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Issssue Thrree: wherre culturre comess firrsst

Issssue Thrree: wherre culturre comess firrsst

www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com

Insside

LIVERPOOL GOES SUPERLAMBBANANAS PLUS THE LOWDOWN ON STAYING IN THE CITY BEYOND LIVERPOOL IN 2008 INCLUDING THE CULTURE LIST FOR ENGLAND’S NORTHWEST


PRIME SPOTS: England’s Norrthwesst

PRIME SUSPECT: The Singh Twinss What was the first/best gig you went to? Milapfest in Liverpool - it’s the biggest Asian Arts Festival in the UK.

What’s the one thing in your home town/neighbourhood that people really shouldn’t miss if they go there? Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral

What’s your favourite Northwest originated song or piece of music? Let it be by the Beatles — we went to a Catholic school and used to sing it as part of the choir.

Was there anything particular about Northwest culture that inspired you to do what you’ve done/what you do now? The Liverpool cityscape is really inspirational to us, especially The Three Graces, which we feature in a lot of our work.

What was your first/best experience of going to a gallery or museum? The opening of our retrospective exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool — it was the culmination of a lot of things for us.

COLOPHON

Prime is published by the Marketing Department of the Northwest Regional Development Agency. Issue three – March 2008. To register for future issues of Prime please visit www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com/culture or call 0845 600 6040. Prime is edited and designed by Hemisphere Design and Marketing Consultants. Printed by Gyroscope on paper manufactured using elemental chlorine-free pulp and woodpulp sourced from sustainable forests. Cover photography of SuperLambBanana by Jan Chlebik. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. All maps are source: Ordnance Survey, Crown Copyright, All Rights Reserved. GD 021102. All information correct at time of going to press but event information may change, so please check directly with venues for up-to-date information.

ACCOMMODATION RATINGS

All accommodation featured in Prime has been quality assessed by Visit Britain or the AA – look out for the star rating next to each establishment.

Amrit and Rabindra Singh are Wirral based artists who have staged their own contemporary revival of the tradition of Indian miniature watercolour painting, atttracting an international following for their work within the contemporary art world. Their colourful canvases are bursting with exquisite details that tackle the modern day issues of culture and identity, with more than a hint of quirk and humour. Following their recent recreation of the Liverpool coat of arms to celebrate the city’s official 800th birthday, they are now working on a new commission to mark the city’s year as Capital of Culture which is due to be unveiled in XX 2008 at the XXXX.

What’s your favourite painting/piece of art/sculpture? Amrit: ‘Andromeda & ???’ by Lord Leyton in the Victorian Gallery at the Walker Rabindra: Hans Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII at the Walker What was your first/best experience of going to the theatre? Our first experience was seeing The Nutcracker at the Liverpool Empire. The best was probably Fiddler on the Roof with Topol. We waited outside the stage door for his autograph!

Bunny Men or Diddy Men? Bunny Men Morrissey or McCartney? McCartney Peter Blake or Peter Saville? Peter Blake Beatrix Potter or Brian Potter? Beatrix Potter Welcome to the Pleasure Beach or Welcome to the Pleasure Dome? Pleasure Beach Eccles Cake or Kendal Mint Cake? Kendal Mint Cake

Do you have a favourite Northwest local food? Marigold’s fish and chip shop in West Kirby on the Wirral side. We take all our visitors there — from India, America and all over. Can you suggest a ‘hidden gem’ in your home town/neighbourhood? Eastham Ferry on the Wirral has an old Victorian fountain and a bearpit hidden in the woods – not many people know about it.

The number of stars gives you an indication of accommodation standard, cleanliness, ambience, hospitality, service and food. Generally, the more stars the higher the level of quality.

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PRIME NUMBERS: Contentss Intrrigue me, Insspirre me, Amusse me, Pleasse me…

FEATURES: Page 4

Whatever your cultural bent, you’ll be like a kid in a sweet shop in England’s Northwest in 2008. As you would expect in the region that gave birth to the very idea of the modern city, the Northwest has its own particular take on culture. We call it liveable culture — culture that’s ‘always on’. A visit to England’s Northwest is a voyage of discovery into what happens when you take all that rich heritage and tradition and mix it with an unmatched drive to explore the ‘what if?’ Self-belief, bloody-mindedness, chutzpah — call it what you want, but the end result is an energy and excitement that delivers a tangible buzz. You’ll be able to feel that buzz, not just in Liverpool celebrating its Capital of Culture year, but all around England’s Northwest. Each part of the region is doing its bit to make 2008 even more special: Manchester with its Year of World Sport, Lancashire with its Year of Food and Drink, Cumbria-The Lake District with its Year of Adventure and Cheshire with its Year of Gardens. Wherever you go, you’ll feel the distinctive pulse that is Northwest culture running through the veins of the region. So isn’t it time you decided to put culture first and take a trip to where it’s all happening? In this issue of Prime you’ll find everything you need to know to enjoy a great cultural break in England’s Northwest. Enjoy!

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FIRST OFF: The State of 08

The Capital of Culture hits Liverpool in a flurry of exhibitions, concerts, shows and on-street art. With so much going on, you’re sure to find a good reason to visit.

PRIME LOCATIONS: 48 hourrss in Liverrpool

How to make the most of a weekend in one of the UK’s most friendly and welcoming cities.

PRIME CUTS: Page 10 Eventss forr sprring &

summerr 2008

With so much going on across England’s Northwest, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Find out how how Manchester, Cumbria, Cheshire and Lancashire are getting in on the cultural act.

THE ESSENTIAL LISTS: Where to stay, what to see and do...

Page 16 Page 22 Page 28 Page 30 Page 32

Liverrpool Manchessterr Blackpool & Lancasshirre Chessterr & Chesshirre The Lake Disstrrict & Cumbrria THE CULTURE LISTS:

Everything you need to know about museums, galleries, theatres and music venues...

Page 20 Page 26 Page 29 Page 31 Page 34

Liverrpool Manchessterr Blackpool & Lancasshirre Chessterr & Chesshirre The Lake Disstrrict & Cumbrria PRIME SUSPECT:

Page 35 The Singh Twinss

Liverpool’s miniature marvels tell us what makes Northwest culture great.

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FIRST OFF:

Capital of Culturre

Ticket to ride…

So it’s finally here — Liverpool’s yearlong party of all things cultural is now well and truly underway and you’d better believe that nobody throws a more memorable party than Liverpool. When the city was awarded Capital of Culture 2008 over five years ago the then Chairman of the judges, Jeremy Isaacs, commented that the win had been in no small part down to the infectious enthusiasm of the people of Liverpool. And that’s one thing that will strike you from the minute you arrive, with every Liverpudlian that you meet just bursting with the need to extol the virtues of their home city. Give them a chance and they’ll wax lyrical about its museums, galleries, theatres, music and architecture — or at least point you in the direction of the latest cool bar or eatery with a cheerful grin and a cheeky wink. 4

But you’ve got to admit that they’ve got a great deal to be chuffed about — the city once better known for its maritime might has emerged from a major face lift with its wharves and warehouses transformed into buzzing cultural quarters filled with laid-back cafes, chic hotels and groovy galleries. And the cultural party for 2008 is certainly going to be a humdinger. As you would expect, the legacy of a certain Fabulous Foursome will be very much in the spotlight, but with a whole host of art forms and experiences to enjoy, there’s undoubtedly going to be something to tingle the artistic taste buds of even the most cynical culturephobe. Overleaf are just a few hints of what not to miss over the course of 2008, using the vernacular of John, Paul, George and Ringo as a guide… 5


Hippy Hippy Shake

Magical Mystery Tour

Come and Get It

Here, There and Everywhere

The renowned contemporary dancer and choreographer Akram Khan joins forces with writer Hanif Kureishi and multi award-winning composer Nitin Sawhney in a new work, Bahok, featuring a company of nine dancers from different cultures, traditions and dance backgrounds: Chinese, Korean, Indian, SouthAfrican and Spanish. At Liverpool Playhouse as part of the Leap 08 Dance Festival.

An intimate look at the normally hidden bits of Liverpool’s immense Anglican Cathedral, the 5th largest cathedral in the world. The One Step Forward, One Step Back theatre company will guide small groups through the labyrinthine passageways and crypts with a rich visual mixture of film, music, installation, models and live performance.

Expect a full-on experience when a gathering of Europe’s best street artists stage a high energy invasion of Liverpool over the Bank Holiday weekend. There’ll be theatre, music, dance, puppet shows and general mayhem happening all around the city centre, so don’t be suprised if you find a trapeze artist dangling 60 ft above your head...

Drreamthinksspeak 7 April–10 May, www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Liverrpool Strreetss Ahead 24–26 May www.liverpool08.com

Contemporary art that is. Liverpool just loves the stuff, embracing it as another facet of the counterculture that’s given the city its maverick edge for decades. The event that symbolises this more than any is the Liverpool Biennial, heading for its fifth incarnation and now the world’s biggest contemporary art jamboree outside Vienna. Expect to be challenged, shocked and inspired with a record number of new commissions, many of them on public view in the streets of the city.

Bahok 7–8 March www.leap08.com

Liverrpool Biennial 20 September–30 November www.liverpoolbiennial.org

In My Life A grand exhibition about the life, work and everything else you could ever want to know about Le Corbusier, the Swiss writer and architect who godfathered the concept of modern architecture. Organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects and set in the subterranean crypt of Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral. Le Corrbussierr 2 October–18 January www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk

A Hard Day’s Night

Across The Universe

Yesterday…

Roll over Beethoven

Look out over the fantastic view of Liverpool’s famous skyline in this vast 2.5m by 4.5m panoramic painting on show at the Walker. Created by artist Ben Johnson over a threeyear period, this painstakingly detailed work takes in the whole of the cityscape from a vantage point high above the River Mersey

…and the day before that and the day before that… Looking back over 60 years of Liverpool’s musical history, The Beat Goes On is an exhibition at Liverpool’s World Museum that explores the city’s unique and inescapable place in the world of popular culture, from the Cavern to Creamfields and everything in between.

