The room was small but had everything we needed; a super comfy king size bed, plenty of storage and a well-stocked bar of luxury drinks and snacks. We especially liked the fact there was a complimentary cafetiere as well as fresh milk in the fridge. (Can you spot me in the reflection?)
Like many modern hotels I've stayed in, the decor has taken on the classic large neutral tiles with bright white finishes. I think this really works to give a contemporary bathroom feel without looking too stark and clinical. The were added touches of little luxuries in the form of The White Company bath products too.
Booked in for 7pm in the restaurant, we made our way across and waited in the cosy bar area for our table. The weather was terrible, but Hart's provided branded umbrellas, should we have wanted to use them. With a comfy sofa and a view of the bar, we perused the menu and ordered a couple of drinks. I ordered a carafe of the Riesling - not for everyone but I do enjoy a sweet wine. It was lovely to enjoy a carafe of half a bottle of wine too, and at £14.00 it wasn't bad pricing at all.
You can find a sample of their ever changing menu here; which is amended daily based on season and locally sourced ingredients. To start we went for the Pork and apple fritters and the Mussels in a white wine sauce, with a choice of bread from the Hambleton Bakery to begin. With starters around the £7-8 mark and mains from £14 upwards, we agreed that the delightfully presented dishes were good value for money. The restaurant was already bustling by this time, with a steady stream of customers moving from the bar seating to their tables.
My boyfriend was in absolute awe of this starter, which had soft pork belly within a crispy breadcrumbed outer. Just the right balance of crispy and fatty, with some really great quality pork. My mussels were plump and delicious, with a moreish sauce. I luckily had enough wholemeal sourdough from the bread basket to start me off, and was offered an extra slice by a nearby waitress. It was probably for the best that I restrained myself from finishing the lot, without a soup spoon it could have been quite uncouth. Luckily I didn't fill up on the starter either, since my mouthwatering main was on the way.
I went for Slow cooked beef with truffle mash, which was rather like a fine dining answer to the beef bourguignon. Cooked medium rare to my liking on a bed of silky mash with pearls of pickled onion and mushroom and crunchy cabbage to accompany, this was truly a fantastic dish. I never will know how a slow cooked piece of meat can be cooked to your liking, but it was perfectly pink and delicious. My boyfriend went for Griddled halloumi with tempura vegetables which came on a tangy tomato sauce. A brilliant vegetarian option and well received by someone who (as you can tell by the starter) isn't veggie at all. Alongside we enjoyed fresh and seasonal minted veg; a medley of green beans, spinach and kale.
For our third course, we opted for the Quince souffle and Chocolate fondant with pistachio icecream. If you read this blog often, you'll know my other half would usually go for the cheeseboard. This looks fantastic too, but in the interest of variety he decided to try something he'd never had before. The floaty souffle had a slightly golden sweet flavour which reminded me of a toasted meringue topping.
I was in serious awe of this delectable dessert - yes it tasted as good as it looks. The slightly nutty savoury flavour of the real pistachio ice cream offset the tempting fondant, which was oozing with bittersweet chocolate sauce.
Overall this was definitely one of the best meals I've had in a while, and I don't say that lightly. Happily full, we went out for a few cocktails in Nottingham before heading into a deep slumber in the comfy king size bed.
The breakfast service was welcoming, with the smell of fresh coffee, warm bread and newspapers on tap. Just what we needed. I went for a selection of their hot breakfast items with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a latte. The orange was really zesty with juicy bits - this was definitely not from concentrate. The bread from Hambleton Bakery was real too, and I enjoyed with a thick layer of butter and a slurp of my coffee. By the way, how huge is that cafetiere?
A weekend well spent, with great food and small but perfectly formed luxuries. It was a great way to explore Nottingham, whilst feeling set back from the city itself. I would definitely recommend for a girly weekend away, a new way to explore the city as a couple or even for a Nottingham business trip.
We stayed and dined as guests of Hart's. All word and photographs my own - I was not expected to write a positive review or otherwise.