In a picnic frame of mind
Tootle to the lovely Clervaux bakery for a feast of home-baked artisan breads in a host of flavours such as black pudding. You can buy savoury treats like quiche and scones which are prepared using home-grown produce.
The famous Cheese and Wine Shop in a hideaway yard in the town centre is a dream for the cheese lover. Many local and continental cheeses and walls filled with wines to taste with them.
Fill those baskets
Piercebridge Organics farm shop is about five miles from Darlington. Award-winning organic farm shop and cafe. The farm rears chickens, sheep, beef and pigs and produce is on sale in the shop and cafe. One of Rick Stein’s ‘food heroes’.
Darlington’s traditional indoor market is the place to find an abundance of fresh fish, meat and local knowledge. Add in fruit and veg stalls, perfect when you need the asparagus to accompany your seasonal seatrout.
Vesuvio is a wine drinker’s dream. Walk in and be wowed by a stunning selection that is priced by the bottle, or the glass if you want to stop right there and sip. Stocked with an amazing range of wines from around the world, with prices and grape varieties to suit every pocket and palate.
Hurworth village is just a couple of miles from Darlington and there you’ll find the best of fine dining and gastropub.
Rockliffe Hall’s Orangery has chef Richard Allen at the helm offering menus with serious gourmet intent. They are separated into ‘land, sea and vegetarian’ options.
The Bay Horse pub in the village is headed up by Marcus Bennett in the kitchen and praised by the Michelin good food guide.
Raby Hunt is the region’s only Michelin-starred restaurant at Summerhouses, ten minutes from the town. James Close serves up dazzling tasting menus.
Lay your head
Houndgate Townhouse is a lovely place to stay. The hotel is neat and stylish with cool décor and a welcoming cocktail bar and bistro. Furnishings such as pup-print wallpaper are quirky and fun whilst rooms are thoughtfully furnished for much room-time.
Diary date – Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 September
Festival of Thrift at Lingfield Point on the outskirts of Darlington is the place to eat with inspiration. Dine in pop-up campervan restaurants, go on a bread-making course, munch on fine street food and craft beer, learn how to grow-your-own or become a bee-keeper.