Or Sibelius, Wagner and Messiaen actually, as one of Liverpool’s most renowned musical exports, Sir Simon Rattle, returns to the city of his birth to wave his baton over two special concerts – one with his current Orchestra the Berlin Philharmoniker and one with the Orchestra with whom he started his musical career as a junior percussionist – the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Ben Johnsson’s Porrtrrait of Liverrpool 24 May–2 November www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker

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The Beat Goess On 12 July–1 Nov www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

Simon Rattle at the Liverrpool Phil 4 September & 2 October www.liverpoolphil.com

Not-to-be-missed classic tragedy as Pete Postlethwaite takes on the role of King Lear, returning to tread the boards of Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre where he started his career, in a production by the Shakesperian director of the moment, Rupert Goold. King Learr 30 October –29 November www.everymanplayhouse.com

Help... For more information on the Capital of Culture events programme, call 0151 233 2008 or visit www.liverpool08.com.

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Liverpool’s got the world’s second most famous waterfront view after Manhattan and the best way to see it is to take a trip on the famous Ferry out across the Mersey. From the river you can take in the full glory of the Three Graces (32) – the triumvirate of magnificent buildings that are testament to the city’s historical standing as one of the world’s greatest sea ports and are now officially declared a World Heritage Site. While you’re down at the riverside make sure that you visit Tate Liverpool (33) at Albert Dock, the UK’s largest modern art gallery outside London.

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Take in the view

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Take a five-minute cab ride outside the city centre and you’ll find yourself in the leafy surroundings of Sefton Park, with the added attraction of Lark Lane (30), Liverpool’s answer to the King’s Road, just a two minute stroll away. The park also has a fantastic Victorian Palm House (31), now renovated and home to exotic afternoon jazz performances as well as equally exotic plant species. Lark Lane itself has a quirky vibe with independent cafés, bistros, retro clothing shops and craft outlets as well as Liverpool’s best French restaurant, L’Alouette.

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The Wirral

To be where the action is, head down to Albert Dock where you’ll find the glammed up crowd flitting between Babycream (22), the bar-restaurant offspring of super-club Cream, the Pan American Club (23) and Blue Bar and Grill (24) – all within a stiletto’s totter of each other. For hip live music, try Korova

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All that jazz

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Culturral enlightenment

In the evening, head up to Hope Street where you’ll be spoilt for choice with top class eateries, including the eponymous 60 Hope Street (19), the London Carriage Works (20) or The Lower Place (21), situated in the basement of the city’s wonderful art deco Philharmonic Hall. If you’re lucky enough to be around on a concert night, it’s definitely worth catching the Liverpool Philharmonic (21), currently flying high under their fabulous new conductor Vasily Petrenko.

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Soul food

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With such a high WAG quotient, Liverpool has never been short of designer outlets, most of them located in and around the Cavern Walks (16) shopping centre. But the recently opened Metquarter (17), a transformation of the city’s old Post Office into a new retail hot spot has seriously upped the ante. If you prefer your shopping with a more bohemian bent, then head for Bold Street (18) where you’ll find quirky fashions and cool homewares in shops like Microzine and Utility.

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Retail therrapy

Start off your Sunday with a trip to the jaw-dropping Anglican Cathedral (26), a monumental gothic edifice at one end of Hope Street. Heading back towards the Philharmonic Hall you’ll pass the hidden Georgian gem that is Falkner Street, which has a couple of great Sunday brunch options to while away an hour or so with the Sunday papers – try Number Seven Deli (27) or Quarter (28). Alternatively, mooch down to the Ropewalks area, where FACT (29) – the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology – is another good bet.

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If you’ve worked up an appetite you can give it a good seeing-to with a rib-sticking lunch at The Monro (13), Liverpool’s latest gastro pub, or for something lighter try Delifonseca (14) for fabulous deli sandwiches and the best chunky chips in town. Alternatively, head up to Hope Street to the Everyman Bistro (15), a Liverpool Institution set in the atmospheric basement of the Everyman theatre.

Start off with a cocktail or two at the latest place to be seen. Alma de Cuba (7) is an ultra cool refurbishment of a 200-year-old Polish Catholic church that’s been transformed into a funky bar and Caribbean-themed restaurant. Another buzzing option is Mosquito (8), sister bar to the stylish Living Room franchise, with a cocktail list as long as the Beatles back catalogue. For a more chilled dining experience, choose Ziba (9) at the Racquet Club for exquisitely-done modern British food. After breakfast, you can wander round The Walker (10) – effectively the National Gallery of the North – with its fantastic collection covering everything from Holbein to Hockney or you can visit World Museum Liverpool (11) whose fascinating exhibits cover all the cultures of the globe that have been touched 8

A spot of lunch

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Shaken orr stirrrred

(25), part owned by Liverpool band Ladytron, where you can brush shoulders with musos, catch the latest bands or simply chill out in individual booths watching the performance on your own TV screen.

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If style is your thing then head for Hope Street Hotel (1), an independent boutique hotel where all the luxuries are provided with great flair and fantastic service. Liverpool is now awash with fab new places to stay, ranging from the quirky Hard Day’s Night Hotel (2) (where there’s no prizes for guessing the theme of the decor) to the waterfront luxury of one of the UK’s nicest Malmaisons (3) or the four star deluxe Radisson SAS (4). If you want to be closer to the night life action then try 62 Castle Street (5), or The Print (6), both contemporary refurbishments of old Victorian buildings at the heart of the city.

by Liverpool’s sea-faring past. But the pièce de resistance has to be the refurbished St George’s Hall (12), a magnificent piece of Victorian pomp considered to be one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world.

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London to Liverpool by one of Mr Branson’s super fast Pendolino trains takes just two and a half hours. It’s just as easy from other parts of the country: all main line services from Scotland, the North East and Midlands run to Liverpool via either Manchester or Crewe. Liverpool’s John Lennon airport is just 8 miles outside the city centre and has a number of low-cost airlines operating cheap flights inbound from most UK airports.

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PRIME LOCATIONS: 48 hourrss in Liverrpool

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PRIME CUTS: MARCH–JULY Eventss thiss sprring & summerr Highlights of what’s on across England’s Northwest

Throughout 2008

March–October 2008

All year round

Culture beyond Liverpool — what’s happening around England’s Northwest

Manchessterr Worrld Sporrt 08

Tasste Lancasshirre 08 — Yearr of food and drrink

Liverpool may be taking centre stage in 2008, but that doesn’t stop the rest of England’s Northwest from getting in on the cultural act. To add to the already action-packed calendar of events, each of the different areas in the region has put together its own year of special events and activities, based on their own distinctive take on culture.

Until 29 June 2008

Body Worrldss 4 Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester T: 0161 832 2244 W: mosi.org.uk

The latest exhibition by the controversial anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens hits Manchester with its collection of 200 specimens that have undergone his famous (or infamous) Plastination treatment. An A-level biology lesson on a grand scale.

In Manchester you can get the buzz of a Year of World Sport or if that’s not exciting enough you can hit the adrenaline highs of Cumbria’s Year of Adventure. For a more relaxing experience why not sample the gastronomic delights of Taste Lancashire or chill out in the verdant tranquillity of Cheshire’s Year of Gardens Here’s a taster of what’s on offer, all within easy travelling distance of Liverpool.

W: manchesterworldsport08.com

With a competitive streak a mile wide, expect fun and games as Manchester puts on an action-packed year of sporting events that’ll be the biggest the city has seen since the 2002 Commonwealth Games. From the UEFA Cup Ginal to the FINA World Swimming Championships there’ll be plenty to cheer at. Manchester World Sport 2008

March onwards

Chesshirre — Yearr of Garrdenss W: yearofgardens08.com

With some of the UK’s most elegant stately homes and gardens, Cheshire is a natural location for the celebration of all things horticultural. As well as the 10th anniversary of the Tatton Park Flower Show, this year sees the first ever Tatton Park Biennial, featuring specially-commissioned works of contemporary sculpture in a fabulous setting. Cheshire–Year of Gardens

W: tastelancashire08.com

The area that brought you black pudding, Goosnargh duck and potted shrimps is rediscovering its culinary heritage with a year-long celebration of Lancashire’s fantastic local produce. From top quality restaurants and reinvented country pubs to bistros, farm shops and innovative food producers, there’ll be plenty to get your taste buds tingling, including the Taste Lancashire Festival from 5–6 April. Taste Lancashire 08

All year round

Cumbrria–The Lake Disstrrict Yearr of Adventurre W: golakes.co.uk/adventure

No need to wander lonely as a cloud when you can get an action-packed buzz from the great range of adventurous activities offered by the Lake District’s magnificent mountain scenery. Get the rush at The Keswick Mountain Festival in May, or at WOW in June, Windermere’s water-based festival of activities and entertainment. Cumbria–The Lake District Year of Adventure

29 Feb–22 March

Gateway Mussic Fesstival Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal T: 01539 725133 W: breweryarts.co.uk

Until 5 April 2008

Until 5 May 2008

Prunella Clough

Niki de Saint Phalle

Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal T: 015397 22464 W: abbothall.org.uk

Tate Liverpool T: 0151 702 7400 W: tate.org.uk/liverpool

Curated by Ben Tufnell of Haunch of Venison, this exhibition is a great introduction to one of the most interesting and significant British painters of the postwar period. Clough focussed her work on finding beauty in unconsidered aspects of the urban and industrial landscape and her paintings transform everyday scenes into images of compelling mystery and beauty.

Provocative French artist who made a bit of a splash in the international art world in the ‘60s with her powerful and original works. This first UK exhibition has paintings and larger sculptural works that are typical of her flamboyant and daring style.

So-called after Kendal’s position as the gateway to the Lake District, this month-long celebration of new roots music from around the world is a national showcase for new and evolving international music traditions. March onwards

Something Beautiful Arley Hall, Combermere Abbey, Little Moreton Hall, Tatton Park and Ness Gardens, Cheshire T: 01244 602836 W: visitcheshire.com

The gardens of several of Cheshire’s glorious country houses will be featuring new works of art nestling amongst the shrubbery. Watch out for specially-commissioned pieces of contemporary sculpture from nationally and internationally renowned artists. Part of Cheshire–Year of Gardens

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27 March – 21 Sept 2008

8 May–30 September 2008

Matthew Williamsson — 10 Yearrss in Fasshion

Tatton Parrk Biennial Tatton Park, Cheshire T: 08705 134314 W: tattonparkbiennial.org

Urbis, Manchester T: 0161 605 8200 W: urbis.org.uk

It’s Tatton Park’s turn to get in on the cultural act with its inaugural biennial of contemporary art and sculpture. Speciallycommissioned artworks from emerging and established artists include solar powered sculptures and a Japanese pagoda made entirely out of English garden sheds. A full programme of events, talks and workshops will run alongside.

