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We are often asked to do reviews for venues in Nottinghamshire - these can be restaurants, attractions - in fact, anything that is a 'Thing to do in Nottinghamshire'. 

We hope that you find our opinion useful - we try to be as honest and objective as we can but we will tell you if there is something we really don't like too!


If you have a 'Thing to do in Nottinghamshire' that you'd  like us to review, please get in touch!  We don't ask for any payment for the reviews we do.
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Revolucion de Cuba
4th February 2018

Revolucion de Cuba in Nottingham city centre has launched a new concept in weekend dining and we were invited along to give it a try.

There’s something special about walking into RDC on a cold day – the heating is on and there is an atmosphere of warmth, friendliness and good food.  People around us were already tucking into their lunchtime fayre and our tastebuds were instantly tingling from the aromatic smells permeating the air.

Enough of my lyrical waxing.  Enter the new Bottomless Brunch menu which was, after all, the reason we were there and is surely going to be a mainstay of the Nottingham scene in 2018.

The idea:  You pay £25 and, in return, you receive one brunch dish and bottomless drinks for 2 hours. Sound good so far?  If you like a drink, or two, or three between 11am and 2pm at the weekend, there’s a good chance you’ll like this deal.  Their mantra is “We’ll keep the drinks coming, just say the word” and, as long as you’re a fan of Prosecco, Bloody Mary, Classic Mojito and Mahou you’re all set (tea, coffee and soft drinks are also included).  Obviously, they don’t want people to totally overindulge but, as long as you’re behaving relatively sensibly, this is a great opportunity to get a lot of bang for your bucks – and a perfect idea for weekend get-togethers!


Brekkie Burrito

The Brunch menu is substantial, with plenty of choice – most made with a South American twist.  Fancy a Full Grilled Breakfast or a Bacon and Egg Brioche – that’s fine.  However, if you want to try something a little different, I totally recommend the Brekkie Burrito.  The last time I had a Breakfast Burrito was from McDonalds in Colorado in 1999 and the delicious memory of it has stayed with me.  Revolucion de Cuba had a lot to live up to and I’m delighted to say that they did.  The flour tortilla was stuffed with sausage, chorizo, egg, refried Pinto beans, jalepenos and cheese and topped off with bacon – I’m not even sure that I can describe how tasty this huge construction of incredibleness was.  Served with tomatoes and cucumbers, splashed in a light oil, this was the perfect antidote to today’s hangover. 

   

My verdict?  I think this is going to be winner.  With good food, great value and a cracking atmosphere, the Bottomless Brunch at Revolucion de Cuba gets my vote – and you don’t have to worry about all the faff of splitting the bill at the end!

You can find out more about Revolucion de Cuba in Nottingham here.

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Freestyle Trampoline Park, Kirkby in Ashfield
21st January 2018

Quite a few trampoline centres have opened up around Nottinghamshire over the past couple of years but we were not aware of the Freestyle Trampoline Park at Kirkby-in-Ashfield until they asked us to pop over and try them out.

On arrival at Freestyle, we were greeted by manager Dan, who provided our children (Jake and Evie) with special jumping socks, asked us to sign a quick waiver and directed us over to the waiting area.  Safety is big here and everyone who jumps must watch a video which outlines the dos and don’ts – however, its been done in a cartoony style, which was easy to follow and helped to keep the attention of the many children there.

Freestyle is big. All the trampolining is on one level, making it perfect for spectators and the more nervous kids, who might want to keep an eye on their parents (and vice versa).  There are plenty of staff strategically placed around the venue, who are friendly and helpful and there to try to prevent any broken limbs (of which, apparently, there have been very few since the park opened!). This snowy Sunday afternoon was the perfect time to spend an hour warming up indoors, so Freestyle was busy but there still felt like there was plenty of room for everyone.

   

There is certainly plenty to keep you occupied for an hour at Freestyle.  As well as a huge amount of trampolines set into the main floor, there is a gladiator-style battle beam, a couple of big airbags and slam-dunk (basketball) nets.  There’s also a traversing wall – where you pick an electronic game and then whack the lights as you travel across and a couple of dodgeball courts.  My 12 year old son likes nothing better than expending energy by throwing balls at speed and he’d soon got a bit of a game going with some of the other lads there.


The atmosphere at Freestyle was vibrant today, with some banging music (but not too loud to give you a headache) and, at times, flashing lights and smoke, which made it feel like we were all at a big party.  Apparently, they also do fitness classes and sensory sessions during the week, so there’s plenty of opportunity for all ages to get involved and get some exercise.


For those of you who want to find something for the kids to do but don’t want to jump yourself (my hand is up here) there is a great café area selling drinks and hot and cold snacks and plenty of seating – it’s kept clean and tidy, which is a big must for me.  There’s also a small soft play area for little kids in the café area and, very importantly, the coffee is pretty good and not expensive!

So, what did we think of Freestyle Trampoline Park.  Well, it got a big thumbs-up from 9 year old Evie and 12 year old Jake.  Evie said that there were lots of different things for her to do and she would really like go back with her friends.  Although not quite understanding the rules, she loved the traversing wall!  Jake enjoyed the airbags, the dodgeball and the slush drink afterwards – madness on such a cold day but he loved it!

Trampolining is a great fun activity and as well as being fantastic exercise, it’s also very good value for money at just £5.95 for an hour’s session, which is the cheapest in the East Midlands. Socks cost £1 extra but you can reuse them for future visits.

There is plenty of free parking at the venue and, in my opinion, it was well worth the relatively short trip for us from Nottingham to Kirby-in-Ashfield.  This is especially worth noting if you are taking a few kids or organising a party, as you could save a substantial amount on the overall cost by going there rather than one of the Nottingham-based centres.

You can find out more about Kirkby-in-Ashfield’s Freestyle Trampoline Park, including information about kids parties, corporate events and school trips by visiting their website here.

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Farmer Day at White Post Farm

22nd January 2018

I’ve long harboured a not-so-secret desire to work at White Post Farm.  The thought of spending time with all the lovely, cuddly animals just seems like the perfect job to me, so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to get a taster of what happens on one of their Farmer Days.

My guide for the afternoon was Farmer Anthony (other guides are available) who asked me what I wanted to see and do and then suggested some fun activities.  The great thing about these Farmer Days is that the customer gets to choose the kind of stuff they’d like to experience.  You like reptiles – you can spend a few hours with the snakes and other critters.  If meerkats are more your thing, that’s no problem, because these days are tailored specifically for you.  Almost even better is that fact that they give you a White Post Farm sweatshirt to wear for the day (and keep)!!

