Rockliffe Hall’s Festival of Food returns

Stan-Seaton-Photographer

Following the huge success of Rockliffe Hall’s first ever Festival of Food earlier this year, the five star resort is proud to announce the event will return, bigger and better, in February 2020.

The luxury hotel in Hurworth, near Darlington, will welcome some of the country’s top professional chefs and culinary stars during the eight day festival which starts on Saturday 1st February.

An Artisan Food Fair will launch proceedings on the first weekend before a series of special lunches, afternoon teas, dinners, workshops and food and wine events take place throughout the week, finished off with a spectacular “Come Dine With Us” Black Tie Gala Dinner on Saturday 8th February.

Chefs and food experts including Frances Atkins (The Yorke Arms), Terry Laybourne (21 Hospitality), Josh Overington (Le Cochon Aveugle) and Briony Williams (Great British Bake Off) are just some of the names confirmed for the gastronomic gathering.

The Artisan Food Fair will feature a winter wonderland twist and will welcome some of the North’s finest artisan producers. Enjoy sampling, shopping, cookery demonstrations, live music, warming drinks, spirit schools, wine tasting events and interactive workshops with producers.
During the eight day event, money will be raised for Hospitality Action, the Great North Air Ambulance and Action Against Hunger, with big prize raffles taking place at some of the evening dinners.

Katie Scott, Rockliffe Hall’s Sales and Marketing Manager, says: “We are delighted the Festival of Food is returning for its second year. This event is the perfect platform from which to shout about all the fantastic chefs and food and drink experts we have, not only here in the North East, but in the UK.”

“We’ve already lined up lots of top names in the food industry and still have more to announce as the festival draws closer. The first weekend will also see the return of the Artisan Food Fair which is a great opportunity to come and try some of the fabulous products made in our region by outstanding food and drink producers. The Festival of Food promises to be an event not to be missed and has become a key date in the country’s food festival calendar.”

ROCKLIFFE HALL’S FESTIVAL OF FOOD – KEY EVENTS

SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY – RESTAURANT HJEM POP UP WITH ALEX NIETOSVUORI
Born in Sweden, Alex travelled the world working as a chef at some of the finest restaurants including the 2 Michelin Starred Daniel Berlin Krog in Sweden, and the 3 Starred Maaemo in Oslo. Alex and his partner, Ally Thompson, opened Restaurant Hjem in 2019. He marries the very best produce of Northumberland with his Scandinavian roots and cooking techniques. For this event, Alex will be creating a 6 course tasting menu which can also be paired with specially selected wines.

£65 – Welcome drink, nibbles, 6 course tasting menu; £45 – wine pairing

MONDAY 3RD FEBRUARY – GUEST CHEF JOSH OVERINGTON
Yorkshire Life Chef of the Year 2019, Josh, and his Sommelier wife, Victoria, will bring a taste of their award-winning York restaurant, Le Cochon Aveugle, to Rockliffe Hall. The restaurant was named in the UK Top 100 Restaurants by both the National Restaurant Awards and Hardens Guide. Josh will be bringing his blind tasting menu concept to Rockliffe for this special event, with wines expertly paired by Victoria.

£70 – Welcome drink, 6 course blind tasting menu; £45 – wine pairing

TUESDAY 4TH FEBRUARY – GUEST CHEF TERRY LAYBOURNE MBE
This special evening will celebrate “30 years of 21” with legendary North East chef, Terry Laybourne MBE. A skilled restaurateur as well as a chef, he owns acclaimed restaurant group 21 Hospitality, which operates several venues across the North East.

£70 – Welcome drink, 5 course menu; £45 – wine pairing

WEDNEDSAY 5TH FEBRUARY – FASHION OF FOOD: FRANCES ATKINS AND ELLIE RICHMOND
Join one of Britain’s Michelin Starred chefs, Frances Atkins (Yorke Arms) and previous protégé and now successful chef-patron, Ellie Richmond (Fox Hall Inn) for a very special evening. Frances and Ellie have developed an exciting 8 course tasting menu which will take diners on a journey through culinary history, and the changing fashions in food.

£95 – welcome drink, 8 course tasting experience and donation to Action Against Hunger; £55 – wine pairing

THURSDAY 6TH FEBRUARY – TASTE OF THE NORTH EAST BANQUET
Join us for a banquet to celebrate the finest North East produce, created by chefs from four of the region’s top restaurants in one spectacular night. Guests chefs Gareth Rayner (Forge, Middleton Lodge), John Calton (The Staithe House), Tony Redwick (formerly Traköl) and Luke Taylor (Cleveland Tontine) will each create a dish at this unique event.

£60 – welcome drink and 4 course banquet; A special wine list will be available for this event

FRIDAY 7TH FEBRUARY – A GREAT BRITISH AFTERNOON TEA WITH BRIONY WILLIAMS
After years of baking at home and cultivating her creativity and skill, Briony first came to the public’s attention on our screens for nine weeks in the tent on the 2018 series of The Great British Bake Off. We are delighted to welcome Briony for a special Afternoon Tea, including cakes designed especially by her, followed by a Q&A.

£45 – welcome fizz, afternoon tea and a Q&A

FRIDAY 7TH FEBRUARY – POWER OF PLANTS: VEGAN NIGHT
This special evening celebrates the rise in popularity of sustainable dining and plant-based cuisine. Member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, Aaron Craig, and chef/food author Franck Pontais have designed a sensational tasting menu that showcases produce from the estate kitchen gardens, along with fresh and flavoursome micro-vegetables and edible flowers. The menu will be 100% vegan, and vegan wine pairing will also be available.

£60 – welcome drink, 5 course tasting menu; £45 – vegan wine pairing

SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY – ASPIRING CHEF OF THE YEAR LUNCH
Featuring the winning dishes created by the most aspirational students chefs in the North East, diners will get the chance to vote on their favourite dish to crown of the chefs the ‘Champion of Champions!’

£25 – 3 course lunch, tea and coffee

SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY – COME DINE WITH US BLACK TIE GALA DINNER
Rockliffe Hall’s executive chefs will each create a special dish for this glittering black-tie gala dinner, to conclude the Festival of Food celebrations.

£100 per person or £950 per table – Champagne reception and canapés, 4 course banquet and live entertainment

To find out more visit www.rockliffehall.com or search “Rockliffe Hall’s Festival of Food”
To book call 01325 729999.