Set in the picturesque village of Romaldkirk, The Rose & Crown makes the perfect hideaway if you want to relax and get away from it all – writer Camille Allcroft shares why
The rolling countryside of Teesdale is often billed as the more undiscovered alternative to The Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales – there is plenty to discover in the area, including scenic walks and The Bowes Museum in nearby Barnard Castle which is well worthy of a visit.
This former coaching inn dates to the 18th century and today it has been transformed into a cosy restaurant with rooms, where the focus is excellent food combined with all the charms of a traditional country inn.
Walking in on a chilly winter evening, we were greeted by the welcome sight of a crackling fire in the bar area, where we chose from the impressive array of local gins for an early evening drink.
After unwinding from our journey, we were shown to a spacious courtyard suite – there are fourteen individually designed bedrooms including doubles, twins and suites while The Monk’s Cottage is available if you are looking for a little more space.
After settling in, we made our way to dinner – the bar area offers more informal dining, whereas the main restaurant is the perfect setting for a more extended meal.
Head Chef David Hunter is passionate about using locally sourced, seasonal produce and the menu is well balanced with fine – dining inspired dishes appearing alongside comfort food classics such as outdoor – reared sausages with mash & onion gravy.
A starter of fishcakes got the meal off to a tasty start, with a golden crumb which gave way to reveal flaky fish while fennel salad and parsley mayonnaise added freshness.
The roasted butternut squash was a satisfying vegetarian option with plenty of elements including wild mushroom, butternut purée, Teesdale white cheese and pumpkin granola.
A bottle of aromatic Chilean Pionero Cabernet Sauvignon proved to be the ideal wine pairing, while sticky toffee pudding was impossible to resist for dessert and we retired to the bar area, where we settled by the fire for a nightcap choosing from a selection of more than a dozen Islay malt whiskeys.
After dinner we opted to take a stroll around the village – which is very picturesque and the striking Saxon church is nicknamed ‘the cathedral of the Dales’. The sheer tranquillity of the setting is hard to beat and the only sound to accompany our walk was the occasional hoot of an owl.
The next day we were up bright and early for a Teesdale breakfast which set us up for the day – the menu includes a good mix of options like the hearty full English as well as lighter dishes such as oak smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
There was a weather forecast on the table too, which helped us to plan our activities for the day! The Rose & Crown is a lovely hideaway if you are looking for a short break and the hospitality and food were both exceptional.
Make it happen
Where: The Rose & Crown at Romaldkirk, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 9EB
How: Visit rose-and-crown.co.uk or phone 01833 650 213 to make a booking.
Words by Camille Allcroft