 

We started our trip around the Farm in the reptile house where we met Craig.  As well as spending his days with bugs, worms and arachnids, Craig also takes the creatures out on roadshows – so what he doesn’t know about the eating habits of tarantulas probably isn’t worth knowing.  After being slightly disturbed by witnessing feeding time for the bearded dragons (I can’t help feeling sorry for the locusts!) Farmer Ant decided that I needed some fresh air, so he grabbed some worms and we headed off to meet the giant tortoises.

There is something really special about being able to go into areas that are usually fenced off, so actually getting the chance to go inside the giant tortoise enclosure and meet 29 year old Hulk and his girlfriends was a real highlight.  This prehistoric-looking African Spur Thigh trio obviously loves it when people pop in to see them (or maybe, like dogs, it’s because we had some food for them) but they were soon following me around and sticking their heads out for a stroke.  

Moving on to the next-door meerkat enclosure, it was difficult to not want to grab one and cuddle it. However, think Verucca Salt with the squirrel in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The staff at White Post Farm deliberately do not try to tame the 5 male meerkats and, although it is safe for staff to go into the enclosure to leave food for them, much closer contact is not advised!  They are incredibly cute though and are friendly to a point, especially when you are distributing the rather disgusting worms they love to eat. 

 

Our next visit was to the animals you could cuddle – the baby goats! As some of the goats had only been born in December, it was definitely cuteness overload.  Don’t wear your best clothes on a Farmer Day – there is a very good chance that you will have furry animals climbing over you! We also got the chance to meet the sheep and the reindeer up close and learn about how they are looked after on the farm. 

Next, we took two of the Shetland ponies, Holly and Charlie, out for a walk around the Farm.  As usual, I had absolutely no control, so Charlie took full advantage and ate as much grass as he possible could (sorry White Post Farm!) but we managed to make it up to the paddock to see the donkeys. To be fair, the ponies are absolutely gorgeous and very gentle and it was just like walking a large dog.  After a quick brush down back in the stable, our last port of call was back to the reptile house to give the baby tortoises a bath. 

It’s hard to image that these tiny things are the children of the humungous Hulk but it was a real treat to be able to handle them and learn more about how they live and what they eat.  And that’s the great thing about days like this – as well as being tons of fun, they are also very educational (without being at all boring).

No matter how much I hinted, no job offer was forthcoming, so I reluctantly ended my time at White Post Farm, having had an amazing time and learned lots.  The staff are wonderful, so friendly and always happy to answer questions – no matter how random - and they obviously love working with and take a great deal of care of the animals.

If you fancy spending some time down on White Post Farm, you can enjoy a Farmers Day from £80.  Lunch is provided and the day lasts from 9.30 am until 3.30 pm.  Find out more on their website here.
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Spokes Coffee Bar and Restaurant, Nottingham
17th January 2017

I have to admit that Spokes was not on my radar - in fact, I had never heard about it until I stumbled across a Tweet they'd sent out about their coffee.

Located in the heart of Nottingham University's Jubilee Campus (for those locals reading this - it's where Raleigh used to be) Spokes opened in September 2017 and is actually part of the DeVere Jubilee Conference Centre but quite possibly as different to your expectations of a conference centre restaurant as you could imagine.

The glass frontage allows the inside to merge almost seamlessly with the great outdoors, offering lovely views of the man-made lake, which has its own weir and is a great place to spot birdlife - they even have a resident Heron.  All around the lake are weird and wonderful examples of architecture, housing various University departments and creating an interesting skyline.

 

The interior is warm and spacious, with the kind of friendly atmosphere that would make it far too easy to tag onto the free wifi and lose yourself for a few hours. There are comfy booths and plenty of seating.  Being right in the middle of the university campus, you might expect Spokes to be overrun with students. Not so. The clientele is varied and the vibe is kind of professional but relaxed. The music is played at just the right level - meaning that you can chat to the person opposite without having to resort to lip-reading. 

The decor is pleasant, with plenty of glass, wood and displays of bike wheels on the walls - in remembrance of Nottingham's once booming cycling industry.   Spokes (get it?) offers both lunch and dinner menus and will soon have a fully-licensed bar, although alcohol is currently available at the bar in the conference reception centre, a short stagger away.
 
All around me, people were tucking into a wide variety of dishes from the lunchtime menu, which includes flatbreads, salads and the daily specials (gluten free options are available) - all of which were sizeable in portion. I chose the 11 inch Italian Meats Pizza, which is cooked to order and costs a very reasonable £4.50.  On arrival, I decided that I had chosen wisely.  The pizza was plenty big enough to satisfy 2 people, cooked to perfection and loaded with a variety of toppings.  There were lots of different 200 Degrees coffees to choose from and I washed my pizza down with a rich and creamy cappuchino, which is always a good choice. 

A flatbread with proscuitto ham, plum tomatoes, lettuce and mustard mayonnaise to eat in costs £2.95, with soup of the day at £2.50, making Spokes an attractive prospect for a filling and reasonably-priced lunch.  I genuinely didn't have enough stomach space left to try any of the rather tasty looking cakes on display but I'm sure that I will be returning for coffee and cake again soon.  They will soon be launching a kids' menu and there are plans for Valentines Day and other special events, so basically, watch this space!

      

Whether you arrive by car - free parking is available on-site, bike - there's a bikeshed nearby, or on foot, Spokes is definitely one venue I recommend you try out. With outdoor seating on the patio overlooking the lake in summer, a daily changing specials board and a chilled-out atmosphere, this could be the ideal place for you to escape the hustle and bustle of the City, without actually having to travel very far.

The evening menu offers mains including burgers with fries and salad at £12.95 and mushroom stroganoff at £9.95, as well as a selection of steaks and pizzas.  I can't comment on these but, if you check out their menu, you'll see that there is a reasonable variety.

Spokes is open between 7.00 am and 9.30 pm Monday to Friday and offers table service between 6.00 pm and 9.30 pm. Breakfast is served on a Sunday between 7.30 am and 12.00 noon.    Spokes is located on the Jublilee Campus, Triumph Road NG8 1DH.  Follow the signs to the DeVere Conference Centre.

    

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Orston Shooting Ground
7th January 2017

Having never tried clay pigeon shooting, it was with lots of excitement (and some trepidation) that my son and I headed over to Orston Shooting Ground in Nottinghamshire for a bit of a taster.

