Cool River Café & Pâtisserie
Situated close to the banks of the river Derwent in Matlock, this delightful spot is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. For anyone visiting, it won’t be hard to see why this venue was named East Midlands’ Café/Bistro of the Year in the Food Awards England and was shortlisted for the 2018 awards. Competitively priced, Cool River Café & Pâtisserie effortlessly fills the gap between café and restaurant. It was recently taken over by head chef Chris and partner Emily, and even incorporates a small bookshop where regular literary events are held. A veranda with outdoor seating provides a pleasantly Mediterranean vibe, while the interior is characterised by cool blue woodwork and quirky, nautical touches.
The kitchen is open-plan; upon entering we were greeted by a tempting display of patisserie, everything made fresh on the premises with locally sourced ingredients. The coffee at Cool River is excellent – I enjoyed a smooth flat white, while my friend opted for a decadent white hot chocolate. We lunched on lemony smoked salmon pâté and a flaky filo pastry pie with goat’s cheese, tomatoes and pesto. Both dishes came with generous sides of salad and we plumped for golden potato wedges to accompany them. Though too full for dessert ourselves, we noticed that the menu includes an exceptional afternoon tea that we will certainly return to try.