Any trip out with Mrs RM has some frisson of excitement and potential for disaster.

And so it was in Greater Nottingham last Monday, where we searched for the soul of “Rough Notts” that Alan Winfield warns me about all the time.

But first a pub-less visit to the centre to track down a piece of wizardry to make youngest son’s new Hi-Fi even louder.  You’d be surprised how much proper Hi-Fi Richer Sounds sells these days. No pubs; we were saving our Spoons vouchers for Newark later and the Alan-recommended Hop Merchant was somehow overlooked.

We can be disciplined when we put our minds to it. Mrs RM was clearly tempted by the cutting edge fashions in West End Arcade, a real throwback to the ’70s.


As was I by this excellent looking record shop with Nottm Forest autographs from the time when Alan wore short trousers.


The area south of the Royal Centre tram stop is surprisingly old-fashioned, and a real contrast to the Paul Smiths, Brew Dogs & Annie’s Burger Shacks in the east.


I’m not saying Mrs RM was desperate for a beer, but it was at Foxy’s she started the “You can go in if you want” routine. I’m fairly sure Alan has memories of Foxy’s from it’s days as the “Jorrocks and Stirrup” or whatever it was.

When I resisted she went and splurged in Lush, while I had a cheaper ten minutes admiring dead pubs next door.


Having spent twenty minutes in Lush, we then had to rush back to the station, stopping only for a loo stop here;


We’d have bought a drink, but the queue was ridiculous (or the service slow, you choose).

With three minutes to spare, Mrs RM explored the concept of train beer. A great choice of craft in Tesco Express.


Then they changed the platform two minutes before departure and Mrs RM had to run.

7 thoughts on “NOTTINGHAM IN THE DRY

  1. Nice Art Deco building Foxy’s is in, like the fox statue (from it’s time as the Fox Inn apparently) – I’m guessing it’s not so pleasant inside


  2. From the top down picture wise,
    The original Bentinck Hotel was a keg Bass tied house and one of the roughest pubs in the city centre,away fans would never dare to go in it and why would they anyway,it was a rough shit hole with crap beer,but handy when getting off a train for a quick drink.
    Try doing a google of pub fights in Nottingham and you will see a classic in the Bentinck,two older blokes take on a gang of younger men and win hands down.
    The Bell is not that bad and you usually get a decent pint of Nottingham EPA or Rock Bitter in there.

    The West End arcade is one place i used to visit every week to get home brew beer kits when it used to have dodgy escalators,it was at the top of the now stairs,i went in the shop pictured two weeks ago.

    Foxys was indeed called The Fox and was an Home Ales tied house with pretty poor Home Bitter on the bar,a very rough single roomed pub,i have seen people asleep on the floor in there due to too much beer,it as been called Foxys for years.

    The Lion was another singled room Home Ales tied house,where the Bitter and Mild were decent drinks,i used to take my wife in here before we got married and have a nice photo of the two of taken by some bloke with a strange camera.

    I can remember when the canal House first opened,it had Hemlock Bitter on which was brewed by Bramcote Brewery,quite close to Stapleford,when they asked to expand the brewery Broxtowe Borough council turned it down,so they relocated to the Vat and Fiddle which was closed at the time and renamed the brewery Castle Rock.
    The Vat and Fiddle is a big real ale pub but has had the most name changes of any pub in Nottingham,if anyone can name them all i would give then an award for knowing Nottingham pubs well,i do know all and have been it under five different names.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Lion on Clumber St has been closed for yonks. Lion on Mosley St is still going strong.

      People think the Vat and Fiddle is referring to a vat of ale. It is not. Its referring to Fiddling your VAT.

      Hemlock bitter is (now?) brewed by Castle Rock.

      Love the canal house although did once get started on in there. I talked my way out of it as the bloke appeared to be mates with the bouncers, which is never a good situation to be in.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes it was called the Grove before i went in it and was a Whitbread keg house.
      When i first did the pub it was called Miami Bar 1980
      Then went onto being called Ziggies
      After a few years called that Tom Hoskins brewery from Leicester brought the pub and renamed it Tom Hoskins
      This lased a few more years until Tom Hoskins bit the dust and it was renamed back to The Grove
      Castle Rock came along and renamed it the Vat and Fiddle due to its proximity to the tax offices on Wilford Street.
      So there you have it five different names and six name changes.


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