjoyed a burgeoning renaissance. Liverpool’s Georgian heritage has been restored and celebrated; its property now frenzied and sought after.

Hannah Frances Travel Writer Liverpool

Hope Street is the area’s main thoroughfare, bookended by two iconic cathedrals (“Paddys Wigwam” and the Anglican – one of the world’s tallest non-spired church buildings). Home to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the recently reopened Everyman Theatre, Hope Street is also replete with Victorian pubs (The Philharmonic is a must-visit), old Beatles haunts (Ye Cracke, The Pilgrim – proper British pubs) and a food offering which morphs from Asian street food on shared benches (Host) to modern British on white linen (The Art School) in just a few cobbles and quite a few pounds. First daters, pub hoppers, students, theatre-goers, actors, musicians and creatives alike flock to the assembly of bars and restaurants to get a fix of good food and booze t’other side of the tawdry tussle in town.

The neighbourhood is home to two of the best independent hotels in the city. Hope Street Hotel is a beautifully pared back boutique hotel with exposed bricks and warm wood detail softening the cool, modern feel. Its adjoining restaurant is named The London Carriage Works after the building’s former life as a Rolls Royce coach maker. Hidden round the corner from here is grade II listed 2 Blackburne Terrace. The luxury four-bedroom B&B has been boldly furnished and beautifully embellished with a keen eye for fine art and design.

Hannah Frances Travel Writer Liverpool

Skip the hotel breakfast and start your morning with poached eggs on toast at a marble bistro table on the pavement outside The Quarter. The best coffee is roasted and brewed at 92 degrees, just around the corner. Order one to take away then wander back down Hope Street to the Anglican cathedral and scale the bell tower for excellent views across the city. Back on solid ground, walk along Rodney Street (parallel to Hope Street, a couple of roads down), where the pyramid shape tomb of an 18th century gambler will take you by surprise. As legend has it, his skeleton sits upright inside, fingers clasping a royal flush. Free State Kitchen on Maryland Street serves up contemporary American classics for lunch before a trip to the Roman Catholic Cathedral and Lutyens Crypt beneath. Late afternoon drinks are to be had at Clove Hitch for its beer garden, The Philharmonic Pub for its ornate décor, The Belvedere for its G&T (as the spiritual home to Liverpool Gin, no less) or The Pen Factory for its all-walks-of-life, friendly atmosphere. Later, Buyers Club on Hardman Street does a fantastic 5-course menu that changes weekly according to local seasonality and offers a relaxed yet elegant dining experience with shared tables and an open kitchen. The adjoining bar is perfect for a digestif.

Enjoy the pleasing tempo of a neighbourhood on the return swing from riches to rags and revelling in it. The area’s still changing – property developers have landed with their student accommodation eye sores and townhouses are chopped up and carpeted for the rental market, though the melee of historic boozers and gorgeously grand streets laced with timeless northern charm save face.

Hope Street is a 10 minute walk from Lime Street Station, and 15/20 minutes from the Albert Dock.

Hannah Frances Travel Writer Liverpool

Addresses:

Anglican Cathedral
St James’ Mount
www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Metropolitan Cathedral
Cathedral House, Mount Pleasant
www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk

The Quarter
10 Falkner Street
0151 707 1965
www.thequarteruk.com

The Buyers Club Bar / Kitchen
24 Hardman Street
0151 709 2400
www.buyers-club.co.uk

Free State Kitchen
1 Maryland Street
0151 708 5005
www.freestatekitchen.co.uk

The Art School
Menus from £23.50
Sugnall Street
0151 230 8600
www.theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk

Host 31 Hope Street
0151 708 5831
www.ho-st.co.uk

The Pen Factory
13 Hope Street
0151 709 7887
www.pen-factory.co.uk

The Grapes
60 Roscoe Street
07947 888 700
www.thegrapesliverpool.com

Philharmonic Dining Rooms
36 Hope Street
0151 707 2837

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
36 Hope Street
0151 709 3789
www.liverpoolphil.com

Hope Street Hotel
Rooms from £90
40 Hope Street
0151 709 3000
www.hopestreethotel.co.uk