All posts tagged: Nottingham

Kushi- ya Japanese inspired pop-up

Kushi -ya is a monthly supper club that has been running in Nottingham since late last year, serving up Japanese inspired pub food. Each sitting is small, around 15 tickets are made available and they pretty much sell out within the hour. So the wider Nottingham fooderatti were more than a little excitable when Kushi-ya took over the Cottonmouth Cocktail Bar for two days this month. Kushi-ya  is the product of a collaboration between Simon Carlin, head chef at Iberico World Tapas (most people’s ‘go to’ Tapas bar in town), and their former sous chef Tom Clay. And it was pretty marvellous. The menu consisted of snacks, small plates, skewers (cooked on a traditional Japanese Konro grill) and a choice of 2 desserts. Between FWH and myself we ordered 11 dishes, but I could probably have got through the entire menu with a little more effort on my part and perhaps if I hadn’t filled up on a Pornstar Martini at The Alchemist first. We had the “snacks” while we chose the mains – the …

Truffle infused eggs & apple curd, simple pleasures at Crimson Tree.

Heading back to Nottingham’s Mansfield Road for breakfast found us in the recently relocated Crimson Tree. Mansfield Rd has got to be one of Nottingham’s ‘go to’ destinations for breakfast/brunch now, with the superb Bakehouse and Crimson Tree within spitting distance of each other and both offering some seriously great food.   You can’t miss the Crimson Tree’s stunningly decorated pillars which frame the door (I know, I know, crap photo 🙄) and on the bright and sunny Autumn morning we visited the sun shone through the large windows, creating a bright and cheery interior.   The walls of the Crimson Tree are covered from floor to ceiling with Arabic style tiles and with the great baked goods on display, the welcoming bar as you enter, the rustic furniture, and friendly staff, we’d found anther gem.   With daily specials, interesting and eclectic dishes with unusual combinations that make for something of an eating adventure and tea served in pretty vintage crockery, I’d struggle to fault this place, and, as you know, I’m a bit …

Breakfast at the Bakehouse

The Bakehouse on Nottingham’s Mansfield Road in Sherwood probably needs little introduction to local readers as in the year or so since they opened they have gone from strength to strength, nominated for, and winning, a variety of awards and winning plaudits from its customers and foodie types across the city and beyond. The Bakehouse is an artisan bakery using traditional methods to create a range of delicious breads, cakes, biscuits and sweet and savoury bakes. The recipes focus on traditional techniques and ingredients. It is the first solo venture of chef Craig Poynter and his wife Rosea –  a cafĂ© during the day and a micro-pub and occasional supper club in the evening. We visited for breakfast and it was so phenomenally good, I needed to share. By 9 am , it was already filling up but we managed to grab the last table for 2. The breakfast menu features the old favourites (full English – meat or veggie version, bacon or sausage sandwich – using local award winning butcher Johnny Pusztai, natch) as well as more …

Eating (and drinking) at Nottingham’s most anticipated new opening – Alex Bond’s Alchemilla

There has been much fevered anticipation of the opening of this new restaurant on Nottingham’s Derby Road over the last year. It has been a project of gargantuan proportions by Alex Bond and his backers. Alex (Chef Director) has been overseeing the complete renovation of a former carriage building and stables at the front of a what used to be the grand townhouse of a local lace merchant. The building has been unused and standing empty for around 200 years. I interviewed Alex last year for Great Food magazine and was astonished to the see the scale of his vision. The building was in a state of significant disrepair with tree roots growing through the roof and centuries (quite literally) of dirt, dust and damp to dig out.    And now he has done it. The former semi -derelict Coach House is now an amazing space, retaining the wonderful brick walls and archways, with new sky lights bringing lots of natural light in. Nottingham can probably boast one of the most architecturally interesting and atmospheric …

A super lunch at the Staunton Arms, Vale of Belvoir.

Just had a fabulous pub lunch and felt the need to share the joy. This is a not a Sunday Lunch you understand – as that’s a whole other kettle of fish, as you know. In fact it was a Wednesday lunch and bloody good too. We drove out to the delightful Staunton Arms in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, we drove out because I can’t imagine there is really any other way to get there, I didn’t spot a bus, but one might exist. The Staunton Arms is certainly rural. I was recommended to try this – always a risk I find – but I was not disappointed. It is a 200 year old pub in a listed building in a small, what would you call it? probably hamlet rather than village, surrounded by rolling countryside. The weather was kind to us and we sat outside. It was busy, we only just found a parking space so full was it and I am glad we made reservations as the place was bustling (in a good …

Visiting the glorious Welbeck Estate (in inappropriate footwear).

