The August Bank Holiday, the last weekend of summer, and why I usually spend these much-needed three days exploring new and exciting places.
Whether it’s for travel, work or play, a decent bag is an essential for me these days. So when Swedish lifestyle brand Guston Luga asked me try out their Classic Black and Black Rucksack it seemed the perfect time to become a Nordic tourist in my home city, Liverpool.
Like all great Scandinavian design the Guston Luga backpack is a testament to form and function. Personally I love anything with a fuss free style and muted colour palette, but with this rucksack in particular I really liked how much storage you get. I can easily fit in my laptop, camera as well as all those important toddler essentials for a day exploring the sights.
And as one of the UK’s most popular tourism destinations, Liverpool is a mecca for music, arts and football fans alike.
But did you know back in the 19th century the city was also home to over 50,000 Scandinavian sailors? The impact these men and their families had on the city’s architecture, culture and lifestyle is still evident today.
So whether you’re a Nordic visitor looking to get a unique feel for the place, or a seasoned local like myself, here are a few places to add to your must-visit list the next time you’re in town.
A place for coffee:
If you’re on the Beatles trail then make sure you stop off in historical Woolton Village and visit One Percent Forest. This Icelandic-inspired coffee shop and cocktail bar is the place to go for that essential Nordic caffeine fix. You’ll also find delicious pastries, meatballs and hot-dogs if you need a quick snack too.
A place to eat:
Since I first interviewed the lads behind SKAUS back in 2017 their reputation for fantastic Scandinavian inspired food with a Liverpudlian twist has spread far and wide.
No matter what time of day you visit, their responsibly sourced and in-season eats are fantastic, with their gravadlax, smørrebrød as well as Hasselback chips, and obviously the Scouse, always coming highly recommended by me.
A place of culture:
Gustaf Adolfs Kyrka, otherwise known as the Scandinavian Seamen’s Church, this building is like no other in Liverpool. Completed in 1884, this imposing, but much-loved Neo-Gothic building remains at the heart of the city’s Nordic Community today. Every week they hold a communion service, community events as well as Swedish and Norwegian language classes.
A place to shop:
I’ve been a regular at design and lifestyle store Utility since it opened in 1999. Back then I was a Fine Art student in the city and dreamt of owning the furniture, lighting and home wares on display.
Today they remain my go-to store and web shop for all my favourite Nordic brands, such as Hay, Ferm Living and Normann Copenhagen and I feel super lucky that whatever my design inspiration they can make my dreams reality.
A place to escape:
The Botanical Garden in Copenhagen is always one of my favourite places to escape, but did you know Liverpool has its own stunning palm house too?
Set in beautiful Sefton Park the Grade II* Victorian Palm House is a rather special place for me, as its also the place I got married. With its three-tiered dome, stunning staircase and one of the oldest horticultural collections in Britain, be sure to pay this stunning urban jungle a visit.
A place to stay:
Situated in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, Hope Street Hotel is a firm favourite of Liverpool FC pre-homegame, it also sits alongside two amazing cathedrals, the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Everyman Theatre.
Housed in an old warehouse that dates back to 1860 the paired back décor with its exposed brickwork, warm wood and beautiful natural textiles is perfect for those seeking Scandinavian simplicity as well as a good night’s sleep.
I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a Nordic tour of Liverpool with me. Guston Luga kindly gifted my classic rucksack for this post, but as ever all words and opinions are my own.
Save a fantastic 15% on Guston Luga
Where are you heading off on holiday to next? Why not take a look at a Guton Luga backpack for your next trip? To find out more about the full collection please visit the Guston Luga website.
If you would like to save a fantastic 15% on Guston Luga products, receive a free passport holder worth £39 as well as free delivery and returns worldwide, just shop as normal on the website and enter the code ‘NORDICNOTES’ when prompted at the checkout.
Image 3 by SKAUS, all other images by Nicola Capper.