The Cosy Club in Birmingham City Centre
If you absolutely need brunch in the City Centre, aren’t fussed about going independent, and you to guarantee brunch is on the menu all day, try the Cosy Club. It’s centrally located and offers a wide range of brunch food until 6pm. There are 10 branches of the Cosy Club across the country, and the Birmingham branch is one of the newest. It’s website describes it rather awkwardly as, ‘gents club meets village hall meets cricket pavilion’, exactly conjuring up the borderline-overly curated and self-aware interior, filled with oil paintings, stuffed stags heads, randomly painted vintage-style tables and chairs. It is a fantastic building, filling the old Midland Bank building, and some of the decoration, especially the lights in the bar area, are beautiful.
It was pretty busy at midday. Seven couples were eating in the restaurant (many having tapas, choosing from the true lunch menu rather than our breakfast treat), as well as a group of 7. It’s got a social atmosphere; everyone was talking and socialising. No young men with headphones and ipads in here.
Drinks were first to arrive (table service in the restaurant area). The branded mugs are nice to drink from, and I got three cups out of a large pot of tea. The real Cosy Club gimmick is the milk jugs; they are moulded into the shape of a cow, and milk is poured directly from the cow’s mouth. This is adorable and twee until someone reminds you the cow has just vomited milk into your tea, and then they are weird.
The Cosy Club full English comes with all the trimmings, including baked beans in a La Creuset-style pot, enabling you to keep them separate from the rest of the meal. The black pudding and sausages were made with high quality ingredients, the mushrooms were very flavoursome, the poached egg was perfectly cooked. Fattest sliced toast I’ve ever seen. Tops marks.
For an eggs dish, I had ‘Cosy Eggs’, poached eggs on a muffin, with mushrooms and spinach, slathered in hollandaise sauce. All the individual elements were perfect – lightly done eggs, lovely mushrooms, well-done muffins, tasty hollandaise – but there was so much sauce that it overwhelmed the rest of the meal. Not sure if this is always the case, as I have had these before and loved them, but today the volume of sauce was a bit too intense. My muffin ended up rather soggy.
The toilets in the Cosy Club get top marks. Down a wood-panelled corridor, they are immaculately clean and tidy, and decorated with attention to making it a welcoming and atmospheric room. The lighting is low and pleasant (despite how it looks in the picture below), there are framed vintage-style pictures on the walls, and a jazzy tile choice on the floors. Sensor operated sanitary bins are always nice to see, and a properly powerful hand drier instead of paper towels. Lovely oval-framed mirrors complete the look.
Price: mid price– full English, Cosy Eggs, large pot of tea, coca cola: £20
Atmosphere and design: consciously quirky and eccentric, mixed vintage
Food: tasty ingredients, good quality
Toilets: beautifully presented, clean and well-lit
Enjoyment: social atmosphere, attentive service, lovely setting