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THE FINEST NORTH EAST FOOD, AT LUMLEY CASTLE

ByDave Stopher

Oct 23, 2018

DURHAM camembert, Alnwick rum and crab apples from a medieval orchard are among the highlights of the winter menu at Lumley Castle Hotel.

The 630-year-old castle’s highly acclaimed Black Knight restaurant has unveiled a range of a la carte starters, mains and desserts with the focus firmly on seasonal   ingredients.

And it also shines a spotlight on North East produce, with locally-reared steaks, North Sea fish and even Newcastle Brown Ale playing a role – along with fruit from the Chester-le-Street castle’s historic bushes and trees.

A starter of terrine of smoked ham hocks is served with regional favourite; pease pudding, piccalilli and Cumberland sauce, while pan-roasted, locally sourced wood pigeon is paired with salt baked beetroot and quince with a blackberry dressing.

Other starters include seared scallops with curried parsnip and apple purée, wild mushroom soup and a winter salad of roasted pumpkin, chestnuts, charred onion and pears with goat’s curd from a nearby farm.

Braised ox cheeks in Double Maxim ale – brewed at Houghton-le-Spring – seared fillet of North Sea Coley with roasted celeriac and pan-fried pork rib steak with pork scrumpet and sage jus are among the mains, with customers also able to choose from an extensive grill menu.

This features steaks from Limousin heifers reared on County Durham farms, salmon supreme in jerk spices and a chicken paillard with lemon and tarragon – all with a choice of peppercorn, bordelaise or café de Paris butter sauce.

Desserts include sticky ginger pudding, iced blackberry parfait and a malted Brown ale treacle tart with clotted cream, while Alnwick rum is paired with coconut for a light, fluffy souffle and chocolate and pistachio join forces in a crème brûlée.

But it is the cheeseboard which really brings home the diversity and skill of the North East’s dairies.

Durham’s Mordon Blue – a soft, blue-veined, mild and creamy cheese – is served with Lumley Castle’s own crab apple jelly, while Admiral Collingwood, from the Doddington Dairy has a soft, Newcastle Brown Ale-washed rind and is served with Lumley chutney.

Eldon, from The Northumberland Cheese Company, is hard goat’s cheese, served with truffled honey and Durham camembert is a soft surfaced, mould ripened cheese served with a fig salami.

“For more than six centuries, this castle has showcased local produce – originally to visiting royalty and nobility and latterly to hotel guests,” said head chef Christopher Delaney, “and the variety and quality has never been finer.

“We are incredibly lucky to have, in the castle grounds, in the wider county of Durham and further afield, in Northumberland – such an abundance of superb meat, fish, fruits and dairy and I hope this menu shows them to their best possible advantage.”

For more information, or to make a reservation at the Black Knight restaurant, call 0191 389 1111 or visitwww.lumleycastle.com.