Each week our reviewers score each restaurant based on quality of food, service, surroundings and value. Click here to find out which restaurants are currently in our top ten based on those results.

The County, The Green, Aycliffe Village

Darlington and Stockton Times: AWARD WINNING: The County on the Green at Aycliffe village

2:21pm Friday 11th April 2014

ONE has to feel sorry for the couple who run The County in Aycliffe Village. For Stuart Dale and Colette Farrell run a famous pub.

Brasserie Hudson Way, Middlesbrough

Darlington and Stockton Times: STYLE: The restaurant says its design recalls the grand cafes of Europe

3:25pm Friday 4th April 2014

IF I was mayor of Middlesbrough and trying to woo some big-time investors into parting with millions, this is where I would bring them – and let the view at sunset do the talking.

The Park, Sutton on the Forest, York

Darlington and Stockton Times: MENU: The Park Restaurant, venue for a taste of many foods and flavours

12:22pm Friday 28th March 2014

IF YOU like plenty of choice, then you might panic at the thought of being faced with a single option on the menu.

Penleys Cafe and Bistro, Leyburn

Darlington and Stockton Times: CAFE STYLE: Penleys Cafe and Bistro in Leyburn

4:12pm Friday 21st March 2014

TO Leyburn on a beautiful spring Saturday morning. I had business at the auction mart, Sylvia had a coffee rendezvous with a friend – and shopping.

Bistro 21, Aykley Heads, Durham

Darlington and Stockton Times: Bistro 21, Aykley Heads, Durham

3:52pm Friday 14th March 2014

IT says much of what the uninitiated would need to know about Bistro 21 that when we told friends of our plans for a cold, wet Wednesday in mid-February, a quiet, unspoken envy would cloud their eyes.

Haynes Arms, Kirby Sigston, Northallerton

Darlington and Stockton Times: CHANGES: The Haynes Arms at Kirby Sigston has been given a restrained makeover by a new owner

11:18am Friday 7th March 2014

IT’S hard to think of a road – particularly one as prosaic as the A19 – as a conduit for anything special. It is just a functional connector, the A1’s poor relation, between Doncaster and Seaton Burn in Northumberland and who wants to go to either of those places?

The Corner House Hotel, Leeming Bar

Darlington and Stockton Times: HARD TO MISS: The Corner House Hotel in Leeming Bar offers unpretentious and straightforward pub food in rather attractive and cosy surroundings

3:01pm Friday 28th February 2014

ONE of our party on this night out has a very serious head for figures. With a high-flying accountant among us, I know we’ll have no problem sorting out the bill at the end of the meal.

Knitsley Farm Shop and Granary Cafe, East Knitsley Farm Shop, Consett

Darlington and Stockton Times: IMPRESSIVE: Award-winning Knitsley Farm Shop and Granary Cafe turns perceptions about the rustic nature of farmshops on its head

3:44pm Friday 21st February 2014

A READER recently took us to task for reviewing breakfasts on the grounds that it wasn’t most people’s idea of a meal out.

Fox and Hounds, Teesway, Neasham, Darlington

Darlington and Stockton Times: VALUE: The Fox and Hounds, Neasham

3:33pm Friday 14th February 2014

THE search for a pub meal within easy striking distance of home brought us to the Fox and Hounds at Neasham, just south-east of Darlington.

Bettys Northallerton, High Street, Northallerton

Darlington and Stockton Times: A TREAT: Bettys on Northallerton High Street

2:03pm Friday 7th February 2014

WE’RE in the middle of a cost-ofliving crisis, the politicians (well some) are telling us. Wages still lag behind inflation so we’ve less to spend.

The Crathorne Arms, Crathorne, North Yorkshire

Darlington and Stockton Times: NO FANFARE: The Crathorne Arms, Crathorne, which has been re-opened

3:30pm Friday 31st January 2014

WITH no fanfare whatsoever, not a single press release, not even a sign outside the pub door, one of our few genuine culinary superstars has opened a new pub-restaurant.

The Stables Restaurant, Best Westem Beamish Hall, Beamish

Darlington and Stockton Times: STABLE CONDITION: Sunday lunch at the Beamish Hall Hotel is served at the The Stables, which has been refurbished with wooden fittings

1:58pm Friday 24th January 2014

I DO love a top notch Sunday lunch in posh surroundings – the posher the better really. An expensive hotel, a small stately home, a yacht on the Med, that’s the sort of thing I’m talking about.

