A hotel based on and around a fruit…the apple. Something very original, unusual and new to me- yet it works so well.
The Orchard Hotel based at the East Midlands Conference centre site of the Nottingham University campus, is a much needed addition to the area, with the conference centre being one of the most busy events venues in the city. The requirement of overnight accommodation has been in existence for years and is very welcomed by many far and wide.
The beautifully designed boutique hotel’s architecture is based on well- an apple, hence the name and as such the theme really does continue throughout, with the restaurant aptly names Bramleys Brasserie. You will find an interesting mural of an apple tree on one wall of every hotel room, which cleverly seems to grow the higher you climb in the hotel, with the tree reaching a crescendo in the top floor rooms, not to mention the apple shaped sculptures dotted around the venue, the whole building is one great big ergonomically designed fruit!
The bedrooms are very contemporary in style with a strong feel of being environmentally conscious- always good. As such I did find the usual pamphlet asking you to ‘Think’ about whether you really do need your towels washing, but this leaflet stated way more than just that; ‘The hotel features state of the art technology to reduce carbon emission. Solar voltaic panels and ground-sourced heat technology are incorporated, as well as a lower –energy –assisted cooling ventilation system’ and to top it off all bathrooms are fitted with water pebbles which help conserve water usage – impressive!
Our room had a great view over green fields, unusual ultra modern furniture and lighting and even a bottle of water with 2 apples alongside a welcome card on the desk- it’s the little things. Two pairs of slippers and two robes hung in the wardrobe and the toiletry products were by a quirky company called Anatomicals and were larger than normal hotel smellies.
Our table was booked for 8pm in Bramleys Brasserie and we were welcomed by the restaurant manager and handed the dinner menu by the extremely friendly waiter Popa Stefan.
With five dishes of each course to choose from we selected the seasonal soup which happened to be celeriac to start- a good sized portion served with wholemeal bread.
For main, the pumpkin and brown butter risotto was on the agenda and as a strict vegetarian it was important that this did not arrive containing parmesan cheese, given that this is made from a hard cheese containing animal rennet and so the chef ensured a fresh batch was made especially for me minus the parmesan, which incidentally was a very generous portion, topped nicely with toasted sunflower seeds.
For my meat eating friend, the pork fillet was a welcomed choice, which came on a potato rosti bed and a mattress of pickled cabbage, surrounded by kale and apple with a greedy side order of triple cooked chips – not needed in this case due to the company of the potato rosti, but very nice all the same.
Our very full bellies were in need of something sweet to finish off with, even though two courses were more than sufficient, but it was all too good to pass on and I was curious to taste my first ever caramel parfait, which sat next to whiskey ice-cream, Crème Anglaise, oats and popcorn- Oh my!
Breakfast was an array of choice from a cooked full English to continental, but with the added extras of gluten free options on the bread and muffins, which was a delight to see. The pastry selection was also very varied with a large fruit bowl and it was also impressive to be able to have soya milk with my tea- they really have covered all bases.
From check in to check out our stay went extremely smoothly, exceptional service, great food and a super comfy bed, I have to say I would highly recommend the Orchard Hotel and Bramleys Brasserie and will most certainly be returning again in the near future.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP
Bramleys Brasserie offer RSViP cardholders 20% off the 2 & 3 course lunch menus