Raby Hunt

Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Raby Hunt

Gold Award

It may be no more than a dot on the map, but the hamlet of Summerhouse now boasts one of the north-east’s more ambitious and ‘evolving’ kitchens – plus a magnificent wine cellar to boot.

Occupying a Grade II-listed former inn once frequented by the eponymous hunt, this reinvigorated restaurant-with-rooms is elegantly contemporary in style with proceedings now focused on just one über-sophisticated tasting menu of 15 courses from the cutting edge of modern British cuisine.

If you don’t fancy the entire 15-course experience, The Raby Hunt offers a smaller version of its tasting menu on Saturday lunchtimes. However, if you’re looking for an extra special experience, we’d recommend plumping for a seat at the restaurant’s Kitchen Table, where you can watch the team of chefs prepare your meal right in front of your very eyes, with a few surprise courses making an appearance too.  

Self-taught chef James Close is working wonders here and his cooking is exception skilful – The Raby Hunt is the first and only restaurant to boast two Michelin stars in the north-east of England. The menu changes periodically, but dishes you may come across on your visit include a crab taco, tempura langoustine, and razor clams with almond and celeriac. An ultra-luxe supplementary course is also available in the form of A5 Wagyu beef topped with smoked aubergine and Petrossian caviar.

After that, flavours collide in a tart of mango, yuzu and coconut, while black olive and chocolate keep company with sheep’s yoghurt. Service is top-drawer, and the magisterial wine list offers pedigree, class and value across the range.

Note that The Raby Hunt does not currently offer a separate vegetarian tasting menu and that the restaurant is unable to cater for major allergies, so diners should make sure to flag any allergies before booking a table.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Fine dining, Luxury, Romantic
Other Awards
SquareMeal UK Top 100, Two Michelin stars
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table
Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Raby Hunt

Curious and creative, the menu at Raby Hunt reflects chef-owner James Close’s excitement for the world of fine dining. Having only launched his cookery career in his twenties, James might be seen as a late bloomer if examined through the lens of the usual hospitality tale. Raby Hunt is the only kitchen James has worked in, a restaurant he bought with his family more than ten years back. His story is an interesting one, in a former life he was training to be a pro golfer and he hasn’t time spent under the usual slew of famous chef names to help bolster his CV. He’s self-taught, a detail that seems both trivial and of the utmost importance when you learn he has earned himself two Michelin stars.

The restaurant operates a tasting menu only and it’ll set you back a cool £230 per person in the spring, increasing to £245 per person over the summer. If that doesn't sound substantial enough, those who are looking for the full all-in foodie experience can expect to pay up to £310 per person for a spot at the Kitchen Table, Raby Hunt’s equivalent of the classic chef’s table.

For your significant investment, you’ll be treated to an undulating adventure of some of the UK’s best food. Plates run through three sections – ‘Global’, ‘Signature’ and ‘Pastry. You can of course expect things to flex with the seasons, but oyster tartlets or nigiri tempura might kick things off. Later on you might find signature plates in the form of A5 Wagyu beef, a comte souffle or halibut with caviar. A couple of sweet treats finish things off for a meal we doubt you’ll forget in a hurry.

In line with the style of the menu, dietary requirements can’t always be accommodated, while only children over twelve can be booked in for the experience.


Does Raby Hunt have a Michelin star?

Yes, Raby Hunt has two Michelin stars.

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Is there only a tasting menu available?

There is only a tasting menu available, to be taken in the main restaurant or at the kitchen's table.

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Can children dine at Raby Hunt?

Children over 12 are welcome in the restaurant but there is no children's menu.

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Location for Raby Hunt

Summerhouse, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3UD

0132 537 4237


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:00-14:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-20:00
Thu 18:00-20:00
Fri 18:00-20:00
Sat 18:00-20:00
Sun Closed

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