re: Nottingham Cafe Guide

  • Cafés // Study Spaces

It’s clichéd to admit, but time really does seem to fly faster with each passing year and looking back on my years spent in Nottingham, I’m wondering what I even got to discover within the city. My final year has been pretty good for new experiences so far and so I thought I would compile a list for students (or indeed, anyone) looking to explore the city a bit more. Starting off with cafés and by no means comprehensive, here’s the places I’ve visited this month.

Over the past year or so, I’ve become quite accustomed to drinking coffee – regularly enough to warrant a space in my bullet journal’s monthly habit tracker. Concerned about the amount of money spent on a cup (or four, oops) a week, I’ve tried the cheaper option of purchasing from the university canteens as opposed to Starbucks (£1.20 vs. £2.05), but even my basic coffee palate found it undrinkable.

Moving on to positive memories, I love 200 Degrees coffee! With a branch conveniently located near the train station (Carrington Street), it’s become something of a tradition to stop by whenever I get an early morning train. The one in the city centre seems to be perpetually busy and it’s really a stroke of luck if you manage to find a table. If you like to study in cafés, Carrington Street is probably your best bet, plus securing a seat opposite the window is a prime location for people watching (heh).

Being determined to fill up my 200° loyalty card and claim a free coffee, I haven’t taken the chance to explore other cafés in the city until recently. Catching up with a friend led us to Cartwheel Café & Roastery, which ticked all of my internal biases for crisp, clean décor and the coffee was great too! Also quite novel for us was table service, despite not ordering from the breakfast/lunch menu (the kitchen was closed anyways). I am definitely making a note to come back and give brunch a try though!

Considering the ethics of studying in a café, can anyone advise on the proper time-to-purchase ratio? On my first foray into café studying, I spent just under two hours in Time Out Café with one drink, which isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things, but the worry of being politely shooed away was too stressful to bear. In any case, I give Time Out kudos for interior design, deducting points only for it being SO cold inside. It’s not a coffee shop per se, but it does offer a very wide selection of hot and cold drinks (think matcha lattes, Thai iced teas), if you ever wanted a change. Slipping into evening, food-wise I’d recommend bypassing the main dishes (disappointing, sorry!) and just ordering a whole load of Asian tapas to share (really good)!

In terms of study spaces, The Nottingham Doughnut Co. isn’t really the best place to work in. My friend maintains that there’s always a queue and the dim lighting isn’t very conducive to reading/writing. For just doughnuts though, it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed. There’s a changing roster of flavours to discover, and it seems like generously decorated doughnuts might be the new food trend of the future (R.I.P. cupcakes and macaroons). As someone who prefers savoury over sweet, one doughnut itself was a feat to finish – it’s £2.50 that’s painful to throw away, but making your friend share half is one way to prevent wastage!

Let me know where you like to study and suggestions on time-purchase etiquette too! 😂

Visitors to the desktop version of my blog, may have noticed a refreshing change of theme! I’m still working on fixing the format of some posts as well as general spring cleaning, but after a very toilsome evening spent trying to migrate my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, I’m happy that it’s now somewhat presentable! Strange formatting issues will also be ironed out over the next few weeks.

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