One other thing about Nottingham yesterday. There’s pretty much no GBG pubs in the centre, defining that as within the frenetic ring-roads of Maid Marian Way, Mansfield Road and Canal Road.
Nottingham has great pubs, but they seem to be clustered on the outskirts of the centre now, particularly in Canning Circus to the west and close to the canal. Walking from the station to Game City in a wavy way I didn’t pass within site of a single Guide pub.
The Malt Cross is tucked away between the Market Square and the dual carriageway, and that’s it. Beer Guide regulars like The Bell and Kean’s Head have been replaced by Alfreton Road’s finest. That said, Nottingham seems to have a few less pubs in the Guide than previously.
So when looking for a quick pint while the eldest son tried out the latest tech, I had to cast the net a bit wider.
Nottingham didn’t have a Sam Smiths, so I settled for the next best thing.
It’s a good job BrewDog stick to keg, as on trips to Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and now Nottingham they’ve been very quiet, admittedly outside weekend evenings. But Mrs RM and I are big fans, and this is a good place to enjoy a quiet half of their excellent Jet Black Heart for £2.15. Lovely, if lonely, staff as well, and the best toilets outside Ghent.
Despite the rain, the streets around the Lace Market/Goose Green area are sparkling, and filled with independent cafes, shops and street art.
Nottingham isn’t cutting-edge enough for a cereal cafe, but it does have a cat café, where you pay a fiver to stroke cats (Conditions apply). Pubs could adopt this idea I think. Moorhouses mild would be a good addition here.
Having received the expected call asking for more game time, I sprinted the 10 minutes across town to the Crafty Crow. This is opposite the castle, and again desperately quiet, as I’m finding all town centre pubs are these days (except Manchester).
Again, hard to fault the beer of the service here. A half of “One for Sorrow” was cheap and moreish (NBSS 3), and in one of the best designed modern bars I’ve seen, again with great loos. The chap here called me “brother”, which I like a lot in moderation. You need to go up the A60 to be called “me duck”.
On the way back to the grim train station we managed 20 minutes in the contemporary art museum, whose current Slovenian exhibition is a bit one-dimensional, but I appreciated the experimentation.
As I’ve said before, Nottingham is a superb city for exploration, and has a cultural heart as good as anywhere.
* Yes, I know it was a terrible record, Waterfront apart.