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I visited the Pavilion Cafe a few weeks ago with friends as we had a look around some of the University of Nottingham’s art galleries. One of the things that we checked out was the Mothers and Midwives exhibition, which was a very interesting look at how the experience of having a baby has become increasingly medicalised in the past century. We also wandered around the archaeology museum, which was great as it contained lots of local history which I’m really interested in.

It was a very cold day (thankfully the weather seems to be warming up now! It felt almost Spring-like as I walked to work today) and we needed to warm ourselves up with hot drinks so we headed to the Pavilion Cafe, which looks out onto the University lake.

There’s an interesting story behind the development of the University of Nottingham in its current home. In the 1920s, the then University College Nottingham was based in the City, on Shakespeare Street. Some of its buildings now form part of the Nottingham Trent University. Jesse Boot, gifted 35 acres of land to the City of Nottingham and it was decided to locate the University here. But it was stipulated that at least some of the space available should provide a place for recreation for the citizens of Nottingham, and so the Highfields Park was created (which is always full of parents and kids even on the coldest days!) and later, Lakeside Arts Centre was opened to further enrich the cultural lives of the people of Nottingham.

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It was lunchtime when we arrived in the cafe and it was pretty full – its clearly very popular with families!

The cake and snack selection was very impressive with a large variety of different scones, cake slices, muffins, cupcakes and cakes. They were reasonably priced, in my opinion, at £1.50 for a cupcake, scone or croissant and £2 – £2.50 for cake slices – which given that they were rather large and very yummy looking was also reasonable.

The variety of scones was amazing – vanilla, wholemeal, parmesan and rosemary!


I went for a parmasan and rosemary scone and pot of tea. I loved the flavour combination of parmesan and rosemary, but found the scone itself to be a little dry. If you’re interested in making scones like these at home, check out this recipe.

I’ll be heading back to Lakeside soon to see a play. I do feel lucky to live somewhere where there’s so much to do!