Saturday, 24 January 2009
On entry to The Walk cafe in Bridlesmith Walk, the display of gateaux, tarts, flans and cupcakes (the most spectacular north of London's Borough Market) is designed to dazzle.
They'll have you at "hello" and they know it.
The Walk specialises in pots of tea served in charmingly mis-matched vintage china and accompanied by Cake (with a capital C).
Its selling point is old-fashioned English civility crossed with contemporary chic for the discerning customer; tucked away as it is, you usually hear of this hidden gem by word of mouth or because you've stumbled across it while perusing the boutiques in the Bridlesmith Gate quarter.
This is proper high-tea stuff, served by a sharp-uniformed waiter. It's the sort of experience tourists pay good money for in London (while labouring under the assumption that the natives dine like this every day).
And yet The Walk, Nottingham's new city centre cafe and teashop, didn't stumble out fully formed from a Wodehouse novel.
The Nottingham-based fashion designer Paul Smith has chosen 11 of his favourite places in and around the city for Vogue magazine's Secret Address Book.
They include Atomic Interiors in Plumptre Square, Lace Market, Number 8 Coffee Bar and Deli in Goosegate, Hockley, and The Walk, a newly opened tea shop in Bridlesmith Walk.