A Bastion Day of Sport: Food, Football & Boxing

If you’re stuck for plans this weekend, then look no further than the Bastion Day of Sport in Liverpool. In the Bastion Bar & Restaurant within the Shankly Hotel, we’ll be holding 3 unmissable events on Saturday 4th March 2017.

For LFC and boxing fans, it’s set to be a jam-packed day of action. You can find out full schedule below:

11:00 – 12:00 – Pre Match Breakfast Q&A with former Liverpool full back Vegard Heggem (including chance for photos/meet and greet)

17:30pm – Liverpool vs Arsenal Kick off 17:30 – exclusive match day menu and drinks offers available

10:30pm –  Haye vs Bellew live in Bastion with drinks offers on the bar following the conclusion of LFC vs Arsenal

Guests can either access all 3 events or attend separate events individually. Pre-booking for each event  is advised to avoid disappointment.

The Bastion Bar & Restaurant

Located within the Shankly, the Bastion is the perfect place to sit back with a beer and enjoy some live sport. This Saturday, you’ll be able to choose from our hearty match day menu. The menu features the Bastion’s famous Shankly Burger, Southern Fried Chicken Burger and good old fashioned Fish and Chips. Plus, our delicious 6oz Rump Steak with Chips, Mushrooms and Tomatoes.

And if it’s your first visit to the Liverpool hot spot, then don’t forget to take a look around at the Bill Shankly memorabilia around the restaurant and bar area. The Shankly Hotel provides guests with a fantastic range of personal memorabilia, thanks to the Shankly family themselves.

Haye V Bellew

Set to be an unforgettable night, we’ll certainly be rooting for Liverpool’s very own Tony Bellew when he takes to the ring. The Merseyside athlete grew from being a three-time ABA heavyweight champion, to making his professional boxing debut in October 2007.

One of the most intense grudge fights in modern British boxing history, Saturday will showcase the ongoing feud that everybody’s talking about. To say that the pair have “bad blood” is an understatement; the hype surrounding the fight was taken to a new level at Thrusday’s press conference when the two came head to head. While Haye issued a series of threatening remarks, Bellew shared:

“Nearly time to rock and roll. Lets see what happens. The main thing is no excuses. They have been put out to the media. We all get sore, we all get knocks and bumps. This is the combat business, it’s called boxing.”

Liverpool V Arsenal

Liverpool V Arsenal is also expected to provide plenty of entertainment. If Liverpool win tomorrow’s game then it will be their 50th home league win over Arsenal, so we have our fingers crossed that they’re ready!

To pre-book your space at the Bastion, just give our friendly team a call on 0151 541 9999.

 

Signature Living Release Plans for George Best Themed Hotel in Belfast

The hotel developers behind The Shankly Hotel have released plans for another football legend themed hotel in Belfast.

Signature Living has revealed that they plan to develop five hotels in the northern Irish capital of Belfast with one hotel having a distinct theme of one’s of the city’s finest football players, George Best.

Founder, Lawrence Kenwright, said the hotel will take on the same template as The Shankly Hotel on Victoria St, which since opening August 2015 has become a landmark destination for football lovers all over the world.

With further dedicated tours will you take you around the beloved football ground and city which Bill cherished, the plan is to create this same complete experience at the George Best Hotel.

Talking about the George Best Hotel, Lawrence said; “we are using the knowledge that we have gleaned from The Shankly Hotel. Every room has a story of an individual that knew him.

“It’s about unearthing those stories… not so much the main life stories that everyone knows, this is about the stories you don’t know about.”

The Shankly Hotel is filled with unique, never-before-seen memorabilia which was kindly donated by the Shankly family, from Bill’s old typewriter to LFC contracts, his tracksuit and letters from fans, the George Best hotel will take on the same ilk.

Shankly Hotel Memorabilia

The perfect site has not been chosen yet but it’s expected to be as magnificent at other Signature Living developments.

The plans have the full backing of George Best’s family who after visiting The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool, signed a contract.

Signature Living has furthermore said they plan to develop five hotels in the city of Belfast, with one other taking on the theme of Titanic due to the city being the birthplace of the ill-fated vessel.

