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.
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. 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.
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.
Just 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 !!
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.
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.
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 !!