Spotlight Bar and Restaurant – Motorpoint Arena

I was recently invited to try the new hospitality offering at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, as this has recently undergone a refurbishment allowing them to provide unique hospitality packages. The Motorpoint Arena, located just on the edge of Nottingham city centre is well placed with parking nearby and good transport links. The Motorpoint Arena now offers guests the opportunity to dine in their premium restaurant, Spotlight Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant is located on the 4th level of the arena and the restaurant can seat up to 130 guests and offers an exclusive experience for guests to enjoy before an event at the arena such as music, comedy or even a Nottingham Panther’s match.

When we arranged the package, we had to pre-order our food, this is done so that they can allow for the food to be prepared and served in good time for the beginning of the show. On the night of the show, we arrived shortly after 6PM and made our way up to level 4 to start our hospitality experience. Upon entering the restaurant, we were warmly greeted and shown to our table. The layout was spacious and open plan whist being decorated in a neutral, bright and modern way. With chic décor and a range of mixed style seating the venue has an elegant feel to it. The tables were a good size and there is plenty of space between them so it doesn’t feel too crammed in. Weather permitting, the venue offers beautiful floor to ceiling views of the city’s skyline. Their mixed style lighting looks modern and ensures a good covering of lighting for the whole restaurant. There are curtains to separate areas of the restaurant leaving a larger group table quite private which would be great for parties or celebrations.

Our drink orders were taken promptly (1 drink per diner is included in the price of the Spotlight Hospitality Package), these arrived fairly quickly, however, the staff seemed unsure on the drinks options and despite asking for a rum and coke this came as rum and soda. However, they did rectify this quickly and the service was attentive throughout the rest of our meal. Around 15 minutes later our mains arrived and I guess this is the main benefit of ordering before the day as we didn’t have to wait long at all. With this being said I can see this not being to the taste of everyone as people may change their mind of what they’d like to eat on the day. We both had ordered the braised lamb shank which was served with roasted root vegetables, buttered herb mash potato and a redcurrant and rosemary sauce. This was given an extra level of sophistication as it was served under a shiny, sliver cloche. The lamb was tender and juicy and despite it looking very rustic as it was served on the bone it was a good portion. On a slightly less positive note the lamb lacked any real depth of flavour and considering this is a premium venue I was expecting more for the price and prestige of the package. Well roasted veg accompanied the leg of lamb. The creamy herb and butter mash soaked up the jus. I enjoyed the dish and it was well cooked but it did little to offer anything different to other city centre venues.

After we had finished our main course our plates were taken quickly and we were asked if we’d like our desserts bringing. These again arrived quickly and had been pre-ordered prior to the evening. We went for the chocolate tart which was served with Chantilly cream and a vanilla baked cheesecake which was served with wild fruit and crème anglaise sauce. The cheesecake was light and creamy with a slight crunch to the biscuit base. The sweetness of the compote worked well with the sourness that came through. The chocolate tart was well presented, rich and creamy and encased in crispy pastry.

After we had finished our food and had another drink, we made our way to our seats to watch Jack Whitehall’s show ‘Stood Up’. Usually, those booking this package would have premium arena seats but we were given a box from which to watch the show. The view and venue itself was fantastic and the arena is a huge asset to our city to watch a variety of shows at. Another consideration was that it would be great if they had 5 minutes to show announcement for diners too.

Overall, the experience was really enjoyable and it is a great idea to make a show extra special. Booking this package removes the crowded pre-show element and creates a more relaxing and enjoyable experience. However, the package does cost around £60 to £70 more than the tickets alone (although this can vary in price) and I felt that on the basis of the food and venue alone I don’t know if this is value for money with all things considered. With this being said those booking this package do get access to tickets before they go on general sale so doing this may allow you to get tickets to even the most popular of shows.

Tickets for the show and a meal each were given to us free of charge in return for a review. All reviews, whether complimentary or paid for, are written honestly and I hope they give a good insight into the service and food offering.

Recommended for: Special occasions, as a birthday present or for shows that are popular as standard tickets may sell out quickly.

Location: Motorpoint Arena, Bolero Square, Nottingham, NG1 1LA.

Opening hours: These vary depending on the shows or events that are on.

Phone number: 0115 853 3101