Cosy Club, Leicester, LE1 4NN

Getting Cosy with Cocktails and Tapas: Cosy Club Review

Hands up if you're a fan of the Cosy Club! These unique, quirky restaurants are scattered in various cities across the UK, from York and Hereford to Bournemouth and Durham. I've visited my local Leicester branch in the past for a girly brunch with my friend Hels. On that occasion, I was really impressed with the quantity and quality of the vegetarian and vegan options on their dedicated menu, so when I was invited along for an evening of summer cocktails and tasty tapas at the end of July, I couldn't say no. The Cosy Club brand promises "relaxed dining, drinking and lounging in a really special setting with a dash of nostalgia." Now that's all well and good, but how did my experience match up? Keep reading to find out.

Abbey, wearing a red dress, holds up a Pina colada cocktail, which is decorated with fruit and a cocktail umbrella

I certainly got a sense of nostalgia from my visit to the Cosy Club. The building in which the restaurant is located was originally used as a knitwear factory and the venue pays homage to this by calling its private event suite the Loom Room. The decor also harks back to the building's historic function; spools of thread are set into the bar and a dressform decorates the corner of the room. Mismatched chairs give the Loom Room a quirky and welcoming feel. The venue caters for all sorts of events, including birthday parties, drinks parties, meetings, hen nights, after-work gatherings, wedding receptions and much more. If you need to host an event in central Leicester, the Loom Room can most likely cater for you! It can accommodate 20-50 people depending on your chosen layout of seating / standing. There is no room hire fee but there is a minimum spend in place for most events. The bar at the end of the room was perfectly set up for a cocktail-making extravaganza!

The door of the Cosy Club Leicester's Loom Room, its private event venue

The interior of the Loom Room, including the bar which is decorated with spools of thread

If you like Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain

We were welcomed to the Loom Room with one of my all-time favourite cocktails, a Cosy Colada (£8.50). For those of you not well versed in cocktails, a Piña Colada is a tropical blend of rich coconut cream, white rum and tangy pineapple. The drink was supposedly first made in Puerto Rico all the way back in 1952 by a Puerto Rican pirate who invented it to boost his crew's morale! As a huge fan of this drink, I'd certainly be happy to raise the skull and crossbones and plunder a few ships if it meant a ready supply of Piña Colada! I was introduced to this cocktail in a non-alcoholic form by my Mum - the booze-free version is her favourite tipple to enjoy at the beach bar while we are on holiday. The Cosy Club's Colada is made unique by the addition of spiced pineapple syrup and the summer berries used as a garnish alongside the typical maraschino cherry. This was a great way to kick off our evening!

The photo focuses on a Pina colada cocktail, held up to the camera by Abbey. She is visible in the background, although out of focus
Abbey sits on a white tiled wall, wearing a red dress and matching shoes. She smiles and holds up a Cosmopolitan cocktail

"I'd like a cheeseburger, large fries and a Cosmopolitan"

Every time I request a Cosmopolitan, I can't help but think of this iconic line from Carrie Bradshaw, uttered when leaning out of her car window whilst on her brick-sized mobile phone to place an order at the fast food drive-thru. Please tell me it's not just me! I was able to live the true Sex and the City fantasy at the Cosy Club because after watching the Piña Colada being made by the expert barman, I was given the chance to mix up a Cosmopolitan (£7.95) for myself! Vodka isn't one of my favourite spirits (give me a whiskey or a rum any day!) but the Ketel One vodka in this Cosmo concoction went down a treat. This drink was such fun to make because we got to set our orange peel garnish on fire to complete the cocktail! This was amazing as a theatrical experience but Jethro, our cocktail connoisseur host, told us that singeing the orange peel and wiping it around the rim of the glass before dropping it in to the drink can also contribute to the aromatic properties of the cocktail. In turn, this affects the flavour of the drink because our sense of taste is massively impacted by what we smell.

Abbey, wearing a red dress, stands behind the bar at the Cosy Club Leicester, wiping a piece of singed orange around the rim of a cocktail glass

Sipping on a slice of history

The Cosy Club definitely saved the best cocktail until last during our night of boozy fun! I thoroughly enjoyed taste of the Blood Orange and Whiskey Sour (£8.50) and I liked it even more after hearing about its long history. Sours were one of the first cocktails ever to be invented - there were lots of limes around in the 1800s to combat scurvy and they began to be added to liquor to create sour cocktails. Our Blood Orange Sour was made with Roe and Co. Irish whiskey, a unique type of blended Irish whiskey which (unusually) is not a single malt. Added to the whiskey was a mix of lemon and egg white. The lemon balances out the egg white and means that the egg only contributes a foamy texture. Two drops of a mysterious ingredient called Tonka bean extract were also added. The Tonka bean contributes a bitter flavour, meaning that the cocktail was truly multi-dimensional in terms of flavour, with sour, sweet, and bitter tastes hitting the tongue alternately. Garnished with a dehydrated orange, this drink was a real highlight of my Cosy Club experience.

