A MAJOR refurbishment has been completed at one the region’s most historic and unique hotels.

Lumley Castle has relaunched its restaurant and library bar after an extensive six-week programme of work overseen by the new general manager, Gordon Cartwright.

Previously the Black Knights restaurant, the newly transformed Knights Brasserie, has now been officially launched with a new menu has devised by the new executive head chef, Craig Sherrington.

It represents a step-up in culinary innovation designed to complement the elegant new surroundings.

Two months of work has resulted in a menu featuring local ingredients, plant-based options such as pumpkin and pine nut risotto and an extensive selection of fish, including freshly caught hake from Peterlee and seared North Sea mackerel.

Mr Cartwright said: “Craig’s menu is bold, innovative and striking.

“Having spent literally hundreds of hours with dozens of tastings, we have put together a menu that the majority of our guests will have not seen before, perhaps anywhere.

“Yet at the same time they will find instant familiarity and comfort in dishes that communicate just how serious Craig and his team are in providing a really memorable experience.”

Lumley Castle, in Chester-le-Street, is a four star hotel with 73 individually decorated bedrooms and original architecture dating back to 1389.

Work to transform the library bar and lounge involved taking great care to protect the original character of the Grade 1 Listed Castle’s original rooms as the entire bar area was completely stripped to its bare walls and floor.

The 18th Century mahogany Vanbrough-designed bar was moved forward by three feet to increase service efficiency, while the back of house was completely redesigned.

Launching at the same time as the redesigned bar, are Lumley’s new Whisky Nights, which take guests on a taste tour of the famous Scottish malt whisky regions. Priced from £25 per person, they are held daily at 6pm by Lumley’s whisky specialists.

To make a reservation in the newly refurbished Knights Brasserie, call 0191-389-1111, email hello@lumleycastle.com or visit www.lumleycastle.com