Exploring Curious Tavern – Nottingham’s hidden gem

curious tavern mercure nottingham

The Curious Tavern is situated in Nottingham city centre’s oldest hotel, constructed in 1822, and formerly known as “The George” (now Mercure Hotel).

Serving Starbucks coffee and offering a light, fast daytime menu, there is an addition of  great traditional tavern comfort foods with the evening offer at the Oyster and Champagne Bar serving tasty seafood delicacies.

The decor reflects opulence of George IV’s renowned style, design of the venue has been inspired both by the historic Georgian architecture of the building combined with 21st century chic.

Read on to find out what we thought about our recent visit to Curious Tavern.

Sophie – As has become expected from Nottingham’s other great Curious Venues, step into The Curious Tavern and you’ll become immersed in the world that has been created – so much so that after a short while of drinking and dining in its depths you might just need a reminder of what year it is. The curation of eye-catching ornamentation, careful restoration of original features, and the eclectic choice of furniture transports guests back to the 19th century and is sure to delight anyone with a penchant for vintage, antiques and oddities like myself.

The story of The Curious Tavern not only lies within its decadent aesthetics however. Delve a little further and there are secrets and surprises to be discovered within its myriad of rooms and levels. The less said the better perhaps, but if you’re feeling intrigued we recommend you enquire at the bar. With two hundred years of rich history within the building (including a most notable extended stay by Charles Dickens) the current makeover lends much to the imagination, and with plans to crack open the cave network, there are likely many more brilliantly debauched and spectacular times ahead.


Alistair – There’s no shortage of unique, extra stylish bars in Hockley, and the Curious Tavern is certainly one to investigate. Every aspect of the bar’s design has been curated with care and quirky style, and it’s like stepping into a film set as you duck inside, and notice the many quirky props and decorations. The bar is packed full of history and stories, and you can appreciate them while enjoying hand pulled local beers and a delicious menu. Rumours say there’s even more to this fantastic new bar than first meets the eye – all we’ll say is make sure you pull the right handle…

IMG-20170509-WA0000Jayne – The Mercure Hotel and Curious Venues really have created a stunning retreat for Nottingham’s drinkers and diners. A myriad of rooms, alcoves, nooks and crannies plays host to a unique venue, full of character and atmosphere. Complimenting the quirky interior is a food menu ranging from brunch to oysters via comfort food and sarnies. Oh, and did I mention the cocktails? Even designated drivers will be delighted by the range of non alcoholic cocktails offered. The perfect venue for catching up with the girls or an intimate date night – make sure you pay them a visit.

Linda – Little would you know that an unassuming doorway off one of the main streets in Hockley, in the heart of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, would lead to one of the city’s most lavish and luxurious secret bars.

Stepping inside The Curious Tavern, the Mercure Hotel’s hidden gem, is a step back in time to an era where ladies in cocktail dresses holding elegant cigarette holders and men in dapper striped suits wouldn’t go amiss.  There’s a surprise in store around every corner and you can expect to be open-mouthed at every turn.

It’s soon apparent where the secret bar’s name comes from – just try to find the correct suitcase handle to open the door between the upper and lower levels.  There’s also an eclectic mix of ‘lost property’ on display so there’s always something to catch your eye!  If that isn’t enough, the cocktails and food are as amazing as the décor and even though I had a mocktail, I didn’t feel I’d lost out as my drink was as special as its alcoholic counterpart!

Kinga – I love, love, love Curious Tavern. It was my first visit to this quirky and eclectic pub. The Tavern opened its doors in November 2016 and I still can’t believe it took me that long to visit. We were lucky enough to explore nearly all hidden areas of the venue and it’s amazing how much there is to discover, and with a plan to open a lower level of the caves it will definitely develop into an even better hangout spot.

Curious Tevern will transport you back in time, and with its dim lights and neon signs you’ll get an Alice in Wonderland feeling as you wander through its corridors.

Curious Tavern is open all week, from Sunday till Friday until midnight and on Saturdays till 2am. 

While you’re there take advantage of some great special offers:

  • Friday – £15 prosecco 4.30-7pm
  • Sunday – 50% off Oysters & 50% off cask ales from 4pm

curious tavern nottingham

Posted on 09 May 2017
Featured author: Kinga

Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

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  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

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    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

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    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

  • Sophie

    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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