Ruddington Arms inspirational event for Nottingham College students

Ruddington Arms inspirational event for Nottingham College students

Multiple operator, Mark Anderson and a team from his award winning Ruddington Arms pub joined students at Nottingham College to host a one-off ticketed Small Plates and Cocktails Evening.

Designed to highlight the creative opportunities in pub food and drinks and to inspire first and second year students to consider a career in the pub industry, the team spent the day showing students how to recreate dishes and drinks. The evening was the second collaboration between the Ruddington Arms and Nottingham College. 

The college charged members of the public £21.95 a head for a menu of five cocktails including two mocktails and five small plates. 

The cocktails and mocktails were created by the Ruddington Arms Head of Cocktails, Grace Bond, runner-up in the Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards and the menu devised by Mark and his chefs. It included:


Rhubarb aperitif

Crab omelette – pickled ginger & spring onion


Celery soda

Smoked tomato, shaved fennel & kohlrabi, fennel seeds & goats curd


Seaweed sour

Salt cod, avocado, sweet chilli & crème fraiche taco


Tequila and tonic

Dark chocolate tart – hazelnut ice cream


Granny smith apple-tini

Greek yoghurt pana cotta -  Ruddington Arms granola


Mark said: “Making drinks can and should be as creative as a cooking a meal, but sometimes drinks gets overlooked on hospitality courses. This event showed students some of the exciting and innovative flavours in pub food, cocktails and soft drinks and will I hope inspire them to take up careers in the pub industry, which is crying out for well-trained staff. As an industry we need to work hard to attract tomorrow’s talent.  If you want to attract the best, you have to put in the effort.  It’s worked for us, the students and the college. I would urge others to do the same as it is a win-win for all.”

The Ruddington Arms was the Nottingham Post’s Nottinghamshire Food and Drink Awards' best pub in 2017 and and most recently Best Gastropub in the Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards.  It also won the 2016 Star Award for best food pub.  It features in the 2018 Michelin guide for the fourth year running –one of just two pubs in Nottinghamshire to appear, in the Michelin best pub guide and in Hardens.

Money raised from the evening went towards funding extra curricular educational trips for students.

Chris Stamp, restaurant manager at Nottingham College said:  “The students really enjoyed working alongside Mark and the award winning Ruddington Arms team, some of whom were former students from the college. 

“Last year’s gastro dinner with the Ruddington Arms brought kudos to the college and was so inspirational that we’ve repeated the format with other local hospitality businesses. The Ruddington Arms at Adam’s Restaurant provides invaluable hands-on experience for students learning different techniques and the latest trends that are not their syllabus. 

“Mark is incredibly supportive of the college, helping to develop and inspire students. A number have gone on to progress in their careers working in his pubs which helps him with the skills shortage and the local hospitality industry as a whole.”

Reece O’Flaherty  a part time commis chef at the pub and student at Nottingham College who took part in the event said…“We shared a lot of creativity and the students enjoyed preparing food and pairing drinks.   A couple of students immediately asked about work experience at the Ruddington Arms. It was great as we brought the Ruddington Arms kitchen to them. They were able to see first-hand what we do.  The feedback from the students and the diners was really positive.  It’s events like this that inspire students.”