The Cleveland Tontine, Staddlebridge, Northallerton

Darlington and Stockton Times: VENUE: The Cleveland Tontine, open again after a recent refurbishment

4:00pm Friday 10th January 2014

Limited access for disabled at the moment. ONE day long ago I got on my bike, rode down the A19 the seven or so miles to the Cleveland Tontine (don’t try this from home, kids) and asked for a job.

The Tuns, Sadberge, Darlington

Darlington and Stockton Times: TOP MARKS: The Tuns at Sadberge offers cracking value with its dining

4:03pm Friday 3rd January 2014

THE new year starts rather where we left off in 2013 – lauding the rebirth of the village pub.

Proof is in pudding for village pubs

Darlington and Stockton Times: REPUTATIONS: The Horseshoe Inn, West Rounton

12:30pm Monday 6th January 2014

THIS really has been the year of the country pub. Time after time in 2013 we came across rejuvenated village inns, many reopened after periods shut.

Bells, Market Place, Durham

Darlington and Stockton Times: SEAT: The dining room at Bells offers great views over Durham’s Market Place

11:17am Friday 20th December 2013

I HAVE a theory. Admittedly, it’s not much of a theory, and not the sort of theory that would stand up to much scrutiny.

Los Toreros Muertos, The Bank, Barnard Castle

Darlington and Stockton Times: PARTY TIME: Los Toreros Muertos in Barnard Castle put the birthday girls in the mood

12:57pm Friday 13th December 2013

THERE we were, a trio of friends determined to celebrate our December birthdays, bemoaning the fact every eatery was sure to be decked with festive decorations.

Houndgate Town House Hotel, Darlington

Darlington and Stockton Times: STYLE: The Houndgate Townhouse with its restaurant and bar Eleven on the ground floor

2:59pm Friday 6th December 2013

GOSH, this finedining malarkey is really catching on in Darlington.

Artisan bakery rises to the occasion

Darlington and Stockton Times: USING THEIR LOAF: Olivia’s Artisan Bakery, in Thirsk, has clean and simple decor

2:23pm Friday 29th November 2013

IT’S confession time again. Following my admission two weeks ago of the great Frenchgate Hotel flooring gaff, I feel the need to don the hair shirt again and tell you of a further editor’s misdemeanour.

Quayside deserves some limelight

Darlington and Stockton Times: HISTORIC: The Quayside has a string of national awards for its fare

3:35pm Friday 22nd November 2013

REWIND three weeks.

The food here still cannot be flawed

Darlington and Stockton Times: CLASSIC: The elegant dining room at the Frenchgate Hotel

12:01pm Friday 15th November 2013

WE start with an apology. Eight years ago, when we last visited Richmond’s Frenchgate Hotel, we made not one, but two, references to laminate flooring.

Identikit pub but the food’s just fine

Darlington and Stockton Times: VIEWS: Outside and in The Manor House - a working pub and not a fancy restaurant

1:10pm Friday 8th November 2013

WE meandered into this modern, brightly lit chain-pub, spied laughing post-work drinkers, noted the relaxed-if-slightly loud atmosphere and thought we knew what we were in for: standard, warmed-up pub grub.

Gourmet menu that hits the Spot

Darlington and Stockton Times: TREAT: The Gourmet Spot is a bit of a hidden gem on Durham’s The Avenue.

11:59am Friday 1st November 2013

WHEN Stephen Hardy, head chef at The Gourmet Spot – widely recognised as one of the region’s finest eating destinations – learned I had visited for the purposes of these pages, he admitted to “a little bit of nervousness”.

Dropswell Farm Shop & Cafe, Trimdon Station, County Durham

Darlington and Stockton Times: RUSTIC PRACTICALITY: You can fill your boots, and your freezer, at Dropswell Farm Shop and Cafe

3:43pm Friday 25th October 2013

IDON’T know where last week went. A butchers’ dinner, a mayor’s ball, Sunday lunch (on Saturday) at Countryside Live in Harrogate and a wife with a chest infection which kept her confined to barracks and barking like a dog.

Richmond Grill & Brasserie, 2/3 Trinity Church Square, Richmond

Darlington and Stockton Times: UPWARDS: A steep staircase takes customers to the light and airy bar and dining area

3:58pm Friday 18th October 2013

RESTAURANT openings are rare in Richmond so when Richmond Grill and Brasserie came in July it caused a bit of a stir.

