Insider’s Guide: Doug Bolton (Liverpool)

Read on to check the latest insider’s guide, Doug Bolton, editor of Liverpool Student website The Tab discussing his must dos and sees in the city.

Jimmy Coultas

Date published: 12th Sep 2013

Image: Santa Chupitos

If you’re a student heading to Liverpool, chances are you’re going to get embroiled in the finer details of student life form the off. You could do worse than head to the Liverpool Tab, the student internet magazine dedicated to what it means to study in the Liverpool.

We thought they’d be the perfect people to give us the right news on the Insider’s Guide details on the city, so the site’s editor Doug Bolton delivered his insight into where you should be going in Liverpool.

Where do you live and why do you live there?

I live on Lark Lane in Liverpool. It's like a cosmopolitan little village right next to the greenery of Sefton Park, full of junk shops and independent restaurants. It's got an amazing community feeling, while also being within walking distance of the equally amazing city centre. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

What makes the city so special?

Definitely the people. Scousers are easily the friendliest people in the world, and the whole city is filled with this energy because of the people who live and work there. At the moment Liverpool seems to produce a steady stream of people who are much more talented and ambitious than me, and they're starting magazines, opening bars and organising club nights. It's easy to be cynical about where you live, but there's a huge sense of creative growth in the city at the moment.

Where’s your favourite places to eat there?

Having breakfast in Bold Street Coffee is by far the best way to start the day, and MelloMello makes the best vegan food in the city, as well as being an amazing venue. There's no shortage of places really, a fantastic new restaurant seems to open every week in Liverpool at the moment. Almost Famous, East Village Arts Club, and Tribeca all make very tasty food. Ate Days a Week in the middle of studentland does awesome bagels and plays The Beatles all day, so you can't go wrong there.

And the best places to go out?

There's some amazing promoters in Liverpool at the moment, Fiestabombarda, Waxxx, Abandon Silence and Everisland are just a few of my favourites. They've had nights in great venues, especially the Williamson Tunnels – they're these underground Victorian tunnels that are always packed during events. For drinking, Salt Dog Slim's and Santa Chupitos are amazing. La'go is super cheap and plays amazing music. I haven't even mentioned loads of places, there's really so many places to go drinking in in the city.

For someone about to come to the city for the first time, what are the three things they must do before the year is out in the city?

A wander about the Albert Dock and the Three Graces is a must – it's a bit touristy and very windy, but it's beautiful.

A 5 Dollar Shake in Santa Chupitos is essential (main picture) – what's not to love about massive alcoholic milkshakes? Really, just a night spent exploring the Ropewalks area is something I wish I'd done in Fresher's Week. Every other building is a great bar or restaurant. Much better than the usual student haunts around Concert Square.

What’s the city’s greatest hidden secret?

I don't think I'm nearly cool enough to know about half the underground places in Liverpool. The Kazimier Garden is a bit tucked away, you could walk right past it – but it's a great venue, with lots of their own homebrewed beer behind the bar. Berry and Rye is great as well, it's a speakeasy-style bar with a huge whisky collection. You have to knock on the unmarked door to get in.

And finally, what one bit of advice would you give someone hitting the city for the first time?

I'd recommend actually trying to see as much of the city in the daytime as possible, preferably sober. It's easy to spend first year splitting your time between Uni during the day and the same old places in town at night. I'd lived in Liverpool for about two years before I went to the Anglican Cathedral, it's absolutely amazing inside. The city's full of history and amazing buildings, and it's tempting to put off going when you're actually moving to the city, rather than just visiting. There's a lot more to Liverpool than places to get drunk, so go and explore. 

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