Nottingham has an 'edge'By Anna Roberts
April 21, 2009
It is nicknamed Shottingham. Its most famous father is a green tunic-wearing thief. It gave the world Dale Winton.
Nottingham, let us been honest, has got something of a bad rap. When people hear you went to Nottingham or grew up near there – as I did living in Lincoln – they often shudder and look aghast.
But I do not think that is fair. As a child growing up in what is officially Britain’s most boring county (fact) I regularly visited Nottingham. We all did.
You see Nottingham did, and still does, offer something that a lot of other places do not. And that is an edge.
Yes, it has problems. Yes, it has an unenviable crime rate. Yes, Dale is a suspicious shade of orange.
But it also has so much more than that. It has lovely museums, a great university, fantastic shops and a beautiful castle. It has a theatre, exotic restaurants and interesting people.
My mum, Pauline, and I stayed in the city’s Park Plaza hotel which is located in Maid Marian Way.
The four-star hotel (I expect it would be five if there was a pool) is very modern, clean and trendy with a cool décor.
Inside the hotel is a super-fashionable Pan-Asian restaurant called Chino Latino Bar and Restaurant. As vegetarians, my mother and I worried (well she did – I was happy to knock back the free booze) there might not be any food for us. We could not have been more wrong. Never before have I eaten so much like, uh, Posh Spice.
That’s right – we ate all sorts of peculiar health beans normally only seen on food programmes which I don’t watch because they clash with Hollyoaks.
It was great. I like a meal which makes me feel healthy and good about myself. I also felt, and it is a bit embarrassing to admit this, quite Sex and the City-ish scoffing trendy grub in a Pan-Asian restaurant.
We watched The Comedy of Errors at the town’s Theatre Royal, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. And it was not ‘Bard’ at all (boom, boom).
Even though I studied English literature at uni I’m a bit of a dimwit when it comes to Shakespeare. But mum loved it and even I could appreciate how well performed and enjoyable it was.
We also visited many of Nottingham’s art galleries and museums – including the one in the castle’s grounds.
Nottingham Castle is brilliant. I’ve been there quite a few times now and have always enjoyed myself. On a sunny day it is lovely to sit and watch the world go by.
One of the city’s proudest boasts (aside Robin Hood, obviously) is Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the UK’s oldest pub.
This time I did not go there, but I have been before. It is well worth a visit if you’re new to the city – mainly just to say you have done it.
Nottingham also has a lot of flagship fashion stores including the designer Paul Smith’s base in the Midlands. Architecturally, this is well worth a visit. The shop, based in a beautiful house in the Hockley area of the city, is more like a museum.
Youngsters would love Tales of Robin Hood, which tells the maverick’s story, although be warned the prices aren’t cheap.
Anna stayed at The Park Plaza Hotel Nottingham, 41 Maid Marian Way, Nottingham, NG1 6GD, Tel: 0115 9477200 or visit www.parkplaza.com for best room rates.
For more information on what’s on visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk