I recently went to the new Cosy Club in Exeter with some friends of mine. It was an all-male convivial that will hopefully be held on a monthly basis. Mostly to get together, eat good food, drink good booze (Haymans is bloody lovely) and have a chat. Not a natter, because that’s what the ladies do, chaps and gentlemen have chats. And discussions.
The blurb for the club ‘Think gents club meets village hall meets cricket pavilion.’ Gents club most definitely painted a picture that appealed to me. Add to the fact that it’s in the original Royal Devon & Exeter hospital in Southernhay and I thought that it would most definitely be an excellent place to meet, greet and eat.
Unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to any of those. Yes, there were massive great big oil paintings on the wall, but the biggest was of Lenin. I can’t think of one gents’ club that would have such a thing hanging on their wall. Nor an English village hall, nor indeed, a cricket pavillion. I’d have expected something much more iconically British, or English. Churchill would have been a good one, or Lloyd George, hey maybe even the Queen – God Bless her – but definitely not someone like Lenin.
The place was also shabby chic. And by shabby chic, I mean that it was just shabby. I didn’t get to see the ‘Tarot’ room, which I believe is called the ‘Snug’ and which from its picture actually looks like what I expected the whole place to look.
When the food came it came fast, hot and there was plenty of it. It was quite lovely and certainly lived up to expectations. Woe betide any restaurant that fails in the ‘feed me, satisfy me’ area, because I must admit that I get quite pissy.
So, this is basically a mixed review. The place was ‘okay’, the food itself was good. As a marker I use the answer I gave to my wife when she asked me ‘Is it somewhere you’d take me for a nice meal for two?’. I’m afraid that, based on what I’ve seen, the answer was ‘No’.
Maybe I’ll pop along and have a look at the snug side of things, but on the whole the Cosy Club promised a lot, and failed to deliver. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement as Exeter desperately needs a restaurant like this which will appeal to all of the ‘quirkier’ people.
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