Food and Drink

New menu launch at the Cosy Club Stamford

I love going into Stamford, it’s a beautiful little Lincolnshire town, which is about 15 miles away from my home. It is somewhere that I go with friends for lunch, out for drinks and a meal with my hubby and a great place for shopping as there are some lovely shops in the town. Stamford is sat on the river Wellend, which is a lovely spot to take the children for a picnic in the warm months. Stamford for me is a go to place for lunch, when the children are in school the Hubby and I will often head there for a wonder around and some lunch.

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The Cosy Club Stamford

When we head there for lunch and sometimes breakfast, we would normally choose the Cosy Club, the only time we haven’t been there when visiting Stamford was when the Christmas Markets were on and it was so busy we couldn’t get in.

The Cosy Club have recently launched a new set of menus, they now offer a vegan, gluten free and of course their standard menu, plus they have a new selection of puddings and cocktails. So they invited me along to try out the new menu.

I love the Cosy Club in Stamford, I have visited many times before, I love the atmosphere there. It’s has a real old English feel to it, with a large vintage union jack flag hanging in one corner. Wood panelled walls, mismatched chairs and tables, random lampshades and pictures on the walls, all working in perfect unison together.

Mocktails

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I took my sister along with me to try out the food and drinks. Looking through the drinks menu I was drawn to the cocktails, however with the school run to do later that afternoon we both went with mocktails. I will be honest, I don’t normally order a mocktail, in fact I don’t think I have had one since being a child. After trying them I am not sure why I don’t choose them more often.

I went with the watermelon and green tea cooler, my sister a virgin summer sangria. Later on during our meal we ordered another mocktail each a virgin passion fruit mojito and a St Clements they were lovely, by far my favourite one was the watermelon and green tea cooler. It was so refreshing and enjoyable, I would happily have it again and again.

Tapas

For food we opted for the Tapas, which was an unusual choice for us. We head out for lunch together quite often but we have not had a sharing meal before, but the Tapas really appealed to both of us. There were however a lot of other items on the menu we would have loved to try. 

cosy-club-tapas

The Tapas is priced at £13.95 for 3 items or £4.95 each. So we decided on 6 items to share.

  • Halloumi sticks with a chipotle chilli jam.
  • Pulled chicken and chorizo with crispy potatoes.
  • Tempura king prawns with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.
  • Squid and chorizo pan fried with red wine and garlic and served with mixed leaved and butter bean aioli.
  • Crispy sesame seed chicken, with a soy and ginger dipping sauce and a coriander salad.
  • Garlic Mushrooms on a sourdough toast.

We also added a bread board of Ciabatta with dipping balsamic vinegar and oil.

We both really enjoyed the tapas, my favourite would have to be the crispy sesame seed chicken and the garlic mushrooms. Although it was all delicious, my least favourite was the squid and chorizo, mainly because I am not the biggest squid fan but it was my sisters favourite dish. The flavours all worked really well together, the halloumi sticks are very popular right now and I know why, along with the chipotle chilli jam they were so yummy.

The 6 items of tapas and the bread was more than enough for us both for lunch.

Desserts

I love a dessert, in fact I generally will look at the dessert menu first before deciding on a main course, eating at the Cosy Club was no different. There is a fabulous range of desserts on offer at the Cosy Club Stamford. My eyes were drawn to the salted caramel cheesecake, with butterscotch sauce and popcorn straight away. My sister went for the Nutella and vanilla cream doughnut, topped with candy floss and raspberry dust. When they arrived they looked amazing, and we began digging straight into them.

cosy-club-stamford-desserts

I was a little disappointed with the cheesecake, I felt it was a bit warm, as though it needed another hour in the fridge to set, the base was also so thin that you hardly knew it was there. It did however taste amazing, full of caramel and butterscotch flavours. Just wish it was a bit firmer and a thicker base.

