A couple of weeks ago an email landed in my inbox, inviting me to the first Nottingham Secret Dinner Club on 28th September. No other details, just ‘please confirm your attendance’.
Well, you can imagine how excited I was, and immediately confirmed I would be joining.
It wasn’t until early this week that I was given the instruction to wait at the Left Lion statue at 6.30pm and meet the organisers. Curiouser and curiouser…
A cryptic post later on our East Midlands Bloggers facebook group showed that I wasn’t the only one to receive this email, and excitement was building.
Arriving outside the Left Lion last night, there was already a group of familiar and new faces to chat to as we awaited our first instruction.
Lucy & Kelly from ‘It’s In Nottingham’ greeted us with a huge selfie board and lots of smiles.
We were then informed that we were walking to our first of three venues!
Much anticipation followed as we all threw guesses into the mix, however none of us actually guessed the first venue…. Boilermaker!
I love Boilermaker, it’s one of my favourite date venues. If you don’t know it, it’s the shop that looks like it houses a counter, a boiler and nothing else on Carlton Street in Hockley. I think it is still pretty well hidden and if you didn’t know it was there you would never guess. Last night there wasn’t a bouncer behind the counter, however on Friday and Saturday nights be warned, if you’re not dressed to impress you will be turned away. It gets busy, but not too full, and its table service. It feels exclusive and is one of my favourite bars in Nottingham for cocktails.
Anyway we headed through the secret doors and into the bar itself. The venue is decorated beautifully, with fairy lights adorning the ceiling of the entrance to the bar and the glass ceiling let in the remnants of the evening light.
We were seated across 3 tables and were given Boilermaker stickers, a cute rubber duck and a little more (but not too much) information on what was going to happen throughout the remainder of the night.
Then one of the tastiest, strangest cocktail I have ever had was placed in front of me. Now, I don’t like coffee, however I apparently love alcoholic coffee! The cocktail consisted of London dry Gin, tonic, a gorgeous syrup created by Doughnotts, Outpost cold brewed coffee and tonka bean liqueur which Boilermaker make themselves!
All the ingredents can be purchased (except the liqueur) locally and the cocktail was called the Left Lion Share. It isn’t on the menu which was a nice touch, however it was that good that I would want to order it again. It was like an alcoholic gingerbread coffee. Fantastic.
This was a great chance to sit and have a catch up with some of the other bloggers, both new and ‘old’ (to me). The setting is lovely and as I said earlier the decor is really cute. The atmosphere was chilled out and it was a great chance to relax after the full day of work.
Then it was time to drink up and head to our next venue.
This time the walk was very quick and we headed over the road to The Curious Tavern, on George Street. I love the curious venues and was really sad to hear that Curious Townhouse with all its crazy decor has closed down. Tavern is one I haven’t got round to checking out so I was really happy to head in the beautifully welcoming doorway and nestle down into a booth.
A lovely fruity cocktail was placed in front of us all and it was delicious. I honestly have no idea what it was but it was gorgeous. It was sweet and didn’t taste particularly alcoholic which was nice!
Then very quickly plates of beautiful looking pie, mash and minty mushy peas was placed in front of us all. Oh my god this looked amazing. The mash was creamy and the pie was steaming hot!
Unfortunately just then the plate was whipped away from me as the
pasty contained milk. I was gutted!
A bowl of veggie lentil stew decorated with sweet potato and parsnip was put in front of me. It actually tasted beautiful but it wasn’t pie.
Thankfully there was a spare pie so I dug into that too. Big chunks of beef encased in a perfectly cooked crust and meaty gravy made a fantastic meal.
I got to try two mains so I was incredibly happy as we left Curious Tavern for our final venue….
Homemade Cafe on Pelham Street is extremely inviting!
It’s a lovely cosy place in the heart of Hockley with a huge cake menu! I came here for tea and cake when I first moved to Nottingham however I haven’t been back since and I have no idea why. Maybe because whenever I come into town I aim for the bars?
There were so many desserts and cakes on offer here, including gluten free and nut free, all extremely pretty and very tasty.
I had a lemon and raspberry cake and a slice of apple cake. They were amazing!
The other bloggers had an incredible Oreo cheesecake, an after eight cake and the same lemon raspberry cake. So cute and a fab serving!
Heir menu also states try do amazing brunch options as well as breakfast and lunch. I’ll definitely be visiting again soon.
After that it was time to say goodbye to everyone and head home.
This evening really showed up just how many varied places there are in Nottingham and how brilliant this city really is. It was a great event and huge thank you to Lucy & Kelly for organising such a lovely night. Thank you for my amazing goodie bag, I had a lot of fun opening it!
If you’re struggling for somewhere to go in Nottingham, look no further than the food and drink finder Hugh will help you find a venue for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Check it out HERE