A couple of weeks ago the team here at WR-AP ventured up north to explore the architectural delights that Liverpool has to offer. Despite being stripped of it's UNESCO world heritage status in 2021 we thought there were some absolute gems of both historical and modern architecture. We even stumbled across the RedBall project which is considered "the world's longest-running street art work" having been showcased in 25 cities around the world since it's debut in 2001.
We got up bright and early to catch the train all together and make the most of the day with the first must see piece of architecture we visited being the Metropolitan Cathedral. This striking structure is home to the world's largest area of coloured glass and sits atop Sir Edward Lutyens 1930s crypt - all that was built of his designs for the largest cathedral in the world. The crypt contains a treasury with the largest collection of church artefacts and sacred vessels in the North West, or so I'm told. Unfortunately we managed to time our trip around Liverpool on graduation day so we couldn't get a peek inside. The dramatic interiors of the cathedral more than made up for this though as each alcove manipulates coloured glass to create a different atmosphere to showcase modern artworks or designate different spaces which draws you around the entire circumference. We also took the time to visit the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, which was unfortunately also closed for graduations but the grand exterior and skilful stonework alludes to the grandeur within. The Cathedral is the biggest in Britain and 5th in the world, taking a whopping 74 years to build from the foundation stone being laid in 1904.
While we were in town we couldn't pass up on the opportunity to explore the Hawworth Tompkins 2014 Stirling prize winner, Everyman Liverpool. The building has really stood up to the test of time with it's exquisite detailing and board formed concrete. We stopped in for a coffee and admired the interiors with it's bursts of deep red and textural surfaces. You can't help but agree with the judges observations of the foyers welcoming ambience as, even though deserted by all but us and the staff late on a Friday morning, you are greeted by a warmth that ensures you don't feel out of place.
As great as all the architecture was I've got to be honest here, the highlight of the trip was lunch at Lerpwl on the famous Royal Albert Docks. This gorgeous little spot takes inspiration from the raw energy of windswept oceans and countryside and works hard to transfer this into their food. Their focus is on the finding the best produce they can which not only creates great tasting dishes but also supports responsible local agriculture and fisheries. Sourcing locally and responsibly does mean that the menu changes with the seasons which leads to fresh innovative dishes all year round. The chefs working from the open kitchen are incredibly friendly, answering questions and explaining their processes. You can really feel how passionate they are and how much they enjoy the craft which really heightens the dining experience. We were there on a quiet weekday lunchtime so I'm sure they have less chance to chat at a busy dinner service, but I'm sure this same joy in the food would come across through just as well in their visible energetic cooking. If you look below you'll find a collection of the courses we were lucky to try starting with wild sea bass crudo with almond, turnip and ponzu, then to the left is the purple beets and Anglesey goats curd, bottom left was the crowd's favourite of dry aged duck, apricot and celeriac, finally finishing with a white chocolate cremeux, summer fruit and elderflower feuille de brick. Not pictured are the amazing cocktails (you can see one of them smoking away in our reel though) and the treacle sourdough with a pork fat, chive butter and fortified butter which were hoovered up before anyone could whip out a phone. To really encapsulate how good we all thought this meal was, we all said we'd travel back up to Liverpool just to eat here agian.
All in all it was a pretty lovely whistle stop tour of this great northern city though I'm sure there's a lot of great places to see and experience that we just didn't have time to. You can have a look at the video below or on our Instagram for some more insight into our time in Liverpool.
This blog has been written by Amber, our design and communications lead. Amber is a 2020 Communication Design graduate from the Glasgow School of Art and founder of Bloom & Body, a small ceramics business focusing on the human form. You can read more about her here.