AN eight-bedroom townhouse hotel in the heart of Darlington celebrated its first anniversary with a party for customers and suppliers.

Houndgate Townhouse, set in a grade II-listed Georgian property, reached a year in business on Friday, August 1.

Also a year old are the Hound bar and lounge and 'eleven' restaurant, which are open to non-residents.

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Hotel director Natalie Cooper described the first year in business as a 'learning curve'.

She said: "It's good to celebrate achievements when they come along.

"The first year in business is often the hardest, so it was nice to be able to celebrate."

The hotel's 20 staff were all given mini bottles of champagne, so they were able to continue the celebrations after their shifts finished.

Staff at the hotel have compiled a list of statistics from the first year of trading.

So far, they have served 175 bottles of Prosecco, 372 Caeser salads, 113 afternoon teas and 105 full English breakfasts

As well as scoring highly with tourism websites Trip Advisor and, the hotel has also suffered 48 smashed drinks glasses and three utilities failures at the property.