There will be no shortage of action at Dusk Till Dawn tables in the coming weeks when players from around the world will flock to the Nottingham-based club in a bid to grab the biggest slice of the £1,000,000 prize pool on offer at the partypoker LIVE Grand Prix UK. If you’re heading there you’re likely to be busy playing poker, but when you fancy a break from check-raising with the nuts on the river, where should you go in Robin Hood Country to enjoy yourself? We take a look at your options.
A short taxi ride from the casino is Hooters, the popular American Diner-style restaurant where, how can we put this, most waitresses won’t mind if you struggle to pick a starter from the menu in their presence. We’ve been there, actually, and aside from the humiliation they put anyone who might be celebrating a birthday through, the staff are a riot and the food the perfect kick-off to a night out if you’ve busted or don’t play until the next day. Chicken wings from here are highly recommended and, predictably, quite saucy, so if you like to eat your dinner to cabaret, Hooters is definitely the joint for you. Unless it’s your birthday, in which case, be prepared to feature in a Facebook wall of shame upon your return, dressed in a giant nappy.
If you prefer your chicken served up with hot sauce and close to the casino, then a hundred yard sprint from the dinner break klaxon is Nando’s. Fiery in temperature and spice, the food is excellent, the service around dinner breaks pleasingly prompt and the atmosphere absolutely buzzing like a honey convention. There seems to be no-one left in the UK who hasn’t ordered up some piri-piri something or other at the famous poultry-based restaurant chain, so join the club, get yourselves a steamed chicken addiction and a chilli tolerance, before heading back to the tournament tables to play like your tongue feels – on fire!
Nottingham isn’t just blessed with great poker and grub, the nightlife is so exceptional that many stag do’s and hen do’s are relocated to Nottingham for the very reason that the club scene is one of the most renowned in the land. In fact – we’ll level with you here – it’s much more popular for stag events, with the ratio of women to men one of the highest in the country, so if for some reason you prefer the company of the fairer sex, are sick of talking about how football or simply want a fun night out, then Nottingham of an evening is the only choice. Plenty of the clubs are within a stiletto’s throw of each other, too and within those clubs exist many different kinds of music, often within the same building. Whether you like live music, electro beats or thumping bass, there really is a groove for everyone to work themselves into. Paint the town red!
Nottingham Forest isn’t just a term for the geographical flora and fauna – it’s also the moniker of the legendary football club, synonymous with European Cup success… forty years ago. These days, ‘Forest’ play in the championship, but that’s no bad thing, being one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world. At the time of going to press, your local football team to DTD are banging in the goals and letting them in too, so there’s practically a guarantee of entertainment, and with weekend days when you’re not playing poker usually rammed with other soccer lovers, you’re bound to be able to find a group to head to the City Ground with. Eat my goal!
There’s nothing like a ramble through the true natural beauty of an area, and when it comes to Nottingham, whether you’re in a bunch of merry men or not, Sherwood Forest is a great place to travel to. Exploring the countryside and keeping yourself fit is a major way of improving your poker game – not that many players take advantage of it – and the health benefits aside, you’ll love the (quite literal) change of scenery. Be sure to check out the nature trails and parks around the forest, as not only is there plenty to explore off-map, there are a lot of ways of making your walk around such a large expanse of woodland one with a focus to it.
Nottinghamshire is blessed with a number of well-kept and huge golf courses, not least Norwood Park, one of the small number of courses in England to be designed by an American. It truly is a magnificent course, so if you’re the kind of Player that tees off instead of kicks off, then de-tilt by thumping some tiny spheres around the countryside and wear silly trousers at the same time. Combined with a cold drink (or a warm drink in November), you can go in groups and treat the day out like a trip to the horses, an excuse to wager a few notes on who can hit the holes like they bink rivers. Just be sure to remember your spiked shoes, and then change out of them again before you’re back at the tables; you never know when a bad beat could leave you yelling for a ‘Four!’
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