The beautiful Welbeck Estate nestled in Sherwood Forest is in the heart of the ancient royal hunting grounds – the Dukeries. Welbeck Abbey was founded in 1153 and when dissolved, the Estate became the home of the Dukes of Portland and it continues to be privately owned to this day. Apart from the beautiful natural setting and the stunning buildings it is perhaps best known for the labyrinth of underground tunnels and rooms (including a ballroom!) constructed by the 5th Duke and for its time leased to the MOD for an army training college until 2005. It is once again lived in by members of the extended family who have transformed it into a thriving working Estate which provides inspiring, creative spaces for artisan food businesses, education and the arts. Although the house is private there is much to see to in the open parts of the estate and I was invited along to meet some of the fantastic artisan food businesses which operate out of Welbeck and to visit the Farm Shop. As well …

Kimchi, Sauerkraut & Pickled Lemons – a day of pickling at the School of Artisan Food

I love the School of Artisan Food in North Nottinghamshire. It is an absolute gem. It is set on the wonderful Welbeck Abbey Estate, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Portland in the heart of the ancient Dukeries. The Estate remains private but is now also home to a number of thriving artisan food businesses (of which more in a later blog) and the superb School. On this occasion I attended for the Great Food Club. Below is a version of the article, which can be found at greatfoodclub.co.uk “Fermentation is, let’s face it, a staging post on the road to rot” so said our tutor for the day, food writer and cook Lindy Wildsmith, as we began a day of Pickling and Fermenting at the fabulous School of Artisan Food. If you don’t know the School, it is situated on the beautiful Welbeck Estate at the heart of Sherwood Forest and is surely is one of the jewels in Nottinghamshire’s culinary crown. Established in 2006, the School is housed in the former Victorian …

Street Food, but not on the Street. Chef Jugz and the Homeboys

We local foodies all got a bit excited at the prospect of a street food market opening up in Nottingham when word broke a few weeks back and much speculation was had as to where this might be. There are lots of side streets and lanes which emanate from Nottingham’s central Market Square that could host such a thing, and already there are plans to close off to traffic some of the streets in boho Hockley to encourage people to spend time there in the evenings. So, it was a bit of surprise when the location was announced as being in the food bit of the large Intu Victoria Shopping Centre, the posher of the two Centres in town. Not exactly what you’d consider to be “street” by any stretch. Still we rocked up with our e-tickets for the opening Saturday, nonetheless. (Did anyone actually check anyone’s e-tickets or was it just a cunning wheeze to get our details..call me an old cynic). Anyway, sure enough in a back room of the foodie bit (which …

Channeling a bit of Robin Hood. Nottinghamshire Venison & Celery Casserole

Both Venison and Celery have strong associations with Nottinghamshire, venison from the King’s Deer of Sherwood Forest of course, and celery which was cultivated at Newdigate House next to the Castle, by Marshal Tallard (the celery was growing wild on the Lenton marshes, and Tallard, held captive here after the Battle of Blenheim, grew it in the garden there). Here’s my take on using two of our celebrated ingredients. Nottinghamshire Wild Venison Casserole Ingredients (serves 4) 500g diced Nottinghamshire venison (wild, from the Thoresby Estate) 6 shallots (peeled and halved if large) 2 large carrots (cut into chunks) 2/3 celery stalks (cut into chunks) 2 cloves garlic (crushed) 1 small glass red wine 5 sprigs fresh thyme (strip the leaves off) Half a dozen button mushrooms 1 x beef stock cube 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly Plain flour Large knob of Butter Pinch of sugar Method Season flour with salt and pepper and lightly coat the venison. Fry quickly and in batches until browned. Remove the venison and set aside in a bowl. Deglaze the frying …

This sexy mamma and that Sexy Mamma…

It takes a lot to impress me. This may be because I am old, cynical and jaded, it may be because I have very high standards or perhaps a bit of both, or maybe I’m just picky and difficult, I’ll let others decide. But just occasionally something comes along that surprises and delights and reminds you why it’s good to be alive. And it is. And Sexy Mamma Love Spaghetti is one of those things. Nothing is perfect of course, and I can find a few grumbles  – we were right by the door and it blew open several times and there was sharp wind on that corner, and perhaps, well, no, actually, I’m not even going to bother because this place is absolutely superb and it would be churlish to mention such issues in the scheme of things. SMLS is the third opening in about a 100 yard space in Nottingham’s trendy and bohemian creative quarter, Hockley, by Bosnian chef Edin Gondzic (him of the cool Patisserie, see my earlier blog post ). It …