The NNCafe is a tough act to follow. Tre Ventour ventures into the cultural quarter to experience the opening of The Artist Table…
For many people, to have culture is to have class, and to have both means to be sophisticated. This may incorporate the way a person talks, where they are from or where they shop. Do you shop at Tesco or John Lewis? Who’s your favourite author? Dickens or Rowling? How about the films we watch? Alfred Hitchcock or Edgar Wright? Do you like theatre? Sam Beckett or Shakespeare?
Class to me is more than just the material. It’s not about our tastes in the arts or whether we are fashion geeks who’d choose to buy a Rolex over G-Shock. It’s about those who we decided to surround ourselves with, and whether in our own minds those individuals are good influences. Is their presence impacting our wellbeing for the better?
And I felt a little bit of that feel-good presence at the opening of ‘The Artist Table’ last Thursday evening. Recently taken over by Nicola Griffiths, this venue is on Guildhall Road in replacement of NN Café. It’s a cultural cocktail of flavour with so much personality and enthusiasm, only enhanced by the staff, who were so kind and helpful on the night. But who we really have to praise is the architect, Nicola herself.
Whilst the room started to fill, I couldn’t help but admire the aesthetics of the space, including some very Star Wars-looking plants. The drinks were flowing, the conversations were in full throttle and the music created a positively contagious vibe. The launch further showed the benefits of Northampton’s cultural quarter. It’s not merely a café; it’s a place where all types of people can interact in a relaxed environment. Quite honestly, Northampton may have struck gold and it’s networking at its best.
‘The Artist Table’ is to the ones who dream. It’s a creative hub in the cultural quarter of Northampton’s town centre. It’s for the poets, painters and playwrights to chill and get their creative juices flowing. It’s for the writers, filmmakers and everyday people. It’s for parents and their children. It’s for Northampton, a town with a rich history but with an identity that is even richer still.
Ten years ago, a few friends met. They broke bread together and talked about their dreams. Their dreams sprouted a supper club and conversations converted an idea into a reality, an actuality with the love of food at the core.
Originally from Staffordshire but born to Jamaican parents, Nicola Griffiths grew up with food and culture around her. She’s gone from meat-eater to vegetarian to vegan and then there was a raw vegetable-phase somewhere in between. Since the beginning of 2016, she has used ‘The Artist Table’ brand in running a thread of successful events in the town centre.
Her dream of having her own space to put all she did on display has now come to fruition. With support from her Kickstarter campaign and Pop Up Northampton, after the epic turn out at the launch on Thursday night, this might become the place to be for Northampton’s artsy socialites, as well as a place students can study and families can come with their kids for a quick bite to eat.
From the youngest child to the more mature members of our society, ‘The Artists Table’ is for everyone. It puts unity on exhibition. In a time of building walls and closing borders, this café shows that it wouldn’t hurt to try to put some of the world back to together again, even if it is our little corner of it.