Thursday evening, I attended a launch night for the newest local bar in town, The Orange Tree!
I have been waiting for this bar to open for the past few weeks after seeing sneak peaks all over their social media and I was so excited to see what they had in store for the lucky few that were attending.
The launch evening was an invite only event so it was very exclusive where we were rubbing shoulders with some very important people and even the Mayoress of Derby herself!
I was quite nervous walking up to the venue on the hidden gem of George Street, just off Friar Gate.
The cobbled grounds and tall brick building gave it that vintage feel which gave me high hopes for their interior.
After taking our names and being greeted by the lovely organiser, Alex, we were offered a glass of bubbly topped with a strawberry and entered the huge building.
Although we arrived shortly after 8pm, the bar was bustling with folk from all over Derbyshire looking at the menus and ordering their beverages.
The interior has a very woody yet shabby chic feel that looks a whole lot like a log cabin you’d find in the mountains.
There were two floors that were both pretty hefty in size, both covered in bright velvet sofas and stools and bars to sit and socialise.
After the bar downstairs was pretty heaving by the time we had a nosy around, we made our way upstairs to grab another beverage.
Upstairs was a lot like down. A huge bar, velveteen sofas and interesting decor which included a huge specials board that Kane wanted to steal…
Surprisingly, they had a small selection of cocktails on offer for launch night. On an opening night, usually there aren’t any cocktails available to sample but The Orange Tree had it all.
The first cocktail I chose to sample was the White Russian which consisted of Absolut Vodka mixed with Kahlua coffee liqueur, cream, dusted with chocolate powder and loaded with crushed ice.
I anticipated that this would be pretty strong but it tasted like a thick coffee milkshake and it was delicious! I would of happily drank these all night but I wanted to try a selection of what was on offer.
Kane opted for a pint of Estrella as a beer is always his first choice.
Next up I chose to try a Spiced Strawberry Mojito which was made with Kraken Rum and crushed strawberries and limes.
As you can see, I wanted to show this cocktail off with a selfie of me and my lovely.
Kane had a Jack Daniels honey and coke.
Recently, I have really got into flavoured Mojitos with raspberry being my favourite flavour but this spiced strawberry one was yummy and tasted quite festive-like!
The other two cocktails on the menu included a funkily named Wibble, which seemed a bit like a Gin Cosmo, and a Negroni but these didn’t tickle my pickle.
Next up I wanted to try one of the special gins which is one of The Orange Tree’s specialities, gin.
As a lover of the rhubarb flavour, I tried Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin so asked the knowledged bartenders what they thought would compliment it; they suggested ginger beer.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a gin person at all but this was pretty yummy.
Again, the ginger made it taste pretty festive and it would be something I could drink around Christmas time and really enjoy.
The rhubarb wasn’t overpowering but it added subtle tones to the drink.
Kane stuck with the Jack Daniels for a while because it’s one of his favourites.
After a couple of drinks, we started having a gander at the spirits along the back of the bar… and there was quite a selection.
Kane was feeling adventurous and asked the barman to pick him a spirit and make a concoction for him to try.
The staff were very friendly and smiley which is want you want from service in a bar.
The kind bar man made a double measure of Bulldog gin topped with tonic, lime and lemons to taste.
Now this drink was pretty strong and for an acquired taste – which I’m not sure Kane has.
It was tangy because of the citrus fruits but pretty lethal overall.
I had one of my favourites, a lemonade with a measure of Absolut Raspberri which is sweet and simple – perfect for me.
After a good few drinks, we went exploring around the venue again and talking to a few locals and even catching up with one my blogging friends – Ria Amber Tesia. Her blog can be found here!
We ended up chatting to some men at the bar after I had ordered a Malibu and orange juice (personal favourite) and they gave me a frown, saying they had never heard of that combo.
Turns out, one them is the uncle of the manager and one was the brother!!
We then got talking to the manager of the bar who was very friendly, despite how busy it was in there.
I had mentioned that I had seen something on their full cocktail menu that tickled my fancy – a Toblerone Martini and he agreed to let me try one!
This masterpiece was made up chocolate syrup drizzled round the glass shaken with Frangelico liqueur, Creme de Cacao, Kahlua coffee liqueur, milk and honey.
I have never tasted anything quite like it, it was simply amazing.
I made Kane, Alex, the organiser, and our two friends by the bar try it.
They were all in agreement that it was yummy!
But what made it all the more special for me was that I was the first customer to have tried this miracle cocktail.
It was like a milkshake frappuccino with a kick – perfect for the ladies.
We made these our last drinks and took off as it had started to quieten down and I seriously needed sleep.
Overall, we had a terrific night socialising with friends and strangers accompanied by fantastic drinks.
What I really love about this soon to be hit is the relaxed atmosphere accompanied by an extensive drinks menu and attentive staff.
The building and decor was really beautiful and so easily accessible from the main strip of pubs and bars.
This quiet street is just a stone’s throw away from fan favourites and would be perfect for a cocktail night or a craft beer tasting session.