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ROCKLIFFEHALL HALL MAGAZINE MAGAZINE // ROCKLIFFE //ISSUE ISSUE0101

rockliffe life GORGEOUSGROWING GROWING// //SLEEP SLEEP SOLUTIONS SOLUTIONS // GORGEOUS //GOLF GOLFGROUNDWORK GROUNDWORK INSPIREDCUISINE CUISINE// //ULTIMATE ULTIMATE MOTORING INSPIRED MOTORING// //DREAM DREAMDRIVES DRIVES ROCKLIFFEHALL HALL MAGAZINE MAGAZINE // ROCKLIFFE //ISSUE ISSUE0101


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WELCOME //Check-in

hello It is my great pleasure to introduce to you the very first issue of ‘Rockliffe Life’, our very own magazine which aims to capture life in and around our beautiful resort and its surrounding areas. First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our partners who have enabled this venture to become reality. Without your continued support this would not have been possible. We at Rockliffe are so proud to be the only 5 red-star golf and spa resort in the North of England. We represent the North East with pride and are very fortunate and humbled to be working alongside the best owner and chairman that anyone could ask for in Steve Gibson and Warwick Brindle. Finally, I would like to pass on my thanks to Chris March and Kathryn Armstrong at Remember Media who have worked with us on this exciting project to bring our story to life. They have really got under the skin of what makes our luxury resort so special and captured the spirit of our wonderful team. I hope you enjoy the read and the wonderful design and photography inside. Kindest, Eamonn Elliott Chief Executive

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COME INSIDE // Welcome to Rockliffe

contents 26//

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Bloomtime – Great British Growing

Drive – Close to Home

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Food – Meet the Producers

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Remember Media Ltd, e-volve Business Centre, Cygnet Way, Rainton Bridge South Business Park DH4 5QY 0191 500 7860 remembermedia.co.uk

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Beauty – Face Fabulous

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Downtime – Awaydays

Special Guests – Dog Days

Spa Shining – Garden Delights

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Publisher: Chris March Editorial: Kathryn Armstrong, Jessica Laing Photography: Chris Auld, Kevin Gibson Designed by: Remember Media Studio Sales: Lisa Anderson, Debi Coldwell

Beauty – Guide to Gorgeous

Food – Masterchef at Home

Spa – Sleep Well

Rockliffe Hall, Hurworth-on-Tees, County Durham DL2 2DU T: 01325 729999 E: enquiries@rockliffehall.com wwww.rockliffehall.com

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Food – Skill Set

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Weddings – Our Dream Day

Chairman: Warwick Brindle Managing Director: Eamonn Elliott Sales & Marketing Manager: Katie Scott Editorial: Claudia Robinson, Anna Addison

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Motors – Arrive in Style

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Golf – Groundwork

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All contents copyright ©2015 RememberMedia Ltd. All rights reserved. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies, howsoever caused. No liability can be accepted for illustrations, photographs, artwork or advertising materials while in transmission or with the publisher or their agents. All information is correct at time of going to print, October 2015. Travel Essentials is published annually by Remember Media Ltd.


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VISION// Steve Gibson

We wanted to bring a hotel to the North East of a standard that had not been here before and I am proud to think Rockliffe Hall is as good as it could be

rockliffe hall: a sense of place STEVE GIBSON: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT ROCKLIFFE HALL BACK TO LIFE. Businessman and owner of Rockliffe Hall, Steve Gibson lives and breathes the Tees Valley but his work also sees him travel the world and stay in many a hotel room. His recollections are of corporate, unmemorable hotels, lacking any sense of place. You lay your head and could be waking up anywhere. When he decided to revive Rockliffe Hall he wanted to create a hotel that would raise the bar for the Tees Valley in terms of facilities and accommodation but also have the essence of the North East running through every part of it. “We wanted to replicate all that is good about the North East in this hotel so it feels like the area it is built upon - the accents of the staff, the local knowledge of the people, the local flavour of the beautiful place we are in,” he says. “We wanted to bring a hotel to the North East of a standard that had not been here before and I am proud to think it is as good as it could be.”

A genuine part of Steve’s vision was the creation of local jobs and on-going training and development. The hotel now employs around 300 staff. Steve first saw the the Old Hall when, as the owner and chairman of Middlesbrough Football Club, he was looking for a site for new training ground facilities for the team. The hall was owned by the Backhouse family who built the Old Hall for their family residence in 1863. The site was bought to house a state-of-the-art training ground for Middlesbrough Football Club and thoughts turned to the grand but decaying Old Hall and gardens. With some vision, and a measure of love, patience and perseverance, the project to bring the hall back to life and create outstanding hotel and spa facilities while retaining the essential character of the Old Hall became a reality. “Rockliffe Hall is the result of vision, ambition, and teamwork. We have retained the character of the estate

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and building, marrying that heritage with the new to provide pleasure to many visitors and guests for years to come.  “We are proud the resort has been able to provide the area with its first five-star luxury hotel,” says Steve. Ambitions continue beyond the hotel, golf course, and spa and into the extensive grounds with plans to recreate the wonderful gardens the Backhouse family laid out around the house as well as splendid walks to the River Tees. “The estate has a proud history and it is in our trust to continue to make it a wonderful place to stay and visit.      “What was important from day one was employment and education locally and a great proportion of people working at Rockliffe Hall now have been with us from the start. That is the difference. The sense of place at Rockliffe Hall and the pride we have in the North East is everything.”


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FEATURE // Great British GrowingXxxxxx

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FEATURE // Great British Growing

bloomtime ALMOST AT THE BOTTOM OF ROCKLIFFE HALL’S OWN GARDEN THERE’S A HIDEAWAY HAVEN OF FLOWERS WHERE THE ART OF GREAT BRITISH GROWING IS BEING BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. Story by Kathryn Armstrong

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FEATURE // Great British Growing

There’s definitely an air of rustic romance about Manor Garden. Artfully peeling paint flakes from woodwork in the outbuildings, statues are aged with lichen and roses ramble in borders by the lawns. The flower studio is housed in an old building weathered with history - aged and faded maps and travel posters paper the walls and chunky wooden tables and benches bear the signs of generations of labour much less creative than today’s more soulful pursuit. The tables are groaning with the fruits of the flowerbeds outside. Wild, frothy and fabulous blooms, delicate flowerheads, leaves, twigs and grasses look flamboyant and natural, waiting for their moment in the spotlight. The gardens make up the grounds of an Arts and Crafts manor house built in 1909 that lies in the hamlet of Eryholme, pretty much at the bottom of Rockliffe Hall’s own land by the River Tees. It is a property that has been in the family of Barney Wrightson for generations. The Wrightsons were well-known industrialists on Teesside. The Thornaby ironworks, Head Wrightson bore their name. Barney’s great-grandfather built Manor Farm and he and wife Clarey now call it home. It is also the base for their plant and flower business, Manor Garden. The ethos of their (literally) growing business is one of eco-friendly, gorgeous, traditional flowers which

grow, row-upon-row in their garden and are used by Clarey for her own displays and in her florist studio for workshops and seasonal events. In the same way that we’ve all re-tuned in to the seasons for the food we eat, the Wrightsons are spreading their own message about British flowers from the four corners of their flower field. ‘Sown and Grown in the North East’ is their message and they are part of a community spreading the word about home-grown and indigenous English flowers. “We want people to become interested in Britishgrown flowers. They are as good as any - there is a misconception that flowers in a garden won’t last. Grown right, treated and conditioned they will look beautiful and have lovely smells.” The organisation Flowers from The Farm brings together a green-fingered band now swelling to more than 200 members made up of small or micro businesses. Farmers, smallholders and gardeners: people who are using their knowledge of horticulture and floristry to grow and present a different range of flowers to those available from the supermarkets and the wholesale markets. From Cornwall to Scotland, and as Manor Garden epitomises, almost every county in between, you will find devoted growers whose time is mostly spent in layers of clothing, fingerless gloves and multi-pocketed

