“ Warwick Street / Coventry / CV5 6ET / Tel: 02476 670123 „
It is amazing how easy it is to forget that Earlsdon has enough pubs/bars to merit a night out on its own, or at least a warm up for a night in Coventry centre (or further afield! The train station is only a 5 minute bus ride away). Its also fairly busy in the week too, and its pretty much the only Coventry suburb with any nightlife of its own to speak of.
I've lived in Coventry most of my life and only made it to the Cottage for the first time a couple of years ago. Go in on a Saturday night in this unassuming pub entrance in a quiet back street parallel to Earlsdon High Street (there is another entrance on the main street) and it really impresses...fantastic sound system playing funky house, lights, shadows, fairly large open space, with space out back to talk and hang about under heated cover in the garden area. The place had a £1m refurb and its worth every penny. If you've been to the Arcadian bars in Birmingham like Poppy Red and Indi Bar, this is a similar sort of place.
The problem with bars of this sort in Coventry is that they sometimes fill with chavs and lose any material edge they started off with. Blunt but true! Prague by the bus station suffered badly in this respect and closed, the Old Fire Station nearby and Dogma have a similar feel to the Cottage in that same central area and aren't too bad, but here the Cottage is backed up by other pubs and you don't feel out on a limb...anyway back to the Cottage.
The other review pretty much says it all, it IS a little bit of a posery place, for those a bit more self conscious of their look, there are some stunning men and women in there (he thought!) but don't expect magnificent depth, even if the place is genuinely rockin'. £2-£10 door fee on Saturday and Sundays, depending on if there is a DJ in of note or not.
If you're going in in the day, the food and cocktails are yummy, all the furniture and candles are out and you pretty much have the place to yourself!
One quick tip- don't queue for ages in the main bar to get served- go straight into the regular pub 'snug' for the locals (left as you go in the main entrance) and grab as many drinks as you want, then sneak through into the garden.....!
After being a towny over the past few years more recently I have got out of my town centre and headed up Earlsdon (it's up, to me lol) and I've found a whole new world where the good and the beautiful (and rich) hang out in Coventry! Personally I thought that Coventry was full of people who were quite chavvy and loutish (I say this as someone who was born here!) but then I went to Earlsdon and that's where the gorgeous people are hanging and they have fashion sense! It's very boho in this part of town. Lots of posh little independent shops and restaurants. At night the place is buzzing and it's like holiday season! This is a jewel in Coventry' crown and me, I wasn't aware of it till very recently!
The Finer Details ....
The Earlsdon Cottage
Tel: 02476 670123
So it's a bar and a posh one at that. Yes, it is a little pretentious in some respects. Full of slim and attractive people and labels aplenty. It's main clientele is career minded 20 something's (at night) and is very popular with the Earlsdon set of luvvies. House prices and accommodation is very expensive in this area and the drink prices reflect that totally (I shall come on to that in a bit!). This bar is billed as bringing a bit of London to Coventry and that's is it in a nutshell cos that's how it feels to me (I lived in London lol).
The place itself....
Very trendy and minimalist. Cream walls with pictures and mirrors scattered about and cream tiled flooring. Wooden well stocked bar with lots of windows and two entrances to the bar which can be accessed by wheelchair. Attention has really been paid to the finer details with no money skimped on it's 1 million pound revamp back in December '06. In the week there is plenty of seating with dark wooden tables and the seating is lush! All leather stools, 'boxes' and high backed bar stools this really is like an upmarket Ikea (just look at the review photograph). It's visually stunning and incredibly clean and open. The main wine bar can house 450 people a night and added on is a conservatory which can also be used for business meetings and private hire and can take 150 people (no smoking). Then there is a huge garden with lots of tables and chairs and like a huge blind thing that you can push a button and the whole thing become covered so you can smoke and not get wet! The conservatory bar opens onto the garden and is open during busy periods (normally). Also there is 'a snug' which is a smaller more homely bar the other side of the wine bar. This has been added for the 'regulars'. Less pretentious than the main wine bar, this is still lovely, open and clean but banished is all the leather and fancy furniture. This has a light ash bar, light wooden furniture, bamboo blinds and lots of beige soft seating around the edge of the walls. Less threatening to older people who want a quiet drink this really works for them! This is a busy little pub all of it's own! Though if you ain't a regular don't go in! lol
The music and ambiance in the wine bar is not too loud but loud enough. No music outside. At the weekend all the furniture is removed to create standing room which is a bit annoying if your over 20 and the garden gets rammed! There is no trouble in this bar (to my knowledge) and there are always security that always great you nicely and always say goodbye to you. They are very smart and very approachable and none threatening.
