12 Oct 2017

Nottingham Secret Dinner Club

A secret cocktail venue, a curious, dimly lit oyster bar and a cake shop opening its doors at night? Intrigued? Keep reading to find out about my experience at the mysterious Nottingham Secret Dinner club.

Last month I was sent an invitation by It's In Nottingham to the first ever Nottingham Secret Dinner Club. The invitation was very elusive, only including a date and time and stating that the event would be hosted across three 'top-secret' venues. Then as the date drew closer I was sent another email revealing the meeting point for the night; the left lion on Market Square. When I arrived on the evening of the event I was greeted by the Its In Nottingham team, as well as a dozen or so other bewildered but excitable bloggers. Once we were all gathered it became clear that the details of the night would continue to remain a mystery, and that we would only find out where we were going once we arrived at each venue. Exciting!

Venue #1 | Boilermaker

We were led from Market Square towards Hockley, until we finally came to a halt outside a . . boiler room? It took me a couple of seconds to realise this was in fact the infamous Boilermaker, a cocktail bar hidden behind the guise of being a rundown boiler room. We walked through what looked like a toilet cubicle door and found ourselves in a pretty, fairy light and candle lit bar. There were tables set up for us, decorated with rubber ducks (ducks being integral in Nottingham culture) and candles. We were given bowls of snacks to nibble on whilst we settled down and mingled. And then finally we were presented with cocktails, which had been custom made for the night. Each cocktail was presented with an origami lion, which was a nice touch. The Left Lion cocktail - we were told - was a tribute to Nottingham. And the cocktail itself contained locally sourced ingredients representing the best of the city. The ingredients of the cocktail included Outpost Coffee, Brokers gin, Tonka bean liqueur, and even Doughnuts from Nottingham Doughnut Company. I loved this ode to Nottingham, especially coming from such an integral Nottingham drinks venue.

Venue #2 | The Curious Tavern

After our time in Boilermaker we were led around the corner to The Curious Tavern. I had been intrigued by the Nottingham's Curious venues for a while and this was my first time setting foot in one. The Curious Tavern was dimly lit with a suave interior; the moody yet comfortable atmosphere very in keeping with the theme of the night. The Curious Tavern specialises in oysters, but also has a variety of other wholesome foods on the menu. We were first served the colourful 'Selfie' cocktail, complete with attached selfie paraphernalia including retro sunglasses and fake moustaches. The cocktail itself was gin based with rhubarb liqueur and raspberry puree and was very tasty. Then we were served our main meal of the night; a beef and stout pie with a side of mashed potatoes and pea puree (vegan options were also given). Pie isn't something I would normally choose from a menu, but the meal was in fact really good and I'm very glad I got to try it.

Venue #3 | Homemade

By the time we were done at The Curious Tavern we had guessed that the next place would be somewhere where we'd have dessert. And that place turned out to be Homemade cafe, a cake shop and cafe in the direction of Market Square. Once we got to the cafe we were greeted warmly and found our tables already set for us. Each place was already served with a plate containing a range of delectable looking cakes with an accompanying sparkling pink drink, and each seat was aligned with a generous goodie bag signifying the night coming to a close. Once we were all comfortably sat down we were told that the cakes in front of us were After Eight brownies, Raspberry and Lemon cakes and Oreo cheesecake slices. There were also other choices for those with dietary requirements.
I was actually amazed at how good the cakes tasted. The After Eight brownie was so rich and indulgent in the best way possible. The Raspberry and Lemon cake tasted crisp and refreshing and surprisingly flavoursome, despite seeming simple on paper. It was also vegan. The Oreo Cheesecake was less sweet in comparison to the two others but just as good. I left Homemade very full but also anticipating trying more from their cake selection in the future.

All and all I had a great evening and really enjoyed the concept of the night. Thank you to It's In Nottingham for hosting the event and to the three great venues for having us and providing such great food and drinks!

Click here to check out It's In Nottingham's Food and Drink Finder

Amani x

1 comment

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