The knowledge: Ellie Burns’ guide to Nottingham
Nottingham Contemporary

Every week we provide you with ‘the knowledge’ about a different UK town or city.

This time Ellie Burns, the young blogger and fashion spotter behind Ellie’s Favourite Things, shares her tips about style, going out and eating out in Nottingham.

My favourite areas for trend-spotting…

Whenever I’m on the lookout for new outfit inspiration and ideas, the place I always turn to first is Hockley. By the Lace Market, it’s my favourite part of Nottingham. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Hockley is filled with second hand and independent shops and there’s definitely a more adventurous and unique style there. One of my favourite fashion bloggers, Chelsea Jade Loves has a street style feature with loads of Nottingham style, too!

[Hockley, with the Broadway Cinema in view – picture: David Hallam-Jones]

My favourite shops and boutiques…

My favourite shops in Nottingham are again, all in Hockley. Up there is Cow, Wild, White Rose, A Vintage Obsession and a massive Oxfam. It is also home to Mimm (13 Broad Street), an independent clothing shop combining fashion, art and music. As well as having its own independent record label, it hosts creative events and art exhibitions within the store. It’s worth having a nosey inside.

My favourite weekend hangout…

I always enjoy having a wander around the Nottingham Contemporary. There’s always something going on there, be it live music events, crafts or just an artist exhibition. Every time I go there’s always something new being showcased. As well as a café, there’s also a shop that I like to have a rummage around to find all things arty and creative.

Nottingham Contemporary
[Nottingham Contemporary – picture: Neil Cummings / Flickr]

My favourite place to watch a gig…

Out of all the venues in Nottingham (Rock City, the Capital FM Arena etc…), The Rescue Rooms is one of my favourite places to go. Being one of the smaller music venues in Nottingham, it has a really welcoming and chilled atmosphere, as well as having some new and upcoming artists playing there too.

Where I go for a quick bite to eat…

Hiding on a little side street just of Lister Gate, lives the White Rabbit Tea House. Welcomed with a little bench outside, it serves the scones with jam and little snacks accompanied with tea served in the cutest teacups.

… and a special meal…

Yes, I know you can find it everywhere, but my ultimate favourite place to eat is Wagamamas (once I’ve found somewhere I like, I’m really rubbish eating anywhere else!). It’s just on the corner of The Cornerhouse (haha) and there’s always a buzzing atmosphere in there, the staff are really friendly and the food always comes quickly! What more could you want?! If you haven’t been there before and are looking for something to try, definitely have a look at the ‘Chicken Katsu Curry’, and for vegetarians? The ‘Mini Yasai Yaki Soba’ is delicious!

Rescue Rooms
[Graham Coxon performs at The Rescue Rooms – picture: XoxoHell / Flickr]

Hidden gems I don’t mind sharing…

It’s not the most hidden thing in the world, but on Broad Street lives Broadway Cinema, one of my favourite places to go in Nottingham. It’s an independent cinema screening not only mainstream films, but independent ones too. There are a couple of film festivals and events that go on there as well as a café and bar (ooh, and did I mentioned it’s the first ever cinema designed exclusively by Paul Smith, too?!). There’s a really creative and chilled atmosphere, and it’s always lovely to take a break from the super busy, overcrowded cinemas!

Nottingham-based designers you should know about…

A couple of months ago I went along to the ‘Nottingham Independent Creative Community Indoor Market and Artist Showcase’ (possibly the longest event name I’ve ever seen!) at the Nottingham Contemporary and it was overflowing with up and coming designers in Nottingham.

One designer that really caught my eye is Daisy Thomas. She creates vintage and niche accessories that are all handmade. What I really love, are the headphones she makes- she combines digital printed fabrics, sequins glitter and beads as she takes headphones to a whole new level, they’re oh so funky. Definitely worth checking out.

Some other brands and designers I really like are Hyena (a clothing brand influenced by the 80s and 90s) and Shaka– they make really awesome designs for t-shirts .

My ideal 24 hours in Nottingham…

Of course, no day out in Nottingham would be complete without breakfast from the Patisserie Valerie in the Exchange (you can easily notice it with the crowd of people outside gazing at the mouthwatering cakes).

I’d then wander up to Hockley and along Bridlesmith Gate, one of the most fashionable shopping streets in Nottingham (with American Apparel, Whistles, Fred Perry etc). To keep me going, I’d head up to the White Rabbit Tea House for a slice of Victoria sponge and an afternoon tea.

If it’s a warm, summer’s afternoon, I’d definitely have a trip to Wollaton Park and have a stroll around the formal gardens and lake before ending the day with a Waga’s. Perfect.

Wollaton Park
[Wollaton Park – picture: Duncan Harris / Flickr]

Discover more from Ellie at and you can also find her on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Do you have your own Nottingham tips to share? Tell us more below, on Twitter with #wow247 or Facebook