We spent the weekend in Nottingham, celebrating the birthday of Anna’s brother. Some time was spent figuring out three things Nottingham was famous for. We came up with Robin Hood (who has at best a dubious connection to the place), Brian Clough (who definitely wasn’t from there) and Games Workshop (which is merely mildly embarrassing). After this discussion, we spent some time in what has been voted the third dirtiest pub in Britain, and then in another bar not far from the site of a spot of gun crime last weekend.
All of which is a bit unfair to point out, because we had a great time and Nottingham doesn’t deserve its at times grim reputation. On Sunday morning, we spent some time in the grounds of its castle, eating a picnic breakfast and reading the paper (which was a bit thin this week except for a nice kicking of the BNP and a decent column on electoral reform from the always reliable Andrew Rawnsley). Every city looks better in the sun, but the high ground occupied by the castle gives great views of Nottingham whatever the weather, and its grounds are very well kept (no doubt in part due to the fact you have to pay to get in).
We also visited The Walk, which – uniquely amongst similar establishments in Britain – actually smells and feels like the continental cafe-bar it is trying to be. Excellent cake, very nice coffee, and tea pots to die for. They have a blog here, but alas during our visit the new staff uniform was not in use. Finally, we braved the ever-tempting Fopp, where naturally we bought things purely because they were cheap.
A grand time, then. So, in defense of this fine city, we’ll make one last comment on the fame debate: our interlocutor on the issue was from Bristol. People in glass houses and all that…