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overcoats as they tend to their precious harvests all year round. Clarey and Barney’s Manor Garden is a riot of colour inside and out. Their love of art, colour and nature is obvious everywhere. They are gradually renovating the rambling house and it is full of the jumble of life added by their children; twins Kip and Leo, five, and three-year-old Faith. Clarey was brought up in a home filled with colour - her mother was an artist, always sketching botanicals and painting flowers. Carey’s artistic bent was channelled by her work in a theatre costume house. Barney is the ‘official’ gardener in the family, having >>

Our cutting gardens are full of beautiful scented flowers and foliage. We grow old favourites like cornflowers and sweet peas alongside and we mix these in with herbs and a sprinkling of foraged wild things


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FEATURE // Great British Growing

<< studied landscape gardening at Leeds. The pair met in Oxfordshire but Barney’s home when he was growing up was Neasham Hall, just along the lane from Manor Garden, still the stunning home of Sir Mark and Lady Wrightson. The Hall’s walled garden has become Barney and Clarey’s latest project - Barney is in the throes of renovating and replanting, hoping to make it available as a venue for intimate afternoon tea and garden parties. The last of the rambling sweet pea canes are ready for last picking when we visit for our photographs, but they have been the scene of a heady summer. Clarey and Barney held their first ‘pick your own’ days in the garden, inviting visitors to come and see the revived walled garden and its first fruits. “It is an amazing and special place”, says Barney. “We are halfway towards developing it and it has taken a lot of hard work. It is a long term plan, a functional cutting garden, but we want it to be a beautiful and magical garden where we can have regular ‘pick your own’ days.” While Barney gets to grips with the heavy digging side of things, Clarey works her magic in the studios and the Manor Garden as she cultivates new varieties, and is inspired by traditional British flowers, working with the seasons to create all kinds of arrangements from pretty wedding posies and dramatic floral arches to dazzling festive mantlepiece

displays or the ultimate vintage village hall event. “We ask brides to come to the garden if they can the year before their wedding day then they can really see what is growing and know that the flowers will be ready at the same time next year. They can take a posy of the flowers they will have for their wedding and it helps it all become a bit more real.” Artisan flowers farmers like Clarey are growing include old favourites such as sweet peas, dahlias, gladioli, and cornflowers, and they also try out lots of new varieties. Says Clarey: “Our cutting gardens are full of beautiful scented flowers and foliage. We grow old favourites like cornflowers and sweet peas alongside more unusual blooms such as succulents and clematis. “We mix these in with herbs and a sprinkling of foraged wild things. We are passionate about British blooms and spreading the word about locally-grown flowers.” “Twenty-five years ago nearly all the flowers bought in this county were UK-grown, now shockingly over 90% of those flowers are flown in from abroad. We want to help turn that around and be part of the new flower revolution.” The pick of the varieties Clarey is sowing includes beautiful Roger Parsons sweet peas such as Pip’s Cornish Cream and Gwendoline varieties as well as the rare and highly-scented Japanese variety “Oyama” in pale lilac and pink grown from their own

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seed. On the fashion front, new varieties include dahlias from deepest black to the on-trend dinner-plate dahlias such as Café au Lait. Tulips start the season and are always very strongstemmed and beautiful. Current favourites being planted for the coming year are classic Queen of Night (deepest purple/black), Belle Époque and Mistress Grey. She adds: “We plant many different annuals and perennials from classic cottage garden favourites like foxgloves, cornflowers and snapdragons to more unusual fashionable florist favourites like amaranthus, craespedia (billy button) and chocolate cosmos. “I really love growing herbs alongside our flowers such as purple sage, apple and pineapple mint, bronze fennel, rosemary and marjoram.” The pair work as a team and it is obvious that Barney really is in receipt of those famous green fingers. “Barney is in charge of the growing, sowing and looking after our plants”, says Clarey. “One of his favourite tricks is to bring me the oldest, rottenest half-dead twig of a plant and then somehow bring it back into glorious green life. Magic.” Pick Your Own days run Sundays during the summer months. Clarey also organises seasonal workshops such as festive wreath-making. Details www.manorgarden.co.uk


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FEATURE // Great British Growing

Spiky, sculptural shapes and bold colour in the garden

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FEATURE // Great British Growing

A tumble of cuttings comes to life in Clareyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creative hands

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FOOD // Meet the Producers

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FOOD // Meet the Producers

We’re in a farmyard watching a drizzle of what looks like gloopy black treacle emerging from the funnel of a huge metal vat. It’s sticky, it’s pungent and farmer Robin Hirst wants us to have a taste. Sorry Robin, but field to fork doesn’t extend to eating the livestock’s supper, not today anyway. Unperturbed Robin guides us to another corner of the farmyard where we can take a whiff of the dry feed instead. Mmm, yes I’m getting hints of Marmite and even chocolate. This is gourmet dining for the bovine and in a small way explains why the end product tastes so good. Cattle farmer Robin is enthusiasm personified. We meet him at his family farm, Neasham Grange in the Tees Valley, just a couple of miles from Rockliffe Hall. The traditional English farm estate is lush and the animals look as though they know it. Home-reared Continental Cross are a combination of British and European breeds. The cattle are kept on grassy parkland and here they roam and graze throughout the summer.

food trail TAKE A FOOD JOURNEY JUST A FEW MILES FROM ROCKLIFFE HALL TO MEET SOME INSPIRATIONAL SUPPLIERS FEEDING THE HOTEL’S KITCHENS. Story by Kathryn Armstrong

The great British beef these animals produce is melt-in-the-mouth tender. It takes pride of place on menus up the road in Hurworth, in Rockliffe Hall’s Brasserie and Clubhouse restaurants. Diners love to know that meat has travelled such a short distance and chefs like to know that they are getting superb produce on the doorstep. It is the essence of the way the kitchen team likes to operate, reflecting the way that people want to eat, knowing that care and attention has gone into their food. Local produce is pivotal to dining at Rockliffe Hall, whether in the Clubhouse, Brasserie or Orangery. Diners ask the question of provenance and the hotel is proud to be able to answer it with assurances of locality, yes, but also of quality to match. In the showcase Orangery fine-dining restaurant, head chef Richard Allen is a fan of in-season game for his menus. He uses Yorkshire Dales Meat as his main supplier for beef, lamb and pork and then heads to the moorland in North Yorkshire and the Dales where some of the best meat and game in the UK is produced. >>

