A few weeks ago, I spent a Sunday afternoon in the company of a group of women on a blogging social. The venue, the Cosy Club Bristol, which I was very taken by. Between the group we consumed a fair selection of the brunch menu and yes, the Triple-stacked Buttermilk Pancakes were good, as was the tea. Did I mention the cakes? They were good too. We camped in an area, slightly divided from the main bar/eating area. There were easy chairs and board games. It was a great way to pass an afternoon.
The Cosy Club invited me back to review their lunchtime service, this time I had my seven-year old in tow. A whole different dinning experience. As most parents will tell you eating out with children can be heaven or it can be hell. The tipping point is finely balanced.
We arrive at the Cosy Club and my boy is slightly awed by the surroundings, apparently we don’t usually go anywhere this “fancy”. The building is fabulous, veritably grand. It used to be a bank, a bank clearly big on ornate decor. You can easy imagine the hush of the banking hall, Victorian bankers in long frock coats, stiff collars, stern faces. The Cosy Club has managed to keep the decor and shake off any pretensions of grandeur. These are surroundings to admire, not to be intimated by.
My small boy quickly feels at home, he is presented with a menu/colouring sheet and a set of sharp crayons. The staff are friendly, personable, they introduce themselves and chat to him. He appreciates that. He settles down to some colouring, while I people watch.
The other diners are couples, groups of friends, generations of the same family. At the other end of the bar, I spot a hen party enjoying cocktails. A real mix of Bristol folk.
The menu is broad: brunch, sandwiches, Panini, burgers and tapas. The mains range from Thai beef noodles, to rump steak and roast cod. For vegetarians there is macaroni cheese, Moroccan Tabbouleh or Asparagus and shallot tart. I do eat fish, but I don’t eat meat and always check the vegetarian option, I’m looking for imaginative variety, I think the Cosy Club have that covered. For kids, two kids menus for little kids and little bit bigger kids, meets the varying appetites of children.
Small boy: From the small kids menu: locally sourced sausages, homemade chips and beans. Includes a drink. £4.95*
Me: Fish Finger Sandwich. Homemade Cornish fish goujons, rocket, gherkins, tartare sauce, on soft, fresh sourdough. Homemade chips and salad. £8.50* and a Pimms. The Pimms came with plenty of lemonade, fruit, mint and was very easy drinking, perfect for a Saturday lunch time.
We conclude: Filling, fresh and tasty.
Dessert: (it would be rude not to).
Small boy: ice cream £1.75. swiftly polished off.
Me: a light and delicious crème brûlée with white chocolate and fresh raspberries. £5.25*.
It isn’t so easy to find good places to eat with kids. Places that are pleased to serve kids. Somewhere a little different, that doesn’t feel a bit bland, as if you have been there a million times before, because one exists in the same colours on every high street.
If you want to family friendly eats in Bristol that serves a good range of food, to please the smallest members of the family, as well as those with more sophisticated tastes, the Cosy Club fits the bill. The interiors make it a more than a little bit special. We found the service to be excellent, friendly, efficient and warm. Genuinely interested in me as much as my small boy.
From a practical parenting point of view, the loos were clean and there are plenty of high chairs.
Eating out heaven in Bristol. We come away feeling that we have discovered a treasure.
*prices at the time of visiting. July 2015.
We were invited to review the Cosy Club.
All words and honest opinions are my own.