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 top quality with excellent value fine dining – 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. I especially love the gorgeous fresh-as-can-be fillings in the savoury galettes (made with buckwheat flour) – look out for her monthly seasonal specials on the blackboard inside.  I have carried out a not inconsiderable body of research (!) looking for any creperie to equal Aubreys in France, but as yet the best is to be found right here at home … and I’m convinced that some of Meg’s sweet crepe recipes are what the angels eat in heaven!

Cartwheel Café and Roastery – is where I go if I am indulging in the decadence of a brunch in town before Aubreys is open!  Enjoying Cartwheel’s excellent coffees has been a revelation, and their scrambled eggs with avocado is always several notches above what I would knock together at home!

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!

Eateries in Lady Bay and West Bridgford:
Lady Bay now has its own handful of eateries so if you want somewhere local, you can’t get more local than our own neighbourhood.
West Bridgford is just moments away by car or a pleasant 20 minute stroll away.  West Bridgford is bursting at the seams with cafés so you won’t go short on places to eat but many of them are familiar high street chains, so you know what you’ll get but hey – no special surprises!  You won’t find the big chains on my list of favourite eateries as I prefer the experience of eating at trusted independents where quality and care are a personal mission rather than a tick list!   (… I suppose local brewers Castle Rock – who own Poppy and Pint – are growing pretty big now, but they seem to have a zeal for homing in on the particular character of each community where they open, so I’m happy to still count them among my favourites!)

Lady Bay:
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 for those of us who fancy something less predictable!   The Poppy has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is less than 5 minutes walk away from our door.

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 occasionally offer some art classes and sell a range of craft gifts!

Holy Calzone – Lady Bay’s newest eatery which I confess at the time of writing I have not yet visited so can’t strictly be one of my favourites (except for its being both local and only part of a small Nottingham chain), but of which I hear good things from pizza and pasta fans who’ve beaten me to it.

West Bridgford:
La Storia – will open your eyes and taste buds to a whole new delicious experience of real Italian food!  We have been very impressed with this lovely restaurant with its menu of excellent and robust dishes.   They use fresh and seasonal ingredients, the service is warm and engaging and their popularity is growing as people discover their existence, so booking is advisable!  Outside West Bridgford’s increasingly chain-caff packed centre, La Storia is located on Musters Road close to Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

Escabesche - West Bridgford centre 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.

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.  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!

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!

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.