Former Gordon Ramsay chef opens exclusive Nottingham private dining venue Table 47

A chef, who trained in the restaurants of Gordon Ramsay and Gary Rhodes, is set to open a high-end bespoke dining experience in Nottingham city centre. Nichola Thompson will officially launch Table 47, an exclusive private dining restaurant, on Thursday, May 16, with a grand opening invitation-only event.

With menus completely designed around individual parties, and service a priority, the upmarket venue in Bridlesmith Gate is set to become one of the city's most exclusive venues. It will be based in the former coffee shop Barista Lab.

The venue is not a traditional restaurant with walk-ins off the street. The idea evolved as Nichola amassed more than 20 years' experience in the restaurant business and was aware of customers' changing needs following the pandemic.

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Nottingham-born Nichola has previously been head chef at the Moleface Pub Company and, most recently, performance chef at Nottingham Forest. Having worked for Nottingham Forest Academy for the past year, she felt the time was right to do something for herself.

She said: “I loved working at Forest, but I was ready to branch out.” She first ventured into private dining as a sideline alongside her day job after the pandemic.

“After Covid, private dining became very popular,” she said. “People wanted bespoke events in their own home. They were lovely to work as they were always a celebration... a birthday or some other significant milestone.

“Now I have my own venue, diners can have that same intimate dining experience, either hiring for a small event or intimate dinner, and have bespoke menus, tasting menus or canapes, with me cooking in front of them as all part of the service.”

Nichola has created a boutique look for the interior of the building with deep mahogany fittings, blues and gold, all striking a luxurious look. The centrepiece is a chef’s table around which guests will be seated and Nichola will cook.

The 36-year-old has gathered around her an array of local suppliers including West Bridgford-based wine merchant Laithwaites Nottingham, local wholesalers Fishrich Seafood Company and Welbeck Bakehouse. She said her focus was on quality, local food, sustainability and exclusivity.

While the three-storey building, which is owned by developer Arran Bailey and the team at ALB Group, provides space for the chef to expand the business, Nichola’s aim is to launch the business with the ground floor available for up to 20 people. Later, as the business grows, she hopes to expand into the two rooms above – the Library Room and Garden Room, ultimately accommodating up to 60 people.

To hire the restaurant, there is no minimum number of guests but there is a minimum spend of £500 for food and drinks. Therefore, for a really special occasion, the exclusive use of the venue could be booked to host an intimate dinner for two with your own chef, bespoke menu and service for the ultimate exclusive experience.

Nichola said of the location: “What a street. I love Bridlesmith Gate. It has always had the reputation of a high-end street and has some lovely architecture. I did look at venues in West Bridgford and other city centre locations, but I just love the double frontage here and there is room for growth, plus a lot of the infrastructure was already here as it had been a coffee shop.”

Arran Bailey, managing director of ALB Group, said: “The pandemic and demise of the Broadmarsh Centre hit Bridlesmith Gate hard, but its resurgence is well underway. There is a real buzz about this area of town and its exclusive reputation is being bolstered by new businesses such as Nichola’s.”

He added: “I am Nottingham born and bred and so am determined to support businesses, shoppers and diners by injecting life back into the city centre. It has long been my passion to encourage business back into Nottingham city centre by putting an end to the traditional high rents and long leases that landlords have previously demanded.

‘By making the units more affordable, with shorter lease periods, businesses have the opportunity to grow and succeed. Nottingham is my hometown and I’m proud to be supporting fellow local businesses alongside national brands."