The weather was cold but sunny, so it wasn’t the easiest task to drag Jake out of bed on a Sunday morning and persuade him that standing on a field in January was a good idea, particularly as he wasn’t really sure what to expect.  However, he soon perked up when we drove into Orston and heard the rattle of guns from the ground. 

On arrival, our first port of call was the Clubhouse – a warm, comfortable space, filled with wellington clad club members, drinking coffee and chatting about their performance in the field that morning.  We were welcomed by Club Director Emily, who gave us a brief overview and introduced us to double Commonwealth Gold medal winner and Manager of the site Steve, who would be our trainer for the session.

Everyone who books a first session at Orston receives a rather snazzy baseball cap, which we donned with some pride, along with ear defenders and safety glasses.  It quickly becomes apparent that safety is paramount and no-one is allowed to go near any firearm without first receiving in-depth instructions about how to carry, handle and store it.  With so many people around (the Club currently has over 3000 members) no chances are taken when it comes to safety.  Never having handled any kind of firearm before (apart from at the shooting range at the fairground) the thought of actually firing one was pretty scary.  However, Steve was so patient and explained things carefully, in such simple terms, that Jake and I were soon both feeling more confident.



We headed out through the impressive 54 acre site and headed towards a metal cage situated amongst the trees.  Jake stepped up first and with Steve’s expert tutoring had soon decimated every one of his clays.  Not being a fan of guns, seeing my 12 year old son taking aim was slightly unsettling.  However, as the ethos of the Club is to promote the safe and responsible handling of firearms, I quickly came to the conclusion that him witnessing the power, destructive force and possible fatal consequences of misusing guns was a positive experience.

     

We were both soon expertly (!) pulverising the clays, so Steve though that we should move on to something a little more difficult.  The cocky smiles were soon wiped off our faces as the rabbits rolled along the ground – and we missed most of them!  There are loads of different areas at Orston and skills that you can test, so it would be difficult to get bored.

Everyone who shoots at Orson either needs to book a session with a qualified instructor, or obtain a licence and become a member, when it becomes cheaper - costing just £6 for 25 clays.  Most of the instructors have competition level experience, so you are in very safe hands.

Orston caters for ages 10+ and also offers party packages, which can include clay shooting, archery and air rifle targets.  Prices start from £25 for 25 clays and £20 to add on each of the other activities.  All abilities are welcomed, making it ideal for corporate and group events.

To sum up our experience … would I go again?  Yes but, being a little bit nesh, I would probably wait until the weather gets a bit warmer, or dress more appropriately.  Will I progress onto shooting wildlife?  Absolutely not but I have come to realise that one doesn’t necessarily follow the other.  If you enjoy a bit of competition, like being outdoors and want to try something different, you should really consider giving this a go.  The staff are lovely and incredibly patient and helpful and we felt very welcomed by everyone.

Orston Shooting Ground is located on Bottesford Lane in Orston and open Wednesday to Sunday between 9am and 5pm.  You can find out more information at www.orston.com


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The John Wilson Orchestra at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall
1st December 2017 for the Nottingham Post

It is a delight to see the return of conducting supremo John Wilson to Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, complete with his uber-talented orchestra and, this year, a new show ‘A Celebration of the MGM Film Musicals’.

A firm favourite with this Nottingham crowd, Mr Wilson was warmly welcomed, announcing “it’s great to be back at our favourite concert hall in the Country” before launching straight into a toe-tapping overture featuring some of the best music from the Golden Era of Hollywood musicals.

The evening’s songs took us from High Society to Easter Parade, with some mellow tunes from MGM classics including ‘The Pirate’ thrown in for good measure.  The multitude of strings in the orchestra were once again enhanced by the silky voice of soloist Matt Ford and the belting tones of Louise Dearman and the addition of the John Wilson Chorus really took things up a notch this year:  according to the chap sat next to me, the music was even ‘better than the original’.

John Wilson doesn’t talk much – he doesn’t have to when the incredible arrangement of the music speaks for itself.  He pops up every now and again with a witticism, a piece of information about the next tune, or a reminder that tour CDs are available to buy in the foyer but it’s all relevant and served up with good humour.

There were so many highlights this evening but Louise and Matt singing ‘Anything you can do I can do better” from ‘Annie Get your Gun’ deserves special mention, with Louise hitting some very high notes!  This was closely followed by the spectacular ‘Broadway Melody Ballet’ and ‘Applause, Applause’, which was the perfect hand-clapping finale and fully merited the standing ovation it received.

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Turtle Bay Christmas Menu
23rd November 2017


Think of where to have your Christmas party this year and you probably don’t automatically think of Turtle Bay.  With its laid-back Caribbean style, spicy flavours and banging cocktails, Turtle Bay is probably somewhere people often visit to re-live their summer holidays, not to get into the festive spirit.

So, the launch of their new Christmas menu for 2017 is pretty interesting.  What on earth could this restaurant offer that would in any way fit in with the idea of a traditional festive night out?  Well, to be honest, it doesn’t and, furthermore, it doesn’t even try.  You won’t see a hint of turkey or Christmas pudding on this menu, making it an ideal alternative if you’re a bit fed up with the usual fayre.

Walking into Turtle Bay, which is located within Nottingham’s Cornerhouse, we were immediately transported from a rather gloomy day in the City to distant Caribbean shores.  The lighting, the décor, the music, the atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff gelled together to create a warm, welcoming environment, where it would be far too easy to stay for hours – particularly when we saw the substantial cocktail menu.


After choosing a traditional Mojito, which came within a 2-4-1 offer and a Jamaican Shandy, we had a good nosey through the various menus.  There is a choice of Christmas packages that you can choose from but we had pre-ordered the All-Day Festive menu, which costs £24 per person and offers 4 courses.




Hungrily launching into the Garlic ‘N’ Herb Flatbread, which was one of the 3 ‘pre-starters’, we were rendered momentarily speechless by the abundance of flavours we experienced.  The stone baked flatbread was soaked in the garlic and herb butter and served with fresh rocket.  Followed by the Spicy Pork Rinds with Jerk BBQ sauce (their take on pork scratchings) and the Trini Chickpeas, with were dusted with thyme and spice, Turtle Bay’s take on nibbles was pure perfection.



