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Former Gordon Ramsey chef opens exclusive Nottingham private dining venue

Former Gordon Ramsey chef opens exclusive Nottingham private dining venue

A Nottingham born chef, who trained in the restaurants of Gordon Ramsey and Gary Rhodes, is set to open a bespoke dining experience in Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham city centre.

Nichola Thompson, will officially launch Table 47, an exclusive private dining restaurant tomorrow (Thursday, May 16), with a grand opening invitation-only event. 

With menus completely designed around individual parties, and service a priority, the high-end venue is set to become one of the city centre’s most exclusive venues. 

Opening at 47 Bridlesmith Gate, the exclusive venue is in a building formerly home to the Barista Lab and, prior to that, footwear retailer Dune. 

The venue is not a traditional restaurant in the sense of the word, rather a bespoke dining service. An idea that evolved as Nichola amassed over 20 years' experience in the restaurant business and aware of customers changing needs following the pandemic. 

She had worked in restaurants including those owned by Gordon Ramsey and Gary Rhodes, had been head chef at The Moleface Pub Company and, most recently, Performance Chef at Nottingham Forest.   

Having worked for Nottingham Forest Academy for the past year, Nichola felt the time was right to do something for herself.   

She said:

“I loved working at Forest, but I was ready to branch out.” 

Nichola revealed that she first ventured into private dining work as a side line alongside her day job after the pandemic.

“After Covid, private dining became very popular,” she said. “People wanted bespoke events in their own home. They were lovely to work as they were always a celebration... a birthday or some other significant milestone. 

“Now I have my own venue, diners can have that same intimate dining experience, either hiring for a small event or intimate dinner, and have bespoke menus, tasting menus or canapes, with me cooking in front of them as all part of the service.” 

Nichola has created a boutique look for the interior of the building with deep mahogany fittings, blues and gold, all striking a luxurious look. The centrepiece of the high-end venue is a chef’s table around which guests will be seated and Nichola will cook. Made from reclaimed wood, it has been lovingly created in situ by local joiners.  

The 36-year-old has gathered around her an array of local suppliers including West Bridgford based wine merchant Laithwaites Nottingham, local wholesalers Fishrich Seafood Company and Nottinghamshire Artisan Bakery Welbeck Bakehouse. She said her focus was on quality, local food, sustainability and exclusivity. 

While the three-storey building, which is owned by developer Arran Bailey and the team at ALB Group, provides space for the chef to expand the business, Nichola’s aim is to launch the business with the ground floor available for up to 20 people. Later, as the business grows, she hopes to expand into the two rooms above – the Library Room and Garden Room, ultimately accommodating up to 60 people.   

However, to hire the venue, numbers are not an issue. Nichola said there was no minimum number of diners but there was a minimum spend - £500 a night including food and drinks. Therefore, for a really special occasion, the exclusive use of the venue could be booked to host an intimate diner for two with your own chef, bespoke menu and service for the ultimate exclusive experience. 

Nichola said of the location:

“What a street. I love Bridlesmith Gate. It has always had the reputation of a high-end street and has some lovely architecture. I did look at venues in West Bridgford and other city centre locations, but I just love the double frontage here and there is room for growth, plus a lot of the infrastructure was already here as it had been a coffee shop.” 

She added:

“The landlord has been very fair to me. It is clear that he wants to see this part of town returning to high-end status and it is great seeing it being revamped and coming back to life. I can’t rate the landlord highly enough. He has been really supportive of my business and set a fair rent”. 

Arran Bailey, managing director of ALB Group, said:

“The pandemic and demise of the Broadmarsh Centre hit Bridlesmith Gate hard, but its resurgence is well underway. There is a real buzz about this area of town and its exclusive reputation is being bolstered by new businesses such as Nichola’s.” 

He added:

“I am Nottingham born and bred and so am determined to support businesses, shoppers and diners by injecting life back into the city centre. It has long been my passion to encourage business back into Nottingham city centre by putting an end to the traditional high rents and long leases that landlords have previously demanded.  

‘By making the units more affordable, with shorter lease periods, businesses have the opportunity to grow and succeed. Nottingham is my hometown and I’m proud to be supporting fellow local businesses alongside national brands. I wish Nichola every success with her amazing new venture.”   

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