Sometimes an event invite comes along which simply intrigues you, and the email from It’s In Nottingham inviting me to the Nottingham Secret Dinner Club certainly did that. With no instructions other than to meet at the left lion of the Council House at 6.30pm I definitely wanted to know what they had planned for us.
After a quick drink with Kaylea and Hayley, we headed to the left lion to meet the gang where we were told we’d be visiting three venues over the course of the evening for some of the best food and drink in town.
The first stop was one of my favourite cocktail bars in town, the Boilermaker. An unassuming shop front with just a boiler houses a ‘secret’ bar with a beautifully intricate interior. The team served us up with a cocktail celebrating all things Nottingham called the Left Lion – naturally.
Coffee from Outpost Coffee, London Dry Gin, syrup created by Doughnotts and tonic was combined with a tonka bean liquer that the team at Boilermaker make themselves. I’m not usually a huge lover of coffee-based cocktails but I’d definitely order this sweet and smooth one again. Settling us into the evening with a cocktail was a really nice way for us to catch up with old faces and get to know some new ones. One thing that the East Midlands has down is the fantastic blogging community!
The next venue was another of Nottingham’s offerings that I’m a big fan of. The Curious venues are dotted around the city and each one has it’s own thing. The Curious Tavern is an oyster bar with dark moody interior lit almost exclusively by candlelight. A rhubarb and gin-based cocktail was placed in front of me along with a bloody gorgeous beef and stout pie accompanied by mash and minted mushy peas.
Despite having been to Curious Tavern many times I’d only ever sampled their drinks. If the rest of their food is as good as that pie I’ll be a happy northern bird.
No night is complete without dessert, so we got whizzed off to our last venue of the night. Homemade is a cake shop and cafe that I’ve walked past a million times but never actually made it in. A bit of a surprise as I’m always super tempted by the cakes in the window. We were greeted warmly by the staff who had opened late especially for us. They treated us to raspberry lemonade and not one but three desserts: raspberry and lemon cake, After Eight brownie and Oreo cheesecake.
The idea of having a Nottingham Secret Dinner Club was a really good one. I loved not knowing where we were going each time we moved on. Whether you’re looking for chains or independents, Nottingham has a really strong food and drink scene. There’s a tonne of places I need to try, but you can bet I’ll munch my way around even more!