Two Blood Orange and Whiskey Sours cocktails, garnished with dehydrated orange pieces, sitting on the bar in the Cosy Club

Super straws and equally super staff

Yes, you may have noticed that I was sipping my Cosy cocktails through straws but don't worry, no sea turtles were harmed in the making of this blog post. All of the Cosy Club's straws are made from corn starch, a plant-based material that is eco-friendly and sustainable. They are discarded with the restaurant's food waste which is then used to create green energy and compost which farmers use to grow more food. Brilliant! As well as highlighting the Cosy Club's excellent straws, I have to give a shoutout to the expert at the helm of our cocktail class too. We had the pleasure of having Jethro host our class, who was a fantastic big personality who got everyone involved and excited about the cocktail making process. His genuine enthusiasm and love for cocktail making was clear and his knowledge of all of the products, their history, and tasting notes was incredible. His laugh was so infectious too! He is a real asset to the Cosy Club and made the whole night a memorable experience.

A Blood Orange and Whiskey Sours cocktail sits on a table in the Cosy Club, alongside a candle and a copy of the drinks menu
A Cosmopolitan cocktail in a glass, being set on fire on the Cosy Club bar

Time for Tapas

To help us soak up the alcohol from the delicious cocktails, we were also treated to a selection of the Cosy Clubs's food from their Tapas Menu. Now, I must admit that I am not the biggest lover of tapas. I've only ever sampled two tapas restaurants in the past and both times, I found it to be overpriced and frankly, quite disappointing. Because of this, I went to the Cosy Club event with a bit of trepidation but I needn't have worried, I was totally blown away by their tapas offering. The dishes are reasonably priced at 3 plates for £13.95 or £4.95 each. And there was plenty on offer for vegetarians too!

My favourite dish was the sensational Roast Turmeric Cauliflower. Cauliflower is a tricky vegetable to roast correctly - often it comes out of the oven with a rock hard stalk, making it rather chewy and unpleasant to eat, or it turns out way too soft and equally unappetising. The Cosy Club chefs, however, absolutely nailed their roasted cauli dish. It was flavoured with turmeric which gave an attractive orange colour and tangy, bitter taste. It was plated up with a dukkah and tahini cauliflower puree and pomegranate seeds, which contributed a moreish crunch and sweetness. I was thoroughly impressed with the dish and I'd return to the Cosy Club just to have it again! There were a couple of plates of cauliflower left over at the end of the night so the kind Cosy Club team let me take it home in a doggy bag, which shows just how much I enjoyed it!

Goat's cheese and spinach croquettes from the Cosy Club's tapas menu

Another veggie option that I was excited to sample was the Halloumi Sticks. These came served with a chipotle chilli jam. While I must say that this was not the most flavoursome halloumi I've ever tried (sadly it was a little bland), the sticky and sweet chilli jam livened it up nicely. However, the Feta, Heirloom Tomato & Watercress Pesto, served on sourdough toast, went down a treat! The balsamic glaze with which the dish was served was really tasty, the tomatoes were colourful and fresh, and the sourdough was satisfyingly thick and chewy.

I was absolutely gutted that the Cosy Scotch Egg didn't have a vegetarian equivalent as they looked absolutely delicious. The eggs were cooked to perfection with a runny yolk and were seasoned with black pepper. They were wrapped in black pudding and served with mixed leaves and tomato chutney. My boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed this dish, commenting that it was the nicest black pudding he's ever tasted. He told me that he wouldn't hesitate to order it again a second time. Another aspect of this dish that made me very happy is that the Cosy Club ensure high welfare standards for all of the eggs used across their branches. Every Cosy Club egg comes from free range farms and is British Lion standard approved. It is fantastic to see their real commitment to animal welfare.

Cosy Club tapas dishes, including their black pudding scotch eggs
A plate of feta, heirloom tomato and watercress pesto on sourdough toast

The Cosy Club's cocktail masterclasses start at £29.95 per person for cocktails only, with prices rising to £39.95 if tapas is also included. Full details of all packages available can be seen on the Cosy Club website. I thoroughly enjoyed my Cosy Club experience and wouldn't hesitate to return for cocktails and tapas in the future. Have you ever visited a Cosy Club? What is your favourite cocktail? Hit me up in the comments below!

*I was invited along to the Cosy Club free of charge in exchange for a blog post review