The fash-pack’s fave gets his own retrospective exhibition in the city of his birth. You can ogle at the iconic red carpet pieces worn by Nicole Kidman, Kylie and Sienna plus get an insight into how he comes up with his inspiration from his sketchbooks and drawings. A specially commissioned film giving a behind-the-scenes look at the launch of a new collection completes the picture.

Part of Cheshire–Year of Gardens

5 April–1 June 2008 1–15 March

15 March 2008

22 March–6 July 2008

Leap Fesstival 08

Reopening of the Bluecoat

Laurra Knight and the Theatrre

Various venues, Liverpool T: 0151 708 8810 W: leap08.co.uk

The Bluecoat, Liverpool T: 0151 709 5297 W: thebluecoat.org.uk

The Lowry, Salford T: 0161 876 2000 W: thelowry.com

Liverpool’s annual festival of contemporary dance features visiting companies such as the Beijing Contemporary Dance Theatre, Brooklyn’s Decadance Theatre and the Akram Khan company in a performed of Bahok.

Closed since 2005 for a state-of-the-art revamp, this Grade I listed schoolhouse has been a focus for contemporary arts in the city since the 1960’s. This opening weekend will show off its new look, complete with spanking new gallery and performance space.

One of the great artists of the British impressionist movement, Dame Laura Knight’s work has a richness and intensity that is finding a new generation of fans in the 21st century. Her drawings and paintings of the stage life of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes have rarely, if ever, been exhibited and provide a fascinating insight into a time when the company’s performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring were causing a sensation.

6–16 March 2008,

¡Viva! 14th Spanissh and Latin Amerrican Film Fesstival Cornerhouse, Manchester T: 0161 200 1500 W: vivafilmfestival.com

Manchester discovers its Latin side with ten days of premieres and previews of the best of Hispanic cinema. Expect new films, interesting classics, a host of special guests and some particularly lively parties in the UK’s largest Spanish language film festival. 11 March 2008

Borrodin Strring Quarrtet St George’s Hall, Liverpool T: 0151 709 9000 W: liverpoolphil.com

Thought by many to be the world’s best string quartet, the legendary Borodins play Haydn, Beethoven and Shostakovich in one of the most beautiful rooms in the world for chamber music, the gorgeous, newlyrestored concert room in this Grade 1 listed building. A real treat. 12

22–24 March

Chessterr Food and Drrink Fesstival Chester Racecourse T: 01244 304610 W: chesterfoodandrink.com

Put on a few pounds at this celebration of all things foodie from Cheshire. There’ll be a large Producers’ Market, showcasing an impressive variety of local produce, from cheese, meats and cider to homemade ice cream, chocolates and preserves. And to tell you what to do with all that lovely stuff there’ll be demonstrations by celebrity chefs, including vegetarian expert Simon Rimmer.

26 –30 March 2008

UCI Worrld Track Cycling Championsshipss National Cycling Centre, Manchester W: manchesterworldsport.com

The fastest track cyclists on the planet descend on Manchester, with the Great Britain team on home soil defending the seven world crowns they won in 2007. Part of Manchester World Sport 2008

Assia Triennial Manchessterr 2008

14 May 2008

Various venues, Manchester T: 0161 838 5250 W: shisha.net

9 April–24 May2008

The UK’s first Asian Art Triennial celebrates contemporary visual culture from Asia. Exhibitions in six of Manchester’s major galleries will explore 21st century cultural and political issues with site-specific new commissions by artists from China, India, Korea and Pakistan.

Royal Exchange, Manchester T: 0161 833 9833 W: royalexchange.co.uk

5–6 April 2008

The Glassss Menagerrie A rare oppourtunity to see two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn treading the boards as she takes the lead role in Tennessee William’s tender and heart-rending masterpiece that tells the emotional story of children breaking away from their families.

Tasste Lancasshirre Food & Drrink Fesstival

18 April–10 August 2008

Accrington Town Hall, Accrington W: lancashirefoodfestival.co.uk

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool T: 0151 478 4199 W: liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

Now in its 11th year, this Lancashire regular is going to be even bigger than ever this year as a feature event in the county’s year-long gastronomic celebration. Part of Taste Lancashire 08

Arrt in the Age of Steam The only European showing for this major international exhibition exploring how 19th and 20th century artists responded to the railways. Over 100 works from some of the biggest names in art including Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Frith and Hopper.

9–13 April 2008

1–4 May 2008

9th FINA Worrld Swimming Championsship 2008

Futurressonic

MEN Arena, Manchester W: manchesterworldsport.com

650 of the world’s greatest swimmers in the world compete in two huge temporary pools specially-erected in the MEN Arena. Part of Manchester World Sport 2008

UEFA Cup Final City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester W: manchesterworldsport.com

The world’s largest club football competition culminates in a not-to-be missed final at the City of Manchester Stadium. Part of Manchester World Sport 2008

14–18 May 2008

Kesswick Mountain Fesstival Various venues, Keswick T: 017687 75738 W: keswickmountainfestival.co.uk

Here’s the chance to have a go at all those adrenaline-pumping activities that you’ve never tried before. Learn to climb, scramble and canoe or even take part in the first novice Keswick Triathlon. The tamer part of the 3-day programme (i.e. the indoor bit) includes talks by legendary mountaineers Sir Chris Bonnington and Doug Scott. Part of Cumbria–The Lake District Year of Adventure

Various venues, Manchester T: 0161 848 8000 W: futuresonic.com

18 May 2008

Annual festival of art, music and ideas that presents and creates artworks in various media in unexpected city spaces.

Manchester city centre W: manchesterworldsport.com

BUPA Grreat Manchessterr Run Britain’s biggest and most prestigious 10km race has rapidly established itself as one of the world’s best road running competitions. Part of Manchester World Sport 2008

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1 June 2008

The Liverrpool Sound Anfield Football Ground, Liverpool T: 0151 233 2008 W: liverpool08.com

This is the big one – Liverpool’s favourite son, Sir Paul McCartney, makes a special return visit to mark Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, accompanied by a swathe of musicians from the modern pop world who have been inspired by the Liverpool music scene. A once-in-a-lifetime event. 1–6 June 2008

The Bowland Fesstival T: 01772 534140 W: bowlandfestival.com

This week-long festival is a great reason to take a trip to one of the Northwest’s loveliest spots. The Forest of Bowland is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the glorious surroundings are matched by the fantastic local produce that will be on show (and for sale) at a range of outdoor-themed events and activities. 6–8 June 2008

WOW — Winderrmerre on Waterr T: 01539 726442

Three-day festival focussed on and around Britain’s largest lake covers music, theatre and a whole raft (sorry…) of water-based activities. Culminates with a spectacular night-time pyrotechnic performance. Part of Cumbria–The Lake District Year of Adventure

17 May 2008

30 May–31 August 2008

An Evening with Brryn Terrfel

Gusstav Klimt: Painting, Life and Moderrn Life in Vienna 1900

Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool T: 0151 709 9000 W: liverpoolphil.com

Britain’s favourite bass-baritone is joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, for an evening of classical favourites and popular song. 17–18 May 2008

Blackpool Pride North Pier, Blackpool Promenade T: 07926 116584 W: prideblackpool.com

Where better than Blackpool for a weekend of riotous, over-the-top fun with artists, events and the prerequisite parade. 14

Tate Liverpool T: 0151 702 7400 W: tate.org.uk/liverpool

Putting the bling into Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year is the first comprehensive exhibition of Gustav Klimt’s work ever staged in the UK, featuring more than 100 works from one of the world’s most influential and revered artists. The exhibition will explore Klimt’s role as the founder and leader of a progressive group of artists known as the Viennese Secession, with famous paintings and drawings from all stages of his career.

16 June–25 August 2008

Go SuperrLambBananass

26 June–19 July 2008

19–26 July 2008

Throughout 2008

Chessterr Myssterry Playss

Chessterr Summerr Mussic Fesstival

Chester Cathedral, Cheshire T: 01244 304618 W: chestermysteryplays.com

Various venues, Chester T: 01244 304618 W: chesterfestivals.co.uk

Channel 4’s Big Arrt Project

Originating from the 14th century when monks used to enact bible stories, this unique form of entertainment is only put on every five years, so catch it while you can. 27 June–31 August 2008

Pipilotti Risst FACT, Liverpool T: 0151 7074450 W: fact.co.uk

Famed for her stunning, sculptural video installations, the renowned Swiss-born artist turns her attention to the world and our relationship with our environment in this UK premiere show.

Various venues across Liverpool T: 0151 233 2008 W: gosuperlambananas.com

18–21 July 2008

Forget cow parades – they’re old hat when pitted against the phenomenon that is Liverpool’s SuperLambBanana. Originally created by Japanese artist Taro Chiezo for the Arts Transpennine festival in 1998, this bright yellow sculpture has rapidly become the city’s most popular piece of public art. To celebrate Liverpool08, 100 6ft tall SuperLambBananas are being ‘bespoked’ by local artists and celebrities with the fruits of their creative labours being put on display around the streets and parks of the city.

Liverpool Docks T: 0151 233 2008 W: liverpool08.com

The Tall Shipss’ Race It’s ships ahoy down at the Liverpool waterfront this summer as some of the most impressive maritime craft in the world parade in front of the city’s spectacular world heritage waterfront as they line up for the start of the 2008 Tall Ships race, the beginning of four days of maritime celebrations by the Mersey.

