After 2 holidays being cancelled in 2020 due to the Corona Virus pandemic, I decided to have a little staycation in sunny Liverpool. I don’t tend to book hotels in my home city, but now more than ever, is the perfect opportunity to explore what’s right on our doorstep.
Malmaison was my first choice when it came to booking a hotel and we opted for the wine, dine and dream offer which included an overnight stay, 2 course dinner and a bottle of house wine for just £119 – excellent value.
As we know, the world has changed due to Covid and hospitality venues have put many measures in place to ensure the safety of their guests. On entering the hotel lobby there was hand sanitser available which has now become second nature for me to apply whenever I see it – never did I think that I’d have more alcohol on my hands than in my mouth! We were greeted by a charming receptionist who was behind the reception desk and a clear acrylic screen but this is all the new normal so we checked in unfazed by the changes. Stickers were on the floor, as in many venues, to encourage social distancing and directional flow but Mal had added their own touch of ‘stop right now’ and ‘easy tiger’ which made me smile. As we walked to the lift a member of staff was sanitising the key cards, so many safety measures were in place which was reassuring to see.
The room was different than my last stay in a Malmaison, the purple décor that I remembered had been replaced with softer, warmer colours and our view of the famous Liver Building made even a Scouser smile – the biggest clock faces in the country, yes bigger than Big Ben – one of the many facts about our Liverpool.
Before dinner in Chez Mal Brasserie we walked up to Maryland Street and had drinks in the beautiful secret garden at Free State Kitchen – a hidden gem and a great sun trap! We then headed 300 feet above sea level to Panoramic 34, one of the UK’s highest restaurants – right in our city and the views are absolutely stunning. The Anglican Cathedral always stands out to me and it would do being Britain’s biggest Cathedral, I have fond memories of my graduation day there all too many years ago and now feel fortunate to have had that experience – a day that I probably took for granted and one that the class of 2020 won’t get the chance to have.
Dinner at Chez Mal was wonderful, I’m not great with QR codes as I’m a bit old school at times so I was pleased that single use paper menus were available on request! We shared the oak smoked salmon carpaccio and salt & pepper calamari to start followed by the Panang Chicken curry and steak frites for our main courses – all delicious. Cutlery was brought to the table and condiments were available if requested – again all measures that are part of the new normal. In the words of Malmaison they are back to norMALity, but they never were normal!
The next day we enjoyed a cooked breakfast in the brasserie, checked out and continued to explore the magnificent sights of Liverpool. As more tourism attractions open I would encourage everyone to experience Liverpool like a tourist and appreciate this marvellous city that I am proud to call home.
Words by National Director for Events & Sales a Downtown In Business, Helen Bamford.