Friday, 21 February 2020

Cosy Club Basingstoke Opening - Press Event (AD Gifted)

*I was invited to The Cosy Club Basingstoke VIP Opening Night along with three guests and we were kindly gifted our food and drink for the evening. However, all views, as always, are entirely my own

Last October, I was very kindly invited along to the VIP Opening Night of The Cosy Club in Festival Place, Basingstoke. I had hoped to get this post up a lot earlier than this, but with going into hospital for major surgery soon after, my health ended up having to take priority. I did share some stories over on my Instagram, but I thought I’d do a little post on here as well, so I can talk to you about the evening in a bit more detail. 

When the invitation came through to my emails, I was also offered the opportunity to bring a few friends along too. So, on a fairly rainy Monday evening, my Mum and I went over to Basingstoke and met up with a couple of my blogging friends – Dawn from Dear Mummy Blog and Laura from Loopy Lou Laura. We’ve known each other for quite a few years now, after meeting at a local blogging event, so it’s always nice to see each other and have a catch-up when we can. 

We arrived a little bit early, so waited around outside and watched the hustle and bustle inside the restaurant. Other people started to arrive as well, and soon enough the doors were opened and we were greeted by a couple of lovely ladies in beautiful 1950’s style dresses. They showed us to our table, where we settled down and started having a look through the drinks menu. Being the opening night, it got very busy very quickly, but the staff seemed to have the organisation down to a tee and managed to get everyone in their seats in a matter of minutes. 

After ordering our drinks and being told we would be brought a selection of different foods to taste, we could get up and have a little look around the restaurant. The name ‘Cosy Club’ is certainly very apt, as despite it being quite a large area, every part of it feels warm and cosy. There are different types of seating arrangement depending on what you might fancy – from standard tables to cosy sofas, as well as higher tables with bar stools. 

The décor is quite eclectic with colourful soft furnishings, old paintings on the walls, bold patterned wallpapers and mixture of beautifully warm lights. There’s a long bar where all the drinks are prepared in front of you and 50’s music plays in the background. All of the staff were dressed for the occasion too, with the women in pretty dresses and the men in waistcoats and flat caps. We all said it felt like we were in some sort of 1950’s speakeasy – it was like being transported back in time. 

Our drinks were soon brought over – there had been plenty to choose from on the menu, whether you wanted something alcoholic or not. I went for a cherry-based mocktail, which was delicious (so good in fact, that I had to have another!) and the others had a St Clements, Virgin Mojito and a Cider. I don’t tend to drink much, so it was really nice to see a good range of soft drinks and mocktails to choose from, rather than just a Coke or Lemonade! 

As we started to sip our drinks, the food began to come out. With it being the opening night, the normal menu wasn’t running. Instead, each table were given a selection of different items to try between us from the Tapas menu, which was a really nice way for us to try a number of different dishes. I was really surprised by the amount of food that kept coming out – our table was soon overflowing with plates and bowls of different dishes! I’m not sure if I can remember all of the different foods we had but they included Garlic Mushrooms on Toasted Ciabatta, Roast Turmeric Cauliflower, Goat’s Cheese and Spinach Croquettes and a Cosy Scotch Egg. My personal favourites were the croquettes and the garlic mushrooms, although everything was delicious!

Looking at the full menu, there seems to be a really good range of options for both adults and children, so there should be something to suit every taste. They offer Brunch until 5pm (I’m eyeing up the pancakes!), a variety of sandwiches, burgers, sharers, larger main meals and, of course, some very tasty looking puddings (Hello Mini Cinnamon Doughnuts!) They also have a kids menu and fairly extensive vegan and gluten-free menus too. 

As well as the day-to-day service, Cosy Club’s also run a number of events. You can have a look at their ‘What’s On’ page to find out about all of the different events, but, for example, this month they are running special events for Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day. They also offer live music some evenings as well, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your local Cosy Club to see what’s coming up.

Something I particularly liked about The Cosy Club was their ‘Free Teas for Those in Need’ scheme. It is run in partnership with Independent Age in a battle to end loneliness in every generation. They encourage those that need it to pop along to The Cosy Club for a free cup of tea every Wednesday between 10am-11am. They hope to inspire local people to come together and chat to new people. Their teams will also be on hand to have a chat, as well as offering cake, board games and somewhere comfortable to relax. As someone who raises awareness of mental health problems, as well as experiencing them (and loneliness) myself, I think it’s a great initiative to help anyone that’s feeling a bit lonely.

We had such a lovely evening catching up and trying out the new Cosy Club in Basingstoke that before we knew it, it was time for us to leave. On our way out, we were each given a Cosy Club mug with some Cosy Club purple socks to take home, which was a nice end to a brilliant evening. We enjoyed ourselves so much, that we were already excitedly chatting about when we could next go back to sample the full menu at The Cosy Club and what a great place it would be to host a South East Bloggers Circle meet-up! I’m really grateful to The Cosy Club for inviting me along to their VIP opening night at Festival Place and am looking forward to going back again as my leg gets better! If you’ve got a Cosy Club near where you live and haven’t already checked it out, I would definitely recommend getting a group together for an evening out – you’ll have to let me know what you think! 

Have you been to The Cosy Club before? Or do you think you’ll be going to your local one after reading this? 

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