Milan | Where to drink | Nottingham Forest – an experimental bar

We visited Milan for a little affordable European break near my birthday. Have a read of the Italy tab on the blog to see what we would recommend doing and seeing here – as there are so many lovely things to do in the area. One of my top highlights from this whole holiday was Nottingham Forest. If you’re also a drink lover, a cocktail consumer, an alcohol absorber, you absolutely need to try this place out! We stumbled across it whilst having a look at the best recommended bars online – good thing too – as it’s much further out of the other vibing places people go to drink in. Although nestled along a street that’s not necessarily buzzing with other places, you see why it’s so popular as soon as you see it. From the outside in, it looks like a slim bar that’s absolutely heaving, with really cool decor. There is a doorman who you can go up to and ask for a table. I’m sure I read online that this place doesn’t actually take prebookings, so if you don’t want to wait around it might be a good idea to go as soon as it opens. We saw a good few groups waiting before us and debating for a little bit whether to wait, but we thought as we’d made it all the way there we may as well. I am so thrilled we did!

The time waiting actually went really fast, I don’t know if we were just lucky but we waited for about 15 minutes so not long at all! Now knowing how epic this place is in hindsight, I would happily wait here a long time more too! We were seated on two large armchair nestled in the side of the bar, and handed a huuuge cocktail menu (they have them in all different languages,) listing out all the different drinks available.

Before even delving fully into the menu we were completely taken aback by all the decorations everywhere. It was very busy, a lot going on, but everything seemed to work so well together and set a great atmosphere. Right behind my head there was a big board with a ‘special’ drink on – called “Brexit”. (This was right after the Brexit decision was announced so I’m loving their quick turnaround haha!)

We had a long read through the menu (which was actually more like a book) – it told a story, all about the history of the bar, why they decided to start up this snazzy venture and details on mixology.

“It is a cauldron. It is a cave. It is Nottingham Forest, a mercurial oasis where you can hear the echo of the world, which resounds in every detail, in every object. Ready to evoke Africa, the Caribbean and the orient…”

“Water can become foam, foam become air and air can turn into smoke, you don’t need a magic wand. Just to understand the laws of chemistry and desire for experiment.” 

After looking through lists and lists of cocktails, we decided on our first ones. I opted for the ‘Thai box,’ while Jack chose the TV series themed ‘True Blood’ cocktail. We were genuinely amaaaazed when they were brought out. Jack’s looked pretty funny with a little syringe of blood (cherry liqueur) to add to his cocktail, and mine was a wooden box. On opening the box, I was greeted by a cloud of smoke from the lit incense stick inside, a fortune cookie and my cocktail. The cocktail itself tasted of 90% vodka but it was bearable and for the look of it, definitely worth it! You also usually pay for the alcohol in things like this don’t you? And this place most definitely didn’t skimp!

Our next cocktails were just as cool, I went for one called the peach/orange cloud or something, which was a very sweet drink, topped with beautiful (and weird but nice tasting,) foam. It featured delicious fruit and a flower. Jack went for another TV series drink – called ‘Dexter’. It came with gloves and a sharp knife to cut your way through the bloody crime scene of a drink – how cool!

It was getting quite late (and expensive) by this point, so we went for one more drink each. This time I went for a TV series drink and chose a ‘sex and the city’ cocktail. Again, this was so so strong and tasted like pure vodka – I couldn’t actually drink much of this one haha! It looked amaaazing though, in a big high heel with a sneaky condom to finish – top banter Nottingham forest, you cheeky fellas you. Jack finished this one off for me. Jack’s last drink was possibly the coolest of the night. It came in a skull, was bright blue, and bubbled and smoked away! We still have hundreds of cocktails to try here – if we lived in the area I think we’d actually have to make it our mission to try every single one!

If you’re looking for somewhere like this a little closer to home, you can try out the Alchemist bars dotted around the UK. They offer similar drinks – some colour changing, flavour changing and smoking drinks. Whilst it’s an amazing chain I do have a special place in my heart for Nottingham Forest, they were one of the first to do something so random and are a lovely independent place. They also have the name Nottingham Forest named after the UK football team which is just so random and the best. We would 1000% recommend. Check out the pictures below for some of the other cocktails they offer!

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