This Belfast-based Titanic Hotel will, just like 30 James Street- Home of the Titanic in Liverpool, celebrate the ship’s history as well as the people aboard and involved in the ship as well as the building it resides.

Two sites are close to completion but founder Lawrence has other iconic landmark building in his sights.

The completion of these five unique hotels will create 500 jobs in the city across all sectors, from builders to hospitality staff, maintenance and chef’s, the creation of these hotels is hoped to further the cities tourism industry and make it a must-visit, just like Liverpool has become.

This is a hugely exciting time for Signature Living and we’re looking forward to not only seeing the building which is planned for development but to see how George Best is honoured.

You can keep up to date with the George Best hotel development and the other four hotels by following Lawrence Kenwright’s blog.

3 Unique Ways to Explore Liverpool’s History

Have you ever wanted to explore a piece of Liverpool’s history that’s a little off the beaten track?

If so we recommend one of these three unique tourist experiences that will show you pieces of Liverpool’s past from a unique perspective.

Slavery Trail

Take a walk back in time and explore Liverpool’s history by learning about what helped shape the exuberant waterfront architecture and early wealth of the city.

Liverpool waterfront

Liverpool’s position on the Mersey River made city docks the hub of UK trade from overseas. Goods such as tobacco, spices, cotton and Gin flowed through Liverpool bringing extreme wealth and prosperity to the area.

This wealth was also built on the sale of humans as goods at the peak of slave trading.

In what was once known as the ‘Slave Trade Triangle’ Liverpool played a crucial role.

The port of Liverpool served as the beginning and end point for a staggering three-quarters of the slaving ships coming to and from Africa and the Caribbean.

There are traces of this sad part of Liverpool’s history all around us, in the artwork found on the cities most prominent buildings and monuments.

Slavery in Liverpool

The Liverpool Slavery Trail is operated Eric Lynch, a man who has educated himself on the intricate details of Liverpool’s history.

Eric shares this wealth of knowledge with those partaking in the walkign city tour.

Shankly Experience

Another huge part of Liverpool’s interesting history is football.

Evident in the numerous tours in operation that ferry visitors around the two major premier league football stadiums and training grounds in the city.

We recommend another way to explore the unique footballing history of Liverpool with our Shankly Experience tour.

Take a journey with the Shankly Family Foundation and learn how the power of one man transformed a football club and stirred inspiration across a city of people.

Bill Shankly

Pioneering the ‘Liverpool way of play’, Bill Shankly made the city famous through football. Because of his efforts at LFC, his working-class background and outstanding moral compass, the people of Liverpool loved him.

His character was admired by many, known as a stand-up family man dedicated only to his wife, children and the game of football.

During a visit to the Shankly Hotel take a chance to explore a piece of Liverpool’s history through various displays of Shankly memorabilia.

Never before seen iconic items donated by the Shankly family can be viewed, such as rare photos and his own training tracksuit. This, as well as handwritten letters and tactics notes, give visitors a keen insight into the mind and life of the great man.

Why not book an exclusive training session on Shankly playing field to see where Bill Shankly worked and played during his Liverpool career?

shankly-balls123456

Participants can enjoy running drills fashioned from handwritten notes taken from Shankly archives and learn to understand the ethos of Bill Shankly; that you can play hard as long as you work harder.

You can even play in and keep a limited-edition training kit as a memento.

The Shankly Tours and training experiences are bookable here and are a unique way to explore Liverpool’s history from a different perspective.

Williamson Tunnel tours

There are some magnificent sights across Liverpool city centre.

The Three Graces, The Anglican and Metropolitan Cathedrals and Albert Dock are all stunning pieces of Liverpool history…above ground.

How about what lies beneath the city?

Liverpool's history underground - Williamson's tunnels

source; www.tunnelvision.com

In 1995 a series of tunnels were discovered by a university student beneath the streets of Liverpool. Since then these tunnels have been slowly excavated by volunteers.

The tunnels are the work of a wealthy tobacco baron, Joseph Williamson. After building what were known to have been grand mansions of unconventional design, Williamson moved onto constructing his obscure series of underground tunnels.