Robin Hirst on his family farm at Neasham near Hurworth where animals roam on grassy parkland

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FOOD // Meet the Producers

Above left, James Munroe of Country Valley Foods in Hurworth. Right, finely crafted cheese from Shepherd’s Purse in North Yorkshire

<< Unlike mass produced meat, wild game is free to roam across the sprawling countryside and hills that can be seen from Rockliffe Hall. Wild deer in particular have wide-ranging diets and have to be extremely fit to survive. Venison for the Orangery comes from Wolsingham in County Durham. It is a full-flavoured meat increasingly popular with diners not least because it is low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein as well as packed with earthy flavours from its natural moorland diet. Richard’s menu also features seasonal guinea fowl from Yorkshire which is supplied by Wellocks of Lancashire. It is one example of the low food miles policy that Rockliffe Hall promotes. At Shepherd’s Purse Cheese near Thirsk you can see for yourself if you care to don overalls and hairnets to tour the cheese-making operation. See a band of cheese-making chaps attentively hand-wrapping cheese wedges in foil. Elsewhere see tangy Yorkshire Fettle cheese hand-dipped

for its waxy overcoat. This cheese business was born in the 1980s when Judy Bell, then working at an osteopath’s clinic in Northallerton, became aware of the growing number of people with an intolerance to dairy products especially cheese. A farmer’s wife, she soon discovered that sheep’s milk could make the basis of a delicious alternative cheese for allergy sufferers. For over a year she researched different breeds of sheep and experimented with a variety of traditional methods of cheese-making. Getting hold of a ready supply of sheep’s milk was a problem so she bought a flock of Friesland sheep. Shepherd’s Purse was launched at the Great Yorkshire Show in 1989 and almost immediately awards began to roll in. As the business grew they started to make cows’ milk and even buffalo milk cheese varieties and after an absence of 30 years re-launched blue cheese-making back into Yorkshire. Mrs Bell’s Blue is one of the cheeses offered at Rockliffe Hall. A favourite of Rick Stein and Raymond

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Blanc, it is sister cheese to the renowned Yorkshire Blue. They launched Mrs Bell’s Blue in 1997 and it immediately made its presence known - winning two gold medals and Reserve Supreme Champion at the prestigious Nantwich International Cheese Show. Mrs Bell’s Blue is based on a continental-style recipe, as creamy as Yorkshire Blue but whiter in appearance. After hand-making the cheeses, they are salted and then matured in the ripening store for a minimum of ten weeks. This process achieves a complex blue flavour, less salty than Roquefort but often compared. “Sheep’s milk cheese has become more fashionable as more chefs on TV use it and talk about it – at first there was a bit an ‘urgh’ from people but gradually that changed – people just have to try it and realise the flavours and properties of it“, says Judy. The Shepherd’s Purse cheeses are a constant on the cheese board at Rockliffe where the Orangery boasts a British Cheese Trolley and the produce is used in dishes throughout the hotel. The hotel’s dairy needs are well and truly grounded >>


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FOOD// Meet the Producers

<< in Yorkshire with eggs from Wensleydale Eggs based at Finghall near Leyburn. The family-run farm has been built up over the years and solely concentrates on its free-range egg enterprise to to ensure the best welfare and environment to their free-range birds. All eggs are packed on the farm in the morning and delivered in the afternoon to the surrounding areas in Wensleydale, offering freshness second to none. Suppling Rockliffe with its fish haul, Alan Hodgson operates out of Hartlepool Fish Quay. A visit proves an insightful experience. We are able to climb on board the fishing boat Reliance. It is a dark, depressing and dingy place, cramped and

fishermen seem to come up against bureaucratic barriers that they feel suffocate them, ‘the little people’ of the industry. It is a frustration to all but there is still, at the heart, a great product from the seas that professionals like Richard Allen want to preserve and promote. The Rockliffe kitchens will do their bit to strengthen that survival with menus featuring seasonal fish. A final stop on the Rockliffe food journey finds us just a short drive from the hotel at Country Valley Foods in Hurworth. At the helm James Munroe operates a vibrant meat processing operation which has quality at its heart. We watch as his butchers deftly carve a sirloin into

what makes us tick GARY DUFFY JUNIOR SOUS CHEF AT THE ORANGERY

Fish merchant Alan Hodgson supplies Rockliffe Hall from his Hartlepool base

confined. It is a factory at sea and not the romantic image of a fishing boat filled with lobster pots that you might see on TV with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall bobbing on board, getting excited about mackerel. The reality is that the boat’s owner makes more money patrolling oil rigs than catching fish. This above everything shows the reality of the food chain and we meet fishermen who have worked in the business for years but who now stay on dry land because there is no money to be made for the small boats. Talk is of Hugh’s discards campaign, of unfair and unrealistic quotas, of politicians who take an interest in fisheries then move off to another department. There is fish in the sea, there are people who want to catch it, those who want to trade it, like Alan, whose business is buoyant, and those who want to serve it up, like dedicated chefs. But all the time the

steaks. The beef is from those well-fed and pampered cows we first met at Robin Hirst’s farm. The meat has been hung on the bone for 21 days, for maximum flavour and maturity to deliver a succulent, well-marbled appearance. Says James: “Of the people who eat meat 80% will think a bright red piece packaged up and sold on the supermarket shelf is a good piece of meat. “We put meat into one supermarket and had complaints that it was too dark – if I gave a decent chef a bright red piece of meat they would send it right back. “Increasingly there are those who are willing to think more closely about it – who know that a darker coloured piece of meat is better and why; who are interested in the welfare of the animal that it has come from.” Journey’s end. Time to taste with renewed respect.

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What do you do? I work in The Orangery kitchen. I get into work early in the morning, get set up for the day, sort out our orders and prepare for our evening menu. Each day is different; some days I’m rushed off my feet, while other days are calmer. How long have you worked at the hotel? I started in January. It’s a great job – I genuinely love every day. What makes you tick? Working with a great team of people. We’re all close friends and everyone gets on really well. I worked at The Grand Hotel in Jersey for four and a half years, but felt that moving to Rockliffe was a great way of moving up the ladder. It’s definitely a step up. Memorable moment? We’ve just done a food hygiene course, which was really interesting, surprisingly! There were people from other departments there – new faces – which is always nice to see. We have the chance to do different courses throughout the year, so we’re always learning new stuff. It keeps you on your toes. Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows… My left ear is bigger than my right one. Is that interesting? Other than that, I’m just a normal 25-year-old lad. I love my football; I haven’t played in a while, but I follow the matches. I’m from Liverpool and support Everton.