Starting to feel slightly full already, we moved onto our ‘proper starters’ of Duck Rolls and Garlic and Chilli Pit Prawns.  Caution people – these portions are on the large side, so take your time! The Rolls were stuffed with shredded duck, sweet onion, soy sauce and chilli, along with sour orange chutney and were tender and tasty.  The Prawns could have a whole page to themselves.  Whole, shell-on king prawns grilled over a jerk pit and tossed in herb and chilli garlic butter, I could quite happily just imbibe a plate of these and go home happy.  Without being too overboard, they were absolutely amazing – with just the right amount of spice and oozing with flavour.


   

We were slowing down … and the food kept on coming.  Having decided to share and so try as much as we could, our first Main was the Half Jerk Chicken, which had been marinated for 24 hours and pit grilled and served with coconut rice ‘n’ peas and Caribbean slaw and a choice of classic or coconut glaze.  Again, this dish was nothing short of miraculous, especially as I’m not usually a fan of Jerk Chicken!  The rice ‘n’ peas were the ideal partner for the chicken and everything was succulent and cooked to just the right level.


The second Main dish was the Pit Salmon, served with a crispy skin, grain salad and tangy sweet onion chutney and green seasoning.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the salmon did not disappoint in any way.  The skin was indeed crispy but the salmon was tender and the blend of flavours provided by the accompaniments was perfect.


 

We weren’t sure that we would actually be able to sample the puddings but, after undoing a few buttons, we resumed the challenge, going for the Caymanas Upside Down Pudding and the Sticky Black Treacle Pudding.  The former was served warm, with rum caramel and vanilla ice cream  - even thinking about it now is making my mouth water - and the latter with salted caramel, black treacle and vanilla ice cream.  Both were totally moorish and did nothing short of tantalising the tastebuds with a wealth of different textures and flavours.


 

The chefs at Turtle Bay should be proud of themselves – we were served some of the best prepared food we’ve had for a long time.  The portions are sizeable – if you are going for this menu, I’d suggest you don’t eat for a good few hours before and don’t plan on doing anything energetic afterwards – and £24 for such a large amount of food around Christmas time is pretty good value, when you compare it with other establishments in the City Centre.

You can find out more about the Turtle Bay Christmas menus here.

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One Afternoon in Nottingham - Halloween
28th October 2017


Hubby is from up North, so he and our son Jake headed off to watch Nottingham Forest vs Hull today, leaving  Evie and myself to have a girls' trip into Nottingham City Centre, something that we don’t get the chance to do very often.


First stop was intu Victoria Centre where, after the obligatory (and thankfully short) visit to Smiggle, we decided to take a closer look at the Halloween activities on offer.  There were lots of little folk carrying pumpkin buckets around, eagerly searching for the stickers on the windows of participating shops and restaurants and the goodies inside.  The Big Trick or Treat event is on all weekend and there is also free face painting available but, with so much else to see and do, we decided to give it a miss today.




You wouldn’t normally get me anywhere near Primark on a busy Saturday afternoon but my daughter had a giftcard to spend and there was no dissuading her.  We battled the crowds and found the Beauty and the Beast accessories section which, luckily, was very well stocked and with plenty of different characters available.  After snagging Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and whatever the Wardrobe is called for just under £15, we beat a hasty retreat – big tick to Primark from one very happy 9 year old.



After all that jostling, it was time for a bit of a sit-down and a fuel stop.  Anyone familiar with Nottingham will know that there are literally oodles of eateries to choose from.  After discounting Evie’s choice of McDonalds (on this occasion), we headed to Bills Restaurant, which is located just off the Market Square and a particular favourite of mine.  The staff are always friendly and helpful and we were quickly seated and orders taken.  The atmosphere is cheerful and, although the restaurant was very busy, the music was not overpowering, making it the perfect place for a relaxing chat.  Evie chose the steak and chips from the kids’ menu, followed by the chocolate brownie (£6.95 includes apple or orange juice and tortilla chips with veg sticks to start) and I had the Naked Burger – no bun, just lots of salad and tzatziki for £10.50, followed by coffee (and a bit of the chocolate brownie!). 



Time was ticking on for our afternoon in Nottingham, so after lunch, we popped down to the Market Square to experience the Halloween celebrations.  With the UK’s biggest Ghost Train and some hideous-looking contraption that catapults you into the air, there are lots of spooky rides to have a go on and the opportunity to carve a pumpkin for a fiver.  There’s even a bar if you need something to calm your nerves after visiting the Haunted House. 




We had a quick chat with the lovely gents from the Original Nottingham Ghost Walk, who have been telling tales of ghosts and hauntings in Nottingham for many years.  If you’re interested in getting involved, they run tours every Saturday (Jan to Nov) at 7pm from Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem and there’s no need to book. Tours cost £6 for adults and £3 for children. We’ll be doing one of these soon and will let you know how it goes.


The Verdict ...


Nottingham was absolutely buzzing today – lots of people dressed up and out for having a good time and it is fantastic to see so many venues getting into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween.  The fun is certainly going to continue late into the evening and it's certainly worth a visit there if you're looking for something to do this weekend. 


If you want to know what else is happening around Nottingham City Centre, please visit our What's On Guide.


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Revolution Hockley
1st June 2017


Revolution in Hockley at lunchtime is light, bright and welcoming.  On a beautiful day like the one we visited on, it’s outdoor seating area on Broad Street is the ideal place to chill out and enjoy lunch and a cocktail or two.

My mission today, however, was to discover if Revolution is kid-friendly and able to cater for their whims and appetites.  We popped down in the midst of the school summer half-term break, when boredom was just about kicking in and the kids were more than happy to try somewhere different to eat.

Arriving at Revolution right at the start of the lunch session, the restaurant was quiet and almost tranquil, with plenty of seated areas to choose from.  We were greeted warmly by Matt, who swiftly took our drinks orders (top marks Matt) and handed out menus.

The kids’ menu, which costs £5.95 for a main, side, veg, dessert and a drink, has plenty of options to choose from.  There are all the usual suspects that smaller people seem to like, including burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese, fishfingers and chicken goujons.  With the main comes a choice of sides, plus carrot sticks, mushy peas, baked beans or cucumber ribbons.

Evie (aged 8 with a tendency to try to be ‘choosy about food’) went for the interesting sounding Chicken Lollies – which turned out to be chilled chicken breast on lollipop sticks, served with garlic bread and cucumber ribbons.

Jake (aged 12 – loves curry and already starts challenges about who can eat the hottest food on the menu) decided on the pepperoni pizza which chips – sneakily managing to not order any veg while I was distracted by the adult menu.

