ONE of the region’s five star hotels has unveiled the results of a £200,000 refurbishment scheme.

Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth, near Darlington, has transformed the 19th Century Old Hall by extending its restaurant, The Orangery, and kitchens to increase production during the day, allowing it to serve lunches during the week for the first time.

The restaurant, run by head chef Kenny Atkinson, can now hold up to 80 diners and has also had a makeover, with new artwork, décor, furniture and lighting.

The hotel has planned a number of events for The Orangery, including celebrity chef dinners featuring TV chefs, wine and champagne evenings and ‘faces behind the food’ events to give guests the chance to meet the team of chefs, sommeliers and Maître d’s.

Managing director, Nick Holmes, said: “The Old Hall is the beating heart of Rockliffe Hall and it’s important that it has something to offer all day, every day. The Orangery will always be our flagship restaurant and people flock from all over the UK to sample Kenny’s food.”

Director of food, Mr Atkinson added: “As The Orangery has grown in popularity so have the demands on the kitchen team, so the larger kitchen is a massive boost for our production capabilities. Opening for lunch is also really exciting as we can welcome people into our stunning surroundings all day.

“Our emphasis will always be on local producers and we’re working with even more in the coming months as well as training more of our own chefs in traditional skills, such as butchery.”