Day Out

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The Independent Culture
I have a sad but justified reputation for being a hermit. Therefore, given the opportunity of spending a day out in Liverpool, I would unhesitatingly stay in the back garden or the house - both of which, fortuitously, are situated in Liverpool. Much of the following information is drawn, consequently, from memory and the opinions of my wife and children - all of whom, especially my wife, are in their late teens or early twenties.

MORNING: Breakfast at any of the greasy spoons on the Dock Road, or after 10am, at the Everyman Theatre (051-709 4776) on Hope Street; not forgetting Penny Lane Wine Bar (733 6229) on a Sunday. Yes, that Penny Lane - but let's not kid ourselves. Penny Lane in reality only proves that Lennon and McCartney had vivid, sardonic imagination.

LUNCH: The Far East (709 6072) for excellent dim sum; a visit to the Anglican cathedral for solitude and a fine lunch in their cafe, or, perhaps my favourite, the Armadillo (236 4123) which has the slight misfortune to be in Mathew Street. Yes, yes, yes, that Mathew Street, home of the Cavern, where 32 years ago, as a boy of 15, I first saw the Beatles and . . . (Who's that snoring?)

AFTERNOON: For the fit and energetic, there is a delightful walk from Otterpool along the promenade right to the Albert Docks and the Liverpool Buildings. Best attempted when the tide is in. And for rainy days, the Bluecoat Gallery (709 5689).

EARLY EVENING: The twilight zone. And the best time to visit the Philharmonic Pub on Hope Street, famous for its architecture and the men's toilets; pity about the plastic plants. I prefer to walk down the hill to the 051 Cinema (707 0257) for the kind of decent film that never used to play in Liverpool. I just wish they would sell popcorn.

EVENING: Both the reps, the Playhouse (709 8363) and the Everyman (708 0338), are under almost continual financial threat, to the point that going to the theatre almost becomes like supporting a good cause.

And then to supper. A special treat would be Jenny's Seafood Restaurant (236 0332) in The Old Ropery. However, for a whole night out devoid of intellectual pursuit, there's L'Alouette (727 2142).