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FOOD // Skill Set

You will dine with a side order of wonder as exquisite plates of food guide you on a journey that takes in artistry, innovation and the joy of flavours...

food life CHEF RICHARD ALLEN NURTURES THE PRODUCE OF THE NORTH EAST FOR HIS SHOWCASE ORANGERY MENUS. Produce from the land, the sea and air make their own journey to the plate at The Orangery restaurant at Rockliffe Hall, ably transported by chef Richard Allen at the helm. You couldn’t really get a finer escort. Richard’s culinary reputation is impeccable and his mastery with ingredients impressive. You will dine with a side order of wonder as exquisite plates of food guide you on a journey that takes in artistry, innovation and the joy of flavours. We’ve printed one of his recipes overleaf which in itself gives a flavour of just how many elements are involved in the dishes delivered from his kitchen. The ‘try at home’ chef might want to lock themselves in a quiet kitchen for a good few days just to read the instructions. Granted, Richard has years of experience in his wake. Experience which has led to the ultimate gourmet accolade, the Michelin star. Richard is one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs and has held a Michelin star since 2011, as well as three AA Rosettes for eight years. He also has two of the highest industry accolades to his name- the Cateys’ Head Chef of the Year 2012 and the Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef

of the Year 2012. Richard is also one of the only chefs to have been named as one of Debrett’s People of Today. He thrives on making the most of the seasons’ ingredients and delivering them with a flourish. Since taking over as executive head chef of the Orangery, Richard has developed a menu featuring new dishes which make best use of regional produce as well as some from Rockliffe Hall’s 365 acre estate and developing the kitchen garden in the grounds. With the emphasis on ‘bringing the outside in’, Richard’s new menu offers a food journey across land, sea and air. He is proud of dishes which come with signature simple names that belie the intricacy of the sum of their ingredients, such as: ‘Pork’ crispy belly pork, fillet and braised cheek, poached langoustine and chorizo; ‘Mackerel’ served as a fillet, parfait and shashimi with Asian flavours and cucumber seeds; ‘Turbot’ brown crab, saffron, quinoa and squid cracker; ‘Beetroot’ served with goat’s cream and fritters, Iberico ham and Marcona almonds; ‘Pigeon’ roasted breast with onion, foie gras and sultana jus; and ‘Lobster’ served Caesar-style with avocado and Ebene caviar. Dessert highlights include: ‘Apple’ apple pressing

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served with Calvados mousse and toffee ice cream; ‘Pistachio’ pistachio and olive oil cake, orange gel and chocolate; and ‘Banana’ banana cheesecake with sate foam, salted caramel and sesame brittle. Richard is famed UK-wide for his passion for premium ingredients that look good, taste good and are healthy. But indulgence is never far away. Richard’s kitchen pedigree comes from a journey that most recently saw him as executive chef of the Michelin-starred Tassili restaurant at the 5* Grand Jersey Hotel and has worked with well-known names such as Martin Blunos, Cheong Liew and Michel Roux Junior. Originally from Poole in Dorset, Richard has now relocated to the North East with his wife and two sons. He says: “My aim is to take guests on a culinary journey of tastes and textures to really showcase the magnificent produce not just here in the North East but from our own grounds as well.  “We want to bring the outside in. But, overall, it’s all about the stunning surroundings of The Orangery, great food and a memorable experience. “The Rockliffe Hall estate and its surrounding areas are home to some of the finest ingredients and produce, hence we endeavour to bring you our ‘estate on a plate’- with a few surprises,” he adds.


FOOD // Dinnertime

my inspiration richard allen

A CHILDHOOD FOOD MEMORY My earliest and fondest food memory is watching my father take bread out of an old oven in our bakery in Dorset, the smell was phenomenal. I was three years old, sitting on the work bench eating a freshly cooked crust with butter, it was the best place on earth.

THE LAST MEAL YOU ATE Strangely, a crust with butter but this time also with Marmite.

RESTAURANT YOU RETURN TO TIME AND AGAIN Taj Mahal 2 in my home town of Poole in Dorset.

MEMORABLE MEAL One of the rare Christmas lunches, with every member of the family there. Priceless!

INSPIRATIONAL CHEF Thomas Keller

FAVOURITE DRINK I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t choose between a Gin & Tonic and a Bloody Mary

FAVOURITE INGREDIENT Dark Chocolate

FAVOURITE MEAL A really good curry

LAST MEAL Cheese and beans on toast, cooked by the best chef in the world, my mum.

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Hurworthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award Winning Pub Michelin Guide 2009 - 2015 Inspectors Choice Michelin Pub Guide Good Food Guide Top 50 Pubs 2015 The Times Top 100 Gastro Pubs Open 7 days a week, hand pulled ales & an extensive wine list. As well as lunch and dinner a la carte menus, traditional Sunday lunch, Mid Week Market & Prix Fixe menus are also available. The Bay Horse has a listed walled garden with an outside dining area, as well as two private dining rooms for up to 14 guests.

Tel: 01325 720663 www.thebayhorsehurworth.com

45 The Green, Hurworth, Durham, DL2 2AA


FOOD // Masterchef the Professionals

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FOOD // Masterchef the Professionals

beetroot salad, goats’ cream and tempura fritters serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS AND METHOD Beetroot powder 1 large fresh beetroot Peel, finely slice and pat dry the beetroot, spread evenly onto a non-stick mat and place in a hot cupboard/oven on low for 3 days. Powder in a thermo mix when crispy & dry, sieve, keep in an airtight container until needed. Beetroot seedlings Pick seedlings when just starting to shoot Vinaigrette 1 part chardonnay vinegar Salt to taste Honey to taste 4 parts olive oil Mix all ingredients, place in a squeezy bottle. Beetroot Emulsion            Beetroot juice 400ml                  Cabernet sauvignon vinegar 80ml Pasturised egg yolks 56g* Sunflower oil          Salt to taste Reduce beetroot juice in a pan until sticky, do not burn, when cold stir in vinegar and yolks, whisk oil slowly until the consistency resembles thick mayonnaise, season to taste. Beetroot Meringue Beetroot juice 125ml Sugar 100g Albumina En Pols 12g* Salt to taste Lemon 1/2 juiced Put the juice, sugar and lemon in a kitchen aid mixer. With the whisk attachment start on low speed. When sugar is dissolved, add the albumina and start incresing the speed. When mix is firm. Check for seasoning. Pipe into desired shapes. Dry @ 65`C in an oven or hot plate for approx 5 hours. Beetroot Rocks   Beetroot juice 100ml   Lactose 100ml*   Place all ingredients into a pan  on a low heat.   Keep stirring and cooking until it turns into small rocks.     You might need to change to a clean pan ½way through. Place on a non stick mat. Cool down and keep airtight for up to 2 - 3 days.

Beetroot 4 bunches baby beetroot Wash, season, vac pac and cook at 80 degrees c until just tender Leave to cool peel and store in the juice until needed. Goats’ cheese cream Velancay goats cheese 200g Greek yoghurt 100g Salt to taste Finely grated truffle to taste Remove ash from goats cheese, take 200g and reserve the rest,  Blend cheese until smooth, add yoghurt slowly, season, add grated truffle store until needed. Tempura Plain flour 4tsp Corn flour 2tsp Baking powder 1tsp Soda water Mix dry ingredients in a bowl whisk in water until the texture of double cream, leave to rise before using. Goats’ cheese tempura Roll remaining goats cheese into 5g balls and dip in tempura fry on 175 degrees c when needed serve straight away. Beetroot coleslaw 1 candied beetroot 1 normal beetroot 1 teaspoon grain mustard 1 table spoon of emulsion Salt to taste Peel and finely shred the beets, salt for 1 hour. Squeeze shredded beets in a clean muslin cloth to remove excess juice. Mix in other ingredients. Store until needed. To plate up spoon goats’ cheese cream in the centre of a plate of your choice, dress beets and seedlings and place around the goats’ cheese cream. Sprinkle beetroot rocks to your liking and add a few spots of emulsion. Place 3 neat little piles of the coleslaw around the plate. Add 3 mitangues, sprinkle with beetroot powder. Finally fry then season the goats cheese balls just before serving. *Use a professional chef supplier for specialist ingredients.

