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Judges Country House Hotel

Kirklevington Hall, YARM, Tees Valley, TS15 9LW

3 rosettes

The country hotel fashioned from what began life as Kirklevington Hall, rural seat of a Victorian engineering dynasty, acquired its present name from the period in the 1970s when it provided handy accommodation for circuit judges on their circuits. Standing in more than 20 acres of meticulously maintained grounds a little to the south of Middlesbrough, it's in a fine location, the most of which it makes with the aid of a conservatory-style dining room equipped with tented ceiling and swagged drapes. Tables are double-clothed, muzak is banished, and staff are well-versed both in the professional requirements of the job at this level, and in John Schwarz's inspiring take on modern British cooking. The incidentals are to be noted: great opening canapés (including a haggis beignet); a cleverly judged winter appetiser of ham and sausage broth; excellent home-made breads of immpeccable texture and flavour; and fun petits fours, including the (in)famous bubblegum jelly. In among all that, there are some fine, well-conceived principal dishes too. A first course might involve setting perfectly timed scallops in herby broth with winter veg and mussels, before fillet of locally reared beef turns up with oxtail and confit potato cut into chips, in red wine and marrow jus. Fish shows up well in the earthy truffled treatment given to halibut, which comes with Brussels sprouts and celeriac, while loin of venison gains from the modern classic accompaniments of black pudding, red cabbage and pumpkin. To finish, there may be an admirably rich and smooth fondant made with Michel Cluizel chocolate, served with hazelnut ice cream, or a new manifestation of Arctic Roll constructed of prunes and pear and scented with Earl Grey. Premium cheeses come with home-made walnut bread. The extremely well-tended wine list is illustrated with oenological maps to orient you, and starts with an imaginative selection by the glass.

Further information

Tel: 01642 789000
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email

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Open all year.
Sunday lunch available.

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: John Schwarz
Number of seats: 60
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.
Parking available.


Restaurant price guide

2 Course lunch from: £27.45
3 Course lunch from: £35.95
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £34.50
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

Judges Country House Hotel, Yarm


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Use the route planner for your trip

1.5m from junct W A19, take A67 towards Kirklevington, hotel 1.5m on left
Nearest station: Middlesbrough

Local information for TS15 9LW

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