I love Nottingham. In fact, I more than love Nottingham, I'm proud to be from Nottingham. I've been working on making my very own Monopoly board, all about my favourite City, including my favourite places whether it be shops, restaurants or good old tourist attractions. Which means I get to share some of my favourite things about Nottingham with you! Nottingham is my favourite City, not just for the reason I was born in the Queens Medical Center, or spent the majority of my childhood years growing up in inner City towns and outer City villages. There are so many things about Nottingham which make me happy. Nottingham makes me feel content, and despite the often bad rep it gets, it's a City I will always love. From the Old Market Square and Town Hall which even on the gloomiest of days look amazing, to the Robin Hood statues scattered around the outskirts of the City Center. I have fond childhood memories of the River Trent, taking boat rides along it or playing in some of the many, big parks and outdoor swimming pools. Wollaton Hall makes me smile, with it's beautiful nature and wild deer. Even more so when I saw it on the big screen - Wollaton Hall was used as Wayne Manor in Batman The Dark Knight Rises.
Old Market Square, Town Hall and the Urban Seaside
But my most favourite place in Nottingham? Nottingham Castle. I am a big Robin Hood fan, to be a total cliche of a Nottingham girl, but I adore the stories and tales of Robin Hood, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is my all time favourite film (the title of this post is a quote from the film!), and so Nottingham Castle became an even more interesting place for me growing up. So much so that I've always said if I were to get married one day, I would want to get married in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.
Nottingham has so much history, so many stories and secrets. I love walking around the City Center and finding little alleyways that are narrow and steep, finding what were once caves for holding criminals; robbers, thieves, outlaws. I love the Caves of Nottingham 'tourist attraction', even if it does mean walking down narrow passageways with low ceilings which drip on you and feel claustrophobic. I love the Lace Market, an area of Nottingham I have always lusted after living in with it's beautiful buildings and cobbled streets. Oh and let's not forget the shops. Nottingham has to be in my Top 3 places to shop, with a huge selection of beauty shops, fashion, crafts, and everything in between.
I have two favourite times of year in Nottingham. Summer and Winter. In the Summer, Nottingham City Center is transformed into an urban seaside, with a beach, rides and amusements. The atmosphere during Summer is so lovely; everyone's having fun, enjoying the rare British sunshine and dipping their toes in the sand (and a few more daring, running through the foundations) Winter, everything gets transformed into a Winter wonderland. With more rides, German markets, the most delicious foods and drinks you can imagine whilst the town hall glitters in fairy lights and changes colour from pinks to purples, greens to blue. I love spending Christmas Eve in Nottingham, on Old Market Square, soaking up the excited atmosphere. It's one of my most favourite things to do.
The Nottingham Urban Seaside
Nottingham is full of amazing restaurants, but my favourite place to eat is Jamie's Italian. Whilst preparing this post, putting together my Monopoly board and taking photos of some of my favourite aspects of Nottingham, my partner and I visited Jamie's Italian for a phenomenal three course meal. Whenever I see calamari, or fried squid, on a menu, I have it. It reminds me of Cyprus and all the lovely seafood us Cypriots like to eat. To start, I had the Fried Squid, which comes with a garlic mayo, lemon and chilli, cooked to utter perfection. For my main, I opted for Jamie's Oliver's favourite main from his menu, the turkey milanese. A huge turkey breast stuffed with prosciutto and fontina, with a fried free-range egg and truffles, I enjoyed this exquisite dish alongside Jamie's famous polenta chips, crispy fried with rosemary, salt and parmesan. For dessert, there was one particular option which caught my eye and had my tummy demanding it, even after two courses! I had the epic brownie, which definitely lives up to it's name; a warm fudgy brownie with amaretto ice cream and caramelised amaretti popcorn. Amazing! Jamie's Italian is a wonderful place to eat, with a beautifully designed interior and welcoming, friendly staff. The food is sensational and some of the most flavourful food I have ever tried. If you haven't been yet, get yourself booked in at your nearest Jamie's Italian - I assure you, your taste buds will thank you for it! And there's no diddy portions, I'm talking proper food, proper portions and all at fairly reasonable prices!
After a lovely day noting down my favourite places in Nottingham and giving my taste buds and tum a real treat, I had even more fun putting together my very own Monopoly board. I was kindly sent the Monopoly board by Gala Bingo, for me to put it together with all of my favourite places. I have to admit, I was pretty excited. With so many beautiful places on my doorstep, with history and legends which are Worldwide known, I couldn't wait to dot all my favourite places from Nottingham onto my Monopoly board. Just as I have celebrated Nottingham and my favourite places through my Make Your Own Opoly, Gala Bingo are celebrating the launch of their Megajackpots Monopoly Pass Go Slots game**! It was so much fun trying out my Monopoly board once I had made it, and I know it'll be a popular game this Christmas with my family. I can't wait to play it with my nephew and share with him all my favourite places in Nottingham; the Castle, the Town Hall and Old Market Square, the River Trent, Wollaton Hall, an old hidden stream we used to play in as kids, the Lace Market and more.
If you had a Make Your Own Opoly board, I want to know which places would feature on your board. Do you love your home City as much as me? Or maybe you're a fan of Nottingham, too? I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful City and this has been the perfect way to share it with you all!
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*I was kindly provided with a Make Your Own Opoly board by Gala Bingo as well as £50 to spend at Jamie's Italian. All views are my own and 100% honest.
**Please bare in mind that you must be 18 years or older to use the Gala Bingo website, or to gamble in general.