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FOOD // Masterchef at Home

do try this at home COMFORTING GASTRO FOOD IS THE MAINSTAY OF ROCKLIFFE’S BRASSERIE AND CLUBHOUSE MENUS. OUR CHEFS HAVE PREPARED SOME RECIPES SO YOU CAN TAKE A TASTE HOME WITH YOU. Recipes by Paul O’Hara, executive chef The Clubhouse at Rockliffe Hall and Aaron Craig, New Hall executive chef

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FOOD // Masterchef at Home

Parmesan-crusted halibut, sag aloo and lime emulsion serves 4 INGREDIENTS AND METHOD For the parmesan-crusted halibut 50g/2oz parmesan, finely grated ½ tsp mild Madras curry powder ¼ tsp garam masala ¼ tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp sea salt flakes 500g/1lb halibut fillet, cut into 16 equal-sized cubes For the lime emulsion 2 limes, juice and zest, plus 1 lime, juice only 25g/1oz butter 25g/1oz sugar For the sag aloo 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 banana shallot, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, grated 1 heaped tsp garam masala 1 heaped tsp mild Madras curry powder ¼ tsp ground turmeric 500g/1lb 2oz new potatoes, cut into quarters, boiled for 8-10 minutes until just tender 50g/2oz baby spinach leaves salt, to taste 1 x 20g/¾oz punnet coriander cress, to serve

For the parmesan-crusted halibut, in a bowl, mix together the parmesan, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric and salt until well combined. Dredge one side of each cube of halibut in the parmesan mixture until thickly coated. Heat a heavy, non-stick frying pan over a low to medium heat. When the pan is warm, add the halibut cubes, parmesan-coated sides down, and dry fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the parmesan crusts are crisp and goldenbrown. Season the halibut cubes, to taste, with salt, then turn them over and remove the pan from the heat. (NB: The residual heat from the pan will cook the other sides of the halibut cubes.) For the lime emulsion, immediately add all of the lime emulsion ingredients to the pan containing the halibut cubes and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, for the sag aloo, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the spices and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the cooked new potatoes and continue to cook for a further minute, or until warmed through. Remove the pan from the heat and add the baby spinach. Stir well until the spinach has wilted, then season, to taste, with salt. To serve, divide the sag aloo equally among each of four serving plates. Place four cubes of parmesan-crusted halibut on top of each portion of sag aloo. Transfer the lime emulsion mixture from the pan to a bowl and whisk until well combined, then drizzle it over the halibut cubes and around the edge of the plates. Garnish with the coriander cress.

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FOOD // Masterchef at Home

slow-cooked shoulder of beef in red wine serves 4 INGREDIENTS AND METHOD

Season beef with salt and pepper then dust with flour

2kg beef shoulder (in 1 piece, ideally feather-blade) Salt and milled white pepper flour olive oil 25g butter 250g onions (peeled & cut into large dice) ½ tbls tomato paste 100ml Red Wine 250ml veal stock 1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay, parsley stalks) 6 small carrots (halved lengthways) 20 button onions (peeled)

Colour on all sides in hot oil in a large cast iron casserole Remove from casserole, add butter and 1 tbls olive oil Add onions and cook gently until nicely caramelised Add tomato paste and cook very gently for 10mins before adding 50ml red wine Reduce wine away then add another 50ml, repeat twice more before adding stock & beef Top up with water, bring to a boil, skim and add bouquet garni Cover with a lid and braise very gently for 3 hours in a 140°c oven Add carrots and button onions to casserole and continue cooking for another 1 hour Lift out carrots and button onions and reserve. Lift out beef also Strain sauce through muslin and simmer until reduced to a coating consistency

Assembly Cut beef into thick slices Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with carrots and button onions Pour sauce over and serve piping hot

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FOOD // Masterchef at Home

white chocolate pave with raspberries and sorbet serves 4 INGREDIENTS AND METHOD

Making Chocolate Sponge

Chocolate Sponge ingredients 6 eggs, separated caster sugar 165g plain flour 100g cocoa powder 300ml syrup, made with 150ml water caster sugar approx 2 tablespoons dark rum

Whip together the egg yolks and 75g (3 oz) caster sugar. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites and 100g (4 oz) sugar until stiff.

Dark chocolate mousse ingredients 400g good dark chocolate 12 egg yolks 250g caster sugar 150 ml espresso coffee 700ml double cream

Dark chocolate mousse

White chocolate mousse ingredients 300g good white chocolate 3 gelatine leaves 85ml hot water 300ml double cream

White chocolate mousse

Sieve together the flours and the cocoa powder Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Add the dry mixture slowly and fold all together very carefully.You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want the egg white to lose its volume. Spread the mixture carefully on to a non-stick 60 x 40 cm (24 x 16 inch) tray. Bake in the oven to 180-190 deg C/ 350-375 deg. F/ Gas mark 4-5 for about 20 mins. To test that it is ready, poke in the middle with a finger: if the indentation stays for a couple of seconds before bouncing back, the sponge is ready. Cool in the tray on a wire rack. When cool, moisten with syrup mixed with rum.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and beat together well. Place over a pan of hot water or in a bain-marie. Make a syrup with the sugar and espresso coffee, and pour this onto the egg yolks, whisking continuously until cold. When cold, mix sabayon with the melted chocolate and then the whipped cream. Leave to cool. Spread the dark chocolate mousse over the moistened sponge base. Place in the fridge to set.

Break the white chocolate into small pieces and melt slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Put the gelatine leaves in the hot water and warm a little to melt. Mix the gelatine and melted chocolate, and then fold in the whipped cream Spread this evenly and smoothly on top of the set dark chocolate mousse. Bang the tray to ensure there are no air bubbles. Put in the fridge to set â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this takes quite a time.