The elegant and characterful surroundings of Chester make it a great place for that most English of summer events – the music festival. This year’s promises a bit of a departure from the norm, with an emphasis on new commissions, premieres and the country’s best young musicians, as well as a focus on vocal and crossover music. This eclectic mix will be watched over by the Festival’s artist in residence, the renowned saxophonist and composer, John Harle. 24–27 July 2008

RHS Flowerr Show Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire T: 01625 374400 W: tattonpark.org.uk

Now a regular fixture on the gardening world’s (and BBC2’s) calendar, the Tatton Park Flower Show is your chance to rub shoulders with Monty, Diarmud, Bunty et al at this annual horticultural bonanza in the grounds of one of Cheshire’s finest stately homes. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so expect even more flamboyant floral creations than usual. Part of Cheshire–Year of Gardens

Burnley & St Helens W: channel4.com/culture

OK, so it’s not an event as such, but the fact that England’s Northwest has got not just one but two projects selected for Channel 4’s Big Art Project is definitely something to shout about. The Project aims to create and promote art in non-gallery settings, involving members of the community in the design process. It selects seven sites from across the UK and then commissions internationally renowned artists to work with the local community in developing an artwork that will make a real difference to the area. On top of that, the development and production of the artworks is filmed and subsequently broadcast as a prime time television series, creating a unique record of the process. In Burnley, stars of the UK arts scene, Greyworld, are working with a group of young people to develop a series of artworks across the town, while St Helens has managed to bag the Spaniard Jaume Plensa, the creator of Chicago’s Crown Fountain, to develop a piece for a former colliery site. The results of their labours should make some interesting Channel 4 viewing later in 2008. 15


THE ESSENTIALS: Liverrpool

That cheeky Liverpudlian grin is now a mile wider as the city enjoys the limelight of beings European Capital of Culture 2008. A frenzy of regeneration has created a renewed and rejuvenated city centre, plus more artistic activity than you can shake a tickling stick at. There’s never been a better time to take a trip to this witty, wilful and wonderfully irreverent city that takes great delight in wearing its somewhat maverick heart on its sleeve. Architecturally it’s a city of statement and grandeur — the city boasts more Georgian terraces than Bath and the imposing Victorian warehouses of the city centre are finding new life as boutique hotels and fine restaurants. On top of that, the city centre is surprisingly compact and easy to get around, and you’d have a heart of stone not to be bowled over by the warmth of the Liverpudlian welcome. 16

GETTING HERE By plane

Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport is situated just eight miles south of the city centre, with flights to and from many major European cities and an express bus operating to take you into the city centre.

By trrain

Mainline intercity services run into Liverpool Lime Street station from all over the country.

By road

Take the westbound M62 off the M6 motorway and it takes you straight into Liverpool city centre. It is also an umbilical chord joining Liverpool to Manchester, only 35 miles away.

GET THE INFO… Tourrisst Inforrmation Centrress

Liverpool Tourist Information Centre 08 Place, Whitechapel L1 6DZ Albert Dock Tourist Information Centre Anchor Courtyard L3 4AF Liverpool John Lennon Airport Tourist Information Centre Arrival Hall South Terminal L24 1YD Visitor info: T: 0151 233 2008 W: liverpool08.com Accommodation enquiries: T: 0844 870 0123 W: visitliverpool.com

PLACES TO STAY

Radisssson SAS Liverrpool

Racquet Club

Simply Heathcotess

Hope Strreet Hotel

107 Old Hall St L3 9BD T: 0151 966 1500 W: radisson.com

Hargreaves Building, 5 Chapel Street L3 9AG T: 0151 236 6676 W: racquetclub.org.uk

Beetham Plaza, The Strand L2 0XJ T: 0151 236 3536 W: heathcotes.co.uk

The Scandinavian-owned Radisson SAS is a new modern ocean liner of a building looking out over the Mersey. It’s very Scandinavian in feel as well – all cool design on the inside and a light-filled atrium that doubles as a bit of an art gallery.

A club devoted to racquet sports may not be the first place that springs to mind as a place to stay, but the eight individuallystyled rooms in this refurbished Victorian warehouse are generous and comfortable. The on-site Ziba restaurant is also an eating destination in its own right.

This sophisticated modern eatery is the Liverpool link in the culinary empire of renowned Lancashire chef, Paul Heathcote, the man who made black pudding sexy.

PLACES TO EAT

Part of the uber-chic Hope Street Hotel, the restaurant has attracted some fairly rave reviews, including being voted one of the top ten restaurants outside London in the 2005 Harden’s Guide and the 2007 Taste of England Northwest award. Apparently got its name when construction workers discovered the original sign in the stonework above the entrance during the refurbishment.

40 Hope St L1 9DA T: 0151 705 2222 W: hopestreethotel.co.uk

Hope Street is a bit of a cultural hub – this elegant Georgian thoroughfare joins the city’s two cathedrals and along its length you’ll find a concert hall (the Philharmonic), a theatre (the Everyman) and a slew of bars and eateries. The hotel sits half way along it, a building dating from the 1860s that was converted into ‘Liverpool’s first boutique hotel’ in 2001. In the intervening time it has won numerous awards for its cool minimalist chic, impeccable service and classy ambience and was voted one of the 50 coolest hotels in the world in 2006 by Condé Nast Traveller.

Malmaisson Liverrpool 7 William Jessop Way, Princes Dock L3 1QZ T: 0845 365 4247 W: malmaison-liverpool.com

Overlooking the Mersey, this recently-opened new kid in the Malmaison stable is the company’s first purpose-built building. It’s an elegant addition to the city’s iconic waterfront architecture and has all the features you would expect, from the plush ambience of the interior and the ‘place to be seen in’ bar and brasserie.

62 Casstle Strreet 62 Castle St L2 7LQ T: 0151 702 7898 W: 62castlest.com

Another revamped Victorian edifice in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre, this bijou boutique hotel is well-located for both the business district and the famous Liverpool nightlife. Its 20 generously-sized suites are equipped with all mod-cons and the ground floor houses a Room restaurant and bar.

Harrd Day’s Night Hotel

AWAITING INSPECTION

Central Buildings, 41 North John Street L2 6RR T: 0151 236 1964 W: harddaysnighthotel.com

No prizes for guessing the inspiration behind this new 4-star hotel just along the way from the Cavern Club. A refurb of a classic city centre converted grade II listed building, the hotel has an on-site restaurant, bar and art gallery, all featuring specially commissioned artworks celebrating the lives of the Fab Four.

Alma de Cuba St Peters Church, Seel Street L1 4AZ T: 0151 709 7097 W: alma-de-cuba.com

The place to be seen for the style-conscious, this Cuban/Miami/Carnival inspired bar and restaurant serves up crafted cocktails and elegant eats in one of the city’s oldest churches, with many of the original features incorporated into the new design.

60 Hope Strreet 60 Hope St L1 9BZ T: 0151 707 6060 W: 60hopestreet.com

Established gastronomic destination on the Hope Street cultural corridor. The signature dish of deep fried jam sandwich with Carnation milk ice cream shouldn’t be missed, and there’s also a more informal café/bar bistro in the basement.

The London Carrrriage Worrkss 40 Hope St L1 9DA T: 0151 705 2222 W: tlcw.co.uk

Everryman Bisstrro 5-9 Hope Street L1 9BH T: 0151 708 9545 W: everyman.co.uk

A bit of a Liverpool institution, the basement bistro beneath the Everyman Theatre has always been a gathering place for local creative types, attracted to the slightly bohemian ambience and the hearty portions of the fabulous home-made food. It’s great for veggies and the puddings are a special treat.

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The Monrro

Sapporro Teppanyaki

The Blue Barr and Grrill

THINGS TO SEE

Liverrpool Cathedrral

Knowssley Safarri Parrk

92-94 Duke Street L1 5AG T: 0151 707 9933 W: themonro.com

134 Duke Street, East Village L1 5AG T: 0151 705 3005 W: sapporo.co.uk

Edward Pavilion Albert Dock L3 4AE T: 0151 709 7097 W: blue-venue.co.uk

St Georrgess Hall

6 Cathedral Close, St James Mount L1 7AZ T: 0151 709 6271 W: liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Prescot, Merseyside L34 4AN T: 0151 430 9009 W: knowsley.com

Named after a Georgian trading ship, this old man’s boozer has been transformed into a top-notch gastropub, with an emphasis on quality organic British food. Robust menu featuring rabbit pie, Cheshire wild boar, Lancashire ostrich and Welsh buffalo.

Not just teppanayki but sushi and noodles too in this Japanese-themed restaurant on the edge of Chinatown. It’s the teppanyaki that’s the major draw though, with ‘show chefs’ performing culinary acrobatics as the food is prepared right in front of you.

Another achingly cool place to drink and dine down at Albert Dock, with a balcony overlooking the waterfront and a high celebrity count.

There’s nothing small about Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Largest cathedral in the UK, 5th largest in the world, highest gothic arches in the world, UK’s largest church organ – the list goes on.

So what if you haven’t been to one since you were a kid? Having your windscreen wipers manhandled by monkeys is still as much fun as it always was…

Ziba

St Peterrssburrg

Racquet Club, 5 Chapel Street L3 9AG T: 0151 236 6676 W: racquetclub.org.uk

7a York Street L1 5BN T: 0151 7096676 W: russiancuisine.co.uk

Numerous awards and a place in the Good Food guide are just some of the things that Ziba has going for it. Named after a Liverpool tea clipper, this classy modern British restaurant in the Racquet Club has quietly established a fantastic reputation for its nosh.

Revolutionise your tasetbuds with authentic Russian cuisine, washed down with a glass of flaming vodka. The music and liveentertainment includes the occasional Russian karaoke night, so start brushing up on those old Soviet marching songs…

Numberr Seven

PLACES TO DRINK

13-15 Falkner Street L8 7PU T: 0151 709 9633

Babycrream

This deli-cum-bistro-cum-art gallery is located in the atmospheric Georgian Square just off Hope Street. The shop sells everything from beautifully-packaged homemade biscuits to speciality preserves and oils, whilst the bistro does a good line in tasty snacks and the usual 57 varieties of coffee.

Delifonsseca 12 Stanley Street L1 6AF T: 0151 255 0808 W: delifonseca.co.uk

A little hidden gem – a foodie cornucopia in the city centre that is the place to go if you have a serious cheese fetish. Newly opened restaurant should be worth a visit too – the chef is ex-London Carriage Works so expect good things.

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Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock L3 4AE T: 0151 702 5826 W: babycream.co.uk

Joint venture between restaurant group Lyceum and the legendary Cream club empire, this is described as a DJ Restaurant – i.e. you get ambient lounge live DJ sets thrown in with your trendy bar and dining experience.

Pan Amerrican Club Britannia Pavilion Albert Dock L3 4AD T: 0151 709 1156 W: panam-venue.co.uk

At night the Albert Dock puts on its coolest threads and metamorphoses into the place for Liverpool’s glammed-up crowd. Pan American is one of the main hangouts for the hip and trendy, a classy bar-restaurant with huge bay windows that look out to the Liver Building in the distance.

Korrova 39-41 Fleet Sreet L1 4AR T: 0151 709 7097 W: korova-liverpool.com

Trendy, independent bar, part owned by Liverpool band Ladytron, that sets itself out as ‘a music-focused venue enveloped in cutting edge design and illustration.’ There’s a bar and ‘canteen’ and the club in the basement showcases live music from established acts and up-and-coming bands.

