by Fiona Duncan-Steer

Author: Fiona Duncan

Spotlight Bar & Restaurant & Lets Rock! The Retro Winter Tour, Motorpoint Arena

Spotlight Bar & Restaurant & Lets Rock! The Retro Winter Tour, Motorpoint Arena

Motorpoint Arena’s previously known Platinum Suite situated on level 4, has recently undergone an exciting transformation, taking itself from a generic conference suite to a vibrant and stylish bar/restaurant aptly named ‘Spotlight’, open for all events, Nottingham Panther’s games and also available for private hire… […]

Bottomless Brunch at St James Hotel

Bottomless Brunch at St James Hotel

Bottomless brunch is becoming something of a trend right now in many bars and restaurants, however St James Hotel is the first UK independent hotel I have come across to offer such thing and so when invited to try it out I was pleasantly surprised […]

Birchover Residences presents…Bridgford Hall

Birchover Residences presents…Bridgford Hall

Described as the ‘jewel in their crown’, Birchover Residences’ most recent development located in the heart of West Bridgford, Nottingham was refurbished and opened in May 2017.

The well-known and popular Bridgford Hall is steeped in history dating back to 1768, having been family homes to both the Musters and Heymann families.  The refurbishment was carried out in conjunction with English Heritage in order to restore the building to its former grandeur.  In recent years the hall is most known as a wedding venue and registration office operated by the Nottinghamshire County Council, making this the perfect location for your special day, with the two grand ceremony rooms and of course the range of two and three bedroom suites, with a total of seven luxury apartments available.

The building itself is easy to locate being in the centre of the West Bridgford, accessible via the main car park on Central Avenue, where your own private carpark is located just behind the main library directly in front of the main entrance and what’s more your car park space is linked with the same name as your apartment, making the parking and check in process super-efficient.  Prior to checking in you will receive all your details on both an email and text message giving you the relevant door codes in case the reception is not manned when you arrive.

The reception area is beautiful with shabby chic style furniture and country décor.  There is a bathroom within this area and a large lift.  The staircase is wide and the natural light floods in through the large windows from ground to top floor, offering a great experience upon arrival.

Our room was ‘The Millicent Suite’ named after Millicent musters- the daughter in law of Sir John Musters – a previous owner of the hall.  Millicent actually won the estate in a hand of cards whilst playing against Henry Pierrepont, Marquess of Dorchester!

Our key was within a key safe outside the door- we didn’t see or hear anyone throughout the entire duration of our stay, which was actually really lovely, as it gave the feeling that we were in our own house for the entire time undisturbed.

The apartment itself was beautifully designed and decorated very much in-keeping with the character of the building, simple décor in mostly grey tones, with splashes of purple throughout with a modern contemporary kitchen featuring all necessary facilities, including a washing machine, large dishwasher, electric cooker and hob, large fridge freezer and all the cooking accessories we needed to entice us to stay in rather than head out to eat.  In fact, we decided that as the apartment was so lovely, we needn’t to go out in the evening at all and decided to head over to the local Marks and Spencer to buy in our food to cook and make use of the kitchen.

We noticed that in true Birchover style upon arrival there was milk in the fridge, a selection of tea bags and cereals gifted to us which is always a nice touch.

The lounge area is open to the kitchen with a settee facing the television on the wall above the unused fireplace, side table and large feature lamps with a pretty limed oak wooden dining table for two.

The hallway led us down two carpeted stairs to the bathroom on the right, which was done to a high spec- grey tiled walls, a large power shower and sink with toiletries and towels provided.

The bedroom was also large and contained nice featured furniture such as a refurbished full length wooden framed mirror painted in grey, a dressing table to match and a chaise long at the foot of the bed.

Large lamps with shades were either side of the bed and the room was carpeted and had plenty of bedding and plush cushions to give it a homely feel.

Following a brief walk in the local park (just outside the building) and a trip to M&S, our time was mostly spent in the apartment enjoying the luxurious surroundings, eating and watching television- experiencing a real home from home stay.

Plus, it was a bonus that our view overlooked the front gardens of the beautiful hall where we were honoured to witness two weddings.

