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Good Hotel Guide reveals best of the region
A PUB with one of the most unusual names in England and a restaurant which once hosted two world leaders for dinner are new entries from this region in the 2014 Good Hotel Guide.
The Hack and Spade, in Whashton, near Ravensworth, North Yorkshire and The County, in Aycliffe Village, County Durham, both feature in the respected independent guide which combines reports from anonymous inspectors with readers’ own reviews.
In all six hotels, inns and B&Bs from County Durham are included in the 2014 edition, while neighbouring North Yorkshire boasts 28.
The Hack – a pick used by lead miners – and Spade was bought by husband and wife Andy and Jane Ratcliffe in 2008 and underwent an extensive two-year-long refurbishment, adding five luxury en-suite bedrooms.
Mrs Ratcliffe, who is the chef, said: “We are thrilled to bits and we feel quite privileged to be in there.”
She added: “Buying this place was the best thing we ever did. It is built on how I would want a B&B to be when I go away, with just good honest food.”
Inspectors said Mr and Mrs Ratcliffe were “enthusiastic hosts” who had created a “quirky, interesting place”.
Meanwhile, The County was praised for its “lovely atmosphere” and was managed by experienced hoteliers Colette Farrell and Stuart Dole with “plenty of attention to detail”.
The restaurant-with-rooms was a favourite of former Prime Minister and Sedgefield MP Tony Blair who once invited former French President Jacques Chirac there for dinner.
Others featured in the guide include Clow Beck House, a small hotel and restaurant in Croft-on-Tees, near Darlington, the Rose and Crown in Romaldkirk and Judges, in Yarm, a restored Victorian mansion which was once a residence for circuit judges.
The hotel, which is popular with wedding parties, is praised for its “care and attention to detail”, “charming” bedrooms and excellent modern dishes.
Another establishment said to be popular with readers was Millgate House, in Richmond, an early Georgian house where reviewers commented on its “magnificent drawing room” and “stupendous” breakfast. Its largest bedroom overlooks the Castle and the River Swale.
Meanwhile, The Burgoyne, in Reeth, a Grade II listed country house converted into a small hotel, is said to be the “perfect place to wind down”. Staff at the hotel also got a mention in the guide – described as “well dressed, well trained and happy in their work”.
For more information about the Good Hotel Guide go to www.goodhotelguide.com
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