The Hockley Arts Club, Nottingham

My recent visit to The Hockley Arts Club in Nottingham took place at lunchtime on a Friday- the perfect way to spend a few hours winding down at the end of a busy working week…

Hidden away behind the busy streets of Nottingham’s Hockley area known for its independent venues, the bar/restaurant is what you might describe as a hidden gem covering three floors all themed creatively and made one hundred percent with social eating and drinking in mind.

Making our way to the first-floor, we were shown to our table in the private dining room area dressed traditionally with dark wooden distressed furniture, hanging velvet covered lampshades and noughts and crosses lit in neon on the walls.  This space is perfect for private parties and dinners and would seat around twenty comfortably.

The atmosphere is always pretty electric in The Hockley Arts Club given that they ensure there is always funky background music playing and the lighting and décor add to the energetic vibe of the place.

We scoured the menu- the lunchtime Prix Fixe menu which offer two courses for £11.95 or three for £14.95- great value considering the quality of the food which by the way is all freshly made from scratch on the premises by their in-house chef.

To start I went for a firm and consistent favourite of mine- soup.  This was leek and potato with a drizzle of truffle oil served with warm crusty bread- it was so tasty I wished there were more in the bowl.

My dining partner went for the Game Terrine with homemade apricot chutney which was quaintly served in a small glass jar with slices of bread (it would usually come with pistachio bread, however as my partner has a nut allergy, so they happily swapped it for plain).

My main dish was vegan cottage pie – all home made with vegan mince and lashings of mashed potato, served with brussels sprouts and red cabbage- a nice hearty dish and healthy too.

My dining partner went with the Braised beef, roasted garlic mash, sticky red cabbage and lemon butter sauce – the beef did look incredibly tender and the feedback was all positive.

To finish we went with a cheese board- which came with the ‘good quality hexagonal crackers’, red grapes, homemade salsa style tomato chutney and an ample selection of locally sourced cheeses.

My dessert was a little more adventurous as I braved the rice pudding crème Brule with the blackberry jam, which gave it a nice tarte contrast to the sweetness of the creamy Brule and my what a pleasant surprise- a first for me but something I’d most definitely have again.

The drinks menu is also vast with a generous selection of cocktails and mocktails which they are known for in the area, as well as some unusual fresh juices such as guava juice- a true holiday drink.

All in all, The Hockley Arts Club known mainly for its great social atmosphere, cocktails and bottomless brunches do also serve a darn good tasty and well-presented lunch, so I would certainly recommend going to give it a try sometime.

Fiona Duncan-Steer

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