We’ve already taken care of you music lovers by writing about all of the Beatles-related things we did in Liverpool, but we would hate to leave all you foodies and bargain-hunters hanging. So here are a few more particulars of our 2-day Liverpool trip.
Firstly, you should know that we planned this trip on the spur of the moment. We decided Saturday afternoon that we wanted to leave on Monday, and started planning from there.
Free Hotel Night at the Hampton by Hilton
We looked at the hotel points we had saved up through a few different programs (IHG, Hyatt, SPG, and Hilton) and found that 20,000 Hilton HHonors points would get us a free night right next to the city center – but only if we moved our trip to Tuesday. Since we both have flexible work schedules at the moment, this was a no-brainer to change. It also illustrates an important point: the more flexible you can be with your travel dates, the easier it is to save money.
Of course, this isn’t always possible or desirable, but it’s worth playing around with the dates even if you’re on a fairly tight schedule. Last year, we flew to Italy and back for 40,000 AAdvantage points each. We chose dates that were right at the end of the “low season” – when less people travel to Europe – and the warm and beautiful (but crowded) high season. We found dates that were still at the low season price because we left on a Friday and returned on a Sunday, instead of leaving on Saturday and returning on Monday. I’m still not sure how or why the one day’s difference saved us several thousand miles each, but it did! The point is, it’s worth checking.
Back to Liverpool. There were other hotels available in Liverpool through some of the other programs, but they required 40,000 points or more, or a combination of points and money. If you’ve got a free night, why not use it?
An added perk of this particular (free – did I mention it was free?) hotel was that breakfast was included with the stay. This saved us even more money by eliminating another meal we would have had to buy out. The breakfast was nothing to write home about, but it was warm, free, and allowed us to splurge a little on lunch and dinner…
Fish & Chips
Even I can’t live on music alone, so we occasionally took a break from the Beatles lore and stopped to eat. Being a port city, Liverpool offers fish and chips on just about every menu – and it was delicious every time!
We had lunch on Tuesday at a pub called Liverpool One Bridewell. It is a really cool little place that was a former police station and jail, so you sit down in little booths built in the former jail cells. It was all dark and made of brick and really cool! Katy ordered a lovely little pasta dish, and I went to town on some fish and chips. Mmmm!
Dinner on Tuesday was at Jamie’s Italian. Yes, it’s a chain restaurant, but at least it’s a chain started by an Englishman. Also, chain restaurants sometimes have reward programs – in this case, we got £10 ($15) off our meal. Not bad, considering how good the food and dessert was (I’m still thinking about you, chocolate/hazelnut Arctic Roll…).
On Wednesday, after touring The Beatles Story, we stayed at the Albert Dock to try The Pump House for some more fish and chips. Lo and behold, they were offering a free pint o’ beer with the meal. Not being one to refuse such hospitality, I enjoyed that meal a little more than I probably should have on a weekday and was in a food coma for most of the rest of the afternoon.
Luckily, we had a nice long train ride back to Halifax after that.