Our Favourite Things: Nottingham

We left Nottingham on December 15th, after living there for over six years. Since we decided to leave we’ve spent a lot of time looking forward to what’s in store for us in Chester, but also reflecting on the best bits of Nottingham life. Below are a few that we came up with, but I’m sure we could think of so many more.

Adam – Food. Hallam’s in Beeston and The Fruit Basket in West Bridgford are two of the best greengrocers you’re likely to find. Nottingham is spoilt for choice for delis, with No.8, Homemade and the majestic Delilah. We’ve spent many happy Saturday mornings sampling all the cheeses at West Bridgford farmers market and I’ve got some great spots for picking apples, blackberries and plums. The only thing missing is a truly great coffee shop.

Image from no8deli.co.uk

Sarah – A progressive council. For all the bad reputation I have found Nottingham an incredibly forward-thinking and compassionate city. The tagline from the council is ‘an ambitious Nottingham’ and I must agree. There have been major redevelopments over the last couple of years, with new sports centres, massive tramworks and a new train station. Councillors hold very regular surgeries in all wards and actually respond to queries. They continue to support local projects that build communities and maintain a high level of good/outstanding Ofsted schools across the county. The council do a lot of events over bank holidays, making the most of many green spaces available in the city.

For the past year I’ve been involved with Nottingham Citizens, part of Citizens UK, and have joined together with churches, mosques, unions, businesses and voluntary organisations representing 30,000 people. We’ve campaigned for the Living Wage, the fair treatment of asylum seekers in detention centres, and for greater regulation on payday loans. This project is in its infancy and has the potential to achieve great things for the city.

Adam – Trent Vineyard. This church has been my home for the last five years and Sarah’s for six. Since we first arrived we were shown kindness and love and have always had people looking out for us, encouraging us and pushing us to explore our talents. I never knew that a Sunday morning spent in church could be so relevant, engaging and fun. They have let us lead teams and have given us responsibility which has allowed us to grow. Trent Vineyard shows that the church can be the most compassionate and generous place in the city.

Sarah – Community projects and places to go with little ones. There are many great community projects around Nottingham and I am sure there are many we haven’t even discovered. But among our most visited places are Arkwright Community Gardens (The Meadows), Stonebridge City Farm (St. Annes) and Green’s Windmill (Sneinton). We also love Nottingham Contemporary art museum which has family weekends every Saturday and puts on great events in half term. It is also completely free. Nottingham University has a splendid campus called Highfields with a boating lake, state-of-the-art park and beautiful theatre which often boasts wonderful plays and activities for children. Also Wollaton Park (now the home of Batman) has a vast expanse to let the children roam free, and you can get pretty close to the deer.

Some of the bounty at AMC Gardens

Adam – “Duck”. The usage of ‘duck’ as a term of endearment is Nottingham’s key gift to the English language, and a super-effective tool for confusing students who are new to the area. A woman who served me at the co-op used ‘duck’ at the end of every sentence (“‘Ey up, duck. Y’alright, duck? Do you want a receipt, duck? See you, duck.”). Other top quality Nottinghamisms are ‘snap’ for (packed) lunch and ‘cob’ for a bread roll.

Sarah – IKEA. I didn’t even know what this word meant until I moved here.

Adam – Pubs. The Malt Cross. The Stratford Haven. Brew Dog. The Organ Grinder. (Is anybody else thirsty?) Oh, and the Broadway Cinema, of course. 

So, Nottinghamites, what have we missed? Please let us know in the comments below what we’ve overlooked.

Sarah.

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