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AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Creative contemporary dishes in an ornate dining room

AA Inspector

At a glance

Open all year
Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access

Like many a Georgian country mansion, Rockliffe Hall is big on sport and leisure these days, with its 18-hole golf course, spa pampering and a trio of restaurants. Pick of the bunch is The Orangery, where gilded wrought-iron columns support a soaring glass roof, and views sweep across the gardens and the action on the fairways through the large wall of windows. Richard Allen heads up the team to deliver a contemporary 9-course tasting menu, plus veggie, pescetarian and 4-course à la carte options. Local produce and seasonality is key, some of it foraged from Rockliffe's 365-acre estate, and it's all presented in imaginative juxtapositions of flavour, texture and temperature. Pigeon breast with various forms of broccoli, chickpea dhal, and fig and ginger jam is a dish full of creative flair and sound judgement; likewise Staithes Village crab mayonnaise, butter-poached potato and spring beauty sprigs. Next up, saddle of venison sits atop a punchy Bolognese-inspired sauce, together with savoury granola, celeriac purée and greens, or richly cooked pork belly, cheek, langoustine, finely chopped white cabbage and apple purée. A seafood option could be a superb pairing of scallops and smoked eel in a picturesque medley with nasturtium, vinegar and rye. At the end comes a refreshing pre-dessert of gin and tonic foam, sea buckthorn gel and sea herbs that leads onto a high-impact dessert of banana and ginger cake with black butter and peanut brittle. The wine list includes some big hitters, and expert advice is at hand to guide the way.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday
  • Closed for lunch: Tuesday to Saturday
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 9.30

Chef

  • Chef: Richard Allen

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 3
  • Wines over £30: 600
  • Wines by the glass: 35

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from65
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 60
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 20
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats: 60
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 20

Getting here

A1(M) junction 57, A66(M), A66 towards Darlington, A167, through Hurworth-on-Tees. In Croft-on-Tees left into Hurworth Road, follow signs

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Nearest train station

Darlington
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