The Jam Cafe
The Malt Cross
So enjoy, take it all in, and thank Nook & Cranny later
In recent years, Nottingham has become somewhat of a musical and cultural hub of the Midlands and even the UK as a whole. The emergence of Jake Bugg in 2011 followed by the success of Dog Is Dead, Indiana and Saint Raymond has reignited a once struggling music scene. Our city's venues are amongst the best in the land - and I'm going to take you through them, from the big to the not so big so by the time you arrive in Nottingham, you'll be the first down the front!
Obviously Motorpoint is the biggest venue in the city, the National Ice Arena (which seems to change its name every ten minutes) is the home to the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey team but also regularly hosts big gigs from world renowned artists and also some of the biggest names in comedy. Not the most scenic place in the world and a pint will cost around the same price as an all inclusive holiday but if you get a good sound man you will have a great time - unless you're sitting of course!
Without doubt Nottingham's most famous music venue, for over 30 years Rock City has been hosting some of the biggest names in world music. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has recently called it one of his favourite venues on earth, and that is a justified remark. Big sound, big atmosphere, VERY sticky floors, VERY sweaty. Highly recommended.
Rescue Rooms is a fantastic venue situated next door to Rock City, and is usually the destination of choice for bands on the way up (and quite a few on the way down to be fair). With a capacity of 450, you get the intimacy of a small gig combined with the Soundsystem and set up of a big gig, and with a great bar and restaurant next door, you will have a fantastic time. Rescue also hosts a great pub quiz on a Wednesday night followed by a karaoke night if anything you've seen at a gig inspires you!
With a capacity of just 250, The Bodega is home to a brilliant atmosphere and attracts bands from all over as well as a full range of local bands and club nights. I've been to shows here where the floor is literally bouncing and the huge soundsystem will leave you thinking you've seen something special. Bands who have passed through here in the early stages of their careers include Coldplay, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, so if you are into discovering brand new bands who will go on to be huge, head to a show here, and take advantage of the dirty cheap happy hour, a happy hour that for some reason lasts four hours, but no one is complaining.
The Chameleon is potentially my favourite venue in the city - it's completely independent and completely barmy. Essentially a glorified living room, this venue is the home of the Nottingham DIY scene, with independent promoters putting on gigs here almost daily, for dirt cheap and it can often get wild. Also includes some of the wackiest beers you've ever seen. Recently the toilets were renovated, which for many regular attendees is one of the most important developments ever in the city of Nottingham (trust me if you had seen the previous state of them you would understand why!!)
Another of Nottingham's independent venues, The Maze is one of the pillars of the local music scene. Many a local band start their careers here. The Maze is renowned nationally for its reputation amongst acoustic music fans, with a young Ed Sheeran appearing here a few years back in his busking days. Take a trip up Mansfield Road to visit and enjoy some great local beers too.
For you dance music fans out there. Stealth is a legendary venue amongst the dance community and puts on some of the best club nights in the UK including Dollop and Detonate. Recently refurbished with a new system, you will be able to enjoy the delights of local, national and international DJs on an almost daily basis.
The Jam Cafe
One of the city's quirkiest outlets, The Jam Cafe is simply delightful. If Jazz is your thing then head down here on a Friday night for a brilliant atmosphere. The food here is great and the drink ain't bad either. When in the Jam Cafe you will feel as if you are out of the UK, in something almost Parisian. Recommend this venue greatly.
Finally in our whistle stop tour of the city's venues, we arrive at Nottingham's newest and coolest venue. The legendary Rough Trade, a record shop with homes only in London, New York and now Notts, has a great little gig venue and cafe located above the shop, a place that hosts gigs, signings, film screenings, fairs, debates - the list goes on. Situated in the heart of Nottingham's Creative Quarter in Hockley, it is already becoming a figurehead of the local scene and you simply MUST check it out.
The Malt Cross
One of Nottingham's only surviving original Victorian Musical Halls, the Malt Cross is brimming with history and atmosphere and the presence of regular music adds to it. Recently refurbished and offering tours of the below caves and the music hall itself, grab yourself a beer and sit on the balcony and party like it's 1899.