My sister is a big fan of doughnuts and nutella, so she was winning with this pudding. However, she also was disappointed with it. She felt that she couldn’t taste the nutella as it had been mixed with vanilla cream. I also tried a little bit and although there was some chocolate flavour I wouldn’t have said it had that rich nutella flavour I was expecting, it was a little disappointing.

The staff

I honestly have never had any issues with the staff at the Cosy Club, whenever I have visited they have always been helpful and welcoming, answered any questions I might have had. Our visit was no different, the manager who I have seen there a few times, was on hand to help with any questions, the staff were all happy and efficient in their work. They clearly have great mixology skills as the mocktails were all fabulous.

Although our desserts were a little disappointing, we had a wonderful meal at the Cosy Club Stamford and I wouldn’t hesiate to go back again, in fact my Hubby has a couple of days off work soon, so I thought we could go over together for lunch. He would love the tapas but also the Major-General burger, is what I would put money on him ordering.

Thank you Cosy Club for inviting me along to try out your fabulous new menu, great job.

A Royal Wedding to remember with a Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party

With less than two weeks until the Royal Wedding, have you thought about how you are going to be celebrating that day? On the 19th May 2018 HRH Prince Harry will be marrying the beautiful Ms Meghan Markel at the Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and I cannot wait!

As the country prepares to celebrate along with them, how will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding day? Street parties have been planned it thousands of locations, National Trust properties are showing it wedding on large outdoor screens, garden parties and afternoon teas will also be happening in homes across UK, not forgetting the millions of people sitting in their front room watching the coverage on the TV. Like so many others I cannot wait to see the dress of the year that Meghan will be wearing.

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For me, our Royal Family is such an important part of British heritage and it should be celebrated. When Prince William got married to Kate Middleton in 2011 I spent the day at home watching every single minute possible on the TV and this will be no different. However I couldn’t miss the chance to host a Garden Party with some friends even if it was a couple of weeks early, when the sun was shining. I decided not to host my Royal Wedding Garden Party on the day the wedding, because honestly I didn’t want to be preparing the afternoon tea sandwiches and miss out on watching it all happening on the TV.

The history of Afternoon Tea

I love an afternoon tea, finger sandwiches, cakes, scones, china tea cups and a glass of fizz to go with it, so what better way to start the wedding celebrations than with a traditional very British afternoon tea.

Did you know that afternoon tea was first served back in1840 to the Duchess of Bedford, who started to get hungry about 4pm between her lunch and then her dinner at 8pm. So she requested a try of bread and butter, cakes and a pot of tea be served to her room at that time. As the years followed she invited friends to join her and by the late 1880’s ladies would have afternoon tea parties, but be dressed in beautiful dresses, hats and gloves for the occasion. Since then afternoon tea has been a quintessentially British tradition, with hotels across the country serving them and visitors from around the world wanting an afternoon tea when they come to UK.

Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party

For my Royal Wedding garden tea party, I invited some of my closet girly friends round, my 4 year old daughter and baby niece to share the fun.

An afternoon tea is made up of various finger sandwiches, mine included, salmon and cream cheese, ham and the cucumber, with a mix of white farm house bread and a seeded batch loaf. All delicious. My scones were served with clotted cream and my home made plum jam from the fruit trees in our garden. Then a variety of cupcakes, french fancies (my sisters favourite), Viennese whirls with lots of little flags, that I added in extra. I have a lovely collection of cake stands, that I have been collecting for years. The cake dome is a new addition from ProCook, I love it, it’s perfect for cupcakes, a larger cake and even for cheese. I even borrowed my Hubby’s Gran’s vintage glass cake stands.

As the day was the hottest of the year so far, I decided that pots of hot tea was not what we needed, so instead I used my Royal Wedding tea pot filled with ice cubes and my new favourite William Chase Gin. I borrowed my Hubby’s Gran’s pretty little china tea cups, added ice and then topped them up with Fentimans, Connoisseurs tonic water, that works perfectly well with the William Chase Gin. As you all know I am a big lover of gin, so trying out a new gin and another of Fentimans fabulous tonics was great for me, my friends are all gin lovers too, I guess you have to be to fit in at our house. It’s not often people come round and the gin isn’t out.

