There will be a new addition to the eating and drinking scene in Peterborough later this month when the quirky Argo Lounge opens in Bridge Street.
To get a taste of what we might be in for - it describes itself as an eccentric casual dining eaterie - I headed for Stamford to try the “industrial chic” Cosy Club.
It opened about three or four years ago and has been one of those places that people love at any time of the day.
You can enjoy brunch until 6pm, tuck into tapas, burgers and paninis or select from a varied main menu through until 10pm.
We dropped in mid-Sunday afternoon, but a roast was far from our minds - and just would not have seemed right in the surroundings - a mish-mash of tables, chairs, wall-mounted art and mirrors with all manner of lampshades - not to mention leather club chairs, sofas and Art Deco coffee tables, which give it a distinctive relaxed feel.
Our food choices pretty much touched all areas of the menu.
Donna, Rhia and Jasmine shared a tapas selection and were more than happy with the pan-fried halloumi, served with carrot and chick peas and a moreish sweet and sour chilli dip, sweet potato and basil falafels with cumin and coriander yoghurt (my favourite), and some crispy fish fingers (two-year-old Jasmine’s favourite obviously) with tartare sauce.
I was won over, too, with my starter a rocket-dominated salad - with a lovely peppery taste that fitted perfectly with smoked bacon and black pudding. It was topped off with a runny poached egg and a tarragon lemon dressing which tasted as good as it smelled.
The time of year dictated my main course - a hearty filling of pie, mash and peas, albeit with a twist.
The pastry on the venison pie was crisp and flaky and the filling soft and tender. The mash was thick with the slight saltiness and sharpness of blue cheese evident and complimenting the sweetness of the peas.
Donna’s main course not only looked good but tasted great. Warm strips of beef that were beautifully seasoned.Lots of tender baby spinach, soft noodles in a real nutty tasting sesame seed dressing and slices of hot red chillies.
Rhia went plain and simple - a grilled halloumi panini with a sweet little sun-blushed tomato and red pepper chutney with hummus and spinach.
It was a new twist on Sunday lunch. The food was good without being stand-out, the service was more than fine and the venue itself while big and busy, with a nice buzz about the place, still allowed for a relaxing hour or two for lunch.
If this is what Peterborough has to look forward to with the Argo Lounge, then you won’t get any complaints from me.
8 out of 10
The Cosy Club, Horseshoe Lane, Stamford. Open every day from 9am to 11pm (12.30am Thurs-Sat). Food served all day from 9am to 10pm.
Telephone: 01780 767710.
See our restaurants map at peterboroughtoday.co.uk/restaurants for more reviews.
Cosy Club breakfast - grilled smoked back bacon, Cumberland sausage, field mushroom, grilled tomato, black pudding, fried potatoes, baked beans and fried, poached or scrambled egg with toasted farmhouse bread £7.95
Vegetarian breakfast- Grilled tomato, field mushroom, warm hummus, wood-roasted peppers, fried potatoes, baked beans and fried, poached or scrambled egg with toasted farmhouse bread £6.95
Steak and eggs - 5oz steak, two fried eggs, grilled tomato and fried potatoes £8.95
£3.95 each or 3 for £11.50 (served with ciabatta)
Macaroni cheese with mushrooms, spinach and truffle cheese sauce £7.75
Cherry Orchard free-range belly of pork with apple and juniper spiced red cabbage, dauphinoise potatoes and red wine gravy £11.95
Crab and prawn linguine - Brixham bay white crab meat and prawns with rocket, spinach, tarragon and cherry tomatoes topped with red chillies £12.95
Duck confit with braised puy lentils and smoked bacon served with honey roasted root vegetables and a red wine sauce £13.95
Kedgeree with Brixham smoked pollock, spinach and turmeric rice topped with a poached egg £10.95