The Hockley Arts Club is located through a nondescript alleyway on Carlton Street. If you didn’t know it was there, you may never find it.
Hockley Arts Club is the place to go for amazing cocktails in a stunning setting, but is it the place you should be going for fantastic grub too?
I was invited down earlier this week to try out their new summer menu, to give feedback on the new dishes. Now, I must admit that although I have been frequently for cocktails, I’ve never actually eaten here. Cocktails are their thing, and they do them extremely well, so I always assumed that the food wouldn’t be up to scratch. I mean, you can’t always be good at everything, can you?
Three bars make up The Hockley Arts Club. Downstairs is a dark space perfect for date night, a little too romantic for single me!
The middle bar is large with plenty of seating and a medium sized bar is the main focal point. Decorated with plants, dark wood and leather, it reminds me of an old style speakeasy.
The top bar is the pièce de résistance. A stunning bar decorated entirely with cherry blossom, it is pure magic! The decor in here makes it my favourite bar in Nottingham. It is simply stunning, and a great photo opportunity!
Upon arrival myself and 6 other local bloggers were seated in the main bar. Settling in an perusing the drinks menu, immediately the Violet’s Delight jumped out at me. A mix of Hendrick’s Gin, Lavender, Blueberry syrup and bubblegum, this cocktail came complete with smoke. Unfortunately I had nipped to the toilet and when I returned the smoke had vanished. However, a delightfully sweet cocktail.
I also had a Finders keepers – Reyka Vodka, rhubarb, rose wine, herbs, flowers and edible stones! This was an incredibly pretty cocktail, and sweet with the cut through of the rhubarb toning it down a little. Absolutely delicious!
Also lastly I had the Twister cocktail, a delicious Vodka, Strawberry, Lime combo complete with mini Twister lolly!
For starter I went for the duck breast, textures of mango and chilli jam. This was delicious. Three large strips of duck breast, with cubed and pureed mango and sweet jam. The jam could have had a little more spice but the duck breast was cooked perfectly pink and the skin was crisp and delicious. The mango complemented it very well. Other starters on our menu included asparagus, cooked ham and poached egg, and a papaya, red onion and red pepper avocado. From the table I heard that the asparagus dish was lovely but the papaya dish could have been better seasoned.
For main course I went for the fillet steak with mushroom ketchup and a red wine sauce. Instead of fondant potatoes I opted for chips. I asked for my steak to come medium rare, however when it arrived it was definitely more medium well. However, the steak was beautiful. I didn’t need a steak knife as it cut like butter, and was full of flavour. The mushroom ketchup and red wine sauce were absolutely delicious. Full bodied and hearty, I asked for another jug to accompany the chips. There needed to be a little more than was served, and the jug appeared rapidly. I think I possibly chose the best dish from the options, although the lamb rump looked fantastic when served, as did the char-grilled sea bass.
All the deserts had some sort of dairy in them, so I went for the deconstructed passion fruit cheesecake, aiming to eat around the dairy part. The granola base of the dessert was lovely as was the white chocolate, however I couldn’t really taste the passion fruit which was a shame. Maybe it was because I tried to avoid the actual cheesecake part. I would love to see a couple of non dairy items on the dessert menu.
The setting for the meal was lovely and I was surprised at how many people frequented The Hockley Arts Club for dinner on a Tuesday evening. The place was very busy with only a couple of tables unattended. I would recommend trying the new menu, the food I ate certainly wasn’t substandard to the cocktails! I also asked about their use of straws as every drink came with at least one, and sometimes even two. Rory mentioned that they are getting biodegradable straws very shortly which made me happy. If you get a chance, head up to the blossom bar, it really is an unmissable place if you are in Nottingham.