James Close launches summer residency at Rockliffe Hall

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

©Ben Benoliel
©Ben Benoliel

Related tags James Close Raby Hunt Rockliffe hall Terra

Former Raby Hunt chef James Close will launch a summer residency at County Durham hotel Rockliffe Hall next month.

Terra offers a high-end a la carte menu that includes takes on some of the dishes from the self-taught chef's former flagship, which held two Michelin stars. 

Options will include carabineros grilled over charcoal with garlic, wine, chilli, parsley enriched by the juice from the heads and served with a fresh-baked baguette; and a signature sushi selection combining Kabayaki eel, foie gras, purple shiso and wasabi.

There will also be dishes for two such as Close’s take on Bouillabaisse with lobster, scallops and sea bass; and 65 day-aged sirloin cooked on the bone over charcoal with confit red peppers.

Contemporary wines from around the world as well as some Old World favourites will be available by the glass. A new wine table will take a central position in the restaurant, chilling and displaying bottles to inspire guests’ choice.

The residency be located on the first floor of the Darlington hotel with a balcony for drinks and views over the 375-acre estate and 18-hole golf course.

The bright and airy 35-cover restaurant combines a palette of bright blues and warm neutral tones, with simple tableware and newly commissioned local art. 

Terra will be Close’s first project at Rockliffe Hall following his appointment as culinary director at the beginning of this year. 

A permanent, more ambitious restaurant that will be closer in style to the Raby Hunt is expected to launch in 2025. 

“At Terra, we are cooking food that focuses on great ingredients and great flavours,both from near and far. It’s a relaxed experience where guests can order a selection of plates from different sections of the menu, to share or not, and enjoy with a few glasses of interesting wine,” Close says.

Rockliffe Hall general manager Shauna Robb added: “We are excited to welcome Terra to the hotel to offer guests and locals a new relaxed dining experience that brings together James’ skills and love for high quality ingredients. It also marks the first phase in developing the offering at Rockliffe Hall as part of our journey to become a world-class luxury destination.”

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