October 1, 2012

A NICE DAY OUT

So we went to Nottingham on Saturday.  We needed to shop for some new clothes for Nick.  He’s away in London for a few days and has to go to a formal dinner.  He fished his dinner suit out of his wardrobe last week and discovered that it had shrunk !!  Quelle surprise !!  It’s a good job he decided to try it on and not just pack it in his case.  He had also sent his best black shoes to the charity shop earlier this year so we needed those as well.

carluccios1

There was a light shower as we headed towards Carluccio’s for our lunch but otherwise it turned out to be a pleasant early autumn day. carluccios2 We arrived at 12.30 and the restaurant was fairly quiet.  It soon filled up and within minutes of us arriving, people who had not reserved a table were being turned away. 

carluccios3The atmosphere inside is lively but even when it is full you still feel you have room to breathe.  It’s light and airy and the tables are not crammed too close together.

carluccios4 I completely forgot to photograph the food until my pudding arrived !!  Nick had mozzarella salad, a spicy sausage pasta dish and tiramisu.  I had tuna fishcake, tortellini stuffed with venison and a sort of apricot stuffed bread pudding served with a little cup of the most delicious chocolate sauce I have ever had.  I could have just eaten a bucket of that and called it quits, actually – if only I had known !!!

We drank a prosecco to begin with, a glass of robust Italian red with our meal and an espresso to finish off.  You can see the menu if you click on the link here.

carluccios5Just next door to Carluccio’s is another restaurant called Prezzo.  I guess from the name it’s another Italian place.  I haven’t tried it (yet).  Just up the road is Jamie’s, a Jamie Oliver restaurant.  I haven’t tried that either.  I think the thought of all those chipped plates and mis-matched cutlery that he is so fond of is slightly off-putting, also that you can’t book in advance.  I do like to be certain that I’m going to get some lunch if I have my heart set on it !!

carluccios6 We used the tram service to get into the centre of Nottingham.  It’s an excellent service.  We leave our car at the park-and-ride just off the M1 motorway where we can park for free.  Trams are every ten minutes or so and it takes about twenty minutes to get into town.  The journey takes you through some interesting parts of Nottingham so it’s not at all tedious.  The fare is £3.50 to ride the tram as much as you like all day, which is good value I think, certainly compared to the cost of parking in town and the hassle of driving the car all the way in.

carluccios7 We both really enjoy a day in Nottingham.  The shopping is good, with plenty of independent shops as well as all the usual big chains.  Naturally a must-do for me is a browse round Lakeland every time, although this time I didn’t buy anything – I usually do, even if it’s only a pack of parchment circles for my cake tins !!

We also like the architecture in the town and the fact that there are plenty of quality shops.  So many places seem to have lost their high-end retailers and then the cheap shops and pound-shops sprout up on every street corner.   It’s nice to have a mix of shops but if you lose the quality ones the people who keep the rest going as well don’t come any more and the town goes into steep decline.  That’s my theory anyway.  Maybe it’s to do with the rates they are charged by the council.  If you try to squeeze too much money out of retailers they give up and move out so then there’s nothing.

carluccios8 carluccios9 carluccios9a carluccios9b carluccios9c carluccios9d I’m just finishing off with some pictures of the roses and other flowers in our garden.  They looked lovely in the sunshine with a few raindrops on them this morning.  Soon they will be gone until next year, which always makes me sad.

It’s been a good year for our hydrangeas.  The lousy summer with so much rain has seen them flourish.  I suppose the “hydra” bit of their name is for a good reason !!  So at least it’s been a good year for something !!

Toodle pip !!

17 comments:

  1. That dessert made my mouth water and made my jam on toast breakfast very dull!
    we used to use Park and Ride when in the UK. Found it very useful for avoiding busy town centres. Wish they had the same facility in Tarbes, which is our nearest big town. Would encourage me to go shopping there more often, which would not be a good idea because we are on a tight budget......

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    1. Vera, jam on toast is my favourite breakfast but we have been cutting down on both lately in the attempt to lose a few pounds. So I was dismayed to find I was two pounds heavier this morning than on Friday......hardly surprising but illogically one always hopes to have got away with it !!

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  2. Your lunches sound delicious.

    Jean, we are kindred spirits. Up till now, I'm the only person I know who could eat a bucket of something, especially something chocolate.

    Love your flower photos. What's that gorgeous purple rose, do you know? And the last photo, the two-toned flowers with the big leaves, what's that?

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    1. Carolyn, I am embarrassed to admit that I don't know the name of either of these plants. I will see if I can find out and reply back here.

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  3. Your lunch sounds good...I don't go crazy over chocolate, but I'm pretty sure I would have liked that sauce!

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  4. We are off toward Nottingham in about 45 minutes -- on our way to see my step-son before he heads off to his third tour of duty in Afghanistan! Just over a week ago I had lunch with one of my sons at Prezzo -- was not particularly impressed. Pleasant enough inside, but the food was not particularly impressive and I thought a bit pricey. We would have been happier with a local place, I'm sure. Like you, I'd taken the boy clothes shopping!

    Your flowers still look great -- ours are long gone.

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  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful day — with decadent lunch and versatile tram.

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  6. Jean, we'll look up the plant at the bottom... it is grown at Valmer... and the Countess says that the black berries are edible.
    So I tried one... it does taste of caramel... but Pauline thinks it is horribly bitter. But it is a spectacular plant to look at!!

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  7. It looks like Nottingham is a fun day out, never been there so thanks for the photos. That pudding is to die for, literally methinks!

    I made a large bread pudding last week when the builders were here. Thank goodness they were or Nigel and I would have been several pounds heavier! I think N's dinner suit may also have shrunk!!!!

    Your garden looks good. Have a good week Diane

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  8. Carluccio's do nice food -- there is one at Canary Wharf and every so often a work friend and I would grab an early dinner after work there, especially if she and I had had a manic day.

    Think the Nottigham tram park & ride system looks good. It seems to be the fashion: they're creating one in Tours and one in Edinburgh [although that has already become a fiasco!]

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  9. I've never been to as we Americans say, Notting-HAM. It looks beautiful. I promise if I ever get there I'll pronounce it correctly. Your pudding sounds (and looks) delicious.

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  10. Didn't buy anything from Lakeland ???? - Jean !!!! You should be ashamed of yourself ....

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    1. I know, I know, I must be getting daft in my old age !!

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  11. I am tidying up my blog today; i took the liberty to include yours in my links. I am honored so!

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  12. Nice to see that you have visited my adopted city and I wish I had been around to see you both. Carluccios is a bit dear for me presently but the food looks very nice.

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    1. Phil, next time I need to go to Lakeland I will see if we can meet up - lunch at Carluccio's will be on me !!

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