It’s turned cold, Halloween is over, so my mind is turning towards Christmas – aided and abetted by The Snug Hitchin who invited me to preview their new Christmas menu. Check out those candy cane cocktails – they looked so festive and tasted of candy canes too, amazing!

The Snug are a small chain of cocktail bars with a cosy, laid back vibe – already established in Cambridge and St Albans, the Hitchin bar opened up on Sun Street this summer. With over 100 cocktails on the menu as well as a range of craft beers I knew I would be well catered for drinks-wise, but what of the food?

We got a warm welcome on arrival and the crackers and mince pies were all laid out ready. I apologise for the poor quality of my photos as I forgot my camera, but this photo also gives you an idea of the bar’s style – perfect for a cold winter’s evening.

After meeting the team and a quick chat with some of the other lovely bloggers (check out Eating St Albans and What Katy Said) we settled down to try the Festive Platter. I really enjoyed this – I love sharing plates and this had some delicious options, including some delicious bacon and brie quesadillas and scrummy chicken wings in a cherry bourbon glaze. If you wanted an excellent value option for drinks and nibbles with the girls, you can just order the platters with a cocktail for £15 per head – or you can book the full three courses and make a real evening of it.

We then got to have a go at cocktail making, both the candy cane cocktails above and the absolutely delicious mince pie cocktail. The mince pie one included brandy, cinnamon and apple schnapps and tasted so festive, it would be excellent to sip on a chilly winter night. I thought having Christmas-specific drinks was a great idea and this definitely inspired me to check out the cocktail classes the Snug also offer, I think that would be a really fun night out and am dropping hints to do this for my birthday next year:

 Next it was time to try the Christmas Burger – now, I’m not the biggest burger fan but this did win me over. Fantastic bun, decent tasting burger topped with bacon, turkey and the aforementioned cherry bourbon sauce – with a side of PULLED PORK!  What’s not to love? The fries that came with it were great too (and there are seafood and veggie options available for those less carnivorous amongst you). Desserts followed – eggnog cheesecake or chocolate orange sundae – I was pretty full by this point to be honest so didn’t really do mine justice but you can’t go wrong with chocolate orange at Christmas, can you?

All in all I’d definitely recommend The Snug for a Christmas party. The food had Christmassy influences but was a bit different and true to their usual menu – a definite improvement on the normal tired turkey that is never the same as your home cooked lunch. The atmosphere was fun and friendly, and the sharing platters and cocktail making would make for a great night out for a team or group of friends. If you want to ramp up the festivities you can also hire a Christmas box full of fun props which would make for some brilliant photos for that office noticeboard – my rather fuzzy effort below