No cup of tea, even if it is gin, is complete without a biscuit on the saucer. These luxury biscuits by Elizabeth Shaw are amazing, I was sent the raisin and hazelnut plus the mint and cocoa. Although both very tasty I loved the raisin and hazelnut ones the most, however all of the biscuits got eaten very quickly. Yum!!

As my little girl was joining us, she was drinking water with fruit filled ice cubes. However, I was slightly concerned about her having Gran’s vintage china tea cups. So, she was using some glasses that have been toughen and are also designed that if they so smash they will shatter into cubic pieces to reduce the risk of injury. Perfect for my little girl to think she is more grown up drinking from glass cup, instead of her normal plastic ones.

No Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party would be complete without the addition of Union Flag bunting hanging from the trees. I managed to find mine on amazon for about £6.99 they have a real vintage feel to them, plus they are fabric which I plan to use in my son’s bedroom, when we eventually get round to decorating.

Every celebration includes a bottle of fizz and for my Royal Wedding garden tea party I used Prosecco, which is a favourite among my girly friends. I added fruit to the ice cube trays when I froze them, to add a bit of colour to the ice bucket. Placing the Prosecco into the ice bucket helped it to stay cold on such a hot day. Plus we used the ice to add to the gin and tonic throughout the afternoon, the fruit in the ice also flavoured the gin as the afternoon went on.

Well that’s my Royal Wedding garden party! How will you be celebrating?

 

*Some items within this post were gifted to me, in exchange for being included within my post. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Menu tasting at The Grosvenor Casino in Nottingham

Have you ever been to a casino? Well up until last week, I hadn’t. I always thought about them as either very posh, tuxedos and cocktail dresses (very Oceans 11) or as dark, grotty, seedy places that women generally don’t go. How very wrong I was!

The Grosvenor Casino in Nottingham, invited me and 3 friends to spend an evening with them, to see what a modern casino is really like and to try out their new menu. I invited 3 of my closet friends, who had not been to a casino before either.

Grosvenor Casino In Nottingham

The Grosvenor Casino in Nottingham

We arrived to be greeted by the manager Daren Brain, who gave us a tour and explained that he worked on the refurbishment of the old casino. The refurbishment saw big changes within the casino, a restaurant, a bar area with large screens for sporting events, the addition of sectioning off areas for VIP’s or private events. An open space for American Roulette, blackjack, punto banko, Texas Hold’em cash game tables and the online roulette gaming machines. There was also a balcony with a couple of outside slot machines, so the smokers can play while outside. Not forgetting the double license for additional slot machines, spilt over two areas, in the more lively area by the tables and a quieter area at the other side of the reception.

I was surprised by how inviting the whole place was, lots of space, chairs and tables for sitting to enjoy a meal or watching something on the big screen. The reception area was large, with a very inviting bar in eye sight. The casino area was large, plenty of space to stand around the tables, with a VIP area that is closed off when they have high rollers in or hired out for events.

To mark it’s 1st anniversary of opening, Daren and the team have launched a new meal and cocktail menu, which we came to try out.

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Cocktails

We ordered cocktails and were shown to our table for dinner, the restaurant area had a luxurious modern feel it to. As you know I love a nice cocktail so seeing a menu full of different ones I would like to try is always good. They arrived and we all enjoyed them, I choose a ‘Passion Fruit Martini’ and two girls went for the ‘Raspberry Lynchburg Lemonade’ and driver went for the ‘Virgin Colada’ all great cocktails. I generally stick to Champagne or Prosecco based cocktails and I haven’t found one I don’t like yet. Looking back I’m not sure why we only had one cocktail each, we should have ordered more, they all looked delicious. 

cocktails-at-the-grosvenor-casino-nottingham

New menu tasting

While enjoying the cocktails we looked at the menu. The restaurant manager recommended the calamari and the buttermilk chicken for starters then the fillet steaks for main course. Plus a bottle of rosé to enjoy with it.