The bar staff are very nice as well and they the place always have loads on. The bar gets packed as at weekends and these guys are very efficient and know their stuff. The bar is kept clean and tidy at all times ,no glasses cluttering the place up and I've seen the staff pick bits of rubbish off the floor and stuff instead of simply ignoring it. They are all dressed in black and all very attractive and young, so plenty of eye candy for the guys although the girls are wearing shirts lol
The drinks are a drawback and the prices here are quite high. 2 Pepsi's are £3.00 a glass of wine (small rose and house) is £3.49 a glass and a beer is about £3.60. You are paying for the bars refurbishment in this respect!
On the website breakfast, lunch and evening meals are advertised but it seems that food has actually been stopped after 5pm as I can only find breakfast and lunch menus so if you need this information I suggest you call the bar and ask about it.
Breakfast is served Monday - Saturday 9am-11.45am, Sunday - 10.30am -11.45am
Includes things such as Full English Breakfast, English, Muffins, Eggs Benedict, croissants. A variety of coffees, teas including herbal, and hot chocolate.
Lunch Is Served Everyday 11.45am-5.00pm
Variety of sandwiches and panini's all served with french fries and mini caesar salad. Fillings such as Honey roast ham with mustard mayo, Crayfish tails with Marie rose and cheddar cheese and chutney. There are a mix of meat based and vegetarian fillings but none are vegan. Salads including Warm goats cheese and Mediterranean vegetable with balsamic dressing, Rare roast beef with sweet chilli dressing and Asian salad. A variety of jacket potatoes are available and 2 hot dishes.
Daily specials are available.
Not a massive menu granted but from what I've gathered the food is really nice but I have no idea of prices for any of the above items but it's not going to be cheap as this is billed as a gastro wine bar after all.
To the best of my knowledge there is a disabled toilet (please enquire about this if you need to) and there are of course male and female toilets. The female toilets has 3 cubicles and a couple of sinks. There's barely any room to swing a cat but the toilets are clean with handriers and things and loads of mirrors including floor length ones and it's very well lit. Now I haven't been in the mens but me and my friends were stood near the mens and we could see the guys er taking a leak so the mens urinals are far too close to the door! We stayed longer than necesary of course after a few drinks lol
Upstairs is called the Loft and is part of the wine bar. I haven't personally been up there but they open it on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night's and you have to pay about a fiver to a member of staff sat guarding the entrance and you go up two flights of stairs. Apparently up there it is as equally stunning as downstairs with lots of fireplaces, leather sofas and a black chandelier. They have different things on and on the cottage website you can check for the acts that will be appearing. It seems a big scoop for the bar is pianist Claire Maidin, who recently played at footballer John Terry's Wedding at Blenheim Palace.
From 6-9pm there is a Tapas menu in the loft so this area opens at 6pm and I guess if your there till 9pm they'd let you stay up there for free they cant exactly chuck you out after all. They have added this place mainly to attract over the 25s and champagne charlies as they have a massive selection of champagne up there! Plans are already in place to hold Comedy nights every Wednesday. In Addition to this, Thursday Jazz nights have recently started using popular touring acts.
A nice place with no trouble to take someone your want to impress! Daytime's it's a real selection of different people including business people, weekday evenings again is a real cross section of people and then weekends it's mainly very young people with money to throw about. It's got a nice atmosphere but it doesn't have an over friendly feeling and if you go out in your company you probably won't be going home with new friends. I personally love it here. I love the pop music at weekends and in the week it's a lot quieter. Though prices constantly take me into the red! This has something for everyone and highly recommended from me and my friends!