You may have missed Ottar, the award-winning chocolate connoisseurs and pastry chefs, at Nottingham’s Welbeck Estate or at their pop-up above Rough Trade. Luckily, they’ve found a wonderful new home at the Nottingham Contemporary café bar.
For those who’ve already sampled their products in local delis, it’ll come as no surprise that they keep their café well stocked with guilty pleasures, including chocolate tarts, their own jams and fresh pastries. You can wash down your sticky treats with a good selection of teas or coffees, all served in locally made cups and saucers that you’ll want to take home.
Their menu features humble, seasonal food which uses locally sourced, high-quality ingredients. Two free-range dippy eggs with own-baked sourdough toast (£4.50) are the simplest of pleasures, and the pumpkin soup with cheese crouton (£6) was exactly the kind of delicately spiced comfort you hanker for in autumn.
The daily specials are probably the best example of healthy and responsibly sourced food in the city. A tuna nicoise stew (£7) was a curious and gorgeous abstraction of the salad from which it takes its name, while seasonal produce, fresh herbs and local cheeses are championed atop perfect pastry tarts or inventive small plates that vary in price.
There is one thorn in the side of the new arrangement: there’s no more music in the café bar. [For now – Ed.] But what’s lost in music is made up for by the addition of a modestly brilliant cafe, something common to galleries in larger cities but missing until now in Nottingham Contemporary. Their attention to detail in making everything just right would make Goldilocks blush. Please come here so it stays here. Lunch this charming is far more enjoyable if you need not launch a search party to find it.
Ottar at Contemporary, Weekday Cross, NG1 2GB. 0115 948 9750