The booth we sat in was comfortable, with a selection of games and books thoughtfully arranged nearby – the kids enjoyed a game or two of Guess Who while we were waiting for the food.  The kids’ menu turns into an i-spy puzzle, so there is colouring and a bit of detective work for them to do, which is good fun.

The kids’ portions were pretty much spot on.  Jake’s pizza certainly looked homebaked, with plenty of cheese and pepperoni, on a tasty base.  Evie pronounced that everything on her plate was delicious (result!) and loved the fact that she was allowed to eat the chicken lollipops without a knife or fork.  The chicken was very tender and the garlic flatbread was tasty but not overpowering.

Us grown-ups fared equally well.  My chicken Caesar salad was huge, with heaps of lettuce and strips of chicken.  Hubby’s steak and ale pie, served with skin on chips and mushy peas, was equally flavoursome, with well cooked meat and lots of gravy.

For dessert, the kids managed to squeeze in the Fluffwich soldiers (Nutella and marshmallow in brioche, served with warm Nutella) and a portion of ice cream, before declaring themselves well and truly stuffed.

Mike and I shared the apple pie, washed down with a very nice cup of coffee.  The apple pie came with vanilla ice cream and, it has to be said, is one of the nicest I have EVER tasted.
 
So … is Revolution in Hockley a suitable place to take kids?  Absolutely yes!  The menu offers excellent value for money, the atmosphere is calm and relaxed during the day and the food is very good.  So, if you haven’t considered venturing into Hockley for lunch, it’s just a short walk up the hill from the Market Square and definitely worth the trip.

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Dean Friedman

18th May 2017 at the Poppy and Pint
for the Nottingham Post


It's questionable whether many Notts folk under the age of 50 have heard of Dean Friedman. The American songster released four songs of note in 1977 and 1978 but has since been absent from the singles charts. He has, however, continued to write and release albums and is once again touring venues across the UK , including a welcome return to Notts pub the Poppy and Pint.

There's obviously a deep affection for Mr Friedman in Nottingham, with the venue packed to capacity. The set was simple – just the man, a keyboard, a guitar and that voice with the distinctive New York tones that thankfully has not diminished with time, particularly as Ariel has some pretty high notes.

Friedman's music is pared back and mellow, cleverly drawing on his 61 years to share his often humorous life experiences. From the laugh-out-loud 'I'm Not Sorry To See You Go', to the equally amusing 'Death to the Neighbours', the songs are emotive, entertaining and relatable.

Mixing old songs with more recent material, his relaxed performance style and rapport with the audience was endearing and very successfully added to the intimate nature of the gig.

Interspersing songs with anecdotes, including admitting how he stole McCartney's tune for 'Blackbird' but 'with humility', this evening was part gig, part 'this was my life'.

It's difficult to understand why he has not enjoyed more commercial success.

Hearing Friedman belting out 'Lydia' was a definite highlight (he can still nail those top notes) but by far the favourite song of the evening was his biggest hit 'Lucky Stars', which he saved until the end, rounding things off nicely with some very impressive audience participation.
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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
25th April 2017 at Nottingham's Theatre Royal
for the Nottingham Post


To be totally honest, this show is bonkers. Who could have believed that the story of Joseph and his biblical tale of sibling jealousy and betrayal could be retold with the inclusion of cowboys, Elvis and inflatable sheep (the latter who were badly behaved and refused to do their job on several occasions during the evening)?

However, combining the genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and Bill Kenwright, it's no surprise that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been wowing audiences and receiving 5 star reviews for so many years.

Joe McElderry, 2009 X Factor winner and multi-million selling recording artist, once again dons the coat of many colours to play Joseph in this 50th anniversary tour, after a successful stint last year. McElderry's voice is flawless and ideally suited to this role, particularly for the heartrending Close Every Door, which he sings superbly and with a spine-tingling fervour and backs up with some more than adequate acting.

Lucy Kay is, quite simply, outstanding in the principal role of the Narrator. With a voice that is powerful and pitch perfect and with the ability to inject passion into every scene, she is the glue that pulls the story together, skilfully assisted by a very talented ensemble cast.

The show moves along at a fast pace, with one memorable song swiftly following another. Any Dream Will Do, Coat of Many Colours and the maddeningly catchy and comical One More Angel in Heaven are just a few of tonight's tunes that will be rattling around in my head for days to come.

The swift-footed choreography, colourful scenery and clever costume changes, blended with just the right amount of comedy, all combine to create a show that will make you laugh, cry and occasionally wonder what on earth is happening and why the Pharaoh is dressed as Elvis!

Tonight's audience, which seemed to include many die-hard fans of the show, were more than happy to join in with a storming encore of songs at the end and give the cast a well-deserved standing ovation. This really is a dream of a production and one that will leave you singing in the aisles.

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Dolcino, Nottingham
22nd April 2017

After a successful couple of years’ trading in Loughborough, Dolcino brought it’s gelateria-café concept to Nottingham’s City Centre earlier this month.

Not being ones to turn down the chance to try something sweet, we popped along to meet the team and try out some of their traditional Sicilian desserts, which are made on-site, using a secret family recipe. 

After a very friendly greeting from staff member Robert, we were shown past a huge array of delicious looking cakes, gelato and sandwiches and led to a bright and airy upstairs window seat, with a great view of Nottingham’s Market Square.

We quickly discovered that the menu needed serious consideration, as the range of dishes on offer is substantial and all, quite frankly, are tempting.  After much deliberation and with advice from the lovely Robert, we decide to go with the Knickerbocker Glory, the Oreo Lux Freakshake and the Mini Cheeky Monkey crepe for my 8 year old daughter. 

We were then shown around the restaurant by owner Francesco Arcadio, who runs the business with his wife Kirsten and their 18 year old son Sebastian.  Francesco comes from a line of gelato makers and, after helping his father and grandfather to make it in Italy, he is now passing the skills down to his own son.  He is warm,  enthusiastic and determined to introduce us Nottingham folk to the delights of real Italian gelato – there is even a viewing area in the café where you can see the gelato being prepared and made. 

Ask Francesco to explain the difference between ice-cream and gelato and you will leave with a wealth of new found knowledge.  Did you know that gelato is produced at a lower temperature than ice-cream, meaning you won’t experience the nightmare of brain freeze?  It’s also made with less fat than ice-cream and is churned at a lower rate, giving it a denser texture (more about the results of this later).  All ingredients used in the café are locally sourced, including the milk, which comes from Rutland Dairy’s free range cows and is so fresh that you can almost taste the grass.

