Friday, 7 January 2011

Ice Skating and a warm up in the pub

Every year for the last few years the ice arena in Nottingham has put on an outdoor ice skating rink in the market square. It's great fun to get out on the ice and have a skate round. They've got loads of pictures on the flickr site.

As I only go ice skating once a year I am always a bit like bambi on ice each year, and desperately keen to end the 45 minute session with all of my fingers intact and without falling over.


I am glad to report that I have got away with it for yet another year!

After the skating we popped over to the Cock & Hoop for burgers and steak to warm up. They've had a bit of a refurbishment in the last year and have a much lighter main bar. The basement eating area is cosy and comfortable. The spicy lamb burger was delicious and I'd definitely recommend it.

Lunch at Iberico, that's my kind of January Sale!

Well that's Christmas and New Year done for another year. The decorations are all down now and my house is feeling a bit bare without something sparkly drifting round.

I'm lucky enough to get the space between Christmas and New Year off work, and as I am not much of a shopper it's no good me going to the sales. So to take advantage of the time we went over to Ibercio for their bargain lunch deal.

Iberico's lunch menu gives you bread, 2 tapas dishes and a pudding for a tenner. It's a classy tapas restaurant owned by the same people that run my hubby's favourite restaurant in Nottingham World Service (although you certainly wouldn't get this much for £10 there!).

The restaurant is in the basement on High Pavement opposite the Cock & Hoop pub. It's quite an an unassuming entrance through metal fence. The restaurant itself feels light and cosy, with interesting nooks provided by the vaulted ceilings.

So back to the deal......

We had yummy garlic-rubbed catalan toast things for starters (like french stick rubbed with garlic and seasoned and then smothered in tomatoes). In order to get a good variety of tapas dishes between us we ordered cod cheeks, patatas bravas (it wouldn't be tapas without!), a meaty kebab dish and a veggie roasted squash dish.

All dishes were full of flavour and well seasoned. I was particularly surprised by the squash dish. I can find squash a bit bland and lacking in texture sometimes, but these were cooked to hold some texture and delicately spiced. Yummy.

Pudding was a pretty standard (and very pleasant) catalan cream.

Service was good, efficient for lunch without being too brisk. Overall an excellent experience, and one I'd be in a hurry to repeat - unfortunately I have a job which gets in the way! A glance through the menu revealed that the prices go up very significantly at night and you could easily spend a lot of money. For me the lunch was an immense bargain and a really good way to spend an hour. We booked, and it is probably wise to do so, and it was quiet when we arrived at mid-day but getting busier when we left.

The lunch menu changes regularly so you're always going to get something fresh and tasty.
As I was on holiday I popped into the art gallery at Nottingham Contemporary, I enjoyed the section making shapes and sounds and the displays of modern design - not sure I got the installation that was basically a pile of earth in layers with grated soap on top. If you do get it please enlighten me!


The rating:
An excellent choice to experience an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Go on - escape for a while! Amazing value in the lunch deal.

The summary:
Food: tapas
Price: Set lunch an incredible £10
Atmosphere: Cosy and classy with interesting architecture.

The Shire Hall
High Pavement
Lace Market

Telephone: 0115 924 2789

Web: Iberico World Tapas