The Hawksley on Derby Road is another one of the Nottingham City Centre pubs that features part of the cave system. It is right next to the Hand and Heart pub which we have visited before that has a restaurant inside the caves. Here at the Hawklsey the pub kind of adjoins the sandstone and there are nooks and crannies where it touches the caves. It did smell a bit ‘cave-like, when we walked in and it was not as full of punters as its neighbour. For a brief moment we wondered whether to move on down the hill, but then we saw the Castle Rock Harvest Pale pump on the bar so we knew that all was well and decided to stay a while.
We got a pint and went up into the outside gallery which is right up against the sandstone. Its a pretty nice spot but all you can see is cliff and roof. the outside air and sunlight is within grasp but not sight. Lets be honest though it is better than being inside unless of course this is where all the smokers congregate? I suspect it might be when it is busy, damn never thought of that, why do they get the best outside bits?
Well we had our pint of beer and so now we needed some food. There was a limited but all encompassing menu chalkboard offering your standard bar food with a hint of it being home cooked. If it hadn’t been hot I might have had the homemade pie or chicken curry type of situation, but instead knowing full well what may lay in store I opted for a hamburger.
This was not the most amazing hamburger in the world but as a pub hamburger it was perfectly acceptable. I liked the fact that when we ordered them one of the two ladies behind the bar went off upstairs to cook it for us to order. I don’t think that thee is a steady stream of people coming in for food, but when they do they seem to get a friendly greeting and the personal touch.
On the plate you got a really hearty freshly chopped up salad with good crunchy fresh lettuce, slices of red pepper, some red onion and a bit of tomato. Inside the burger you also got a slice of tomato and a large lettuce leaf, plus a slice of cheese on top of a basic burger meat patty. The chips were of the oven baked or frozen variety, and they were those ‘steak-type’ ones, not that bad, but I didn’t eat them all.
You know what I liked eating here at the Hawkley. I might not have chosen well off the menu, but I got what I needed from my burger and I liked the fact that I was gently told off for not eating all of my salad. It is those sort of homely touches that make a place your local.
The Hawksley is located at 69-73 Derby Road in Nottingham. It is just about a 10 minute walk up the hill from the Old Market Square and a couple of minutes down the hill from Canning Circus. We suggest adding it onto a pub crawl in the are including the Hand and Heart next door, and the three pubs at Canning Circus; The Sir John Borlase Warren, The Falcon Inn, and The Organ Grinder