Now for the taste test.  The desserts, which were of a decent size and freshly made to order, were beautifully presented.  The Knickerbocker Glory is different to what you may be used to, with layers of thick, gooey gelato and a very tasty strawberry sauce.  The Freakshake Oreo Lux is a milkshake lovers dream – not too thick and with just the right blend of ingredients.  Finally, the Mini Cheeky Monkey crepe was, quite frankly, huge and well worth the price tag of £4.95.  The crepe was soft and absolutely smothered in chocolate gelato and cream.  We washed it all down with a cup of Dolcino’s coffee, which was smooth, rich and blended on the premises.

There is a lot of competition in Nottingham City Centre, with a huge amount of eateries vying for your business.  I like Dolcino and think that they offer something a bit different.  You can tell that this is a family run business, with owners who really want you to experience a piece of Italian life.  There’s even a running chocolate tap, if you need a fix on top of your gelato. 

To give you an idea of prices, a small gelato in a cup or cone costs £2.40, folded pizzas are £3.99 and cakes cost between £2.30 and £2.60.  You can take a look at the menu here.

One word of warning ...do not over-order! Because of the density of gelato, it’s a real stomach filler and you do get a lot for your money at Dolcino!
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Bubble and Treat at Clumber Park Muthu Hotel and Spa
7th March 2017

The 4 star Clumber Park Muthu Hotel and Spa is conveniently located just off the A614 with plenty of free parking and, although the road is busy, once inside you are immediately transported to a place of tranquillity.

My 'sparring partner' Julie and I were directed to the Spa, which is at the back of the hotel and felt far away from any hustle and bustle.  Once there, we were warmly welcomed by Maria, who showed us the facilities and presented us with an itinerary for the day, as well as keys for our lockers. 

Spa visitors are given fluffy white robes and towels to use and, suitably dressed, we ventured into the pool area and claimed a couple of loungers. The Spa has a reasonably sized pool with integrated bubble pool, a sauna and steam room, as well as a delightful outdoor seating area with sunken hot-tub.  The atmosphere is calm and peaceful, helped by the view of trees and fields and the odd squirrel scampering about.

On the way to the pool we had a quick look at the gym, which is light and modern and seemed to include a lot of high-tech equipment.  Not being big fans of exercise, we decided to leave this for another visit but it’s good to know that it’s there if you’re popping in for the day and fancy offsetting the relaxation with some physical exertions.

Time for treatments.  I had chosen the New Leaf Skin Booster Facial, which was included within the Bubble and Treat package.  In addition, we were offered the chance to book other treatments at a discounted price so, out of pure curiosity, I opted for the Hopi Ear Candles.

The treatment rooms are relaxation personified.  The warm but calm décor, soothing music and muted lighting all combine to create an atmosphere of pure indulgence.  My therapist, Leanne, gave a detailed explanation of what I could expect from the Hopi Ear Candle treatment, as well as the possible benefits. 

Bizarre, is the first word which springs to mind – the long, thin beeswax candles were lit, then inserted into first one ear and then the other, creating a vacuum effect.  The crackling which emitted from them for 10 minutes after they were lit was not exactly relaxing but certainly interesting and I couldn’t wait to see the results and how much ear wax had been drawn out of each year (sorry folks!).  It turned out that this was ‘quite a lot’, so I am fully expecting my hearing to be massively improved and the circulation around my ears, head and sinuses to be stimulated.

My second treatment was the Skin Booster Facial.  Now this is what spa days are all about for me – rest and recuperation.  The facial is luxurious and promises to leave you with a smooth, glowing complexion in 25 minutes.  I certainly felt invigorated after being pampered with a number of cleansing, toning and moisturising products.  Definitely recommended.

Julie had chosen the Lime and Lemongrass Scrub for her main treatment, which she declared was fabulous and, as well as being incredibly relaxing, made her skin feel like silk.  In addition, she chose the relaxing back, shoulder and neck massage which did exactly what it promised.

After some more pool time, we ventured into the dining area for our Afternoon Tea.  Beautifully served, with a generous selection of very fresh sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, cakes and tarts, this Afternoon Tea included the bonus of a glass of prosecco, as well as tea or coffee.  After consuming nearly the whole assortment of goodies, a rest was definitely needed.  Luckily, right next to the dining area is a relaxation zone, with comfortable sofas, cushions, throws and magazines.  Here, you can have a doze or just chill out and watch the world go by and we did … it was the perfect way to end our spa day.



   



The Bubble and Treat Spa Day costs £125 for 2 people and includes the afternoon tea, with a glass of prosecco, use of the spa facilities and gym, towels and robes and the choice of one 25 minute treatment.  More information here.

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Lunch at Revolucion de Cuba, Nottingham

Saturday 21st January 2017


 As soon as you walk through the front doors of Revolucion de Cuba in Nottingham, you are hit with a warm, welcoming feeling.  This lively bar/restaurant opened on Market Street a year ago and offers authentic Cuban food and drink, along with live music and salsa dancing, right in the heart of Nottingham City Centre.

I’ve experienced the music and slightly frenetic atmosphere of Revoluction de Cuba on many occasions during the evening and would always recommend it as somewhere to visit on a ‘night out’.  However, being a parent with pre-teen kids, I wanted to check out its versatility and see whether this is a good venue for families in the daytime.

We were immediately welcomed by a very friendly member of staff, who showed us to a nice, large table by the window.  Settling into the comfortable padded benches, with the added bonus of cushions, I immediately felt relaxed and ready to while a few hours away over lunch.  Our drinks orders were taken efficiently and a jug of iced water with lemon and lime was provided.  The children absolutely love the pineapple glasses their drinks were served in and were slightly disappointed that they couldn’t take them home!!



Perusing the Cantina menu, we could see that there was a whole host of choices, designed to suit those either looking for a light lunch or a full-on ‘Mr Creosote’ experience.  We opted for the Tapas, which at £14 for 3 dishes seemed like good value and would give us the opportunity to try a few different dishes.   

The kids had their own menu costing £5.95 and included a main, a side and a dessert, as well as a few puzzles and things to colour in (crayons were also provided).  Jake (aged 11) chose the chicken goujons, served with skinny fries and Evie (aged 8) went for the vegetable quesadilla, served with cumber and carrot sticks.