Whinstone View Bistro, Great Ayton

Darlington and Stockton Times: TERRACE: the lush growth outside Whinstone View

4:21pm Friday 11th October 2013

IT has taken a long time to get to Whinstone View Bistro but it has not been for the want of trying.

The Three Horseshoes: Barnard Castle

Darlington and Stockton Times: REFURBISHED: The contemporary restaurant area at The Three Horseshoes in Barnard Castle

4:06pm Friday 4th October 2013

ALTHOUGH the Three Horseshoes pub in Barnard Castle was closed for nearly three years, its prominent position opposite the post office ensured its future remained a constant topic of conversation.

The Angel at Topcliffe

Darlington and Stockton Times: VENUE: The Angel has some significant investment with work continuing on the bedrooms

2:45pm Friday 27th September 2013

NOW I’d not set foot in The Angel before, despite driving past it on Topcliffe’s main drag many times.

Raj Bari restaurant in High Street, Yarm

Darlington and Stockton Times: TOP CHEF: Chef Salim Siddique at the Raj Bari restaurant, Yarm.

12:19pm Friday 20th September 2013

THEY MAY be a lot of things and, you may say, not all of them good... but our MPs aren’t completely daft.

Cafe Bowes, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Darlington and Stockton Times: LANDSCAPES: The Bowes Museum sits proud in the Pennines

3:01pm Friday 13th September 2013

WE all love the Bowes Museum, don’t we? It’s just such a daft, crazy place. No matter how many times I visit, I’m always struck at the apparent absurdity of building such a massive pile in such a place, an exotic French chateaustyle lump of architectural frippery in the heart of the dour North Pennines.

The Devonport Hotel,16-18 The Front, Middleton One Row, Darlington

Darlington and Stockton Times: NEW LOOK: The Devonport Hotel in Middleton One Row has undergone a recent refurbishment, including the attractive courtyard with plenty of seats

2:42pm Friday 6th September 2013

THE Devonport Hotel at Middleton One Row, just east of Darlington, is one of those hostelries whose fame once spread far and wide.

The Fairfax Arms, Main Street, Gilling East, North Yorkshire

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Fairfax Arms

3:10pm Friday 30th August 2013

YOU join me this week on an intrepid journey out East. Alright, so it’s not actually intrepid at all, and not even that far out of D&S Times readers’ comfort zones – I’m pretty sure you’ll find a copy in the newsagents out this way – but it’s a part of the patch I’m only really familiar with through childhood holidays and more recent twowheeled forays.

The Bridge Inn, Whorlton

Darlington and Stockton Times: OPEN ALL HOURS: The Bridge Inn, Whorlton, serves customers from 10am daily

2:27pm Friday 23rd August 2013

THE Bridge Inn at Whorlton near Barnard Castle has had a somewhat chequered history of late, with the great and the good having had a stab at making the business pay.

Chapters Deli Bistro & Wine Bar, High Street, Stokesley

Darlington and Stockton Times: GREAT VIEW: Chapters Deli Bistro & Wine Bar on the High Street in Stokesley

3:08pm Friday 16th August 2013

STOKESLEY is a lovely town but is it part of greater Teesside or North Yorkshire?

The Inn at Hawnby, Hawnby, Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Darlington and Stockton Times: BALANCED: The Inn at Hawnby

2:29pm Friday 9th August 2013

THE weather may have already broken by the time you read this, but I’m writing of a perfect summer’s evening, begun with a drink on a sunny terrace.

Yorebridge House Hotel, Bainbridge, Wensleydale

Darlington and Stockton Times: BOUTIQUE: Yorebridge House is set in chocolate-box surroundings beside two rivers

3:21pm Friday 2nd August 2013

AFEW weeks ago, we thought we had come across the perfect Sunday lunch. Nothing has changed in our assessment of The Horseshoe at West Rounton.

Grey's Place, 228 High Street, Northallerton

Darlington and Stockton Times: NEWLY OPENED: Grey’s Place in Northallerton

3:28pm Friday 26th July 2013

THERE may be some more good news for the people of Northallerton keen to see an injection of life into the town’s moribund restaurant life.

Hall Garth Hotel and Golf Club, WineGlass Restaurant, Coatham Mundeville, Darlington

Darlington and Stockton Times: PERFECT SETTING: The relaxed and unhurried vibe added to the enjoyment of the food

4:21pm Friday 19th July 2013

ALREADY late we sped, one eye on the alarmingly empty petrol gauge, right past the A167 turn-off to this rambling old hotel.