His reasons behind constructing these tunnels remain unknown but have been widely speculated upon.

Theories include Williamson’s involvement in a religious sect, convinced the apocalypse was looming. The tunnels, therefore, built as a post-apocalyptic haven for Williamson, his family and friends.

Others suspected Williamson of being involved in smuggling using the tunnels to transport goods across the city undetected.

A popular explanation is that Williamson’s tunnels were built to employ hundreds of soldiers returning from the Napoleonic war.

Liverpool's history underground - Williamson's tunnels

source; www.tunnelvision.com

It seems construction carried on for 70 years and ceased immediately after Williamson’s death.

Now the Joseph Williamson Society are exploring this mysterious piece of Liverpool’s history concealed within these fascinating underground structures. You too can explore the Labyrinth as part of a guided tour and check out the progress of ongoing excavation.

Explore Liverpool’s History from the Shankly Hotel

shankly-860

If you are planning a short city break, then explore Liverpool’s history during one or all of these unique city tours.

Other popular city attractions such as the amazing nightlife and superb shopping complexes are within easy reach of the Shankly Hotel.

Why not book to stay at the Shankly Hotel and see what you can learn about the interesting history of Liverpool?

Call 0151 601 8801 or email ifno@signatureliving.co.uk.

Shankly’s Greatest XI Event Celebrates The Footballing Legend

Bill Shankly is often referred to as one of the greatest footballing managers of all time.

He transformed Liverpool Football Club and coached some of the most famed players in the world ensuring he is celebrated by fans for an eternity.

Earlier in the year, we set out on a quest to find Shankly’s Greatest XI, made up of former players from his 15 years at LFC. We wanted to bring these iconic men together to celebrate Shankly and all he did for football and the Liverpool community.

Using a 4-3-3 formation, we asked the public to vote in players based on positions, over the course of a few weeks, the votes poured in and we eventually found Shankly’s Greatest XI.

Players included Lawrence, Lawler, Smith, Yeats, Hughes, Callaghan, Hall, Thompson, St John, Hunt, Keegan. Roy Evans was also in attendance as an original member of the boot room.

shankly11

On Thursday 8th December, we hosted an incredible dinner in the beautiful Garden of Eden at The Shankly Hotel where these former players along with the families of Emlyn Hughes and Brian Hall were in attendance. Members of the public were able to buy tickets to the event with 330 people overall enjoying this remarkable event.

Each former player was formally inducted into the XI with Kevin Keegan himself hosting the evening and welcoming each player.

Guests had the option to book specific tiers depending on what they wanted their ticket to include, for those with a red tier ticket, they were invited to a private meet and great with the players in Baby Eden before the main event.

Shankly's Greatest XI

As well as a delicious three-course meal, there were lots of old stories shared around each of the tables with unique tales from the former players, Shankly’s grandson Chris Carline and live entertainment.

There was furthermore a silent auction which saw memorabilia such as a Luis Suarez signed shirt and signed Steven Gerrard Boots and framed photographs.

It was a memorable night and absolutely incredible to have all of these amazing players in one place.

We’d like to thank all former players who were in attendance and we hope to be hosting more events like this in the future.

Chelsea vs Liverpool

The Barclays Premier League fixtures have been announced and The Bastion Bar and Restaurant is sure to be a great place for you and your friends to get together and enjoy the game.

Our stylish bar has a selection of great beers, wine and spirits available during the game and our restaurant has the perfect menu to satisfy a hungry footy fans appetite.

We will soon be announcing offers on food and drink for you to enjoy, making The Bastion Bar and Restaurant the place to be this season.

Liverpool vs Leicester City

For a great atmosphere set in chic and stylish surroundings, The Bastion Bar and Restaurant is the number one choice to watch Premier League matches this season.

Screening matches across 10 TV’s and 2 Big Screens every seat in the house has a great view. We will also have some wonderful offers on food and drinks during the games, so make sure The Bastion Bar and Restaurant is your number one choice to enjoy the football this season.

Tottenham vs Liverpool

For the best place to watch Liverpool take on Tottenham during the Premier League tournament, join us at The Bastion Bar and Restaurant, where every seat is the best seat in the house.

