Cocktails & Canapés on a school night

Cocktails & Canapés on a school night

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t go out after 7pm?  Seriously, I’m usually tucked up under my duvet by 9.30.  Ever the party animal I am! 

However, last Thursday, I broke my own rule (well a few of them actually).  Firstly, I got dressed up, well as dressed up as I can be.  Secondly, it was a school night (shock horror!) and thirdly, I didn’t go out until 7pm. 

But, where did I go that was so important I brazenly abandoned my own rules? Take a seat and I’ll tell you.

Little old me was only invited for Cocktails & Canapes to celebrate the launch of The Celtic Manor Resort’s brand new cocktail bar, The Mulberry Bar.  Yep, you read me right.  I brazenly abandoned my own rules for the Celtic Manor. 

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the resort.  It’s only a 20 minute drive from me (and it’s unmissable if you’re driving down the M4) but the opportunity has never really come around for me to visit.  I’d definitely love a child free night away there in the future.  To be honest, with 5 children, the quietness of places like that scare me.  I had my Mam with me for moral support though, so I wasn’t completely out of my depth.

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On arrival, I definitely felt like something was amiss… I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then it dawned on me. I could just take in the architecture and beauty of the main lobby without fretting that my little darlings were trying to climb the dragons or jumping on the couches with muddy shoes or even sliding across an impressively polished floor. 

The Mulberry Bar didn’t immediately jump out at us though (probably courtesy of the discreet glass doors) and walking around the lobby, we got separated by some sort of black tie event crowd.  It was rather exciting if I’m honest… ladies in pretty dresses and men in smart suits. 

After what seemed like forever, we made it to The Mulberry Bar.  We were warmly greeted, and I was on the guest list!  That in itself made my day… it’s quite nice to give your name and be granted entry to a bar.

We were told to make ourselves comfortable and someone would be over to take our orders shortly.  Choosing a comfortable looking chair at the back of the room, we settled in to enjoy the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, both of us were driving that night so it was the Mulberry Softline Chic collection for us.  Priced at £6.95 there are 3 gorgeous flavours to choose from. 

Our first was the gorgeous Cinderella.  Pineapple juice, strawberries and orange juice.  It really was a fantastic tasting drink that was beautifully presented. 

The savoury canapes looked amazing but were just not to my taste (I’m probably more of a peanuts kinda gal!).  Mam, however, for the first time ever, ate more than I did.  She actually tried three of the four varieties.  She also shared some advice that would make them even better.  (To be honest, Mam comes into her own when it comes to creating beautiful food!  She’s wasted, she really is!)

The sweet canapes were definitely more me.  I chose a chocolatey one, which was just AMAZING.  I didn’t want it to end. 

We finished our evening off with another cocktail.  This time we were served the Apple Garden Cooler.  Apple juice with elderflower tonic and mint.  It was a taste bud tickler for sure and it turns out Mam quite likes to eat mint leaves. 

The bar has a trendy vibe, it’s perfect for guests but also comfortable if you simply nip in to sample a cocktail. The atmosphere is completed by the beautiful sound of a live pianist – the sound fits in so well it’s easy to forget he is even playing.  The seats are super comfy, made from crushed velvet, and we did not want to move… ever.  

We really had a gorgeous evening and were sad to leave.  The service was 5*, the drinks were 5* and the company was 6*. 

My only complaint is the look I had when I walked through my front door accompanied by a rather indignant “I’ve been waiting for you to come home!”.  No, it wasn’t the husband… it was Seren.  Apparently, Mammy isn’t allowed out on a school night.

The Mulberry Bar is open most days for you to nip in and sample the beautiful cocktails but if you fancy a more masterful experience there’s plenty coming up in the next few months including:

Whisky Tasting Masterclass – 19th May
Mixology Masterclass – 3rd March & 5th May
Mulberry Jazz Night – 21st & 28th April
British Wine Week – 26th May & 3rd June
British Wine Tasting – 26th May

For more information on these events or to book visit: