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  • Writer's pictureTanya Louise

Travel: Happy Birthday Hilton

Let's face it, in an ideal world I'd have a night in town and then stay the night at a nice hotel without having to make my way home on the often grim public transport, paying a fortune for a cab or driving in which means you can't enjoy a drink.

So, when I was invited along to the Nottingham Hilton, it seemed the perfect chance to have a look around. The event was to celebrate two things - 100 years of the Hilton and their new social events offerings.

I've passed the hotel many times, what it being bang in the centre of town, and I have been in their bar and restaurant before when I went to review it for the Food and Drink Guide, but obviously never stayed.  It still wasn't to be my lucky night in that regard as all the 176 Guest Rooms were booked, but it was still nice to take a look around and learn a little more about what they offer.

Now when I say I've walked by many times, that's pretty much all I've done.  I'd never really stood back and appreciated the building itself.  How many times have you done that?  Really stood and looked at your surroundings?  There are some beautiful old buildings in Nottingham but we're all so busy going about our daily lives that we don't notice them.  The building which houses the Nottingham Hilton is actually 130 years old. So next time you're passing, make sure you take a moment to look at it.

The celebrations were held in the Bar and Restaurant, which is open daily serving modern and stylish British dishes with a twist - Now called Bric.  Decked out with balloons, there was a real party vibe - helped of course by the fact that we given complimentary cocktails to try.

First up I tried a Pina Colada.  Until our host told me, I'd never realised the connection between the Hilton and a Pina Colada  (remember this it's one of those things that sounds like it could come up on a quiz show) Apparently the tropical drink, the piña colada was invented by Ramón Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton San Juan in the 1950s. In a fit of inspiration, Marrero mixed rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice to create the cocktail that has come to symbolise beach holidays. Marrero continued to personally mix the drink for hotel guests for 35 years. If only I'd been drinking it in the sunshine instead of a rainy night in Nottingham.

I was also given 'A Hilton' which is essentially what you might know better as a Blue Hawaii is a tropical cocktail made of Rum, Vodka, Pineapple Juice, and Blue Curacao. Another drink which was created at The Hilton. Again in the 50's, Harry Yee, legendary head bartender of the Hilton Hawaiian Village was asked by a Blue Curacao sales representative to design a drink that featured the blue colour of Curacao liqueur. After experimenting with several variations he settled on a version with the signature blue color, pineapple wedge. Nice, and seemed much stronger than the Pina Colada.

The Events Team Moment Makers were on hand with all the information we needed as well as the Chef who had created delicious sample dishes for us to try including exciting Street Food and Mix & Mingle propositions. I did grab a chance to look around the areas of the lovely hotel which I could.  The hotel caters for business and pleasure having great facilities and flexible spaces.  We saw some of the seven rooms which are used for events and have space for up to 200 delegates, one of the rooms was decorated beautifully for a wedding, while another was being used for a business meeting.

Guests also have use of the Livingwell Health Club.  When we looked around there were several people making use of the fully equipped gym which is kitted out with all the latest generation cardio and strength training machines.  There is also a sauna and a steam room which of course I'd like to have gone in but you know, what with being fully clothed  and that, might have been a bit weird.

The pool looked stunning too.  At 60ft, apparently its the longest pool in the city.  Ideal for a dip or there's even an aqua class.   There's also Bliss Beauty Room on site where you can enjoy a massage or a treatment.

If you're visiting Nottingham, the hotel looks like a really good option.   Who knows, maybe I'll just book myself a night for treat one day.

Love T xx

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