Review: The Cotton House, Helmshore, Lancashire
Looking to keep up with those in the know about all things hygge? In that case, I present The Cotton House. This is Helmshore’s hottest new eatery and bar which gives a nod to the village’s past while keeping it current with on-trend brunches, lunches and a sophisticated cocktail menu.
Over the last six months or so, I’ve heard an increasing number of bloggers, TV presenters and journalists talking about this hygge business and how it’s now less Keeping up with the Kardashians and more keeping up with the Danes. To go properly into the ins and outs of this Danish phenomenon would require a separate article (probably about six or seven, maybe even a thesis)) so I’ll keep it brief: Hygge means enjoy the present and recognising a good moment in the day as being just that, good. The Cotton House in South Lancashire with its roaring log burner, stone floors and soft lighting, oozes nothing but hygge.
Popular with walkers, families and 20-somethings who are all about the ‘cute places for brunch’, The Cotton House caters for all. Serving breakfast until noon on a weekend, it was the perfect place for my friend and I to enjoy a long-overdue catch-up (she’s moving to Australia – whaaaat?! I swear, Man Friday was more in the loop than I am these days). Taking our seats on the utilitarian wooden and wrought iron chairs by the log fire, with flower boxes adorning the walls and snow falling outside the original leaded windows, the stage was set for the hygge to commence. Making it in time for brunch (we’re so LA it hurts), rather than fulfil my Hollywood it-girl fantasy and choose a #healthgoals Acai bowl, I stayed true to my northern roots and opted for The Cotton House’s take on a full English. Job’s a good ’un. Ta, cock.
Gradually joined on the set of Hygge: The Movie by rosy-cheeked walkers, yummy mummies with their tots sitting on the decking overlooking the river, and cool indie friendship groups, a certain lively yet homely buzz filled the place as our food arrived. Okay, the food wasn’t, to employ another current buzzword in the food industry (which, for the record, I recoil at using), sexy and it didn’t take my taste buds on a gastronomical journey through flavours and textures. But that’s the great thing about The Cotton House, it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not.
While offering a variety of fashionable choices (the avocado and feta dish looked delish and the eggs Florentine heavenly), you won’t find a banana and madras chipolata on your plate or The Louvre recreated out of your pile of toast. The Cotton House gives the people what they want – good ingredients and un-fussed over presentation – and so concocts the perfect recipe for honest food that hits the spot and leaves your tummy feeling like it’s being cuddled back to satisfaction.
Serving food until 9pm, The Cotton House offers a main menu akin to those gastro-pubby jaunts popular with those wanting good, tasty food and a desire to avoid being charged a small fortune for the pleasure. With a cocktail menu adding a touch of luxury (my Bel-Air fantasy might be possible after all), The Cotton House can’t be faulted on its suitability for all the Valley’s residents. Told that the place has a fantastic atmosphere of an evening, we didn’t hesitate in pencilling in our next visit.
So, let The Cotton House’s Cosmopolitans flow and let’s say cheers to an addition to Rossendale’s growing list of new places to enjoy and indulge in all things, well, in a word, hygge.
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