Notts has got a lot of things associated with it, from Robin Hood to lace and mr Boots himself (all hail the king of highstreet beauty, am I right?) to crazy things like calling people duck and bacon rolls cobs. It is a cob, by the way. I’m 100% a Nottingham girl now and a cob shop is one of the best inventions ever – hands down.
But, what would I show people if they were only in Nottingham for 48 hours so they feel like a local? I’ve been thinking about this for a little while because we’re hopefully having some of our US colleagues over to visit soon and I want to show them everything awesome in Notts!
Before I get into the main attractions, the best thing to note is that unlike London or Manchester, Nottingham is super compact, a bit like Leeds. Everything that you’ll need to and want to see are all within walking distance of each other. But, if it’s raining and pouring you can jump on a tram from the city centre to the station and you’ll be there in a couple of minutes. One thing to make sure you do is to grab your ticket before you get on though otherwise you *probably* will get a £50 fine. Those wardens are mean!
1. Shop local
We have everyone’s favourite shops on the high street, from Zara and Primark to Victoria Centre that houses Topshop, River Island and John Lewis! Then, Nottingham has absolutely loads of luxe boutiques like Space N.K, Bobbi Brown, MAC and Urban Decay to satisfy any beauty addict’s cravings.
But, the treat about Nottingham is that we have so many gorgeous vintage shops in Hockley like COW and White Rose and then the incredible Handmade Notts located just off Market Square. This babe stores so many amazing local artists, their prints and designs and (my fave) incredible sparkly clutch bags from KayKayTee.
I’d definitely fit in a few hours of shopping into your 48 hours in Notts! Plus, check out the local style because I think we’re pretty cool up here in the East Mids.
2. Eat local
Obviously food will be top on the agenda if you’re only visiting Nottingham. Love pizza? Check out Oscar & Rosie’s in the city centre and the awesome teeny tiny Cornerstone Pizza in Sherwood. Want more pasta than pizza? Head to Sexy Mama Loves Spaghetti because it’s an absolute hidden gem of delicious, homemade pasta and fresh Italian dishes. They change the menu everyday because they only use what’s fresh from the market on that day.
If you love something that no-one else will have had before then you need to head to the Nottingham Street Food Club at the top of the Victoria Centre. My fave guys here are called Homeboys and they make Asian inspired fried chicken concoctions that are absolutely unbelievable! Their head dude, Pete was actually a Masterchef finalist so, you’re in good hands.
Is brunch high on your priority list? Me too. Head to the Pudding Pantry in the city centre of, again, Sherwood (a little out of the city gem!) hosts the beautiful Crimson Tree that I love to pose outside of on my Instagram. They do incredible French toast and epic bacon sandwiches.
3. Drink local
If you’re a crafty kind of beer lover like myself then there are so many great places in Nottingham to get the special stuff. Junkyard, Brewdog and 6 Barrel Draught House are all awesome Hockley/Lace Market located bars.
Outside the city centre, in Sherwood, Kraftwerks is a bottle shop and bar that is teeny tiny and full of incredible beers that you’ve never seen on regular shelves. These guys also get delivery from Cornerstone pizza if you’re feeling peckish with your pint. Just further up the road is the Bread & Bitter in Mapperley – a great homely pub serving awesome food and great draught beers.
Cocktails more your thing? Nottingham is home to the Hockley Arts Club, Lost Property, Boilermaker and Tilt! There are so many great places for a funky cocktail in Notts. Love a more ‘classic’ bar where you definitely know what you’re getting? We’ve got Revolutions (x 2!), Revolution De Cuba, Be At One and Pitcher and Piano. Nottingham actually has more bars and restaurants per square metre than anywhere else in Europe!
4. Coffee local
Coffee is something that’s we’re pretty proud of here in Notts. We have some incredible independent coffee houses such as 200 Degrees and Outpost which both also serve amazing breakfast and lunch sandwiches and salads. We also have Dialling In which is super cute! It’s a bright red post box near the bottom end of town and it’s Nottingham’s smallest coffee shop. But, of course, if you love a chain we’ve got about a trillion Caffe Nero’s, Costa and Starbucks to give you your coffee fix.
5. See local
When you’re done shopping and eating, Nottingham has some pretty cool sights to see. With two football stadiums and the world famous Trent Bridge cricket ground for sports-fans and Rock City, Stealth, Rescue Rooms and the Motorpoint Arena for music fans – Nottingham has a lot to offer! We’ve also got incredible history in the caves and the Galleries of Justice.
If you’re into your arts and culture then the amazing Nottingham Contemporary always has great exhibitions on and also has a cute cafe. They currently have ‘States of America’ which is photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era. This is on from 16 Sep 2017 – 26 Nov 2017 so make sure you check it out. Finally, the Theatre Royal and the Playhouse both have show after show from musicals to love music and great plays.
If none of that tempted you then just remember that we’ve got the only Hooter’s restaurant in the UK. ‘Nuff said. This is my entry into the #likealocal GoEuro competition!