The Philharrmonic 36 Hope Street L1 9BX T: 0151 707 2837

Not the Hall, but the staggeringly ornate pub across the road, which boasts the only gentleman’s toilets in the country that a lady may visit – they’re listed. Despite being definitely old-world, this temple to Victorian exuberance attracts a lively-mixed crowd that gives an indication of the level of affection it commands – John Lennon famously complained that the price of fame meant ‘not being able to go to the Phil for a drink’

Ye Crrack 13 Rice Street L1 9DB T: 0151 709 4171

For the antitheses of Albert Dock-style bar chic, head for this legendary boozer, yet another place where John Lennon used to drink when he was at art college. It’s all a bit rough tables and cracked lino but what it lacks in style it makes up for in character.

William Brown Street L1 1JJ T: 0151 233 2008 W: visitliverpool.com

A £23m restoration programme has given a superb facelift to what many consider to be the finest neo-classical building in Europe. St George’s certainly has buckets of presence, standing proudly at the centre of the city like a temple to Liverpool’s mid-19th century wealth and ambition. Inside, the massive Great Hall is resplendent with gilded plasterwork and ornate chandeliers, plus a renowned Minton tiled floor.

Thrree Grracess Pier Head, North of Albert Dock T: 0151 233 2008 W: visitliverpool.com

Together, the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building create one of the most recognisable waterfronts in the world. Officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Alberrt Dock Albert Dock L3 4AF W: albertdock.com

This collection of restored Grade I-listed warehouses is home to many of Liverpool’s museum and heritage attractions, including Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the new Slavery Museum.

SuperrLambBanana Tithebarn Street W: superlambanana.com

A wonderful example of how public art can embrace a community, this fun sculpture was originally commissioned from Japanese artist Taro Chiezo in 1998 and soon found its place in the Liverpudlian heart. Even has its own website where you can order miniature-sized versions in every colour of the rainbow.

Antony Gorrmley’s Anotherr Place Crosby Beach, Crosby W: visitliverpool.com

Antony Gormley’s series of 100 life-sized iron ‘men’ spread over 3km of sandy beach initially started off as a temporary installation. But, like the Angel of the North in Gateshead, the figures have taken on such iconic status on this beautifully windswept landscape that a fundraising campaign is underway to make them permanent. A great example of good public art at its most affecting.

Sefton Parrk Palm Housse Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 1AP T: 0151 726 2415 W: palmhouse.org.uk

This Grade II-listed Victorian glasshouse is the centrepiece of one of the largest public parks in England. Fully restored in 2001, it’s now open to the public so you can spend a relaxing afternoon wandering around the tropical greenery. Occasional jazz and lunchtime concerts too.

THINGS TO DO Merrssey Ferrrriess T: 0151 330 1444 W: merseyferries.co.uk

Gerry and the Pacemakers have a lot to answer for. Take a trip across to look back at the famous waterfront from across the river and just see if you can stop yourself singing ‘that song’ – it’s practically impossible.

Speke Hall Speke, Merseyside L24 1XD T: 0151 427 7231 W: nationaltrust.org.uk

Just down the road from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, this wonderfully-preserved half-timbered house dates from the 15th century and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodland.

The Beatless Storry Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AD T: 0151 709 1963 W: beatlestory.com

Does what it says on the tin visitor attraction at Albert Dock – the story of the Fab Four in glorious technicolour detail. Expect to rub shoulders with lots of Japanese tourists.

THINGS TO BUY

Everton mints, Beatles memorabilia, Capital of Culture souvenirs, mini-superlambananas

GIVE IT A WHIRL… The Yellow Duckmarrine T: 0151 708 7799 W: theyellowduckmarine.co.uk

Take an hour-long trip around Liverpool’s waterfront in this converted (and very yellow) WW2 amphibious landing vehicle which starts on the road and ends in the water.

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THE CULTURE LIST: Liverrpool ART GALLERIES

Lady Leverr Arrt Gallerry

Walkerr Arrt Gallerry

Lower Rd Port Sunlight Village Wirral CH62 5EQ T: 0151 478 4136 W: liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

William Brown St L3 8EL T: 0151 478 4199 W: liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

The Walker sits at the heart of Liverpool’s central cultural quarter alongside the best of the city’s magnificent neo-classical architecture, St George’s Hall and World Museum Liverpool. Often referred to as ‘the National Gallery of the North,’ it is renowned for the breadth and depth of its collections, ranging from medieval and renaissance masterpieces to pieces by modern icons such as David Hockney and Gilbert and George.

Tate Liverrpool Albert Dock L3 4BB T: 0151 702 7400 W: tate.org.uk/liverpool

The Liverpool outpost of the Tate empire is housed in a wonderful conversion of Grade I-listed warehouses on the banks of the Mersey at Albert Dock. The UK’s largest modern art gallery outside London, it draws on the wide range of 20th and 21st century artwork from the Tate Collection and develops its own innovative changing exhibitions programme.

FACT Foundation For Art & Creative Technology 88 Wood Street L1 4DQ T: 0151 707 4444 W: fact.co.uk

Billed as ‘an international arts centre for the digital age’, FACT is an award-winning cultural project that is dedicated to showcasing the work of international artists working in film, video and new media. The venue is the hub of the Rope Walks area of the city centre, home to music studios, design collectives and architects studios by day, and to interesting clubs and bars by night.

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The Lever Brothers soap magnate, William Hesketh Lever, did a lot for this part of the world. Not only did he build the delightful garden village of Port Sunlight (named after his famous soap) but he also created within it the beautiful Lady Lever Art Gallery to house his extensive collection of art, including a magnificent selection of18th and 19th century paintings. Worth crossing the river for.

Open Eye Gallerry 28-32 Wood Street L1 4AQ T: 0151 709 9460 W: openeye.org.uk

Great contemporary photography gallery that’s worth a visit to catch the latest touring exhibition by prominent national and international lens-meisters.

MUSEUMS

The Bluecoat School Lane, Liverpool T: 0151 709 5297 W: thebluecoat.org.uk

This Grade 1-listed old schoolhouse, thought to be the oldest building in Liverpool city centre, has been a focus for contemporary arts, crafts and design in the city since the 1960s, A £12.5million transformation led by the hip Dutch practise BIQ Architecten, has restored the building to its former glory, with the addition of a spanking new art gallery and performance space.

View Two Gallerry 23 Matthew Street L2 6RE T: 0151 236 9444 W: viewtwogallery.co.uk

Behind an unassuming doorway in the Cavern Quarter you’ll find Liverpool’s leading independent gallery – a positive Aladdin’s cave of contemporary art spread over three floors. It’s only open from noon on Thursdays through to Saturday, but call in on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll get a complimentary glass of wine.

THEATRES

Liverrpool Empirre

Liverrpool Philharrmonic Hall

Merrsseysside Marritime Musseum

Liverrpool Playhousse

Albert Dock L3 4AQ T: 0151 478 4499 W: liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

Williamson Square L1 1EL T: 0151 709 4776 W: everymanplayhouse.com

Lime Street L1 1JE T: 0870 606 3536 W: liverpoolempire.org.uk

Hope Street L1 9BP T: 0151 709 3789 W: liverpoolphil.com

Fascinating museum devoted to the history of shipping in Britain from the 13th century onwards. The story of the port of Liverpool plays a large part in the exhibits, and the moving section on the history of the slave trade has proved so popular that a new museum devoted to the slavery story has now opened on an adjacent site.

Housed in a 19th century music hall building, this 700-seat theatre has one of the UK’s oldest repertory theatre companies. Produces approximately three or four of its own shows per year, interspersed with good quality touring product.

The largest two-tier theatre in the country, this is the place for the major touring musicals and shows.

Previously known as a music venue, the Royal Court has had a new lease of life as the home of the Rawhide comedy club. Gone is the tiered seating of the stalls and in its place are cabaret-style tables to make the waitress service easier and a packed programme of local and national comedians.

The 1930s Philharmonic Hall may look like an old cinema from the outside but inside it’s a riot of superb art-deco flourishes, from the beautiful window etchings in the bar to the famous frescoes of mythological muses on the walls of the auditorium. Home to a resurgent Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under fabulous new conductor Vasily Petrenko, who’s so on side he even plays for the orchestra football team. The Hall also stages a programme of non-classical music and its own classic film series, shown on an amazing art deco screen that rises from beneath the concert platform.

MUSIC VENUES

Liverrpool Academy

Worrld Musseum Liverrpool William Brown Street L3 8EN T: 0151 478 4393 W: liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

A £35m refurbishment in 2005 almost doubled the size of what was formerly the Liverpool Museum. giving it a substantial facelift and allowing it to display a whole treasure trove of previously locked away artefacts from its collections.

Mrr Chambrre Harrdman’s Photogrraphic Studio 59 Rodney Street L1 9EX T: 0151 709 6261 W: nationaltrust.org.uk

This loving preservation of the Georgian terraced house of the acclaimed Liverpool photographer Edward Chambre Hardman is a unique time capsule of Liverpool life in the mid-20th century and features an evocative and moving collection of his work.

Everryman Theatrre 13 Hope Street L1 9BH T: 0151 709 4776 W: everymanplayhouse.com

This small but consistently innovative theatre is where every Liverpool actor and writer you can think of – from Julie Walters to Willy Russell – cut their creative teeth. Recently celebrated its 40th birthday.

Unity Theatrre Hope Place L1 9BG T: 0151 709 4988 W: unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk

Tucked away off Hope Street, this lively small-scale venue is one of the country’s most successful ‘fringe’ theatres, with a reputation for encouraging new writing and new performers, particularly through community involvement.

Royal Courrt Theatrre Roe Street L1 1HL T: 0870 787 1866 W: royalcourtliverpool.com

Caverrn Club 8-10 Mathew Street T: 0151 236 1965 W: cavern-liverpool.co.uk

Infamous as the first home of the Fab Four, this is probably the most well-known club in the world. It has remained faithful to the original Merseybeat décor and is obviously a huge draw to the Beatles tourist crowds.

11-13 Hotham Street L3 5UF T: 0151 707 3200 W: liverpool-academy.co.uk

Formerly known as The Lomax, this 19th century warehouse building is steeped in musical history and the place to see rock legends, indie all-stars and cutting edge dance and urban acts.

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THE ESSENTIALS: Manchessterr

Manchester’s looking up, both figuratively and literally. There’s a buzz about the place that means it’s as vibrant and immediate as any European capital, with shards of steel and glass beginning to pierce the sky as Manchester comes over all Manhattan.