The Horseshoe Inn, West Rounton, North Yorkshire

2:42pm Friday 12th July 2013

IF you like your Sunday lunch straightforward, as in straight-up-and-down, no-larking-about, backto- basics, just-like-motherused- to-make, straightforward, we have a find for you this week.

The Coore Arms, Station Road, Scruton, Northallerton

Darlington and Stockton Times: REFURBISHED: The Coore Arms in Northallerton has been given a welcome make-over

2:49pm Friday 5th July 2013

WE last ate at the Coore Arms, in Scruton, near Northallerton, about seven years ago. All I can remember was the novelty item among a mountain of vegetables – deep fried mashed potato.

The Buck Inn, Chop Gate, Middlesbrough

4:41pm Friday 21st June 2013

A VISIT to Chop Gate inevitably prompts for us the “Potato/potarto, Tomato/tomarto, Let’s call the whole thing off” debate about pronunciation.

Wynyard Hall, The Wellington Restaurant, Wynyard, near Stockton

Darlington and Stockton Times: SPLENDOUR: The grand surroundings of Wynard Hall

3:18pm Friday 14th June 2013

I CAN say, with some confidence, I had high tea with the most beautiful girl in the world this week. Admittedly my sevenyear- old daughter, Erin, had made a serious effort at dressing up. She had her sparkly shoes on and everything.

Food and service are worth the walk

Darlington and Stockton Times: WELCOME STOP: The White Swan, which is on the famous Coast To Coast route

4:48pm Friday 31st May 2013

EATING in the White Swan in Danby Wiske, near Northallerton, can be a bit like the canteen of the United Nations. The nationalities are myriad.

Classic cuisine with real staying power

Darlington and Stockton Times: GOOD FOOD: The dining room of the Carlton Inn

2:53pm Friday 24th May 2013

I’M hoping against hope this review isn’t the kiss of death. You see, I’ve clearly got something of blind spot, or numb palate, as far as the greater Husthwaite area is concerned.

Atsunami of Turkish delights

Darlington and Stockton Times: FINE DINING: Darlington’s Meze, which serves great Turkish food

3:01pm Monday 20th May 2013

AS A student in 1970s London, one of my favourite eating places was a Turkish restaurant at the naff end of Fulham Road. It was called, exotically, Wine And Kebab. And that’s exactly what it did.

Old-style pub with top-end menu

Darlington and Stockton Times: ATMOSPHERIC: The Hamilton Russell Arms in Thorpe Thewles offers a varied menu

3:00pm Monday 13th May 2013

AN old-style English pub serving up good, old English, hearty grub at an affordable price. Very little could be finer and it is one of the things the atmospheric Hamilton Russell Arms, in Thorpe Thewles, near Stockton does. But it doesn’t stop there.

Hotel makes bid for former glories

Darlington and Stockton Times: TASTEFUL: One of a number of different dining areas in the ‘Gastro Pub’ at The Croft Hotel

4:14pm Tuesday 7th May 2013

FOR years, the Croft Spa Hotel, south of Darlington on the A167, traded on past glories. Like the Scotch Corner Hotel, it had once been a landmark hostelry – the place for your wedding or christening do, a family anniversary or the Rotary/ NFU/Round Table dinner or YFC dance. While never quite posh, it was a place of renown, of solid reputation.

A South Indian gem in the North

Darlington and Stockton Times: OASIS: Dosa Houze, in Victoria Road, Middlesbrough, offers currys of a different kind

2:30pm Friday 26th April 2013

OUR visit to this South Indian success story presented a trip down memory lane.I was 19 again and in Tamil Nadu – India’s most southerly state. An earnest gap year student,I found myself teaching for a while in an orphanage where the meagre diet featured rice – morning, noon and night – and very little else.

Fresh fare much to a townie’s taste

Darlington and Stockton Times: ATTRACTIVE: The shop is well-stocked with a wide range of locally-produced goodies

3:48pm Friday 19th April 2013

FARM shops have come a long way.

End of an era for another rural pub

Darlington and Stockton Times: COMING TO A CLOSE: The Bridgewater Arms

12:41pm Friday 12th April 2013

I’M with Vince Cable 100 per cent on this one. The Business Secretary wants to set up a watchdog to sort out the pub companies and their fractured relationships with tenants.








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