Coming soon our offers on food and drink for you to enjoy whilst supporting your team

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Head to The Shankly Hotel’s Bastion Bar and Restaurant for the best place to watch this years Premier League matches.

Stay tuned for some fabulous offers on food and drinks available for whilst the games are on.

Second Euro Exit Within a Week is Not as Shocking as the First!

I have to confess right away, I am not a fan of the English national team. I’m not sure when and where this happened; I seem to remember being full of patriotism during Euro 96, but somewhere between now and then I’ve actually developed something of a dislike for our nations football team. I can only hazard a guess as to some of the reasons why.

I think traditionally a lot of patriotism towards the national side is London-centric, and over the years travelling around the country with Liverpool has lead me into contact with a number of fans of other clubs whose behaviour left a sour taste in the mouth. Perhaps I identify them with fans of England. There is of course the feeling that Liverpool as a city and Scousers see themselves as fiercely independent from the rest of the country. We rally round our own and after being on the receiving end of the biggest government cover up in the history of the British justice system; you can’t really blame us for looking away from that British Bulldog style feeling.

Or maybe it’s the idea that an inherent arrogance surrounds the national team’s plight, despite only ever achieving success way back in 1966 as a nation. It was an arrogance in many ways that was in full flow last night against Iceland and yet a familiar story come the final whistle. An arrogance with no substance resulting in England out of yet another tournament, having hugely underachieved and with another manager heading for the hills.

I have to admit, I sat with a wry smile last night as the England’s superstars postured uncomfortably as they ran out of ideas on how to break down ‘little’ Iceland. I’d already developed a soft spot for them in the wake of Ronaldo’s comments after his Portugal side failed to beat them in the first group game.

His sentiments irked me a lot if I am being honest and in many ways were the perfect metaphor for England’s national teams problems. A sense of self entitlement. Ronaldo seemed to think that Portugal had a god given right to roll over Iceland, a country I believe in their first ever meaningful International Tournament, and a nation with just 330,000 people in situ (so less than Liverpool as a City). Indeed the fact that they celebrated wildly having avoided defeat to Portugal was in some way offensive to Ronaldo who insisted that, “only one team came to win the game,” and that, “you’d think they had won the tournament.” It brought down the red mist for me personally and I indicated via social media that instead of the petulant stance he had taken, perhaps it would have been better to look at his own personal failures in front of goal that night, and that of his team on the whole, rather than point the finger of blame elsewhere.

England team

It is a notion that the English national team should take heed of also. Every single tournament they approach it with the same sense of arrogance and self-entitlement. “We are England, home of the Premier League, fear us!” (a sentiment that seemed to have spilled over to the fans also until the Russians turned up). And every time, it ends the same way. Exit and sub-standard performances. In a world that saw Leicester City defy the juggernaut that is modern day football, right here in their very own back yard; you would have thought England’s footballers would have entered Euro 2016 with a sense of caution; and a refining of the essence of the game that inspires no ego’s, hard work and a desire to run through brick wall’s for your team mates. Sadly for England there was only one team on display last night that elicited that and they play France in a few days’ time whilst Joe Hart and co sun themselves on a beach.

This current England side seemed to be seduced by the successes they had in a sub-standard qualifying group, and coupled with the usual over indulged romanticism of the nation’s press when it comes to England, brought rise to the notion that this group of players seemed to be some sort of golden generation. A misguided sentiment if ever there was one. Throw into the mix the fact the manager, a lovely bloke we are all told, is one of the most over rated, average managers I have ever had the displeasure to experience, what was produced was a team high on over confidence, full of individuals, harbouring a fierce sense of self-entitlement and one with no discernible game plan imposed on it by the ‘manager’ and ‘coaching’ team. You can, if you wish, drill down into specifics.

Why was Wayne Rooney shoe horned into the side with this idea that all of a sudden he is a world class midfielder. No. He is either good enough to start up front or not. Which one is it. If it’s ‘not’ then he starts from the bench. Midfielders who had great seasons with their clubs were either sat on the bench or not in the squad at all. Milner, Barkley, Noble, Drinkwater all spring to mind.

