Fran’s Favourite Eateries

These are very much my own personal choice, so combine a passion for good real food with a self-avowedly thrifty nature …. for those who like more high-brow establishments there are plenty to choose from, but I bet you the food won’t be any better than the Larder ….

Eateries in the City:
The Larder on Goosegate combines the best quality with the best value fine dining in the city – unbeatable for top quality locally sourced English food in a lovely relaxed and welcoming environment – there’s really no need to go anywhere else!  The Larder is now featured in the Good Food Guide, so I’m afraid the secret is out – booking is definitely advisable!   …  and for those interested in Nottingham’s heritage, you’ll love that it is located in the original Jesse Boot’s Emporium.  (Please note, the restaurant is upstairs and due to the listed status of the building there is no lift at present)

Aubreys Traditional Creperie tiny and tucked away in the West End Arcade, Aubreys is a great place for a delicious and great value light lunch especially the gorgeous savoury galettes (made with buckwheat flour) whether you just like really good simple food or especially if you have any dietary difficulties like me (… and I’m convinced that some of her sweet crepe recipes are what the angels eat in heaven)!

Nada Budaya: Authentic and delicious Malaysian food right next door to Nottingham’s excellent Broadway Cinema (see below) – friendly and attentive management, splendid food .. what more can I say?

Broadway Cinema surely one of the best independent art house cinemas in the country, the cafe is a handy place for a Broadway Bite before the show, or just as a nice place to eat if you’re in town – but more suited to those looking for a place with a buzz than for an intimate meal a deux!

The Alley Cafe for those seeking a veggie/vegan light bite in an informal setting, this long-established cafe-bar is in another of Nottingham’s hidden away little twitchels but is worth hunting out.

The New Art Exchange ok, so this is right the far end of town, but if you’re heading for Goose Fair or Sherwood, you can get an excellent curry lunch here for as little as £3.75, and take in some interesting art for free at the same time

Eateries in West Bridgford and Lady Bay:
West Bridgford is bursting at the seams with cafés so you won’t go short on places to eat.  Many of them are familiar high street chains, so you know what you’ll get … but hey – no special surprises!  Seeing as this is my list of favourite eateries, these are mostly either small independents or locally based smaller chains that I enjoy eating in.

No 8 Deli whether for an excellent cuppa or for a delicious and excellent value light lunch, No 8 is a great place to pop in – especially on those sunny days when you can enjoy their beautiful courtyard area.  You will definitely sample some of their products if you are staying to breakfast, as we buy all our lovely bread from No 8.  No 8 also cater and do excellent fresh made-to-order food to take away – if you are coming for the cricket you might like to ring ahead to order one of their picnic hampers!

The Poppy and Pint – this Castle Rock pub instantly became the beating heart of Lady Bay from its opening in 2011 – it sells excellent local real ales as well as good hearty food … plenty of  excellent  and generous traditional pub grub of course, but also a good range of options which appeal to those of us who like a good plate of veg – I especially recommend the red thai aubergine curry when it’s on the menu!  It has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is less than 5 minutes walk away from our door.

Escabesche - West Bridgford is bursting at the seems with cafés and bars so it’s hard to know which to choose.  For good service and quality you can’t beat a family owned restaurant like Escabesche – with an excellent menu of tapas and á la carte dishes, there is something for everyone, and every dish is zinging with flavour!  In the Summer it’s glorious to sit out on the little terrace, but don’t worry if there’s no room outdoors as the whole front opens up, so it’s lovely and airy indoors too.   Staff couldn’t be more helpful when it comes to ensuring that dietary needs don’t compromise dining pleasure and gluten-free bread is always available on request.

Mewar Haveli is a fine dining Indian restaurant with lovely views across the old gravel pit lakes to Colwick Hill in a most unlikely location – right on the A52 next to a garage just 5 minutes drive away, you can still just about imagine that the site was once a Happy Eater but don’t let that put you off!  The service is attentive, the atmosphere is colourful, authentic and fun and, most importantly, the food is excellent quality, so although the pricing is dearer than your average Indian establishment, you’ll soon see why.

Bread and Butterflies on Trent Boulevard in Lady Bay:  just round the corner serving breakfast, lunch and tea – very handy for a scrummy cake, a light bite or a cuppa after a creative class at Seymour Road Studios and ideal for lunch during one of our one-day workshops! What’s more they also now offer some art classes and sell a range of craft gifts!

Spoke & Co also on Trent Boulevard: Lady Bay’s newest venture serving coffee, cakes and meals – for those who like a bike with their bun, this is for you!

Local take-away food
Lady Bay Fish and Chip shop how lucky are we that the best chippy in town is just 5 mins walk from our door?  And the tank of exotic fish, corals and crustaceans is a delight to watch if you are lucky enough to have to wait for your order!

Indian Nights take away –  all their dishes are full of flavour and made with top quality meat and fish  - try their salmon tikka or biryani … mmmm – oh and their tarka dhal really is the best!  Two cautionary notes, however – a) they don’t deliver, and b) they do have other branches, so double check when you place your order that it will be at West Bridgford branch.  I gather they also have restaurants in nearby Keyworth and East Bridgford which are reputed to be excellent too.

Chillis is an Indian take-away on our doorstep – good value standard take-away curry menu … a few minute’s stroll to collect or they also do deliver.