Bridgford Hall makes a great stay for guests of weddings at the venue, as well as offering a cosy, luxurious getaway whether for business or pleasure, with families welcomed.

More information can be found here – http://www.thebirchoverresidences.com/bridgford-hall/

The Sleepy Vegetarian

Birchover Residences presents: Juniper Court

Birchover Residences presents: Juniper Court

Located on the edge of Nottingham’s Park Estate, notably one of the most affluent areas of the city, the recently refurbished Juniper Court offers a home from home stay in their luxury self-catered apartments… The high ceilings are first to be noticed, giving character to […]

Sunday lunch at The Tap & Run

Sunday lunch at The Tap & Run

The Tap and Run is the latest venture from the Cat & Wickets Pub Company, owned by Dan Cramp and England cricketers, Stuart Broad and Harry Gurney. Aptly named, the venue itself offers a cosy, home from home atmosphere, something you’d come to expect from […]

The Wine Room, Mapperley

The Wine Room, Mapperley

The Wine Room Mapperley is a welcomed addition to the Nottingham bar scene, aimed at; as its name suggests those who have a passion for wine.  Co-owners Debbie and Peter both share a love of everything related to the vino variety and so welcome to Nottingham- The Wine Room.

Located in the up and coming area of Mapperley, Nottingham, the wine bar offers over sixty varieties of wines, sparkling wines and Champagnes from all over the world, as well as a good-sized food menu offering everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner and themed events combining food, wine and fun.

If you are not a fan of wine, then do not fret however, The Wine Room have a fully stocked bar offering a range of spirits, beers and teas/coffees and with their vast knowledge they are always more than happy to recommend their tastiest tipples and if you’re lucky may even let you try before you buy.

I headed down recently to sample the new menu and of course a glass of two of wine…

The venue is cosy with an intimate, home from home feel- the kind of place you end up staying far longer than planned, parked on a wooden table, with a bottle of your favourite wine and a bowl of Bombay mix.  Candles on the table, innovative ceiling lights made from wine glasses and chalk boards offering the latest specials all add to the warm atmosphere Mapperley once lacked.

Peter the co-owner looked after us during our evening meal and was very tentative, recommending a very nice Uby No.6 Cotes De Gascogne rose and white No.3 for us to try.  The menu contained some well known and popular dishes such as sirloin steak, salmon en croute and chicken and chorizo risotto.  For vegetarian moi vegetable tart or stuffed peppers was on offer- I went for the peppers which came packed full of cous cous, topped with grilled halloumi cheese.  My dining partner opted for the tagliatelle Bolognese, which was a good portion size, containing meaty chunks and was very tasty so I am told.  The carb filled (our choice) options also included a garlic sourdough bread and triple cooked chips on the side, which were both delicious.

They choose to omit a starter option on the menu and simply focus on a few signature main dishes with accompaniments such as warm buttered spinach with crumbled feta, oven vine tomatoes and buttered mash to name a few.  Dessert of course is then to follow should one be so inclined and inclined we were as we decided to share mixed berry Eton mess which arrived with lashings of fresh whipped cream and a combination of both plain and chilli meringue- a wise choice and fit well with our recent sunshine.

We noticed that other options on the dessert section included alcoholic ice-cream- very fitting for a wine bar and they also offer boozy afternoon tea from £19 per person.

Whilst chatting in between dishes of course we looked through the table material and chalk boards promoting upcoming events and were delighted by an Italian pop up night, charcuterie, cheese and wine evening and whisky tasting all coming up over the next couple of months.

Fridays are also dedicated to ‘Fizz & chips’ offering beer battered fish goujons, with triple cooked chips and a glass of fizz- they have most things covered I’d say!

I took myself on a little tour of the venue and noticed The Wine Room have an upstairs function room which can be privately hired for special occasions/events and have exciting plans to refurbish this with a permanent upstairs bar area and outside terrace over-looking the nightlife of Mapperley.

All in all, my first experience of The Wine Room was a positive one and highlights included the friendly welcome received, cosy atmosphere and delicious wine, so I will most certainly look forward to returning and with it being on my doorstep there really is no excuse.