We decided that we would choose 4 different starters so we could all try a bit of everything. We ordered nachos, salt and pepper dusted fried calamari, fried cajun buttermilk chicken strips and tender slow cooked pork ribs. Which all arrived in a good time and tasted amazing the calamari was the best I had eaten, I would definitely order those again and not share them. As a group we were all happy with the starters and really enjoyed eating them. 

For our main courses, we all found it quite difficult to choose something because there was lots of choice and all sounded very appealing. In the end I went for the 7oz fillet steak, cooked well done, with a Caesar dressing over the lettuce side and the red wine sauce for the steak. One of the others also opted for a fillet steak cooked medium rare, with a blue cheese dressing over the lettuce side and the bourbon sauce. The other two girls chose the classic double beef burger, they both added cheese. The four of us also went for sides of fresh vegetables and onion rings.

The steaks were both cooked perfectly to our individual likings. I have so many times had to return a steak when it has not been cooked through enough for me. This was perfect! The sauce that came with both of the steaks were also delicious, we all tried both of them. I loved them both and would struggle to choose between then if I was to order another steak. The girls burgers were fabulous, really big, loads of extras inside the bun along with chips and whatever sauces your fancied. They were burgers that my Hubby would be really impressed by and he likes a BIG burger.

After our main courses we ordered puddings, the restaurants staff recommended the waffles, but we all went for something else. Two of us ordered the peach and raspberry cheesecake, I love a cheesecake. The others went for the three berry mousse cake and the salted caramel chocolate roulade. The deserts were all delicious, we sampled each others not wanting to miss out. I was not disappointed with cheesecake, it was lovely. Although when Darren came over and spoke about the waffles I kind of wish I had ordered them instead.

Ask any of my friends, I am definitely one for sending food back if I don’t feel it is up to standard, I am also well known for making complaints if the service isn’t up to standard or the staff have poor attitudes. So for me to go out for a meal and genuinely be 100% happy with everything is quite unusual, and I found this at the Grosvenor and believe me, even I was surprised.

Our Casino Lesson

After our meals we headed for a lesson on the American Roulette boards, the casino is the only one in the country that offers the colour changing roulette wheel. I did not have a clue. I know literally nothing roulette. However after an enjoyable 30 minute lesson we all came away thinking we knew a little bit more about it all. I seemed to do really well with the winnings while having our practice lessons, I just seem to wing it enough to win lots of chips, unfortunately they did not transfer into piles of money. We moved over to a quite blackjack lesson, which was easier to understand however I was rubbish at it. A couple of the girls seemed to really have the knack of it.

Once we had finished our practice lessons, on to the boards we went…… well, honestly we went to the online roulette boards. They just seemed less intimidating than live tables with lots of people around then that all seemed to know what they were doing. It was so much fun just having a go on a few numbers, or black and red. We played for about an hour or so between us and I came away 45p up. Which for someone who had never even stepped foot in a casino before or really even played a game of cards other than snap or rummy I think I did ok.

After our evening of amazing food and drinks, plus all the excitement of winning 45p we heading home. Each one of us throughly enjoyed our evening with Daren and team, they made us feel welcome and even though non of us had a clue about casino games they were more than happy to give us lessons. We all came away saying that we would go again, for food, drinks and also roulette, we might even take our partners along.

Although I hadn’t really thought about it before as a hen party location. I really think it would be a great laugh. Head there for a fabulous meal, cocktails, enjoy the atmosphere of the casino before heading into the city with a group of girls. Daren said it is quite popular with hen parties but as you would guess very popular with stag parties.

Thank you to Daren and the team at The Grosvenor Casino in Nottingham for having us all along for the evening. I look forward to coming back again one day soon.