My son is at Durham University and we had not really celebrated his 21st birthday. So having seen The Raby Hunt on Masterchef (yes a cliché I know) I said I would take him and one friend there for dinner - and clearly I wanted to go as well.
One note of caution it is a good 25/30mins drive from Durham and it cost us £90 return in a taxi but it isn’t a restaurant not to be drinking at so well worth it. Just factor in either one person not drinking or taking a taxi.
The restaurant is modern decorated in greys and white and very relaxing. There are only about 20 covers so a good ambiance. The waiting team is very experienced and attentive without being overbearing.
It is a 9 course tasting menu - take it or leave it! But the majority of the courses are small one mouthfuls of taste explosions from oysters through raw scallops to pork belly and others to a main course of lamb. I can’t give you too many spoilers! The tastes of each course are amazing and explode in your mouth with various different flavour levels so you can taste each ingredient as it had been explained to you beforehand.
Although there are 9 separate dishes they aren’t heavy and you do not leave feeling stuffed at all.
We also had a very well priced Picpoul and two bottles of Beausite 2005 which although £80 each was well worth it. It would have been twice the price in London.
The menu is £110 each and for cooking and tastes of this level well worth it. We spent an additional £110 each on the wine and aperitifs and some pudding wine as well to be fair!
So at £220 per head this is not cheap but it is fantastic value for some of the best cooking I have ever had. It really really is worth the journey alone but if you are in the North East and are a gourmet who likes extraordinary culinary experiences please please go! We have been to a few 2 rosette restaurants in London and Europe and this is one of the best. How long before it gets its third rosette?? Surely not too long.
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