*We were invited to The Cosy Club for a complimentary meal in exchange for our honest feedback. We have not been paid for this article*
Who to go with?
Thanks to its convenient Southernhay location, The Cosy Club has gained a devoted clientele of Exeter professionals, many of whom flock to the eatery to seek out tasty post-work cocktails and light bites from its varied menu. The Cosy Club is equally ideal for casual meetups with friends and family. Enjoy a lazy avocado brunch or treat yourself to a light lunch after a spot of retail therapy in nearby Princesshay.
Despite its chain restaurant status, The Cosy Club is hands down one of the quirkiest and most eclectic eateries around. There’s a mix match of styles and decorative elements, from battered leather club chairs to chic 1930’s sofas; funky antique taxidermy rubs shoulders with bold art prints and the piece de resistance of the Exeter branch has to be the several vintage lampshades, grouped together as the most unusual of chandeliers.
The Cosy Club purchases disused buildings with strong histories and transforms them into modern, one of a kind establishments. For instance, Exeter’s Cosy Club formally housed Dean Clarke Hospital’s Halford Wing and diners enter the bar area through what was once the chapel entrance. It boasts high ceilings and the large hall-like space contains many institutional features such as a bar inspired by an operating table illuminated by surgical lighting.
Cosy Club serves up simple food that takes inspiration from a variety of world cuisines. Brunch is served until 5pm every day, a tapas menu is on hand for those of us who can never choose, and there’s a host of vegetarian & vegan dishes.
As part of our recent visit we tried one of the brand new summer plates and a classic comfort food dish..
Pan Fried Sea Bass – £13.95
Sugar snap peas, baby corn red pepper, pak choi, red chilli, toasted cashews and a soy, honey & ginger dressing.
This fragrant fish dish takes its cue from Asia and was developed for the new Cosy Club summer menu. The sea bass was well cooked, with a lovely crispy skin. The vegetables had just enough crunch to them and the soy, honey & ginger dressing paired nicely with the fish. My only minor gripe was that there was a touch too much of this salty dressing for my taste and it did slightly overpower the rest of the plate.
Macaroni Cheese – £10.95
Topped with panko crumbs, garlic bread and smoky streaky bacon.
This was one of the cheesiest, most luxurious macaroni cheeses I’ve ever tasted. If you’re a fan of this classic American dish, then you can’t go far wrong. The streaky bacon added a lovely element to the macaroni and it can also be substituted for truffle if you’d like to keep it veggie.
Nutella & Vanilla Cream Doughnut – £6.25
Topped with candy floss and raspberry dust
Talk about an Instagrammable dish! Leave room for pudding if the sound of this decadent dessert takes your fancy. While the doughnut tasted a little pre-packaged, there were lots of rich chocolate and raspberry flavours that are a little reminiscent of the carnival.
After some initial confusion as to why I was casually snapping photos of every taxidermy head on display, the staff at Cosy Club were perfectly attentive. They’re also dressed to impress, with many of the men in 1930’s style braces and women donning colourful uniforms.
What’s the damage?
Cosy Club is an affordable night out, with the majority of mains coming in under £15. There’s value for money tapas at 3 for £13.95 or £4.95 each and if you fancy a cocktail, there’s also Teatime Tipple, which is 2 cocktails for £9.95 (Sunday – Thursday from 4pm-8pm).
The new Cosy Club summer menu is filled with comfort food favourites and if you’re on the hunt for somewhere casual to spend a lunchtime or evening with friends, you ought to give this place a shot. Many of the dinner deals are excellent value for money and there are few places in Exeter that are quite as colourful as this.