GETTING HERE

PLACES TO STAY

Radisssson Edwarrdian

Malmaisson Manchessterr

City Inn Manchessterr

By plane

Hilton Manchessterr

Free Trade Hall, Peter Street M2 5GP T: 0161 835 9929 W: radisson.com

Piccadilly M1 1LZ T: 0161 278 1000 W: malmaison.com

1 Piccadilly Place, 1 Auburn Street M1 3DG T: 0161 228 0008 W: cityinn.com

Five star luxury in one of Manchester’s landmark historic buildings. Built originally as a paean to the principals of free trade and democracy, the Free Trade Hall spent most of its life as a concert venue, being both the home of the Hallé Orchestra and the place where the Sex Pistols played a memorable gig. Its reincarnation as a contemporary hotel has been handled sensitively, with the musical theme pervading its suites, restaurants and bars.

Chic, modern hotel, housed in a Grade Ilisted Edwardian warehouse, with everything you’d expect from a Mal – relaxed yet attentive, smart and stylish with those extra little design touches. Well located near Piccadilly station and close to Canal Street and the Northern Quarter, the interior is all rich colours, plushy carpets and velvet cushions, producing a suitably seductive mood for cocktail hour. The Brasserie on the ground floor serves classic bistro fare with a local twist.

Newly-opened contemporary-styled hotel connected to Piccadilly station by a new footbridge, called the Manchester Curve. Weather permitting, you can dine al-fresco in the City Café and there’s an impressive cocktail list to work through too.

One of the top 20 airports in the world, you can fly into Manchester from over 200 worldwide destinations. There’s a direct half hourly rail service into the city centre that takes about 20 minutes or alternatively you can take a cab for the approx 9-mile trip.

By trrain The city’s now the ideal destination for the cosmopolitan weekender, but its contemporary attitude is still mixed with the down-to earth humour and genuine, no nonsense approach to life that you’d expect in the city that’s consistently shown that there are no limits to its imagination and its ambition. 2008 is also a good time to visits as it’s Manchester’s World Sport 08 — an action-packed season of sporting events that’ll be the biggest the city has seen since the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Visit www.manchesterworldsport08.com for full details.

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On the west coast mainline service from London to Glasgow – services are frequent so one of Mr Branson’s Pendolinos will get you to Manchester from London in just over two hours. There are frequent direct trains from Manchester to Liverpool, so you can sample a bit of what both cities have to offer without too much difficulty.

303 Deansgate M3 4LQ T: 0161 870 1600 W: hilton.co.uk/manchester

One of the best places to observe Manchester’s metamorphosis is from the new Beetham Tower, the gleaming glass edifice that now punctuates the Manchester skyline. The bottom half of the tower is given over to the Hilton Manchester, a chic, modern take on the large-scale city centre hotel. Its cool, Scandinavian-esque look and top-notch facilities bagged it a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s hotlist for 2007. Take the trip up to the lush cocktail bar on the 23rd floor with its giddying panoramic views over the city and the countryside beyond.

The Lowrry Hotel By road

Manchester’s at the centre of the extensive Northwest motorway network so it’s easy to get at from all sides of the country. London’s about a 3-hour drive and you can nip down the M62 to Liverpool, just 35 miles away, in no time at all.

GET THE INFO… W: visitmanchester.com T: 0871 222 8223

50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf M3 5LH T: 0161 827 4000 W: thelowryhotel.com

Manchester’s first five star hotel is actually located on the Salford side of the river Irwell, where the clean white exterior of one of Rocco Forte’s landmark hotels fits perfectly against the sweeping curves of Santiago Calatrava’s Trinity bridge. All the comfort and mod cons you’d expect, plus a luxury spa and the opportunity to spot the celebs who’ve been performing at the nearby MEN Arena as they hang out in the chic riverside bar after their gigs.

The Midland Hotel Peter Street M60 2DS T: 0161 236 3333 W: qhotels.co.uk

This stately red brick edifice is Manchester’s traditional landmark hotel, dating from 1903 when it was built as a statement to the city’s stature and ambition. A Grade II-listed building, it has in its time seen some notable historic events, most famously the first meeting between Mr Rolls and Mr Royce. A recent £12 million refurbishment has brought it bang up to date, ensuring that every little luxury is readily available, whilst still keeping its stately sense of history.

MacDonald Hotel

AWAITING INSPECTION

London Road M1 2PG T: 0870 194 2137 W: macdonaldhotels.co.uk/manchester

Opened in October 2007, this strikingly modern, glass-fronted hotel was the originally the iconic BT building and is conveniently situated near Piccadilly train station. Offering a wide range of luxurious facilities (including a gym, nail bar, beauty room and a thermal spa), the Macdonald Hotel Manchester has 338 bedrooms, along with extensive conference and event amenities.

AWAITING INSPECTION

The Place Hotel 1 Ducie Street, Piccadilly M1 2TP T: 0161 778 750007 W: theplacehotel.com

Conveniently located apartment-hotel, next to Piccadilly railway station. A conversion of one of Manchester’s typical red-brick warehouses, it has retained many original Victorian features although not at the expense of comfort and contemporary style. The Cotton House restaurant on the ground floor and its associated Champagne cocktail bar are also definite ‘places to be seen’.

stayingcool

& Castlefield and Cathedral Quarter T: 0161 832 4060 W: stayingcool.com

These chic, individually-designed apartments in several locations across the city provide stylish accommodation with hotel-type services. Available for one night, one month and everything in-between.

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PLACES TO EAT

Mrr Thomass’s Chop Housse

The Resstaurrant Barr & Grrill

52 Cross Street M2 7AR T: 0161 832 2245

14 John Dalton Street M2 6JR T: 0161 839 1999

The best of modern British cooking in a restaurant that epitomises new Mancunian architecture and design – airy atrium, glass staircase, water feature, the works.

The Marrket Resstaurrant 104 High Street Northern Quarter M4 1HQ T: 0161 834 3743

Small and friendly Manchester foodie stalwart where the décor may be a bit trad but the cooking is some of the best in the city. Always popular, so best to book.

Yang Sing 34 Princess Street M1 4JY T: 0161 236 2200

Frequently cited as the best Chinese restaurant in Europe, this Manchester institution has a vast 300-dish menu – the best plan is just to say ‘feed me’ and let them bring you the day’s specialities.

Grrado New York Street, Piccadilly M1 4BD T: 0161 238 9790

The latest offering from the Lancashire gastropreneur Paul Heathcote is a surprisingly authentic tapas bar and restaurant with a wine list of over 100 Spanish specialities. Muy bien.

The Moderrn Urbis, Cathedral Gardens M4 3BG T: 0161 605 8200

Dine in style at the top of the city’s signature exhibition centre, Urbis. The chef is ex-OXO Tower so the food’s definitely worth trying but if you just want to enjoy the bird’s eye view there’s an achingly-cool cocktail bar where you can while away a Martini or two. 24

One of the best wine lists in town, all the better to wash down the exemplary English food which yes, does include chops. Stonking portions so go hungry.

Choice 16 Castle Quay, Castlefield M15 4NT T: 0871 5299463

Set in a 200-year old canalside warehouse, Choice offers top quality nosh in a relaxed setting. Has won numerous awards for its modern British menu which has a notable emphasis on local produce. Jazz pianist accompaniment on Saturday nights.

Earrth Café 16–20 Turner Street, Northern Quarter M4 1DZ T: 0161 834 1996

Housed in the Manchester Buddhist Centre, this vegan-friendly café is a haven of peace and tranquillity. The fresh juice combinations are full of positive karma but the wheatgrass shots are a bit of an acquired taste.

Ning 92-94 Oldham Street, Northern Quarter M4 1LJ T: 0161 238 9088

A funky new addition to the Northern Quarter restaurant scene, Ning serves a fantastic range of fresh and aromatic South East Asian food. Reckoned by some to have the best Pad Thai this side of Bangkok.

Grrill on the Alley Ridgefield, (just behind Deansgate) M2 6EG T: 0161 833 3465

Seriously up-market steakhouse where you can dine on specially-massaged Kobe beef or choose your own lobster.

PLACES TO DRINK Peverril of the Peak 127 Great Bridgewater Street M1 57Q T: 0161 236 6364

THINGS TO SEE

Wheel of Manchessterr

Chill Factorre

Manchessterr Town Hall

Exchange Square, Manchester M3 1BD W: worldtouristattractions.co.uk

Trafford Way, Trafford Quays M41 7JA T: 0161 749 2222 W: chillfactore.com

OK, so it might not be quite the size of the London Eye, but you still get a fabulous view over the city from this 60m-high big wheel.

The UK’s first complete Alpine ski village looks like it landed from outer space on the edge of the M60. You can ski, board, tube or just have a snowball fight at the country’s longest real snow indoor ski slope, followed by the full-on apres-ski experience in a myriad of bars and restaurants.

Albert Square M60 2LE T: 0161 234 5000

The Brriton’s Protection

Feast your eyes on this gothic glory that is a testament to Victorian civic pride. Wonderful arched ceilings and mosaic floors with symbolism built into every stonework cornice and stained glass window. Doubles as the Houses of Parliament in many a TV drama.

50 Great Bridgewater Street M1 5LE T: 0161 236 5895

Chethamss School of Mussic

This gem of a pub is well worth seeking out. The splendidly tiled green exterior is matched by the splendid ales on offer inside

Historic pub with an epic whisky selection where you can rub shoulders with the Hallé’s brass section as they nip out the back of The Bridgewater Hall for an interval half.

Casstlefield

The area that started the Manchester café bar scene is still home to some of its best, particularly if you want to sit outside and enjoy the view.

Deanssgate Lockss

A mixture of self consciously trendy watering holes and more casually hip bars line the canalside in a series of converted railway arches. At its best during the daytime and early evening if you want to avoid the nightclub crowd.

Canal Strreet

The UK’s original gay village is still one of the most exciting areas of the city, with a range of bars and cafés running along the canalside.

Long Millgate M3 1SB T: 0161 834 9644

Originally founded in the 15th century, this remarkable collection of buildings is one of Manchester’s hidden jewels. It’s got a 17th century quadrangle that wouldn’t look out of place in Oxford or Cambridge, a medieval banqueting hall and the oldest library in the English-speaking world.

