The Nottingham Crusade
I have this dream where I’m like a crusader for Nottingham, except my outfit is better. Think Zara culottes and frilled white t-shirt, not hessian and chainmail. Wielding a sword in an attempt to convince people that Nottingham is great and they ought to visit, or even just use it more if they’re already a local. Then other times I’m Sherlock, scouring websites and twitter for the inside intel, picking up tips and clues as to where it’s going down. Although, it’s less Professor Plum in the lounge with the spanner and more 400 Rabbits in Hurts Yard, every evening between 5 – 8 with a Tequila Cocktail. My dreams are a bit messed up. And don’t get me started on the one about blokes in tights.
That was, until ‘Snizl‘ came and fashizled the life out of me. No longer do I need to don my deer stalker hat and my dreams have kindly returned to Costa Rica’s west coast with a Bob Marley sound track and a Pina Colada. And for why, you might ask. Well, Snizl is a new app which does all the above for you! Just set your hometown to Nottingham and watch the deals and events come rolling in.
Last Monday evening, myself and a whole bunch of other delightful bloggers were invited to test out some of the participating businesses and establishments and boy did we have a good time! I don’t need to tell you how amazing this wonderful city is but I just love it how there is always something new to discover….
The Pudding Pantry
So, last year when we were exploring the mid-west, Stateside, we discovered a phenomenon which we couldn’t quite fathom why it hadn’t hit the UK yet. It seemed both obvious and simple and the yanks had mastered it oh so well but similar to pulled pork and BBQ brisket 5 years ago – it hadn’t quite reached our tiny island yet : going out for dessert. But then, like whac-a-mole, these places seemed to pop up all over the joint! We are still in the process of testing out all of the other dessert-spots in Nottingham, and when I recover from my diabetic coma I’m sure I will bless you with my sugary opinions, but in the meantime you must get yourself to the Pudding Pantry.
If you follow them on Instagram you’ll get a taste of what’s in store but basically these guys are passionate about sweet stuff. I’ve sampled the carrot cake and the chocolate brownie milkshake and can vouch for both, (*removes reminiscent salivation from chin*) but Mr MLLH and I have been in for coffee before too and they take that seriously as well. The breakfast menu looks amazing and from next week onwards they’ll be opening later on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings also – the perfect stop off after the theatre or cinema as it’s just around the corner on Trinity Square.
Ok, so when I got the memo of where we’d been invited to on our night out with Snizl, I was totally wondering how they were going to shoe horn a beauty bar into the mix, between the rest of our food and drink stops!? A. I’d put on makeup already and was in no way going to be talked into taking it all off for a quick makeover if they were wanting volunteers (even my semi-blind hubby doesn’t get to see me nude as I can slap it on before he reaches for his contacts in the morning) and B. Not my cup of tea at all (being a proper girl, that is).
I’M SORRY! I TAKE IT ALL BACK!
I have eaten my words and totally been knocked off my perch by the girls, Danica and Jordan, at Ca Bella! This pair are so good at what they do that they’ve actually made a business out of just applying makeup! Masterclasses, makeup school and makeovers for occasions. There isn’t a makeup trick these girls don’t know and they were so happy to share their money saving tips. It seems they’ve practically tried everything on the market and have compared expensive brands with cheaper ones and know exactly where its worth spending the cash and where its not. For instance : they love Superdrugs Miss Sporty mascara for just £1.99! Who knew!?
After a demonstration of how to use all those weird shaped brushes you see in Boots and how exactly to contour, I will no longer be needing my protractor to get it right : it’s all in the ears don’t you know.
Alright, alright, I’m making it sound like I know what I’m doing now – who am I kidding!? But, I tell you what – I will now be buying my makeup at Ca Bella (and totally picking their brains while I’m at it). They are really not in the business of ripping people off and they can match a skin tone at 20 paces – no more foundation testing needed ever again. A totally unexpected revelation for me, this little place in Bridlesmith Walk – somewhere I’ve walked past dozens of times but will now be my go-to shop for all things cosmetic! See you soon Ca Bella.
So my catalogue of interesting wine facts is limited. By limited I mean i have just one : you can’t make wine from the grapes you buy in Asda, and conversely, you can’t eat the grapes that are grown for wine production. Actually, my one fact isn’t even fully true as we discovered on our recent Alicante Food Tour. But I do love wine (And gin. And whisky. Oh what the heck – and alcohol) so I was extremely excited about this part of our night out, especially because I feel I need educating in this pastime that I spend hours ignoramously enjoying.
Weavers are normally accustomed to a more refined audience than a bunch of excitable bloggers, regularly entertaining bankers and solicitors in their Georgian townhouse on Castle Gate – the offices and wine cellars just up from the shop. Weavers has been in the family for 4 generations and once owned the chain of Greggs Pubs since 1897 so these guys really know their alcohol. 72 year old Alan Trease was there to welcome us to his legacy, a bit bemused by all this blogging malarkey but extremely good natured and happy to answer any questions we had. Likewise, his young co-workers, Peter and Fergus, explained our drinks elaborately in an attempt to educate us amateurs but with no hint of pretension. In fact, their passion was infectious and as was explained, Weavers like to buy and supply wines from the small guys – the little vineyards, lesser known, to spread the love amongst small businesses and family enterprises like themselves around the world. I love the fact your purchases go towards keeping the independents going, an ethos of Weavers which has seen them remain standing amidst the supermarket giants at a time when a lot of others have had to shut their doors.
Tesco may have brought wine to the masses but Weavers can educate your palate and make wine drinking much more enjoyable and often for no more cost than your supermarket favourites. I know next time I’m after a nice bottle of bubbly for a friends anniversary or a special occasion, I will be trotting off to Weavers for a bottle of their Crémant du Jura – a sparkling wine cheaper than any decent champagne but with a great back story, a more indepth flavour and an opportunity to put bread on the table for a small family vineyard in France.
Pop in and pick their brains for a recommendation, you’ll definitely be welcomed and I’m sure you’ll be returning again and again : I know I will!
Last on our stop for the evening.
Maybe your own Tequila experiences are limited to the £1 slammers at the infamous Cucamara’s? Or the occasional Tequila Sunrise? Well my friend, you’re missing out!
Tequila is actually made from succulents – you know, those 70’s style squidgy cacti which have seen a house-plant revival? And the variation is immense! 400 Rabbits, the tequila and mezcal cocktail bar down Hurts Yard, had us sampling an eclectic mix of shots. I’ve got to say, after an evening of liquor already, the tequila was going down with an easy slickness. But, I do remember one distinct strain of the T-juice which was totally floating my boat – I’d love to confidently say it was called a Verdita Shooter after reading their online menu but truth is, I could barely remember my name by this point. I simply recall hearing flavours being shout out like ‘Coriander’ and ‘pineapple’, I think our wine tasting had gone to our heads and we were all experiencing a taste-bud graduation!
I digress. Get yourself down there and experience the tequila, the cocktails, the warm hospitality and a bit of table football too, if you can still focus your eyes on a tiny moving ball!
Snizl is a new app that is definitely worth a download. Nottingham is full of great stuff and you especially don’t want to miss out on a good deal and learn about a few new hidden gems. From crazy golf to donuts, live music to false lashes, Snizl’s aim is to get as many businesses and establishments on board so that you can find the best deals, whatever you’re looking for. We had a great night sampling some of this fine city’s good stuff and all from businesses who are part of the Snizl family. Go on, what are you waiting for??
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