Ready-made raspberry sorbet and fresh raspberries

Cut the layered pave into twelve portions and serve simply by itself or with some fresh raspberries and raspberry sorbet

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GRAPE EXPECTATIONS // Fine Wine Time

a man who ‘nose’ his wine SOMMELIER SHAUN CORRIGAN IS IN CHARGE OF AN ENVIABLE WINE CELLAR AT ROCKLIFFE HALL - BUT A DROP NEVER PASSES HIS LIPS. HE WORKS HIS MAGIC WITH SKILFUL EYES AND NOSE. Story by Claudia Robinson Shaun Corrigan is the Old Hall Food and Beverage Manager at Rockliffe Hall. He started working in the hotel industry by accident after a friend of his left his job as a waiter in the New Forest so he offered to take over. “The rest, as they say, is history”, says Shaun. “I started working as a waiter in 1983. I was promoted to head waiter and then when the man in charge of wines left, I took on that role. I had to learn very quickly but once I got the wine bug there was no looking back!” Shaun went on to work at some top hotels including Chewton Glen in Hampshire, The Halcyon in London and The Vineyard at Stockcross before setting his sights on warmer climes at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. When he returned to the UK he worked at L’Ortolan in Reading and Browns Hotel in Mayfair before the sun drew him abroad again with stints at the Grand Lisboa Casino in Macau, Sentosa Resort in Singapore and then the Grand Jersey in St Helier. “That’s where I met Richard Allen (now Orangery Executive Chef) and Eamonn Elliott (Rockliffe’s Chief Executive), and so our story as a team began.” Shaun joined Rockliffe in March 2015 to work again with Eamonn and Richard who had joined a few months earlier. “What I love about this place is that Rockliffe is a unique property. It has a great golf course, spa and bedrooms so it needs great restaurants and we’re all working hard to offer the very best dining experience for our guests, everyday.” So, a wine expert and the man in charge of Food and Beverage at Rockliffe Hall’s exquisite Orangery restaurant, loves to enjoy a glass of wine, right? Wrong. Shaun is teetotal!

“I have an allergy to alcohol which means my body can’t digest it,” continues Shaun. “So I’m unable to swallow the wine or assimilate the alcohol through my skin. Luckily the most important part of the tasting process is smelling it!” Shaun explains that the other important aspects of wine tasting are temperature and texture, which can be viewed and weighed in the glass. “I also involve the restaurant and bar teams so we can all taste wines together. What does Shaun love most about his job? “Building a successful team and seeing individuals develop and go on to personal success is incredibly satisfying and rewarding,” he says. “Rockliffe Hall’s success is due to the team here, both front and back of house, and I believe that what we do well as a team is unique and is what makes us the best!”

OUR WINES I believe the difference between good wine and great wine is its ‘uniqueness’. Our philosophy at Rockliffe is simple – we are passionate believers that great wines are made in the vineyard and we have an affinity with winemakers who understand and respect their ‘sense of place’ and who strive to use sustainable viticultural methods, rather than applying unnecessary pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. The greatest wines are made by inspired artists who work hand in hand with the vineyard site to harness the natural expression of the grapes grown there. In every region of the wine-producing world there is usually a winemaker whose approach is slightly different to that of his or her neighbours, and this is usually the wine you will find on our wine list.

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MY LUXURY WINES Our wine list is extensive and every single one of them is divine. Choosing my favourite ten was a challenge, but here they are! I’ve chosen five whites and five reds that I believe are unique. 1; Zoltán Demeter, ‘Szerelmi’, Tokaji-Hegyalja 2011 £70   Single vineyard, dry Härslevelü from one of the masters of the region. It shows scents of peaches, quince and wet rocks. The palate adds nuances, refreshing acidity, gentle tropical notes and some toasted oak. 2; Bellbird Spring, ‘Block 8’ Sauvignon Blanc, Waipara 2013 £50     Characterful and quite unusual this has savoury notes and a dense texture, offering quince, pear and spice characters. Distinctive and mouthfilling, this is a remarkably bold Sauvignon Blanc that will age well. 3; Hans Wirsching, Scheurebe ‘Kronsberg’ Spätlese,  Franken 2012 £55 Originating from the Franken region of Germany, Scheurebe is highly aromatic and it is often used to produce sweet wines. Quite full-bodied, dry Scheurebe wines are dominated by rich blackcurrant and grapefruit aromas. 4; Daniel Barraud, Pouilly Fuissé ‘En Buland’ VV, Chalonnaise 2009 £70 Daniel Barraud is the leading producer in the Chalonnaise. The well-muscled, intense and concentrated flavours sport ample dry extract and culminate in an opulent, powerful and driving finish. This is an impressive wine for the appellation. 5; Klaus-Peter Keller, Riesling ‘G-Max’, Rheinhessen 2006 £800              Hailing from the village of Dalsheim in the >>


GRAPE EXPECTATIONS // Fine Wine Time

<< Rhinehessen, the Wiengut Keller is now considered the leading producer in the region, and perhaps in all Germany. Klaus-Peter produces four Grand Cru Rieslings, but it’s his top cuvée that is most famous. G-Max is the finest dry Riesling in the world today. 6; Occhipinti, Il Frappato, Sicily 2013 £55 The Occhipinti family is synonymous with the Frappato grape that underpins Siciliy’s only DOCG. Arianna began in 2004 making wines in a family farmhouse, before transferring, in 2013, to a purpose-built winery where her 22 hectares of Frappato are vinified in cement and aged in Stockinger barrels. 7; Becker, Spätburgunder ‘Kammerberg’ Grand Cru, Pfalz 2010 £125

what makes us tick ANGELA KEMP FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER

Friedrich Becker and his family vineyards are in the southern part of the Pfalz region. Right from the start he established himself as one of the best producers in the Pfalz and one of the best Pinot Noir producers in Germany. Kammerberg is grown primarily on stony, chalky soil on the Alsatian side of the border and his wines are made, according to his comments ‘by instinct’. 8; Susana Balbo, Malbec ‘Nosotros’, Lujan de Cuyo 2009 £130                        Nosotros is the blend of the best barrels chosen by Susana and her team. It reflects the passion, experience and spirit of each of the members of this big family that is Dominio del Plata. A glass-coating opaque purple colour, it sports an alluring nose of toasty oak, mineral, liquorice, lavender, exotic spices, and assorted black

What do you do? I look after Rockliffe’s front of house department, which includes reception, concierge and a ‘nights team’, who look after and manage the hotel throughout the night. I also deal with any issues that guests may have during their stay. I manage around 10 people on a daily basis; it’s my job to make sure that they’re all achieving the high level of customer service that our guests expect from a five-star property. Those who work in front of house are the ‘face’ of the hotel - they’re the first people our guests meet - so it’s crucial that they’re on top form and set the right tone. How long have you worked at the hotel? Just over four years. It’s a fantastic place to work and the time has absolutely flown over. What makes you tick? The love my role because it’s customer-facing. I meet people from all walks of life and no two days are the same. Delivering a high level of customer service gives me a buzz; there is a certain level of expectation from

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fruits. Dense, rich, and voluptuous on the palate, this is a full-bodied beauty. 9; Alain Burguet, Gevrey Chambertin ‘Mes Favorites’, Burgundy 2012 £120 Alain Burguet is one of Burgundy ‘s most respected producers ; from 70-year-old vines, Mes Favorites give ripe black fruit and chocolate flavours of great intensity and elegance, and a fine mineral flourish on a very persistent finish. 10; Descendientes de J Palacios, ‘La Faraona’, Bierzo £130   In 1998 Alvaro Palacios began an exiting collaboration with nephew Ricardo Perez in Corrullón, Bierzo. Bierzo was a lesser known region when he started, but which has wonderful hillside vineyards and a fantastic grape variety, Mencia, to work with.

guests here at Rockliffe. There aren’t many five-star properties in the North East, so we do have a reputation to live up to. If customers leave feeling anything less than 100 per cent satisfied, then we’ve failed. Memorable moment? Receiving our red star status. We were already a five-star hotel when I joined - we earned that title within eight months of opening - but our goal was always to be the very best. We worked so hard to achieve our goal, so when the day finally came, we were overjoyed. It’s something that I’ll take with me for the rest of my career. I’m extremely proud. Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows… I love to travel. At 19, I moved away to Jersey on my own to work at a hotel. I lived in staff accommodation and didn’t know a soul. It was a great experience though; I learned a lot and it kickstarted my career in hospitality. I’m more of a home bird now, but my year is still planned around my holidays!


