Hello Lovelies, how are we all today?
I should probably start by saying ‘Surprise!’, you’ve been graced with a cheeky extra post this week! Usually I only post once a week (fitting around Uni and having a job, of course), so this will be pretty rare.. enjoy it.
For those of you that follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve got a little series called Alphabet Soup which talks about all the best places to eat in Chester. Well, I’m seriously considering adding the best places to drink into the mix, because Chester is FILLED with them.
There’s a number of cocktail bars in Chester so for visitors and newcomers to the city, it can be difficult to find one that’s unique and guaranteed to give you a really great night. Thankfully you don’t have to look too hard, because my new favourite cocktail bar has just re-opened it’s doors after a £50,000 renovation, ready for you lovely lot to drink, dance and sing your hearts out till closing time.
I felt pretty special a few weeks back when I received an email inviting me to the re-opening of Kuckoo in Chester. I confess, after writing about places in Chester off my own back, it was pretty cool to have a little bit of recognition, is that bad?
Anyway, I was more than happy to attend, and on the 20th of January, my friend and I wandered down Watergate Street to check it out.
Walking in, you’re instantly immersed in the black and red colour scheme, with the red glow from the bar and the black spiral staircase leading up to it. The venue is split into two floors, the upper floor has the main bar and seating area and the lower floor a quieter, slightly cosier space, the perfect spot for having a few drinks and a good catch-up.
Kuckoo Chester features a new ‘Onyx’ design, with rich velvet and leather upholstery, slick black speckled granite flooring (like you’re walking on stars) and a custom made bar, using carved stone imported from Italy. As a vinyl collector, it’s also worth mentioning the fact that the walls are filled with music posters and presses of albums from the likes of The Doors, Blondie and so on. It’s all very luxurious and exciting.
Speaking of vinyl, that leads me nicely on to one of the elements of Kuckoo that makes it so unique to Chester, the music.
Kuckoo is the only bar in Chester that has the potential of appealing to such a wide range of people. That, for Richard Powell, founder of Kuckoo Chester, is one of a number of aspects that he (and many others) love about the bar; ‘You could have an 18-year-old student down one end of the bar dancing to ACDC and my 65-year-old Dad at the other end doing the same thing.’
The beauty of Kuckoo is that it doesn’t do the typical bar thing of only playing whatever’s in the charts at the time, plus the odd cliche request of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire’ or ‘Barbie Girl’. Instead your ears are treated to the likes of Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, as well as the aforementioned Blondie, The Doors and ACDC. With such an array of indie artists and rock icons on a playlist, it’s unsurprising Kuckoo attracts a broad and diverse group of people.
I’ll admit, I frequently found myself pausing mid conversation to sing along with something, which was quickly followed by my friend commenting on how brilliant the music was.
So what could be better than dramatic decor and flawless playlists?
The knockout drinks and friendliest bar staff in Chester..
The drinks menu at Kuckoo is extensive and unique. If you go in looking for a ‘Woo Woo’, then you’ll be disappointed. Kuckoo’s menu strikes the perfect balance between the ‘classic’ cocktails and their own creations. The classics they do have on the menu are ‘fluffed up, funked up and rocked up’ as we found out after ordering a Spiced Rum Mai Tai and a Godfather Sour.. beautifully mixed and delicious, but it’s dangerously easy to drink way too many!
In addition to the two classics, we also tried out the Bootleg Moonshine (a whiskey based cocktail), Tinkerbell’s Tutu (the rim of the glass comes rolled in hundreds and thousands), Space Cadet Caipiroska and a Tutti Frutti. I could have quite easily had more, but unfortunately my friend and I both had work the next morning and neither of us felt like waking up with hangovers.
I think what made the experience all the more impressive and enjoyable was the friendliness of the bar staff. We were welcomed with warm smiles and attended to wonderfully throughout the night. They didn’t simply come over and ask us what we wanted, they sat down and chatted to us about our tastes and made recommendations around that; such a refreshing change!
All in all, my friend and I had a lovely night at Kuckoo’s re-opening. It was clear to see that both the staff and the owner are incredibly passionate and proud of the bar, which enhances the experience and leaves a wonderful lasting impression on visitors. I’m incredibly grateful to them for allowing me to be a part of their re-opening, and I can’t wait to visit again.
So, next time you’re out in Chester, be sure to check Kuckoo out!
(Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below)
Till next time,
Click here to check out Andrew Paterson Photography