TOP TELEVISION chef James Martin has named The Raby Hunt the best restaurant in the UK.

The accolade came on his Saturday morning television show, where he welcomed two Michelin-star chef, James Close to the programme for the first time.

The North East chef cooked on the show, while a delighted James Martin urged viewers to visit the restaurant, saying his experience was “the best meal I’ve ever eaten in the UK.”

The restaurant, at Summerhouse near Darlington, has previously featured on the hit BBC series, Masterchef the Professionals, but this is the first time James has appeared on live daytime television.

His dish of Tagiolini Carbonara, which included fresh truffle, was greeted with huge enthusiasm by both the tv chef and his guest, Cherry Healey.

The appearance, with James supported by his sous chef, Maria Guseva, also showcased the restaurant’s signature chocolate skull, which has a filling of yuzu, Japanese black pepper and popping candy.

“It was a fantastic experience and of course I was delighted to hear James say that the best meal he’s ever had in the UK was with us,” said James.

The programme is still available to watch via the ITV hub. Further information about the restaurant is available at www.rabyhuntrestaurant.co.uk