What was the game plan and the system? What was the preferred starting XI. Roy is still working it out, it is just a shame he didn’t work it out as quick as he worked up that resignation statement.

If a team/squad had been put together that had a clear game plan, with players playing in their correct positions, based on form and not reputation, and crucially, had been moulded into a unit designed to work for each other and as a team, not individuals, then I am sure progress would have been much more achievable. Previous England sides have had much bigger and better individuals in tow (Gerrard, Lampard, Beckham, Scholes, Terry), and failed due to the same misgivings and having fallen into the same trap that individuals will bail the team out or drag them through with pieces of individual brilliance because let’s face it, “we’re England and we deserve it.”

Antonio Conte summed it up brilliantly with his perspective on Italy, a side who I personally am tipping for success this year. He stated that his squad does not harbour the same individual brilliance of former Italian sides and that his task has been about moulding a team who work for each other and win as a unit, not as individuals. It was a beautifully refreshing piece of honesty and humility from a manager of a nation who have achieved regularly throughought their history. Maybe when the FA look to appoint their next manager, they take that into consideration but I wouldn’t hold your breath. As for me, I’m a Shankly, aren’t I? Scottish blood flows through these veins!

 

Sink or Swim time for Klopp

To kick off the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals, Liverpool FC are due to take on Villarreal. A challenge for Jürgen Klopp, who is yet to bring home a UEFA win on Spanish soil. Both sides are entering the fray unbeaten, with our reds being the first team to have gone 12 games undefeated in a single UEFA Europa League campaign. Let us hope that the last four wins for Jürgen can afford us a victory on Spanish turf, and give him something worth smiling about.

smile

source; www.skysports.com

 Since a friendly match ending 0-0, in 2008, Villarreal and Liverpool have never faced off in a UEFA Club competition. Although “The Yellow Submarine”, did grace the shores of the Mersey in the summer of 2015, going up against the Reds’ nemesis’ Everton and came out on top in a 2-1 defeat. The Villarreal fans followed up this win by gracing The Cavern’s patrons with a rendition of the “Yellow Submarine” song, made famous by The Beatles, but the title of which is a nickname the supporters chose for their team in the late 60’s.

Yellow Sub

source; www.absofcakes.blogspot.com

Liverpool fans are hopeful that 2016 could be the year to bring home a fourth UEFA Europa League title, with the second leg of this meet going down on home turf, and with Liverpool having remained undefeated at home this campaign. Villarreal yet to win at any of their last 10 matches against Premier League opponents, only adds to the high spirits of Liverpool supporters.

Villarreal vs Liverpool

source; www.premiertrophies.co.uk

However a comment from Marcos Senna, former Villarreal player, sums up the reaction to the pairing with UEFA.com news “There are no favourites anymore”, and with Cedric Bakambu, Villarreal star forward, being on top form, Klopp knows what lies ahead. Hopes are pinned on Simon Mingolet, having not missed a minute of play since group stages began, being on his game for this meeting.

cedvssim

source; www.espnfc.com and www.whoscored.com

To credit the Spanish side, The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, will be serving up a feast of the ever present footy food staple, meat and potato pie, but with a twist of Española. Supplied by Homebaked Anfield, a socially enterprising local bakery, the usual meat and potato filling will be substituted with a chorizo, Spanish meatballs, and patatas bravas creation. All profits of which are invested back into the local community.

Combine this with a free drink and a seat in The Bastion Bar, you’ve found the ideal surrounding to watch this clash play out. To book your seat call 0151 601 8801.

What Went Wrong for the Reds Last Night?

I don’t think anyone can hide their disappointment at last night’s result. To lose two cup finals in one season is hard for any fan to take and, of course, we can’t overlook the vast incentive that had been on offer of Champions League qualification for next season. Whether this will play a factor in Klopp’s rebuilding strategy for next year remains to be seen. My heart says no, but my head says yes. My hope is that the infectious nature of the manager combined with the fact that Liverpool FC will always be one of the biggest clubs in the world will see us still able to attract the biggest players on the planet. Goetze certainly comes into that category and, frankly, I’m not sure how true the rumours have been up until now. I’m from the school of people who don’t believe it until I see them sat at Melwood holding the shirt up, but, the fact is, he is a world-class performer and, if Klopp wants him, I hope we get him. The signing of a proven world-class schemer will always then be an anchor for others. We shall see.