More information can be found at – www.thewineroommapperley.com/

The Sleepy Vegetarian

Playa Day Club & Restaurant, Nottingham

Playa Day Club & Restaurant, Nottingham

Playa Day Club is a brand-new concept bought to Nottingham by the Mellor’s Group in the form of a trendy pop up bar, club and restaurant located in the Old Market Square. The feel is that of something you would typically find in Marbella or […]

One The Brayford, Lincoln

One The Brayford, Lincoln

My recent stay at the stunning self-catered apartment, One The Brayford in Lincoln was made all the more special when I discovered just where it was located- adjacent to the waterfront known as Brayford Wharf with a spectacular view overlooking the harbour. A stroll along […]

The Alchemist Nottingham

The Alchemist Nottingham

The meaning of the word alchemist translates to a person who transforms or creates something through a seemingly magical process.  This perfectly sums up the entire ethos behind The popular bar/restaurant The Alchemist, where I had the pleasure of visiting recently in Nottingham for a matinee performance…

They themselves describe themselves as ‘masters in the dark art arts of molecular mixology as well as demons in the kitchen’ and I can second that considering my experience encompassed bubbling broth, colour changing cocktails and boozy fire- all in the one sitting!

The venue itself is large, think high industrial ceilings, black gothic /steam punk artwork when observed closely reveals the weird and wonderful.  Everything is themed and extremely theatrical- this was right up my street.

The bar is mammoth with the hustle and bustle of the mixologist magicians hard at work creating their wondrous masterpieces for all to sample.  The cocktail menu is more of a novel wonderfully descriptive, I could have made my way through each and every one, but decided to try the ‘CC’ – Colour Changing one – not for the fact it contained Grey Goose vodka, Briottet apple, citrus and soda, but because it contained ‘magic’ – the suspense was unbearable!  

My CC arrived in a glass tumbler with two miniature glass laboratory bottles containing a different coloured potion in each.  It was my job to pour one into my tumbler at a time and watch the dry ice form and spill over, first turning the liquid blue then purple then finally pink.

We took centre stage in a comfortable booth with a great view across the venue which allowed us to enjoy the performances of food being served in a only way The Alchemist can serve food and equally the reactions from patrons faces was just as entertaining.

The menu is extensive and again based around the concept of theatre; Act 1 (from the nibbles section) being the vegan Alchemiso Broth purely ordered due to its description of Tofu, sweetcorn, chilli, spring onion and ‘theatre’- I was sold purely on intrigue!  To my delight when the broth arrived, dry ice was poured over the top of the bowl from a small jug creating the impressive smoking effect of a bubbling cauldron.  Act 2 – the starters, saw us ordering the Breaded Halloumi Sticks served with a delicious sweet mustard mayo and Warm Ciabatta with olive oil and balsamic to share.

The main event was the vegan Moving Mountains Burger, which to my delight was 100% plant based, contained 20g of protein and was served with Rubies sustainable ketchup & vegan mayo.   There was also an upgrade option of either swiss, halloumi or dolcelatte cheese and even avocado if you so wished.  I stuck with the popular swiss burger cheese and enjoyed this with salad and a side order of skinny fries.   My non vegetarian dining partner opted for the Chicken in a Basket served with fries, coleslaw and BBQ sauce which ironically arrived in a chicken shaped basket.  I was pleased to see a vegetarian alternative to this- Seitan in a Basket also – something for next time. 

For afters and undoubtedly the piece de resistance- Cotton Candy Baked Alaska- why?

Well because it was ‘boozy with fire’ of course!  A waffle was lathered in gelato, gooey meringue and Grand Marnier, decorated with poofs of coloured candy floss or ‘cotton candy’ as our American friends refer to it.   This was ever so sweet if a little too sweet for my taste as I’m more of a citrus tart kinda gal , however my dining partner polished it off with no hesitation and the added theatre of the flambé was a nice touch to conclude what I can only describe as an overall bravo performance, worthy of an encore.

The Sleepy Vegetarian 

Hilton East Midlands

Hilton East Midlands

Hilton Hotel group have always had a great reputation for doing exactly what they say on the tin, consistent, affordable accommodation with all amenities covered and Hilton East Midlands are no exception, with their fantastic location just four miles from East Midlands airport, this is […]