Photography by Warren & Nick

ROCKLIFFE HALL’S CHAMPAGNE OF CHOICE Enjoy Perrier-Jouët responsibly


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escape to the country CITY DWELLING JOSH SIMS AND FAMILY MADE THE JOURNEY FROM LONDON TO ROCKLIFFE IN LESS TIME THAN A COMMUTER SPENDS ON THE M25...

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XXXXX ////Xxxxxx DOWNTIME Awaydays

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DOWNTIME // Awaydays

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Visiting Rockliffe Hall one of the more striking aspects of your indulgent breakfast - aside from the blueberry muffins - will be overhead, rather than gathering around your middle. The glass roof, supported by cast ironwork, once formed part of an orangery a rather grand term the Victorians gave a sizable conservatory, back when wandering around in the warmth and greenery was all the rage among those with the money to build the kind of country mansion that, in the 21st century, forms the older buildings of Rockliffe Hall. The decorative ironwork that surrounds you and your muffins was made by Francis A. Skidmore, who also happened to make that around Kensington’s Albert Memorial. But this mini Crystal Palace is not the only thing to connect London and Darlington - nor the striking stained glass windows that crown the main staircase, commissioned by Rockliffe Hall’s architect from Lavers & Barraud of Covent Garden - the hot shots in stained glass design at the time. So too does a fast railway line from Kings Cross - two and a half hours straight up through England, with a four mile taxi ride from Darlington station seeing you at Rockliffe Hall’s reception. The fast train North takes about as long as a city commuter might spend listening to Classic FM or keeping up with the news on Radio Four as they endure their daily slog. That means, far from the weeks or so that it once

took to shift all that iron and glass up to what was one of the region’s more spectacular private builds, those living in London and looking for some downtime away from the usual haunts of Surrey and Kent can feasibly leave at the end of the working day on a Friday and spend a decent weekend in the North East under the spreading chestnut trees. Of course, that’s not the only way to travel. During my family’s stay in a junior suite - with, manna from heaven for those who don’t share celebrated Londoner Samuel Johnsons opinion that golf is a good walk spoiled, doors that open onto a vista of seemingly endless fairways - someone had the audacity to upstage my more everyday arrival by turning up in a helicopter. This gracefully lowered itself on to the H of the landing area, disgorged a bright young couple with their bottle of champagne, and then took off into the evening sky, leaving me feeling that the railways now had something to live up to. But for the more meagre of purse, travelling as the most well-to-do Victorians did somehow seems apt for this destination so close to the town that started rail travel in the first place. Those with an inclination towards history can, on arrival, order a gin and tonic - the barman recommends Slingsby, a new local brew that went down nicely - and rest up in the drawing room, with its Alfred Waterhouse ceiling, complete with botanical patterns inspired by exotic plant species (clearly the winter months in these parts

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inspire some longing for more tropical things) and its framed cartoons. OK, so they’re not - as my four-year-old son suggested - actually cartoons, so much as caricatures of bankers and politicians of the 1920s, drawn just before the big crash of Black Tuesday when no doubt they were wishing they were away from it all and here in person, rather than merely in charcoal. Of course, if you happen to be with four and two-year-old boys, you had best take these brief moments to enjoy Rockliffe Hall’s historical detailing - and gin and tonics, for that matter - while you can. For once a four or two-year-old boy has discovered that, back in the suite, he can actually watch Cbeebies while in the bath, not only has his willingness to have a bath been pleasingly transformed - dangerously so, since we certainly don’t have a screen mounted into our bathroom wall back home - but pointing out said historical detailing is even more a waste of breath than my usual fatherly utterances. They probably have a point. Indeed, while London, naturally, has more than its fair share of history, perhaps that is not the main reason for travelling from the capital to Rockliffe Hall, even if it has in its time worn many faces, from cricket clubhouse to hospital, community centre to film-set (not a lot of people know that parts of Get Carter were shot here). If the habitues of the nearby training ground for Middlesbrough Football Club might care to point out that it’s a game >>

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DOWNTIME // Awaydays

<< of two halves, then Rockliffe Hall might be said to be a place of two halves. At one end is the more old-school and traditional arrangement, in atmosphere as in architecture and interiors - think baronial home with a tumbler of something woozy by an open fire, before proceeding to overdo it with some fine dining. And at the other end is the more modern set-up, for which read rooms with TVs in the bath, complicated mood lighting and, as my wife put it, the best spa facilities she has ever seen. And, take it from me, she has seen a lot of spa facilities. This end offers a different, less alcoholtinged style of relaxation: lazing by the pool, going for a paddle, deigning maybe to pick up a newspaper without, frankly, actually caring much what is going on in the rest of the world. Or at least that is one version: yes, that was my elbow and a bit of forearm my therapist confirmed when I asked her, like jelly after a massage, what exactly she was using to soften up the tension in my upper back. My fault, I suppose, for requesting a firm massage - none of that namby-pamby stroking with lavender oil to the sound of whale song that constitutes so many spa treatments these days. Thank god I passed on the ab blast, salt inhalation or mud ritual, whatever they are. And northerners like to think we southerners are soft.... But it would be remiss of anyone visiting Rockliffe Hall - whether from London or from around the corner - just to stay inside enjoying the amenities, or having their musculature re-modelled by someone’s pointier joints.You need to get outside and wander. London has its famed parks, but Rockliffe Hall has its 365 acres of landscaped lawns, long grasses and hidden little wildernesses edging a golf course stretching to a horizon on which there is not a single mega-crane to be seen. It even has a wonderful sand-pit, which the boys enjoyed rolling around in. For reasons they just didn’t understand a group of pastel-clad passers-by clutching these strange bags of sticks kept telling them it was something called a bunker. Yeah, whatever granddad.

what makes us tick KIMBERLEY HERON BRASSERIE ASSISTANT MANAGER

What do you do? I help run the restaurant, which includes the general running of services and managing the Brasserie staff. The role is filled with variety. How long have you worked at the hotel? I’ve been here just over a year. What makes you tick? I love working with such a wide range of people, from every day customers, to regular visitors and members. I like getting to know people and hearing their stories. I also enjoy working with the higher management team; they’re incredibly supportive, they keep me motivated and give me opportunities to progress further in my career and better myself. I’ve just signed up to do a sales qualification. Memorable moment? When Peter Andre came into the Brasserie, about a year ago. I was totally star-struck and had a smile plastered across my face all day. He ordered a single espresso and a granola bar. Tell me something about yourself that no-one else knows… In my spare time, I play the piano and the guitar. I enjoy writing my own lyrics, which are usually inspired by the many stories I hear from customers in the Brasserie.

