Thursday 17 October 2013

The Bay Horse, Darlington

The Bay Horse on The Green in Hurworth, Darlington is a charming, characterful traditional British pub with a lively local atmosphere in the main bar. The adjoining beamed restaurant, serving a mix of English classics with international influences, is cosily lit and decorated with antique furnishings and objet d’art. The restaurant has held a Michelin “Bib Gourmand” since 2010.

What Michelin say: ‘Smart village pub with pleasant terrace and gardens. Wide-ranging menu offers largely hearty classics; presentation ranges from simple and rustic to more modern and intricate.

What I ate

Bread – baked fresh in house, I had Date & Almond and Chorizo & Basil.

Confit Rabbit & Pulled Ham Risotto with walnut pesto, pear & blue cheese – personally, I’d have liked the blue cheese to have been a little bolder but the risotto was well cooked (al dente rice) with generous pieces of meat. 

Roasted Grouse with Grouse Sausage Roll, bread sauce, elderberry jelly, sautéed celeriac, smoked bacon gaufrette potatoes & game gravy – I found the presentation a little fussy but the cooking was laudable and the flavours big and bold; especially the rich game gravy and elderberry jelly.    

Side: despite having heard of the Northumberland speciality Pan Haggerty, with my Southern roots, this was my first time tasting the dish. Hoping to make return visits to the North East, I’ll be checking out more Pan Haggerty in the future.  

I hadn’t booked and was just passing though on a flying visit (hence no dessert) but the staff were all friendly and welcoming. I’d definitely consider a return visit if in the area again. 

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