Anyone who’s raised a teenager will understand how food is a pivotal part of any day out. It really is no different to those newborn days where everything is governed by feeds, only this time its hangry teenagers who aren’t nearly as cute or cuddly. So here was the quandary, I wanted some quality time with my little family during half term, the older 2 would rather stick needles in their eyes than be seen out in public with the 3-year-old & I, so I bribed them with a trip to our nearest Cosy Club in Exeter.
I’m no stranger to this place, the inner geek in me gets all the feels being in a historic building. You enter through what was once Exeter hospital’s chapel and immediately take in the institutional and surgical features,
while the walls display oil paintings, taxidermy, anatomical charts, and Eastern Bloc propaganda
as well as original 1960’s Concorde hangar lights.
Even a trip to the loos feels like a history lesson with the original fireplace and hospital signage. The ambience is so well set that I tested out a ‘restroom selfie’ in the expectation of seeing a ghostly figure peering in the mirror behind me which stirred a few comments on Instagram stories. (It was actually my camera-loving Ronnie lurking in the background and not some unfortunate victorian patient)
So that sets the scene; quirky and lots of things to take in while my teens looked at their phones, it really helped fill the phone silences, while also helping my youngest learn about ‘olden times.’ “mummy, look at that reindeer stuck on the wall!”
But what about the food I hear you cry? After all, that’s exactly why we were here.
The Cosy Club has recently launched their new menu and we were to put it to the test. With everything from sandwiches to burgers and salads, we were spoilt for choice. As a family we’re quite healthy eaters, the older boys both opted for The Brigadier a burger made from 100% pure beef with cheese, pulled pork, chorizo, beef tomato, gherkin and chipotle mayo and salad on the side, plate to stomach in less than 10 minutes say they approved. Onion rings on the side helped fill any hunger gaps but left room for pudding, more on that further down.
I chose a less conventional pan-fried Seabass with sugar snap peas, baby corn, red pepper, pak choi, red chilli, toasted cashews and a soy, honey & ginger dressing. Man, was that good! The fish was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin, the soy & ginger were the main flavour, whilst the cashews broke up the texture. Portion size was just right for me, I’ve not got a huge appetite and I’d already eyed the dessert menu, there was no way I wasn’t leaving room for one of those!
Little kids aren’t forgotten about, far from it, there’s a great choice and when they get fidgety, their menu can be transformed into an origami rocket. Macaroni cheese was the choice for our little foodie, with a side helping of his much-loved garlic bread. Ronnie loved that he got his own plastic coloured cutlery too, so many restaurants forget little details like this, he’s quite an independent little chap so not being hampered by adult forks and spoons was ace.
Oh, and that healthy thing I mentioned. That went right out of the window when it came to dessert. Salted Caramel Cheesecake with butterscotch sauce and sweet & salty popcorn won my best pudding award after selflessly taste testing everyone else’s (Mum rules). Sadly this was Ky’s choice in dessert and not mine, but I can vouch for its worthiness from the one mouthful I had. (so going back soon for my own portion of this!)
I opted for a Cosy Sundae – Chocolate brownie pieces, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream with boozy cherries. It was lush and by no means a sorry second to the cheesecake, while Jordi went for a Warm Chocolate Brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. The littlest diner in our group wasn’t left out either with a Fruit Sundae with berry sauce and banana.
I love that The Cosy Club offers kids a chance to try something aside from the usual chicken nuggets, ice cream and fruit shoots. The kid’s menu certainly got my seal of approval for the range of hot and cold meals on offer, it got a thumbs up from my outspoken 3-year-old too, believe me, he’d have let them know if he didn’t approve! (Tkid-friendlydly staff really helped too.)
And those teens, well smiles all round and not a grumble of the food choices uttered.
This is a collaborative post, we received a complimentary meal in exchange for our thoughts on the new menu