So there you are, a brief but useful guide to our city's brilliant and best venues for those who are just here for a week or so as well as those looking to relocate with one of the multinationals like Reuters which are flocking to Nottingham for its low cost of living and great lifestyle. One of the great features about the city is that you can walk from one end to the other in a matter of minutes, meaning often I can go to two or three gigs a night on some occasions.
So enjoy, take it all in, and thank Nook & Cranny later
We LOVE making our guests feel welcome and providing them with a bespoke personal service, that's what Nook & Cranny is all about. And we'll always do our best to help – whether that’s helping guests find a school, introducing them to other families staying nearby, telling them about the great stuff going on in the area, or giving them some insider tips for relocating to the UK.
The truth about viewings!
Lots of our visitors ask to view the apartment they might stay in before they book it, I would do too if I was moving to a new area and potentially spending a few months or more somewhere. We always do our absolute best to show someone their possible new lodgings, we book viewings in 7 days a week not quite 24 hours a day (but at least 12!). So it really pains me that a lot of the time we can’t arrange viewings and we HATE disappointing people but there's a really good reason for it: we’re nearly always full!
Even now we've got 21 apartments they are nearly all booked all of the time! And just like I wouldn’t want someone looking round my house we don’t arrange viewings in apartments with guests staying. We’re really happy to show you other similar apartments and we’re happy to meet up and show you the area (because we know you’ll fall in love with it!), we just can’t guarantee that we can show you the flat that you’ll be staying in.
But do not worry. All of our apartments have the same high standard of décor, the same gorgeous furnishings, and they've all been kitted out with the same luxury mod cons. If you're thinking of staying with us and we can't set up a viewing (sorry!), hopefully these videos will give you a pretty good idea of what your apartment is like.
This is a video of one of our lovely one-bed flats:
Here's one of our gorgeous two-bedroom properties:
And lastly, this is our luxurious wheelchair accessible apartment:
All of our apartments are light and airy, they're freshly (and tastefully!) decorated, they're all fitted and kitted to a really high standard and have:
Now you know why we may not be able to show you your apartment before you book it, we hope you can understand! We're always happy to answer any questions about your booking or West Bridgford so get in touch any time, and here are lots more snaps of our flats (click on a name to see more pics) and the area – enjoy!
There's been some more good news this week with the announcement that Reuters is going to set up a sub-editing operation in Nottingham's Chapel Quarter so that staff can escape the high cost of living in London.
According to Richard Marby, Reuters' European Editor, it's purely voluntary, employees can choose whether to make the move or not, they'll keep their London salaries and get up to £5000 to help them relocate.
The office is going to be up and running by the end of this year so we thought we'd help anyone thinking of relocating by writing a (tongue-in-cheek) Survival Guide to Nottingham! If you fancy moving up to the Midlands (where the living is easy and the average house price is just over a quarter of that in the capital) this is for you...
Understanding the locals
Nottingham may be only 130 miles from London but we sure do talk differently to you southern folk.
In Lancashire it's an oven bottom, in Liverpool it's a nudger, to you it might be a bun or a bap or a roll – but to us it's a cob. Ask for a bread roll in a bakery up here and you'll get some very strange looks.
Aye up me duck
I know you won't believe me but people in Nottingham genuinely use this as a greeting, it pretty much means, "Hello my dear". Honestly!
If someone invites you to join them in a fuddle don't be offended. Round these parts it means a communal meal where everyone contributes some food, like you might do at work for a special occasion.
It's a few degrees colder here than in London so the weather might take a bit of getting used to and if you complain about it in the meantime the locals will call you nesh = someone who feels the cold.
If someone calls you nesh you could get mardy, that's what us Midlanders call it when you're in a bad mood.
Nottingham has the best public transport in the country – our buses run around the city and beyond night and day, they're on time, they're clean, they're not over-crowded and there's some special bus etiquette you should know about...
People queue for buses. Let me say that again, people queue for buses. They stand in a line on the pavement and when the bus arrives everyone gets on in turn. Sometimes people even do that, 'After you', 'No, after you' thing.
