Review: Escaping the Storm at Cottons Hotel & Spa on the Edge of Knutsford
As Storm Babet's heavy rain finally begins to peter out, we head to Cheshire for a luxe spa weekend
After checking in at reception, which is decorated with gourds and leaves as a nod to the season, we head upstairs to our suite. Welcome treats include our own pillow menu, a White Company gift box and a well stocked mini-bar. Refraining from tucking in just yet (so as not to spoil our dinner) we head back downstairs to make use of the spa facilities, having changed into our fluffy robes and slippers.
There are various treatment rooms and a fully-equipped gym, and despite it being a busy Saturday afternoon, the generously-sized pool means there’s plenty of space for me to swim a few lengths while my partner heads straight for the steam room. The sauna is popular but it’s certainly worth the wait, and after another dip in the pool we relax in the jacuzzi. There are plenty of loungers and sofas dotted around the pool, and tables and chairs by the jacuzzi for those enjoying a tipple or a hot drink. Almost two hours goes by in a blink of an eye and it’s time to head back to our room to freshen up for dinner.
Our evening meal is served downstairs in the restaurant and we’re seated at a table not far from the roaring fire, a cosy set up for a dreary autumnal evening. We order a bottle of Le Sanglier de la Montagne sauvignon blanc while we browse both the main and specials menus and decide to mix and match between the two. In no time at all my partner is served his duck leg hash with a Clarence Court duck egg, watercress and Daniel Thwaites’ brown sauce while I tuck into a generous portion of risotto. When our mains arrive I steal one of the garlic and parsley fries which are served alongside my partner’s melt-in-the-mouth rib eye steak. I’m reluctant to tuck into my beautifully presented Highbury of Shropshire chicken served on a bed of mash, with English peas, smoked bacon and baby carrot. Nearly defeated, but determined to try the desserts, my partner orders the lemon posset with seasonal berries and a lavender shortbread biscuit (which seriously packs a punch) while I tuck into a warming sticky toffee pudding with date purée, butterscotch sauce and a delicious scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Our cosy suite is calling, but not before we enjoy one last drink in the bar downstairs. We also take a peek into one of the function rooms where we can hear live music playing. Back in our room, although we plan to watch a film on one of the two TVs, our bed proves a little too comfy and we awake the next morning rested and refreshed. While I get ready for the day ahead, my partner is keen to take one last peek in the spa. I soon regret not following him. The much quieter spa on this lazy Sunday morning, accompanied by far fairer weather, means he gets the chance to enjoy the bubbling outdoor hot tub before refuelling for the day ahead.
Breakfast is table service in the restaurant, and we’re seated in the same spot as the night before. We order tea, speciality Italian coffee and juice before the table is filled with chocolaté royale, toast and preserves, my eggs Benedict, and my partner’s Northern Breakfast (eggs, pork sausage wheel, grilled back bacon, Lancashire black pudding, grilled tomato, flat mushroom and baked beans) – it’s quite the feast! In fact, it’s perfect fuel for the day ahead picking pumpkins at nearby High Legh Pumpkin Patch, taking a walk in Tatton Park and joining the crowds of shoppers at the Trafford Centre.