Today’s city guide update come from the original nottingham guide author Laura Millward. the guide is full of great design/craft/art destinations, commentary on the city as a whole, and details about Nottingham’s notable exports (DH Lawrence, Paul Smith and Jonathan Galzer, among others). Thankfully, over the years not much has change in this beautiful city, but Laura has added some more great shops and restaurants to check out. thank you laura for a wonderful update!–Stephanie
CLIKC HERE for more nottingham guide after the jump!
I moved to Nottingham four years ago when I got a job here at the local newspaper. Since then I’ve discovered so many little shops and great cafes, I’m excited to share them with everyone on Design Sponge!
As well as being the home of Robin Hood, Nottingham is a very creative city. Some of its most famous exports include author DH Lawrence, renowned fashion designer Paul Smith, and graduates of its university include noted film director Jonathan Glazer and more recently illustrator Jon Burgerman.
Nottingham has many cultural attractions, including the Castle, the historic Lace Market area and the Major Oak in the heart of Sherwood Forest, famous for being the hiding place of Robin Hood and his band of Merrie Men!
My favorite part of the city center is probably the Lace Market and adjoining area of Hockley. Hockley is known as the “arty” side of town and there are many quirky shops and great restaurants here, as well as two independent cinemas which help make this part of town all the more lively and interesting to wander round.
Nottingham is listed in the top 5 British shopping destinations and there are lots of unique shops here, some of which I have listed below. Let me know if there’s any I’ve missed!
ATOMIC GIFTS (Exchange Arcade, Nottingham)
This great little gift-shop includes many unusual items, design books and moomins mugs as well as some fun birthday cards and wrapping paper. There is also an Atomic Interiors shop situated in Plumptre Square selling wonderful designer furniture, lighting and quirky bookshelves.
THE TOKENHOUSE (39- 41 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham)
This is my favourite gift shop as it has a brilliant range of cards, wrapping paper and children’s toys. It also has a wide selection of Emma Bridgewater pottery.
Vintage / Clothing
DAPHNE’S HANDBAG (67 Mansfield Road, Nottingham)
If you visit Nottingham make sure to take a wander up Mansfield Road. There are many unusual shops up here including Daphne’s Handbag which is a treasure trove of vintage homeware, furniture, jewellery and other odds and ends dating from the sixties onwards.
THE VINTAGE WAREHOUSE (82-84 Lower Parliament Street)
Only recently opened, literally a warehouse full of vintage shoes and clothing. You may have to rummage through to find a gem but that’s part of the fun.
WILD CLOTHING (4–6 Broad St, Nottingham, NG1 3AL)
Wild and its new sister shop, Wilder, stock the usual vintage clothing, but you can often find pretty summer dresses on the racks at the back and you may spot the odd indie band member buying pumps while you’re in there.
COW (2 George St, Nottingham NG1 3RE)
Cow is a large vintage shop that stocks shoes, bags, and a wide variety of clothing at an affordable price.
LUNA (139 Lower Parliament St NG1 1EE)
Luna specializes in original homeware, lighting, telephones and other items, check their website for new items each week.
LE CHIEN ET MOI (60 Derby Road, Nottingham Tel 0115979919)
An interesting selection of homeware lies within Le Chien et Moi and if you’re lucky you might get to meet Mulberry the resident Basset Hound when you visit!
Arts & Crafts
THE BEAD SHOP, (7 Market Street, Nottingham, NG1 6HY)
A beautiful array of all the beads you could think of!
THE ARTS ORGANIZATION, (21 Station Street, NG2)
Situated next to the train station, this gallery and tea bar holds evening classes in dance and life drawing as well as regular workshops and exhibitions. There is also a darkroom available to the local community which can be hired hourly or by the day. A regular craft fair is held here on the first Saturday of each month where local designers can sell hand-crafted goods.
Food, Tea & Coffee
LEE ROSY’S TEA SHOP (17 Broad Street, NG1 3AJ)
If, like me, you are more of a tea drinker than a coffee fan, Lee Rosy’s is a must for relaxing with a cuppa after a hard day’s work (or shopping!) It also has some tempting home made cakes and often hosts some great little bands as well. Opens 10.30am til 6pm Sundays, 10 – 8pm Mon-Wed and 10am til 10pm Thurs-Saturday, free wireless internet.
