I’ve had 3 experiences of Nottingham Road Hotel. The first experience was when I was a student and the famous pub was our final destination. The second time was when we were down from Mozambique (our home at the time) and were looking for reasonably priced Midlands Meander accommodation for our second to last night of being just husband and wife – two nights before I was due to have a cesarean and our first child was to make her appearance. Beer and wine was not the draw card this time, rather a good night sleep in the lush and peaceful Midlands countryside. I remember how there were renovations happening at the time with a lot of noise that I equated to a hammer smashing down walls, or something! The third time was a couple of weeks ago, this time for a photo shoot!
I did a 2 day midweek shoot at the hotel. It was a cold and misty Tuesday and it was Farmer’s night. It felt surprisingly familiar, reminding me of my days of working as a bar person in numerous old English pubs and of serving the perfect pint of draught lager whilst listening to the locals discuss politics, sport and of course, farming! Throughout the day, people would pop in – some locals, some looking to experience the famous Notties pub with a pint of lager and a pub lunch and some who came back for the memories. “It’s just as it was, exactly the same,” one visitor commented whilst enjoying a beer with his long time friends and reminiscing about the good old days.
It’s true, the pub is still as it was all those years ago since my first visit. It’s a busy, cosy little old English style hub, packed with memories and a feeling of history and tradition, a crackling fire for days like ‘these’ and a lot of people who like to call Notties ‘their local!’ The pub is still the pub we know. But I cant say that for the accommodation. It’s changed.
Notties Hotel has come out blazing in it’s old(er) age! It’s been botoxed, spruced up, tummy tucked and rebranded and it’s looking good! It’s a combination of modern/chic and vintage all rolled into one. As well as redecorating the rooms of the main building, they have also built a whole new complex and are now able to accommodate bigger groups. It’s the perfect spot for a conference, company team building or a reunion or gathering for friends or family. It’s changed so much, that even the friendly No.10 ghost has moved on since the renovations….or so they say. Yes, that’s right – Notties is not only famous for it’s pub, but for it’s resident ghost too, said to be a house maid with loose morals and who has an affinity for tidying up after the guests. Apparently she has not been seen since the changes, which is quite unfortunate! I’m always up for an experience, especially if it’s a friendly ghost that likes to tidy up!
I took these photos for the Notties Hotel and Pub website which will be launched soon. Not only was it fantastic to visit an old jaunt, one that comes with many good memories for me too, but to experience the Midlands Meander again. So many of us go no further than Piggly Wiggly, the very tip of the ice berg! But if you venture down those meandering roads, you will find so much more. The Midlands Meander encapsulates creativity, tradition and lush landscapes. Each little stop (or not so little) is something completely different. More on the Midlands Meander coming soon…