Clarence Villa - emailA County Durham restaurant is serving up fine food and a warming winter welcome, with new seasonal menus launching next week.

From Monday (December 1), The Clarence Villa, Coxhoe, will be offering two new menus, each designed to evoke the Christmas spirit and support local producers.

The Christmas Festive Luncheon menu, available Monday to Saturday from noon until 2.30pm, offers a choice of four dishes per course, ranging from the traditional to the unexpected.

This includes starters of Campari soaked melon with tiger prawns, winter vegetable broth with mini dumplings and a smoked turkey and Brussel sprout salad with redcurrants and fresh sage.

For main course diners can stick with a classic roasted turkey breast with all the trimmings or opt for something more unusual such as oven roasted hake fillet with crushed potatoes and prawn bisque.

The dessert options are equally varied, with internationally-inspired dishes, including apple and sultana strudel, available alongside quintessentially English offerings including pears and peaches poached in cinnamon and mulled wine and served with Bailey’s cream.

All of these specially-designed dishes have also been included in the Clarence Villa’s new Christmas Festive Dinner menu, served Monday to Saturday from 5pm until 9.30pm, with the addition of one extra selection for each of the three courses.

This includes a starter of potted pork with warm, homemade bread and a piccalilli and petit salad, a supplementary main course of slow braised lamb shank with rosemary mashed potato and roasted root vegetables and a decadent fig crème brulee for dessert.

Both the Christmas Festive Luncheon and Dinner menus will be served throughout December, priced at £13.95 and £18.95 respectively for three courses.

They will not be available on Christmas Day, when the Clarence Villa will instead be offering a premium set-menu, priced at £49.95 for adults and £29.95 for children under 12.

This includes a choice of five starters, main courses and desserts, such as chargrilled partridge with poached pear and Sonnet Ale chutney, slow roasted grand reserve striploin of beef with shallots, mushrooms and pancetta and Ferrero Rocher cheesecake, all prepared on the premises.

Full details of all three menus are available at www.theclarencevilla.co.uk/christmas/ and pre-booking is advised on 0191 3773773