The Loom is a new bar/venue in the ever popular Lace Market in Nottingham; situated opposite The Contemporary we were invited to opening night.
On arrival we had no problem finding the place, but the huge solid doors were closed and it made us wonder if we had turned up on the wrong night. After checking messages to confirm we had the correct evening, we tentatively pushed on the door and luckily it opened.
Walking in the first impression I got was this was a trendy restaurant with its wooden tables, whitewashed walls, pretty bay window and unusual decorations. As I walked in further it seemed to turn into industrial warehouse meets Victorian parlour. My friend and I sat at a recycled cable reel table with smaller cable reel stools with the addition of a scatter cushion perched on the top. Whilst I loved the look of the cable reels, I looked longingly at the leather seats across from us and whilst I was being splintered by the raw wood I couldn’t help but wish we were on those instead.
I got up and had a little walk around, the venue is larger inside than it looks from the outside, it stretches quite far back, the bar is towards the back on the right side and at the very back wall there is a stage/area for live bands. There are more mis-matched furnishings along the way from sofas to stools to chairs.
We decided to try a small bite to eat, neither of us wanted much so we just ordered a starter of chicken skewers and a side of triple cooked chips. The food came out fairly quickly, it was a nice size starter, two small chicken skewers on a bed of coleslaw with a smear of peanut butter which I assumed to be a version of satay sauce. The coleslaw was very fresh and unique tasting, it had a mint flavour to it which was very similar to the cucumber and mint raita you would get in an Indian restaurant. The chicken itself was not the tastiest I have tried, the marinade was nice but the meat was the darker meat, I don’t think it was breast meat which made it less tasty. The chips were just chips, I am not sure they were homemade or handcut so they were nothing special for being ‘triple cooked’. We ordered two cocktails, one champagne based and one gin based, both were very delicious and priced around average for those types of cocktails.
A live band started to play but when I asked a member of staff who it was that was playing, they didn’t know.
Generally I love the idea of mis-match, but I do think it still requires a degree of comfort. The building felt cold, the exposed brickwork looked just ‘left’ rather than an intended feature. I think it could have been treated or had some sort of insulation to make it feel warmer and look a bit more attractive. Mis-match and random is good and unique when done well.
The Loom has loads of potential but I think it needs to decide what it wants to be. It could be a great live music and cocktail bar with a couple of small tweaks – sand the cable reel stools and tables, make the place a bit warmer – the freestanding gas heater was not enough unless stood on top of it.
All of the staff were lovely and friendly, helping with questions about the menu and giving advice on cocktail choices. Very attentive and made sure we were ok. Whilst I probably could have asked to be moved due to discomfort, all of the tables were reserved so I didn’t feel like I wanted to cause them unnecessary problems by asking to swap around. As we were leaving there were door staff placed on the doors outside, so you could tell there was some sort of venue there, but I still feel it would benefit from some more welcoming doors, or a set of interior extra doors so you could leave the solid doors open but still keep the place enclosed.
The Loom will be a lovely place to visit on a night out when the opening tweaks are ironed and with more advertising. A must try for something new.