So what went wrong last night? I don’t think it was anything that hasn’t been symptomatic of Liverpool’s all season. That said, the issues we had last night that conspired to hand us defeat are the issues we as fans and the manager and his staff have been acutely aware of all season.

First up is the lack of a genuine on field leader. Jordan Henderson as club captain didn’t play a part last night due to fitness and, even so, I am not convinced at his leadership qualities when he is on the field. He is a mouthy little so and so and I like that; he won’t back down to anyone, but that tends to be with opposition players and referees. I am not convinced he believes himself that he has the credentials to lead a Liverpool team and when his team mates need geeing up and picking up, it rarely comes from him as an individual. The self-belief just isn’t there, in that I think he truly thinks that if he started screaming at team mates he’d be almost told to “do one!”

lfc sturridge

As vice-captain, James Milner is more your lead-by-example type of captain. His tireless work ethic sets the benchmark for the rest of the team, but the problem here is that this doesn’t always inspire team mates, more so the crowd in many respects.

When either of these has been absent from the field, the captain’s arm band at Liverpool this season has been passed round from pillar to post, (I think even Sturridge took it against Chelsea for a period), confirming the fears that there just isn’t a natural leader in the team who fits the bill. As a result, and you can chart this the whole season, not just last night; when we face adversity on the field, namely in the shape of conceding a goal, heads drop and players start hiding, as there is no leader to rattle them from the slumber.

Sevilla’s equaliser last night was a classic example of this. Players sleeping from the first whistle, and a goal conceded 30 seconds in the half and all of a sudden, panic stations, heads down and a game of hide-and-seek from many of the players in Liverpool red. What was needed was a period of calm for 10 minutes after conceding. Keep hold of the ball, slow the tempo, give every player a touch of the ball and take the momentum out of Sevilla who clearly have their tails up after getting themselves back in the game. With no ‘leader’ to orchestrate this Liverpool fell into the trap they have all season after conceding and a second and more that point were always inevitable; you only have to think back to games like Southampton away, Newcastle at home and Sunderland at home to see my point.

lfc europa

Secondly, was the lack of performance from our so called better players when it most matters. True world-class footballers don’t wait for the game to find them. They go and take the game by the scruff of the neck and run it themselves. I don’t want to single out players but it is hard not to, so I will. Phillipe Coutinho is often mentioned in the same sentence as the words, ‘world class’, yet for me, he will always struggle to justify that if he continues to float in and out of games, especially big ones. Is that something you could ever level at Messi, Ronaldo or Suarez? He skirted round the periphery of the game last night and had no impact on proceedings at all. And he wasn’t the only one. Roberto Firmino has caught the imagination of Liverpool fans in the clichéd difficult first season in English football, but there is a worry there for me that he suffers to much from the same problem of his Brazillian counterpart Coutinho. He is either right on it or he is anonymous and, again, last night he had little impact on proceedings. Sturridge at least produced one piece of genius in the game, yet in the second half when the chips were down, looked like he had one eye on Euro 2016. Where was the running in behind, working the channels etc.?

The only consolation you can take is that Klopp now must know clearly what his team needs for next season and must now set about getting it. Genuine competition for Sturridge up front is needed; as well as a genuinely class ball playing midfielder who is comfortable in possession, understand the game inside out and isn’t afraid to put a foot in where needed. A world class centre half is needed and I think we can all now see the need for another left back. Within his recruitment of these players, Klopp needs to find himself someone who has the persona to be his leader and his general on the pitch, an individual who not only leads by example performance wise, but has the self-belief to say, “I am captain of Liverpool FC,” whilst truly believing he is worthy of that accolade and whom knows that is he asked it, his team would go to war on his command.

Over to you, Jurgen. “Shankly, don’t worry, about a thing, cos every little thing, is gonna be alright…”