And even more amazing is that if there too many people to stand in line, everyone remembers the order everyone else arrived at the bus-stop in so that they can still get onto the bus in turn even though there isn't an actual queue. It took me a long time to get used to this one.
The other weird thing is that bus drivers smile and say 'Aye up' when you get on and passengers say 'Thank you' when they get off. People even make eye contact with each other sometimes and there are reports of strangers striking up good-natured conversations on public transport.
We don't have enormous metal tubes packed full of commuters screeching through tunnels in the under-belly of the city but we do have clean, green, modern machines called trams.
They're above the ground, they're reliable, they're never over-crowded and they're a very nice way to travel. Again, beware the friendly people who might smile at you or try to pass the time of day with a conversation!
Myths & Legends
Glastonbury has King Arthur and his Knights, Scotland has the Loch Ness Monster, Cornwall has the Beast of Bodmin, and we have a man in green tights. Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men is a legend, sadly he didn't really exist but you can still go on tours led by the Sheriff of Nottingham (not the real Sheriff of Nottingham) or Robin himself (not the real Robin) around the city.
The other myth you might have heard about Nottingham – that there are 7 women for every man – isn't true either I'm afraid. Apparently it goes back to the days when lace-making was the main local industry and the story goes that thousands of women were brought into Nottingham to do the work, and outnumbered men.
Despite that Nottingham is an awesome city, we've got two top Universities, some of the best schools in the UK, amazing stuff to do at the weekend (the National Water Sports Centre is on our door-step, the Peak District is up the road, there's the River Trent, Sherwood Forest and loads more).
We've also got great culture (Nottingham Playhouse, the Theatre Royal, the Lace Market Theatre, the Royal Concert Hall, Broadway Cinema), a multitude of wonderful eateries (Iberia, escabeche, World Service, Hart's, and too many other great restaurants and pubs to mention)... and soon we're going to have a new addition to the thriving business scene. Why wouldn't you want to live here?!
Feel free to leave a comment and tell us your favourite thing about Nottingham. Ta-rar for now!
We are thrilled that our sporting neighbours down the road in Leicester have had such amazing success recently (if you've been on the moon for the last week, Leicester City completed their fairytale season by winning the Premier League having been close to relegation just a little over a year ago). As the UK city of sport we welcome a bit of healthy competition, and Nottingham has so much more to offer our visitors than just sport.
Recently I visited the Nottingham Contemporary museum of art to see an exhibition by Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Starling, once a Nottingham resident. As a student of art I found it fascinating. This type of art, in my opinion, cannot be defined easily and might be a bit tricky to understand. It is conceptual, industrial and crosses artistic boundaries but, trust me, it is certainly worth the effort to grasp. And the beauty of smaller galleries like the Contemporary is that smaller focussed exhibitions allow the visitor to spend time concentrating rather than flitting from one picture to the next. It is often a deeper more satisfying learning experience. I plan to return very soon to go even deeper. I recommend you check out the exhibition here (it's on until June 26th).
itsLocated in the heart of Nottingham’s historic Lace Market there is plenty else to do if art is either not your bag or you simply need to get some fresh air. Shops, restaurants and bars abound and it's only a short walk up to the superb Iberico Tapas, or if you are a lover of all things Italian, like me, a short hop across the road to Veeno’s. If you wish to walk for 5 minutes more you enter into Hockley where non-corporatised privately owned bars and restaurants hustle together and provide lots of choice at reasonable prices.
Around the corner is the outstanding Broadway Cinema, with its Paul Smith designer furnishings, it's my favourite cinema in Nottingham. Once again small but beautifully formed, it shows both mainstream and alternative films and presentations. The bar area is fun and you can grab a bite to eat before the film there too.
So back to the Contemporary. If you need something to eat sooner why not just stay where you are and try out the delights the Nottingham Contemporary cafe has to offer. And then you can get straight back to the art.
For more information about what to see and do during your trip to Nottingham please get in touch, we're very happy to tell you about our favourite places and give you a few ideas.
I live in the community where these apartments are located, I know the area, its people & places and enjoy sharing so that other people can enjoy it too.