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Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Quad and Cube in Derby

The same day that I did my recent blog from Bistrot Pierre in Derby I had a morning looking around Derby’s new arts centre, The Quad, on the Market Square. As mentioned before, Derby is my home city and like any city it will be in architectural flux as time passes. That will include its arts and café/restaurant scene too.

The café bar at the currently closed Derby Playhouse was always a place I would haunt when I lived in Derby and went to see everything on their theatrical programme in their main auditorium and studio theatres and the Playhouse was a popular tea stop venue for shoppers in the Eagle Centre. So without this venue to re-explore and write about I made my way across town on a bright but cold morning and had a look around Derby’s latest cultural jewel.

The Quad was showing a photography exhibition of modern masters and I got into a lengthy and interesting chat with the curator and a visiting lecturer about the nature of photography and the fact that Derby has always been a centre of photographic excellence. . They should have seen my holiday snaps circa 1971.They were retro classics. Only kidding.

I had a good look around and checked out their two cinema spaces and of course the café downstairs. Before going down to the café I got inspired to take a few photos of my own of the people criss-crossing the market square with the Assembly rooms in the background.

Now to the Coors Cafe Bar. I just had a coffee as I was eating later but their brochure claims that they are offering the best that Derbyshire has to offer with locally sourced ingredients creating classic Derbyshire cuisine alongside drinks and bar snacks. They were promoting their Hartington Blue pasta and Derbyshire Cobbler and a delicious range of cakes. This café is also a bar and I noticed that they were serving Kastel Cru bottled lager made from Champagne yeast. The price for this drink is pretty high so I don’t know how popular this will be with the arts crowd in Derby. Like the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham they also offer a meal deal where for £11 (currently) you can have any main course and a film viewing. Every Thursday they have live music events, spoken word events and quizzes.

Derby is quite a small city really and easy to get around on foot and I can’t believe that I missed seeing another modern food venue called the Cube café bar. I’m going to have to return soon to check this one out.

They have a website at The Cube is part of another performance space called déda near to Chapel Street Car park. The food on their brochure looks really nice and again they are sourcing the foodstuffs locally from within 20 miles of Derby City Centre and they have many meat/dairy/gluten free choices on their menu available to view online at

It seems that the folk of Derby are really getting a taste for exciting food venues and I noticed that en route to Bistrot Pierre on Friar Gate it was like walking along restaurant mile.


Marian Barker said...

I don't know about your 1971 holiday snaps .... the 1983 Cherbourg ones are .... erm .... what's the word I was looking for? ....... amusing!

Gail's Man said...

The last time I was in derby was last October, when I went to see Boy George in concert.

Not Waving but Drowning said...

I need some recommendations please for 2 places in Nottingham city centre.

You'll have to publish your "good tea guide" next



Phil Lowe said...

Not Waving but Drowning. What type of 2 places are you looking for please?