FADE CAFE BAR (171 Mansfield Rd Nottingham, NG1 3FR)
Also known as “The Hard to Find Cafe,” it is in fact fairly easy to find this eaterie if you venture up Mansfield Road and it’s well worth it for the laid back atmosphere and friendly staff. Some great food options and unusual beer choices help make this place a favorite amongst those who’ve discovered it.
DELILAH DELI (15 Middle Pavement, Nottingham NG17DX)
This award-winning deli offers over 200 cheeses, 50 salamis and meats and 1000’s of treats and store cupboard items, as well as an exclusive wine selection.
KAYAL RESTAURANT (8 Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AL)
This restaurant, specializing in South Indian cuisine, has been busy ever since it opened up last year. With unusual dishes to try such as deep fried banana slices, it’s worth a trip and the prices are also very reasonable.
JAM CAFE (12 Heathcote St, Hockley, Nottingham NG1 3AA)
With friendly staff and tasty food, the Jam Cafe has become one of my favourite places to relax with a cuppa or meet up with friends for a beer in the evening. They also hold regular quiz nights and acoustic nights on Wednesdays.
THE WALK CAFE (12 Bridlesmith Walk, Nottingham NG1 2GR)
The Walk is always popular but the queues for tables are worth it the the tasty cupcakes and afternoon tea served in old china teapots arrive!
THE ALLEY CAFE BAR (Cannon Court, Long Row West, Nottingham, NG1 6JE)
Quite hard to find as it is literally up an alley off the Market Square, the Alley Cafe has a long list of vegetarian and vegan meals and sandwiches on its menu. Can get quite busy during the weekends due to its size but worth a visit, and opens late with DJs playing on Thursday-Saturdays.
SQUEEK (23-25 Heathcoat St, Nottingham, NG1 3AG)
This restaurant, catering for veggies and vegans, has regularly changing menus with 4 or 5 choices and is a hit with veggies and meat eaters alike.
THE BROADWAY CAFE BAR (14 – 18 Broad Street; Nottingham; NG1 3AL)
I put this under the vegetarian section as it always has tasty veggie/vegan choices on the menu, but all the food on offer is brilliant and changes nightly. Menu includes pizza, tapas and tasty halloumi baguettes.
YE OLDE TRIP TO JERUSALEM (Brewhouse Yard)
Any visitor to Nottingham should make sure they have a pint at Ye Olde Trip, situated at the bottom of the hill leading up to the Castle. The pub claims to be the oldest in the world, dating back to 1189AD.
THE MALT CROSS (16 St James St, Nottingham)
This cafe bar is situated in an old Victorian Music Hall which makes it a lovely location for a drink, meal or to watch live music.
THE ORANGE TREE (Shakespeare St, Nottingham)
A lively pub serving lovely cocktails, with live music every 1st Saturday of the month.
THE CASTLE Friar Lane (Off Maid Marion Way)
The Castle is now a 17th century mansion built on the foundations of the original Medieval castle, with spectacular views across the city. Inside there is an art gallery and museum where you can learn about the history of Nottingham.
GREEN’S WINDMILL (Sneinton)
This windmill is a short walk from the city centre, and includes a science centre where you can learn about the mathematician who started the Mill, George Green and also buy flour made in the windmill itself.
The hall is a fine Elizabethan Mansion which stands on acres of parkland in which deer freely roam. Great place to fly a kite!
BROADWAY CINEMA (14-18 Broad St Nottingham)
The Broadway is the East Midlands’ flagship cinema and media centre, showing a wide variety of independent and foreign films. Fashion designer Paul Smith designed the chairs in one screen room in his iconic stripey material.
NOTTINGHAM CONTEMPORARY (Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB)
Opening Hours:Tuesday – Friday 10am – 7pm, Bank Holidays and Saturdays 10am – 6pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm, Closed on Mondays
This brand new gallery situated in the heart of the Lace Market has been extremely popular since its opening exhibition. Check their website for current exhibitions.