John Rylandss Librrarry 150 Deansgate M3 3EH T: 0161 306 0555 W: manchester.ac.uk/library

One of the real gems of Manchester’s architectural history, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the John Rylands building was an elaborate church rather than a library. This fantastic Grade I-listed piece of Victorian high gothic has recently undergone a £16.8m refurbishment, creating a new state-of-theart visitor centre to enhance the access to its rare and fascinating collections.

Chinatown George St, Charlotte Street

Norrtherrn Quarrterr

By day it’s the place to shop for hip vintage clothing, vinyl and crafts, by night it’s got a range of individualistic bars, from the laid-back quirkiness of Odd and Trof to the sophisticated mixology of Walrus and the hard-to-find Socio Rehab (it’s on Edge St…)

The third largest Chinatown in the world outside China (just behind San Francisco and Vancouver). Have a browse through fascinating shops, supermarkets and Chinese bakeries – best day to visit is Sunday when the Northwest Chinese community descend en masse to shop and eat dim sum.

The Quayss

W: thequays.org.uk

Hop on one of Manchester’s distinctive trams for a trundle out to The Quays – just 15 minutes outside the city centre and you’re in a whole different landscape of big water, big skies and big buildings, including The Lowry and Imperial War Museum North.

THINGS TO DO Norrtherrn Quarrterr

Colloquially known as Manchester’s creative quarter due to its concentration of designers, artist and musicians, it may not be the ritziest part of the city centre but it’s certainly one of the most interesting. A stroll around the quirky streets will reward you with eclectic record shops, vintage and specialist clothes stores, bohemian bars and eateries. N4 is also home to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, the Manchester Buddhist Centre and the Manchester institution that is Affleck’s Palace. Definitely not mainstream.

Exchange Squarre

A shoppers’ haven with Harvey Nichols, Heals and Selfridges all within a stiletto’s totter of each other. Harvey Nicks’ 2nd floor brasserie and bar is a favourite cocktail spot and the quirky Future System’s design of Selfridges’ food hall houses a number of counter-based eateries that are a good choice for a mid-retail therapy break.

Guided walkss T: 0871 222 8223

Discover the city’s secret corners with a range of guided walks that take you everywhere from up the Town Hall bell tower to down below the city streets tracing the history of the Rochdale canal. There are topic-driven options too, including a tour devoted to Mancunian inventions and one to the history of the city’s radical politics.

THINGS TO BUY

Old and obscure vinyl, vintage clothing, Manchester United memorabilia, designer labels.

GIVE IT A WHIRL… Affleck’s Palace 52 Church Street M4 1PW T: 0161 834 2039

Marked by the fabulous mosaic artworks outside, this otherwise unprepossessing building houses a rabbit warren of alternative shops and stalls, selling everything from skateboards and fetish gear to vintage clothing and records.

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THE CULTURE LIST: Manchessterr ART GALLERIES

Urrbiss

Manchessterr Arrt Gallerry

Cathedral Gardens M4 3BG T: 0161 605 8200 W: urbis.org.uk

Mosley Street M2 3JL T: 0161 235 8888 W: manchestergalleries.org

Restored in 2002 and given a striking new extension, the gallery shows off the wealth of Manchester’s artistic legacy, including its famous collection of Pre-Raphaelites and a great collection of modern pieces.

This flagship Manchester building sits imposingly in the lovely Cathedral Gardens like a rearing, glass-skinned serpent. Gallerycum-exhibition centre-cum-arts venue, Urbis is described as ‘the city centre’, reflecting its focus on different aspects of urban culture from around the world.

The Lowrry

MUSEUMS

Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ T: 0870 787 5780 W: thelowry.com

A high-impact, landmark building, perfectly set against the vast water and sky background of The Quays at Salford. The Lowry is a whole day out of attractions in itself – you get art galleries, two theatres, a gift shop and several restaurants, not to mention the tram ride out there.

Whitworrth Arrt Gallerry The University of Manchester, Oxford Road M15 6ER T: 0161 275 7450 W: whitworth.man.ac.uk

Great collection of art and design, from watercolours, prints, drawings, modern art and sculpture, including the largest collections of decorative textiles and wallpapers outside London.

Chinesse Arrtss Centrre Market Buildings, Thomas St M4 1EU T: 0161 832 7271 W: chinese-arts-centre.org

This national showcase for Oriental culture is a great place to catch exhibitions by Chinese artists. The centre’s chilled-out tea shop also provides a little haven of peace and tranquillity in the creative hubbub of the surrounding Northern Quarter.

Corrnerrhousse 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH T: 0161 200 1516 W: cornerhouse.org

The best place in the city for contemporary art, sculpture and photography, the Cornerhouse also houses a three-screen arthouse cinema, a fine bar and a welcoming, easy-going café.

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The Musseum of Science and Indusstrry Liverpool Road, Castlefield M3 4FP T: 0161 832 2244 W: mosi.org.uk

As you would expect in the city that kick started the Industrial Revolution, this museum is full of fascinating insights into England’s industrial history and also boasts a great collection of planes, trains, cars and steam engines. The touring exhibitions are also worth checking out, with dinosaurs, Star Trek and Dr Who the most recent topics.

Imperrial Warr Musseum Norrth The Quays, Trafford M17 1TZ T: 0161 836 4000 W: iwm.org.uk/north

The UK’s first building by Daniel Libeskind, IWM North is a real attention-grabber – more like architecture as environmental sculpture. Located on the opposite bank of The Quays to The Lowry, this is another building that uses its waterscape backdrop to sensational effect. On the inside, its thought-provoking exhibitions have won it a prestigious national silver award in the Enjoy England tourism awards 2007.

Manchessterr Musseum Oxford Road M13 9PL T: 0161 275 2634 W: museum.man.ac.uk

An established part of Manchester University for over 100 years, the museum covers all the ‘ologies’ from archaeology to zoology. The original building was the work of Alfred Waterhouse, architect of Manchester Town Hall, with the 2003 refurbishment undertaken by Ian Simpson, architect of Urbis and the new Beetham Tower.

THEATRES

Grreen Room

MUSIC VENUES

Royal Norrtherrn College of Mussic

The Royal Exchange

54-56 Whitworth Street M1 5WW T: 0161615 0515 W: greenroomarts.org

MEN Arrena

124 Oxford Rd M13 9RD T: 0161 907 5377 W: rncm.ac.uk

St Ann’s Square M2 7DH T: 0161 833 9833 W: royalexchange.co.uk

Make sure that the Royal Exchange is on your itinerary, if not for one of the consistently top-notch theatrical performances, then just to take in the jaw-dropping, dramatic interior that was once the trading floor of the city’s Cotton Exchange. Good craft shop too.

The Librrarry Theatrre St Peter’s Square M2 5PD T: 0161 236 7110 W: librarytheatre.com

The handsome rotunda of Manchester’s Central Library houses a surprise in its basement – the oldest repertory theatre company in the UK. Focussing mainly on contemporary and sometimes provocative works, the theatre also attracts some interesting touring productions.

Contact Theatrre Devas Street M15 6JA T: 0161 274 0604 W: contact-theatre.org

Remodelled in 1999, this architecturally madcap building looks almost Gaudi-esque. With a stated mission of catering for the 13– 30 age group, the theatrical product veers towards the cutting edge and contemporary, with regular club nights and laid-back DJs.

This hip, experimental performance space is tucked away underneath the railway arches. Consistently avant-garde productions and another good spot for café bar lounging, with regular DJs in the foyer space.

Palace Theatrre Oxford Road M1 6FT T: 0161 245 6600 W: livenation.co.uk

The major venue in Manchester for touring West End productions, this is a classic example of the grand temples to variety that were built in the Victorian era – all gilded statues and red plush seating.

Operra Housse Quay Street M3 3HP T: 0161 828 1700 W: livenation.co.uk

Slightly smaller sister venue to the Palace, this is another traditional theatre venue, veering more towards opera, ballet and one-off comedy or musical shows.

The Lowrry Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ T: 0870 787 5780 W: thelowry.com

The Lowry’s two performing spaces provide a strong mix of music, ballet, opera, theatre and comedy.

Victoria Station M3 1AR T: 0871 226 5000 W: men-arena.com

The largest indoor arena in Europe, this is the place to catch the Kylies and Justins of this world on their latest blockbusting tour.

This top-notch musical conservatoire is the place to catch the classical stars of the future, as well as an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary artists.

Manchessterr Apollo

Academy 1,2 & 3

Stockport Rd, Ardwick Green M12 6AP T: 0161 273 6921 W: livenation.co.uk

Oxford Road M13 9PR T: 0161 275 2930 W: manchesteracademy.net

This big old converted cinema is the venue for those comedy and music gigs that are too big for the Academy and not yet big enough for the MEN Arena.

The three spaces at this University-based venue provide a sliding scale of size to suit wherever a band currently sits on the path from anonymity to fame, or vice versa.

The Brridgewaterr Hall

Roadhousse

Lower Mosley Street, Petersfield M2 3WS T: 0161 907 9000 W: bridgewater-hall.co.uk

Opened in 1996, the Hall is one of Europe’s best venues for classical music and home to not one but three orchestras: the Hallé (Britain’s oldest professional symphony orchestra), the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata. Also good for topnotch visiting international orchestras and soloists, plus a complementary programme of non-classical, jazz and world music artists.

8 Newton Street M1 2AN T: 0161 237 9789 W: theroadhouselive.co.uk

One of Manchester’s great survivors, this intimate basement venue has been around since Oasis and The Verve were doing their first gigs. A standard stop on any up-andcoming, NME-rated band’s touring itinerary.

Matt & Phrred’s 64 Tib Street M4 1LW T: 0161 831 7002 W: mattandphreds.com

Ronnie Scott’s in miniature, this atmospheric Northern Quarter institution is where you can hear jazz of the highest order on most nights well into the early hours.

27


THE ESSENTIALS: Chessterr & Chesshirre Chester wears its rich Roman heritage with pride — as you would expect in a city founded by the Romans in AD70. But Chester also has definite contemporary charms, from the slew of new restaurants and boutiques to the tree-lined banks of the River Dee. Outside the city centre, you’ll find no shortage of stately homes and gardens, which this year will be at their finest for Cheshire — Year of Gardens 08 — visit www. cheshireyearofgradens08.com for full details.

