Review: The Cosy Club, Guildford
Have you been to The Cosy Club in Guildford's Tunsgate Quarter yet? Oh but you should! It's been on my radar to visit for ages and I finally grabbed my chance this week.
The Cosy Club is a restaurant and bar chain famed for its vast menu, excellent cocktails and off-the-wall interiors. It’s all about relaxed dining, drinking and lounging in a lavish, if not somewhat kooky, setting.
Located in the Tunsgate Quarter shopping centre, it’s just inside the High Street entrance. The entrance to The Cosy Club is on the ground floor, but sweeping staircase (or the lift, if you fancy) whisks you directly up to the main restaurant.
It’s a huge space – which makes it the perfect place to visit while social distancing measures are in place – divided into three main areas. There’s also a private dining space, fittingly called Wonderland, which can fit up to 18 seated or 40 standing.
It’s certainly not understated, that’s for sure. Think super-glam and quirky with an over-the-top theatrical vibe – kind of like Gatsby’s mansion crossed with a dash of bold Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. The vintage wallpaper-lined walls are rammed with portraits and pictures, most of them in lavish gold and gilt picture frames, and other oddities. In the evening, it’s all about cosy lamps and candle-lit lighting – which casts a gorgeously snug and warming glow over the place. (But doesn’t make it easy to take pictures of the food – so below we’ve used some shots taken earlier at The Cosy Club to you how great it looks.)
SCOFF & QUAFF
As a whole, the place is geared up for dining as a social occasion rather than just eating. Be it a boozy brunch, a leisurely lunchtime or a special evening out with friends – and there are menus for each occasion. Obviously the Covid affect has slightly altered things, but on the Sunday evening I went, there was still a buzzy vibe with couples and family groups.
The evening menu is extensive and caters to most whims and wishes. There’s a tapas section, which also serves as a great starter menu, a good range of burgers (including beef, veggie, halloumi and chicken) and mains, which is as eclectic as the decor – from macaroni cheese or slow-roasted pork belly to Thai green curry or Morrocan-spiced aubergine.
I dined with my teenage daughter – a pre-Christmas girlie night out after a trip to Yvonne Arnaud’s Christmas show (check out that review here). We decided to share a couple of the tapas dishes as starters – the salt and pepper squid (a family favourite) and the patatas bravas (because it’s deliciously decadent). Both were fabulous, served with the most delicious roasted garlic mayo.
Moving onto mains, my girl went for a classic burger and I chose the hot smoked salmon and potato fishcakes which comes served with wilted spinach, a herby hollandaise and a poached egg. Her burger looked amazing, served on a brioche bun with fries and coleslaw and I was very happy with my choice – which felt somehow healthy and yet also warm and comforting on the wet windy night.
Since nights out have been few and far between, we decided to go the whole hog and order a pudding as well – chocolate brownie for my daughter and apple tart for me. And it was the perfect way to round off the perfect night out.
There was an offer of two-for-one on cocktails – and had I not been driving I most certainly would have indulged, but instead I ordered a glass of dry white Spanish Verdejo wine – and at £4.50 for a small glass it was great value.
The decadent decor and extensive drinks and cocktail lists gives The Cosy Club a distinctly adult-feel – but I was there with my young teen and we certainly didn’t feel out of place. And there’s plenty on the menu that kids will love. There’s also a dedicated kids’ menu, too, so I’d say this is certainly a place to bring the family.
OUT AND ABOUT
You’re right there in Tthe Tunsgate Quarter shopping centre with a great choice of shops including Oka, Design Vintage, Bobbi Brown, Loaf, Seasalt and The White Company – to name a few. Guildford Castle is also a few minutes walk if you fancy a wander around the gardens and grounds.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Breakfast, lunch AND dinner – This is a great place to go for some casual dining with friends and family. It’s family-friendly with a kids menu and ideal for taking your vegan mates out for a bite to eat.
Not for: If you’re after a place with parred-down simplicity and posh nosh, The Cosy Club isn’t the place.
The damage: A pocket-friendly option. With brunches and lunches coming in at £10 or under, tapas at £4.95 each or 3 for £13.95, mains £13.95 and under (with steaks under £20) and puds around the £6.50 mark. You can splash out on cocktails (around £8) or glasses of wine (from £6.60 for 175ml), guilt-free.
The Cosy Club, 14 Tunsgate Quarter, GU1 3QY, Guildford. cosyclub.co.uk