If these two proud cities were Top Trumps cards they would be tough to split, but here we give it a darn good go...
EAT AND DRINK
The UK’s eighth-largest city boasts a wide variety of restaurants to cater for all palettes and budgets – from Michelin-starred Casamia in nearby Westbury-on-Trym, to Severnshed, a former boathouse where affordable eats are complemented by stunning views of the Avon. And while, with greatest respect to Portishead and Massive Attack, Bristol may not quite share Liverpool’s rich musical heritage, the city’s vibrant nightlife offers more bars and clubs than you can shake a stick at – or anything else for that matter. Start the Bus on Baldwin Street delivers an indie-inclined music mix to Bristol’s young and bearded, while Thekla, set within a moored ship on the city’s Mud Dock, provides house and break-beats for those who prefer a night out with a those with a harder edge.
Number Thirty Eight is an elegant Georgian townhouse set in upmarket Clifton – the city’s premium shopping area. For something more central, The Bristol Hotel offers luxury rooms within a grand setting, sitting on the quayside of the Floating Harbour.
The rise of Bristol-native Banksy has put the city on the street- art world map, and a visit to the See No Evil project, ‘the most ambitious permanent street art project ever in the UK’, is a must. Meanwhile, Bristol Zoo Gardens contains more than 400 species from creepy to cuddly. History buffs won’t want to miss Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Brunel- designed architectural classic, while neighbouring Bath is a beautiful diversion.
Trustafarian students, charming natives (for the most part) and creative types including artists and musicians.
WHAT TO SAY TO A BRISTOLIAN: “I just love your accent!"
WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A BRISTOLIAN: “Can you repeat that in English, please?”
EAT AND DRINK
The former European capital of culture sure knows how to have a good time. Forget Songs of Praise, it’s Latin music that really rocks the socks off at Alma de Cuba (Seed Street), which fuses the church with carnival dancers. Chase the plates of Latin tapas from the 34th floor of Panoramic (Brook Street) which tops the list for Liverpudlian bars with a view – the vista stretches out from the Albert Dock below. Then finish the night off sipping a cocktail in a Chesterfield booth downstairs at Magnet (Hardman Street), while a local band makes your ears bleed.
Bristol trumps Liverpool with its choice of unique places to lay your head, although Hope Street Hotel (Hope Street) – Liverpool’s self-styled first boutique hotel – is a dirty weekend haven. Set within a renovated carriage house, its bare walls and wooden floors give it an industrial feel evocative of the city itself. Fully booked? Second on the list is 62 Castle Street, home to Alliance Bank in a former life and now a diminutive hotel with plenty of character.
Sack off the overpriced yellow duck tour (is it a boat, is it a bus, who the heck knows?) and head to the Albert Dock, home to a host of museums (as well as restaurants, bars and footballers when the sun goes down) including London export Tate. The docks, which were saved from being smashed to bits in 1960s, offer up a gritty place for an afternoon beer and watching the sunset cloak the Mersey.
Plenty of WAGs in pajamas and hair curlers, despondent football fans recalling long-past glories, and hordes of angsty Beatles.
WHAT TO SAY TO A SCOUSER: “Nice brows. Where can I get mine done?”
WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A SCOUSER: “It’s nice enough here, but I prefer Manchester.”