    

The food was served within a perfectly reasonable timeframe and we immediately saw why they recommend that 3 tapas is plenty per person.  We chose the Iberico Ham Croquettes, Chicken Quesadilla, Roasted Chorizo, Mojito Battered Prawns, Patatas Brava and Cajun Creamed Mushrooms, along with a selection of breads.  The portions are generous and the food, quite frankly, is absolutely superb.  Special mention has to be made of staff favourite, the Cajun Creamed Mushrooms, which were, in a word, sublime and served exactly as described.  Most of the food has a little kick to it but the spices meld perfectly and nothing we tried was overpowering.

The kids’ sent back clean plates and eagerly dipped into the Tapas, as our blatant inability to finish this delicious food was a little embarrassing!

If you can make room for dessert and you really should try, your next problem is choosing between Columbian Chocolate Brownie, Churro Cheesecake or Molton Chilli Chocolate.  After some discussion, we plumped for the Churro Cheesecake (costing £4), washed down with a nice cup of coffee.  The kids’ choice was slightly easier and both went for the churros rather than the vanilla ice cream this time.

The churro cheesecake was a work of art on a plate.  This super sweet concoction of churro sticks, stuffed full of vanilla cheesecake and topped with strawberries was the only way to finish off such a taste-laden meal but I’m glad we shared!  The coffee was served with a small piece of chocolate brownie, making it the perfect solution if you can’t manage a whole pud but fancy something sweet.  A lovely touch – I only wish that more restaurants could do this.

   
Churro Cheesecake

Revoluction de Cuba has, in my opinion, got the ambience spot on.  The lighting is pitched at just the right level – enough so that you can actually read the menu but not glaring or harsh.  This also applies to the background music – you can hear it, you can even chair salsa along to it if you desire but it’s not blasting out and preventing you from hearing what the person next to you is saying.

I have to say that I love this place.  From the chilled out, laid-back vibe during the day, making it ideal for lunch out with the family, through to the upbeat intensity in the evening for the grown-ups, you can easily (and happily) lose hours here!  It’s comfortable and friendly and the food is excellent, with the added bonus of being good value for money too, especially with 241 Tapas on a Sunday.

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The Human League

16th December 2016
at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
for the Nottingham Post

It’s hard to believe that The Human League released every teenager’s must-have album ‘Dare’ way back in 1981  The fans may have aged, the fashions have changed but the music still sounds as fresh today as it did during the days of lopsided hairstyles and kohl overload, when the group was selling millions of records worldwide.

This year’s trip around Europe, aptly named A Very British Synthesizer Group Tour 2016, features the band’s original member Phil Oakey, accompanied by essentials Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall and runs alongside the recent release of their 4 disc anthology.

Nottingham’s Concert Hall was buzzing for tonight’s show.  The audience was suitably warmed up by opening act Ekkoes, who did an excellent job with a number of catchy tunes and certainly deserve a mention.

Enter Phil Oakey, clad in black in an outfit that wouldn’t go amiss in The Matrix and belting out Being Boiled in that deep unmistakable voice.  This man has totally still got it and he’s looking and sounding pretty darned good. The audience goes wild.  Everyone gets to their feet.  Susan and Joanne appear to the strains of Sound of the Crowd and we are all transported back to 1981.  Fabulous. 

The setup was high-tec, which perfectly complemented the music, with colourful images of jellyfish, Pacman and even Donald Trump.  It all added to the evening’s dynamic vibe, as Phil Oakey pounded the stage, obviously enjoying every second of this last show of the tour and the adoration of hundreds of die-hard fans, determined to squeeze the most out of every second. 

A group with such longevity as The Human League will have a ton of hits to choose from and we were treated to a huge array this evening, including Fascination , Human and The Lebanon.  Susan and Joanne, as always, provided the glamour, the dancing and the additional vocals that propelled the group to stardom and, quite rightly, helped to ensure that they have stayed the course for so many years.

The 1981 smash Don’t You Want Me is The Human League’s most commercially successful tune and they made us wait until the end of the night to hear it.  Nostalgia swept the room in waves and the audience continued singing the chorus long after the group had left the stage.  Returning for an encore, they could not have chosen a better song to end the evening with than Electric Dreams.

My verdict for tonight?   It was like a great big happy Human League party in your 1980s pants.  

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Aladdin

26th November 2016 at Nottingham Playhouse
for the Nottingham Post


It would seem that the saying ‘things get better with age’ is true when it comes to the pantomime at Nottingham Playhouse. Kenneth Alan Taylor has knocked out another smasher this year with his production of Aladdin and, judging by the audience reaction, this is his best yet.


We all know the story of Aladdin. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy gets locked in a cave by an evil man, boy rubs a lamp and is released by the genie. Two hours later, they all live happily ever after. No wicked stepmother or handsome prince, this story is different to the usual Christmas fairytale.

John Elkington returns as the ukulele playing Widow Twankey and is quite obviously a firm favourite amongst the Playhouse faithful. Rocking a series of outlandish outfits, including a teapot, he is once again superb, interacting with the audience and highlighting that family feeling found at this theatre, especially at this time of year.

Pantomime regular Rebecca Little plays two characters this year, with her usual gusto and comedic skill. Initially appearing as WPC Pong and then as the Slave of the Ring, she is the ideal foil to John Elkington. Also retreading the boards are the lovely Danielle Corlass as Aladdin, Kevin McGowan as evil Abanazar and Jasmine White as Princess Jasmine. Although Anthony Hoggard is sadly missing from this year’s line-up, newbies Nathan Elwick and Darren Southworth are welcome additions.

The show starts off at a cracking pace, with a song and dance routine from the Disney film Aladdin. We are then introduced to Wishee Washee, played by canny lad Nathan Elwick, whose real-life Geordie roots are cleverly intertwined into the story, with plenty of Ha’Way’s and references to his accent, which are bound to increase as the weeks go by.

Not received quite so well was The Empress of China, who the audience found slightly confusing. Not sure if he was good or evil, poor Darren Southworth, who consistently looked like a bejewelled lizard, was actually booed when he first appeared on the stage but soon redeemed himself with an excellent performance

Irene-Myrtle Forrester deserves special mention. Playing joint roles of WPC Ping and the slightly hypochondriac Genie of the Lamp, Forrester is sassy, funny and has a belter of a voice. In fact, all of the show’s musical numbers seem to have been ramped up a notch this year, with the cast’s voices gelling perfectly and, ideally chosen to encourage audience participation, of which there was plenty.


The second half began with a very clever, but initially rather bemusing, fluorescent trip amongst the planets, the point of which became clear on the arrival of the magic carpet. As usual at the Playhouse, the scenery and the props are clever but the show is more about the cast and story, so don’t expect an evening of pyrotechnics and wildly expensive trickery. Who needs that when you’ve got dancing rabbits anyway?


