For something a little out of the ordinary, Boilermaker in Nottingham is the place to be. Its entrance on Carlton Street looks like a boiler showroom, but step through the store cupboard and you’ll find yourself in one of the city’s coolest bars. Take your pick from cocktails including War and Peas (yes, it contains minted pea syrup and pea soda), or Bull in a Boilershop, which includes chorizo washed in tequila. Alternatively, ask the friendly mixologists to put together your own unique drink.
Kayal, a Keralan restaurant in Nottingham, comes highly recommended. Located on Broad Street in Hockley, the lunchtime thali is popular with locals for being tasty as well as affordable.
If you’d rather something less contemporary, you don’t get any more traditional than Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. It’s one of a handful of pubs that lays claim to being the oldest in England, dating back to 1189. Its landlord was shortlisted for Visit England's Tourism Superstar Award 2017 for helping visitors make the most of their time in Nottingham.
Derby is all about its real ale pubs. Ye Olde Dolphin is the oldest in Derby, and is rumoured to be haunted - it often features on ghost walks throughout the city. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening, thanks to its cosy snug and wood fires. Quiz nights are Tuesday and Sunday (with free chips!)
The Milk & Honey Deli, on Sadler Gate in the Cathedral Quarter, is a firm favourite with locals. It’s the perfect place to enjoy fresh coffee and a slice of homemade cake. They also specialise in cheese wedding cakes and stock a range of chutneys, jams and condiments.
In Burton on Trent, there are quaint tea rooms and great restaurants. The Lowercase Coffee Shop is housed within The Alphabet Gift Shop on Union Street and is a firm favourite for speciality teas and freshly baked cakes. In the warmer weather, there’s an outdoor terrace.
Head to the Trent and Mersey Canal and you’ll come across Barton Marina, home to 300 boats and places to shop, eat and drink including the Red Carpet Cinema & Café Bar. The Waterfront Pub & Restaurant has recently been refurbished, with a vaulted bar serving drinks and food, and a terrace overlooking the Marina.
The Marina is about to host its first Artisan Market on the last Sunday of every month.
THREE OF THE UK’S MOST FAMOUS EXPORTS ORIGINATED IN BURTON ON TRENT: MARMITE, BOVRIL AND BRANSTON PICKLE.