The masterminds behind the lucrative ‘Das Kino‘ in Nottingham have done it again, transforming the former George Wigley & Sons Silk Merhcants into a new Hockley Hotspot where guests can enjoy eclectic cocktails and eccentric foods.
Stepping through a ‘secret’ door stencilled with the logo, down an alley, the faint noise of conversation getting louder with each step as you turn the corner. Faced with a bright red sign, The Hockley Arts Club, you know you have arrived. Somehow, I don’t feel as though I am Nottingham anymore.
I feel transported almost as though I have wandered in off the beach some place tropical. Queueing for a glass of cava and transported even further into pre-industrialised Cuba. A Grade II listed building in the heart of Hockley, giving me the ability to feel as though I have stepped back in time to an exclusive gentlemen’s club. Sleek leather seats fill the lounge alongside tables accessorised with cactus and a drinks menu. Mirrors, painted ladies and retro clocks line the walls submerging you into a colonial atmosphere. An eccentric bar display entices you to take a peek at what’s on offer, a cocktail created to suit all tastes.
The smell of scratching fills the room as the canapes start their rounds amongst the eager guests. First up, a choice of chilled Pea, Ham & Mint Soup or Butternut Squash & Beetroot Soup accompanied with the best looking Pork Scratchings I have ever seen.
Followed by an array of tapas style dishes, Chicken & Fennel Meatballs, Battered Mackerel with Homemade Tartare Sauce, Asian Inspired Pork Belly with Spring Onion & Chilli to name a few. These were complimented beautifully with the numerous cocktails available. My favourite, When Life Gives You Lemons. Liquid lemon meringue in a lemon sherbert encrusted vintage glass, something I can only remember eating jelly and ice cream out of. A Baileys cream based cocktail tasting of bubble gum in a martini glass, decorated with an old school penny sweet bubble gum attached to the glass with a miniature peg, only made visible once the smoke disappeared. Ever had a Twister in your drink before? Another almost nuclear looking yet creative combination on the menu available at The Hockley Arts Club.
The 2nd floor is certainly more of a nightclub vibe than the first and the lesser favourite of the two. It’s dark, loud and busy, everything I don’t like rolled into one but everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves and talking about the vast variety of drinks. There is a Red Room towards the back which, due to the vast amount of people I couldn’t quite get to.
Taking in the rest of the area, I notice antique furniture brought up to date next to plush leather quilted booths. Antlers and a suit of armour are amongst some of the items added to the walls to keep the theme running throughout.
Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, I was unable to see the other floor however, looking up at the ceiling, I can see an exotic haven filled with plants from floor to ceiling. Definitely worth another visit to kill my suspense.
The Hockley Arts Club is certainly a place I would go for a cheeky cocktail off their cleverly illustrated menu, I’d perhaps stick to the first floor though. It felt a little more exclusive and private, relaxed and laid back and I could hear myself think.
The turnout for the launch night was incredible and there were a lot of ‘ooh’s and ahh’s’ from the late arrivals stepping into this time machine amalgamating history and the 21st century together.
Address: (Look for the Secret Door)
20a Carlton Street
The Hockley Arts Club
Twitter – @HockleyArtsClub
Instagram – thehockleyartsclub
Facebook – The Hockley Arts Club
*cocktails & canapés were complimentary