With the usual local jokes about Beeston and Mansfield, the show dashes between street markets, caves and palaces, with boatloads of catchy songs and nods to current events – there’s even a piece dedicated to a current X-Factor contestant (no spoiler), which delighted the audience and had them shouting for a number of encores.

One of the highlights of the evening was the Egyptian scene, where Nathan Elwick really stole the show, with his moustache and his very short costume. To everyone’s amusement, we were then treated to a hilarious rendition of the Dance of the 7 Veils by Widow Twankee, followed by the Sand Dance by Wishee Washee and The Empress. We won’t forget the sight of those legs for a while!

Once again, Nottingham Playhouse has produced a show to be proud of, with a very talented cast, who certainly did justice to the story of Aladdin.
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The John Wilson Orchestra
22nd November 2016 at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall
for the Nottingham Post


After the success of last year’s tour, the John Wilson Orchestra returned to Nottingham’s Concert Hall as part of a 12 date whirlwind trip around the UK. This show, simply entitled “Music from the Movies” promises musical masterpieces from across the decades and has already received rave reviews.

For this tour, the unassuming but charismatic John Wilson was joined by a large hand-picked orchestra and accompanied by special guest singers Kim Criswell and Matt Ford. The Royal Concert Hall was busy and it was encouraging to see a wider range of ages in the audience this year, with a good smattering of the under 40s.

John Wilson tripped onto his podium and the orchestra dived straight into the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, which really helped to set the scene of the golden days of the Hollywood movies. This was swiftly followed by the first appearance of Kim Criswell, whose CV is as impressive as her voice, singing “I’m the Greatest Star” from the film Funny Girl and Matt Ford, who absolutely smashed “Something’s Gotta Give”.

The music travels seamlessly between rousing and melancholy, with plenty of songs which are perfectly orchestrated and melded to ensure that the evening ebbs and flows but never falters. John Wilson is cheerful and light-footed, providing exactly the right amount of information about the music, delivered in his friendly, relaxed style, which gives him an instant bond with the audience.

At the end of the first half, John informed us that we would be exclusively treated to not one but three movements from the film The Adventures of Robin Hood – because this was Nottingham after all - a decision that went down very well with the locals.

The second half kicked off with the Suite from Gone with the Wind – all 14 minutes of it, played quite superbly by this talented team of musicians. It’s plain to see that the members of the orchestra love their job and there were plenty of smiles and enthusiasm on display during the entire performance. The backdrop for the evening was plain but, who needs frills when you’ve got so much to look at on stage. Who knew that there was such a skill to playing the cymbals – I was totally transfixed.

The highlight of the evening was definitely the arrangement of Tom and Jerry, with an abundance of ‘smashing’ special effects from the wonderful Percussion Department (one of whom was from Nottingham and received special mention). This jaunty ensemble was comedic and fast-paced and the audience loved it.

The audience was teased with not one but two encores – the first included an audience singalong with Kim and Matt and, to the majority’s delight, the second was Princess Leia’s theme from Star Wars which, in my opinion, was the perfect end to a memorable evening.
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Turtle Bay, The Cornerhouse, Nottingham City Centre. 
November 2016


Visiting Nottingham’s Turtle Bay is like walking into a sunny summer’s day.  There is a relaxed vibe that hits you when you walk into the door and you can almost hear the cocktails calling you.

We were greeted by our server, Barbara, who did an excellent job of explaining the menu and giving us her recommendations.  I was with my friend Julie and my 8 year old daughter Evie, neither of whom are massive fans of spicy food.  Barbara immediately suggested some dishes that were less on the fiery side for Julie and also said that we could have any sauces served separately, in case they were too hot, which seemed like an excellent plan.

With this in mind, we chose the Jerk Pit Prawns and the Jerk Chicken Wings to share as starters.  The food and drinks arrived promptly and we were very pleased with our choices.  The shell-on prawns, served with herb, chilli garlic butter & flatbread were, in a word, sublime.  The sauce complemented the prawns perfectly and the flatbread was perfect for mopping up the residue.  We chose to have the classic jerk glaze ‘on the side’ for the chicken wings, as Barbara warned us that it had a kick to it, which was a wise decision and they too, were very tasty.

Evie was provided with a children’s menu which, as well as doubling up as an activity book (as a parent, I love these in restaurants!) had plenty of options, including chicken and burgers.  For her main course  (costing £4.50) she chose the flatbread, topped with cheese and tomato and served with salad and a choice of fries, sweet potato mash, or rice and peas and declared it ‘absolutely delicious’.

Julie and I, again going with Barbara’s recommendations, chose the Jerk Salmon, finished with classic jerk glaze (on the side) and served with dressed salad and the Trinidad Curry Chicken – sliced chicken breast, cooked in coconut milk with mango, spices, garlic and scotch bonnet and served with a roti.  We also had some Caribbean dumplings on the side, which I think are an acquired taste.  The food is brought to you in slightly banged up blue and white metal dishes and bowls, which really helps to give it all a feeling of authenticity.  The portions are generous and everything we tried tasted freshly prepared, with bucketloads of flavour.

Somehow, we managed to squeeze in a pudding, although choosing between rum and raisin bread pudding and Caymanas Rum Cake was tough.  In the end, we went for the Rum Cake, the Banana and Toffee Cheesecake and the Dark Chocolate Brownie, accompanied by a hot chocolate and a coffee.  We were glad that we decided to loosen our belts and squeeze in that final course – the Rum Cake, in particular, was something that will live in my memory for a while – moist, tasty and incredibly Moorish.

Turtle Bay has the atmosphere spot on.  With music at a level that enables you to enjoy it, yet still talk to the other people on the table, well-placed lighting (no squinting to see the menu but not cold and glaring) the ambience is warm and relaxed.  We did not feel as though we were being rushed by the staff and they were attentive but not annoyingly so.

Being quite traditional about my food, this is not somewhere that I would instantly think of for Sunday lunch but it is obviously very popular and for good reason.

My advice would be – don’t be put off by the spice but talk to your server and let them advise you if you like your food on the milder side.  Turtle Bay in Nottingham is certainly a great place to visit if you want a laid-back meal that’s a bit different to the norm.  The prices are reasonable (the Jerk Salmon was £12.50 and the desserts were £4.85).  The portions are big and we certainly felt like it was good value by the time was managed to waddle to the door, back into a cold Nottingham day.

Review undertaken by Lisa, Julie and Evie.

    

 


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