A FAMILY-run fine dining restaurant is celebrating after retaining its coveted Michelin star award for the second year.

The Raby Hunt, in Summerhouses, near Darlington, has been owned by chef James Close and his family for four years, but in that time it has secured its reputation with the most demanding critics.

Restaurant manager Craig Malcolm said the team had been on tenterhooks waiting for the 2013 Michelin Awards list to be published at 7am to see if the restaurant had matched last year’s achievement.

A celebratory breakfast of Bucks Fizz and smoked salmon was quickly arranged.

The Raby Hunt holds the only Michelin star in the North-East and is one of the few establishments outside the south of England to be awarded the honour.

The restaurant prides itself on locally-sourced food, while its team of chefs often visit other venues around Europe to pick up new ideas.

Mr Malcolm said: “One of the key words for the Michelin judges is consistency and it’s through the dedication and hard work of the kitchen team that we achieve that.

“We try to push on to the next level every day. One of James’ big things is that he will only use the best ingredients – that is the key really.”

Michelin has also awarded stars to three North Yorkshire establishments - the Devonshire Arms, in Bolton Abbey, the Black Swan, at Oldstead, near Thirsk, and the Yorke Arms, in Nidderdale, all three of which were in last year's guide.