Alderrley Edge Hotel

THINGS TO SEE

THEATRES & VENUES

Jodrrell Bank Vissitorr Centrre

Macclesfield Road, Alderley Edge SK9 7BJ T: 01625 583 033 W: alderleyedgehotel.com

Easstgate Clock

Clonterr Operra Theatrre

Holmes Chapel SK11 9DL T: 01477 571339 W: jb.man.ac.uk/viscen

GETTING HERE

PLACES TO EAT & DRINK

By road

Oddfellowss

Chester is easily accessible from the main north-south M6 motorway via the M56. Manchester is just over an hour away by road and from Liverpool it’s well under an hour via the Mersey tunnel.

By trrain

Direct rail links from London, Manchester and Liverpool. Change at Crewe for other mainline connections.

Classic English country house hotel set in a mid 19th century Elizabethan Gothic-style mansion. Situated just two minutes walk from what many consider to be Cheshire’s most desirable village.

On the edge of the city walls is Chester’s answer to Big Ben, the ironwork Eastgate clock dating from 1899. Take the steps up to the city’s Roman wall to get great views of the city streets – you can pretty much circle the entire city centre by walking round it.

The Grreen Bough Hotel

The Rowss

60 Hoole Road, Chester CH2 3NL T: 01244 326241 W: chestergreenbough.com

Trailing a whole raft of awards behind it, including Best Small Hotel in England, Green Bough is a quietly stylish, elegantly cosy boutique hotel just a few minutes walk from the city centre.

20 Lower Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1RS T: 01244 689809 W: oddfellows.biz

This grand 17th century Georgian manor house has been recently renovated into a sumptuous club that offers fine dining and drinking with the addition of a swanky Champagne Bar and a rather glamorous and grown-up Tea Rooms. There’s also four boutique hotel rooms if you fancy staying over and a wonderful walled garden.

Tatton Parrk

Rufus Court, Chester CH1 2JW T: 01244 340005 W: alexandersjazz.com

Knutsford WA16 6QN T: 01625 534400 W: tattonpark.org.uk

Continental-style cafe bar by day and venue for jazz, blues and comedy by night. Supposedly the longest-running comedy club outside London.

Thought to be England’s most complete historic estate, Tatton has a fine Georgian mansion full of art treasures and original furnishings, but it is the glorious 1,000 acres of parkland, with lakes and a herd of deer, that most people come to see.

THINGS TO DO

Norrton Priorry Musseum & Garrdenss

Chessterr Zoo Upton-by-Chester CH2 1LH T: 01244 380280 W: chesterzoo.org

Whatever your age, you’re never too old for a good zoo, and Chester is one of the best. The orang-utans seem to have ‘make ‘em laugh’ written into their contract, with the juniors spending their time entertaining their relatives (and the visitors) with their antics.

Juniperr

PLACES TO STAY

One of the Northwest’s consistently fantastic restaurants and a recipient of a Michelin star every year since 1998, Paul Kitching’s Juniper is a destination in itself. The 8-course gourmet tasting menu is a real treat.

Go boating on the river Dee, cruising through Chester and the surrounding countryside.

This luxurious 5-star hotel and top-notch spa is a Chester institution and the ultimate Cheshire-set weekend escape. From its black and white timbered, Grade II-listed exterior you may be expecting a cacophony of chintz, but inside you’ll find muted contemporary tones and understated elegance, plus the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city. Worthy winner in the large hotel category in the 2007 Enjoy England awards.

The Red Housse Dee Banks, Great Boughton, Chester CH3 5UX T: 01244 320088

Ultra-modern reworking of an old pub into a contemporary dining destination. An impressive architect-designed, two-storey glass extension looks out over chic gardens to the banks of the river Dee – you can even arrive by boat if you choose. The food is designed to impress as well.

HERITAGE

Alexanderrss Jazz Cafe

Chessterrboat

Eastgate, Chester CH1 1LT T: 01244 324024 W: chestergrosvenor.com

Cheshire’s Glyndbourne equivalent, in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. A 400-seat venue set in gorgeous woodland that presents opera, jazz and other musical events.

The world-famous Lovell Radio telescope is a prominent feature of the Cheshire landscape. You can get up close to the telescope itself and there’s also an exhibition centre, an extensive arboretum and an environmental discovery centre.

Set within the city walls, the distinctive split-level Rows are effectively double decker shops. These black and white timberered buildings date from the middle ages – part of the Rows on Bridge Street are said to feature the oldest shop front in England. Nothing medieval about the merchandise though – the Rows are now packed with contemporary boutiques to taunt your plastic.

21 The Downs, Altrincham WA14 2QD T: 0161 929 4008 W: juniper-restaurant.co.uk

Chessterr Grrossvenorr and Spa

Swettenham Heath, Congleton CW12 2LR T: 01260 224514 E: boxoffice@clonteropera.com

Eastgate, Chester

By buss

Chester is well served by National Express (0870 5808080) from all parts of the country.

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THE CULTURE LIST: Chessterr & Chesshirre

T: 01244 325394

THINGS TO BUY

MUSEUMS Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1SX T: 01928 569895 W: nortonpriory.org

A medieval priory established in 1134 is the basis for an award winning museum, plus a fabulous walled garden.

Grrossvenorr Musseum 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2DD T: 01244 402008 W: grosvenormuseum.co.uk

Two millennia of the city’s history spread over three floors of this grand 19th century building. Needless to say, there’s a focus on the Roman element, with recreations of what life was like in the Deva of yore.

Whatever your plastic can stand – Chester is a shopaholic’s heaven.

Deva Roman Experrience

GIVE IT A WHIRL…

The whole of Chester is quite a Roman experience, but if that isn’t enough for you, you can immerse yourself in the historic details in this museum sited on extensive Roman, Saxon and medieval remains.

Chessterr Ghosst Tourrss T: 01244 402445 W: visitchester.com

Discover your inner Dereck Acorah with a trip round what many consider Britain’s ‘most haunted’ city. The Chester Ghosthunter Trail is a night-time guided walk around the city’s spooky and scary places, with tales of eerie goings-on across the centuries.

Pierpoint Lane, Chester CH1 1NL T: 01244 343407 W: visitchester.com

Arrley Hall and Garrdenss Northwich CW9 6NA T: 01565 777353 W: arleyhallandgardens.com

The Hall at Arley is very charming but it’s the gardens that draw the crowds, with Arley cited in the top 10 gardens to visit in the UK.

Lyme Parrk Disley, Stockport SK12 2NX T: 01663 762023 W: nationaltrust.org.uk

Nestling in the foothills of the Peak District, this gorgeous country house and grounds will be familiar to many as the setting for Colin Firth’s famous wet T-shirt moment in the the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice series. Immaculate gardens, medieval deer park, cosy tea shop – all the ingredients of a great Sunday afternoon out.

GET THE INFO… Chessterr Tourrisst Inforrmation Centrre Northgate Street CH1 2HJ T: 01244 402111 W: visitcheshire.com

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PRIME SPOTS: England’s Norrthwesst

PRIME SUSPECT: The Singh Twinss What was the first/best gig you went to? Milapfest in Liverpool - it’s the biggest Asian Arts Festival in the UK.

What’s the one thing in your home town/neighbourhood that people really shouldn’t miss if they go there? Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral

What’s your favourite Northwest originated song or piece of music? Let it be by the Beatles — we went to a Catholic school and used to sing it as part of the choir.

Was there anything particular about Northwest culture that inspired you to do what you’ve done/what you do now? The Liverpool cityscape is really inspirational to us, especially The Three Graces, which we feature in a lot of our work.

What was your first/best experience of going to a gallery or museum? The opening of our retrospective exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool — it was the culmination of a lot of things for us.

COLOPHON

Prime is published by the Marketing Department of the Northwest Regional Development Agency. Issue three – March 2008. To register for future issues of Prime please visit www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com/culture or call 0845 600 6040. Prime is edited and designed by Hemisphere Design and Marketing Consultants. Printed by Gyroscope on paper manufactured using elemental chlorine-free pulp and woodpulp sourced from sustainable forests. Cover photography of SuperLambBanana by Jan Chlebik. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. Other picture credits to go here once finalised. All maps are source: Ordnance Survey, Crown Copyright, All Rights Reserved. GD 021102. All information correct at time of going to press but event information may change, so please check directly with venues for up-to-date information.

ACCOMMODATION RATINGS

All accommodation featured in Prime has been quality assessed by Visit Britain or the AA – look out for the star rating next to each establishment.

Amrit and Rabindra Singh are Wirral based artists who have staged their own contemporary revival of the tradition of Indian miniature watercolour painting, atttracting an international following for their work within the contemporary art world. Their colourful canvases are bursting with exquisite details that tackle the modern day issues of culture and identity, with more than a hint of quirk and humour. Following their recent recreation of the Liverpool coat of arms to celebrate the city’s official 800th birthday, they are now working on a new commission to mark the city’s year as Capital of Culture which is due to be unveiled in XX 2008 at the XXXX.

What’s your favourite painting/piece of art/sculpture? Amrit: ‘Andromeda & ???’ by Lord Leyton in the Victorian Gallery at the Walker Rabindra: Hans Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII at the Walker What was your first/best experience of going to the theatre? Our first experience was seeing The Nutcracker at the Liverpool Empire. The best was probably Fiddler on the Roof with Topol. We waited outside the stage door for his autograph!

Bunny Men or Diddy Men? Bunny Men Morrissey or McCartney? McCartney Peter Blake or Peter Saville? Peter Blake Beatrix Potter or Brian Potter? Beatrix Potter Welcome to the Pleasure Beach or Welcome to the Pleasure Dome? Pleasure Beach Eccles Cake or Kendal Mint Cake? Kendal Mint Cake

Do you have a favourite Northwest local food? Marigold’s fish and chip shop in West Kirby on the Wirral side. We take all our visitors there — from India, America and all over. Can you suggest a ‘hidden gem’ in your home town/neighbourhood? Eastham Ferry on the Wirral has an old Victorian fountain and a bearpit hidden in the woods – not many people know about it.

The number of stars gives you an indication of accommodation standard, cleanliness, ambience, hospitality, service and food. Generally, the more stars the higher the level of quality.

35


Issssue Thrree: wherre culturre comess firrsst

Issssue Thrree: wherre culturre comess firrsst

www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com

Insside

LIVERPOOL GOES SUPERLAMBBANANAS PLUS THE LOWDOWN ON STAYING IN THE CITY BEYOND LIVERPOOL IN 2008 INCLUDING THE CULTURE LIST FOR ENGLAND’S NORTHWEST

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/Prime_issue3%2006%2002%2008  

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/Prime_issue3%2006%2002%2008.pdf

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