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COMMERCIAL FEATURE // Endeavour Partnership

Simon Wake, partner at Endeavour Partnership

proud partnership Rockliffe Hall was one of the most anticipated developments in the North East for many years and Endeavour Partnership has had a proud involvement with the 5* resort since its inception in 2008, a year before the hotel opened to the public in November 2009. Behind the glamour of the award-winning hotel, restaurants, golf course and spa, dozens of businesses, like Endeavour Partnership, have been involved in ensuring that the resort meets the strictest guidelines and is in the best possible position to allow it to continually grow, provide

establishing the original company set up to run the whole of the Rockliffe Hall resort, taking in some 375 acres in total and including the PGA golf course and Clubhouse, the multi-awardwinning spa, the bedrooms and suites, the two restaurants and the residential elements located on site. The commercial property team at Endeavour Partnership worked closely with owner, Steve Gibson, and chairman, Warwick Brindle, instructing on the acquisition of the 375 acre site and then also on further land surrounding

To have been involved with the team at Rockliffe Hall from its inception has been an exceptionally interesting process. It has been incredible to see how the business has grown and developed thanks to its dedicated and professional team. opportunities for the local workforce and put the North East on the map. Endeavour Partnership is one of the region’s leading commercial legal firms- the go-to solicitors for a range of issues in sectors including leisure, agriculture, education, construction, healthcare, retail, IT, start-ups and more. The Stockton-based law firm, which has an unparalleled reputation spanning over 15 years, was responsible for assisting with various aspects relating to Rockliffe Hall and has a proud working relationship with the property. Endeavour Partnership’s experts worked on

the resort, including Middlesbrough FC’s training ground at Rockliffe Park. Following this, Endeavour Partnership was also involved in the planning agreements and other statutory arrangements with Darlington Borough Council and various other bodies. Simon Wake, partner at Endeavour Partnership, said: “To have been involved with the team at Rockliffe Hall from its inception has been an exceptionally interesting process. It has been incredible to see how the business has grown and developed thanks to its dedicated and professional team.”

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Chairman of Rockliffe Hall, Warwick Brindle, added: “From the very start, Rockliffe Hall has always worked with other North East-based businesses and Endeavour Partnership provided an exemplary, no-nonsense service that made our development efficient. The team’s varying areas of expertise also proved invaluable as they really understood the scale of our project and various needs.” 2015 saw Endeavour Partnership experience its best year to date following a period of growth and restructuring during its 15th year in business. Located at Teesdale near Stockton, the commercial legal experts are currently on track for faster growth than anticipated as people begin to invest in quality legal advice again following the recession. Endeavour Partnership was launched in 1999 by four partners who saw the need for a law firm to provide purely commercial legal services. The company has continued to grow from six fee-earners at inception to 21 in total. The business now employs 44 people with plans to steadily increase this. Managing partner, Paul Bury, said: “The commercial legal sector has faced some challenging times in the post-recessionary climate and it is an exceptionally competitive marketplace. However, we have nurtured our clients, our reputation and our team and have continued to thrive. We are certainly on target to double our turnover in the next five years and continually create a variety of opportunities for people in the North East.”


HIGH DAYS // Flights of Fantasy

live like a VIP MAKE ROCKLIFFE HALL YOUR BASE FOR A DAZZLING DAY. If you want to arrive in some style at one of the country’s key social events then we can make it happen. We bring major sporting events like Royal Ascot,York’s glamorous Ebor Racing Festival or the Silverstone Grand Prix so much closer with a helicopter transfer straight from Rockliffe’s lawn. Sip on a glass of Perrier Jouet overlooking our grounds as you wait for the ultimate transport. We have a range of dazzling VIP days out at sporting events or cultural exhibitions. Our packages include helicopter transfers from Rockliffe Hall, corporate or VIP hospitality at the event, a tasting experience in the Orangery restaurant, overnight accommodation at Rockliffe Hall and a full English breakfast the following morning. We can also arrange bespoke packages for events such as the Castle Howard Proms or Durham Regatta. Really all you need to do is tell us where you want your flight of fantasy to take you...   For more details speak to our concierge or email us at enquiries@rockliffehall.com

upcoming events ROYAL ASCOT JUNE 2016 SILVERSTONE GRAND PRIX JUNE 2016 EBOR RACING FESTIVAL AUGUST 2016

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LIGHTING SHOWROOM NOW OPEN

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SPA SHINING // Garden Delights

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SPA SHINING // Garden Delights

take the plunge PARTY LIKE AN A-LISTER IN OUR LUXE SPA GARDEN.

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SPA SHINING // Garden Delights

We don’t let a little thing like the British weather get in the way of our Palm Springs ambitions. Heated loungers, dazzling views and frozen grapes. Who needs California? The Rockliffe Spa Garden is the latest addition to the hotel’s comfort quota, ramping up the style when it comes to spa-time glamour. North East skies can be cloudy but temperatures stay wonderfully warm with the ultimate surroundings for anytime sunshine. You might get lucky with blue skies but you certainly don’t need to think long haul LA when this

what makes us tick SARAH USHER SENIOR SPA THERAPIST AND NAIL SPECIALIST

pool party paradise is on the doorstep. Our five-star hotel’s Spa Garden has just opened and is unrivalled in the UK. The self-contained mini-spa has an infinity pool overlooking the well-groomed and luscious golf course. There’s a sauna and decking with loungers, music and an abundance of magazines. One very cool retreat.You can call in supplies of champagne at any time of the day, book it to share with friends and max out on those iced grapes! The Spa Garden opened in August, just right to offer >>

One very cool retreat. You can call in supplies of champagne at any time of the day, book it to share with friends and feast on iced grapes.

What do you do? I perform all of the treatments that our amazing spa has to offer. I also manage the nail department and do all of the training. How long have you worked at the hotel? I’ve been here for five years. I was in my second year at Darlington College when I applied to Rockliffe. They allowed me to finish my training on the job - a bit like an apprenticeship - and the rest is history. What makes you tick? Some people save up all year to come to Rockliffe, so, for me, it’s all about meeting their high expectations and ensuring they leave us feeling relaxed and refreshed. Being able to help people unwind and feel better about themselves gives me satisfaction. I love it when people end up falling asleep mid-treatment - it’s a big compliment! I also like working at a hotel with such a good reputation, as it pushes me to work harder every day. Memorable moment? Whenever a client is truly ‘wowed’ by our facilities and the spa experience that they’ve been given. Making our clients feel special is what we’re all about. Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows… I love transforming people’s feet. My favourite treatment of ours is our luxury pedicure. I’m also an identical twin. I don’t really like it though; people are always comparing us to one another, but we couldn’t be more different!

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SPA SHINING // Garden Delights

<< some spa solace as the nights grew dark. It was certainly something very new with a nice wow-factor for the region. It is a fabulous spot on sunny days but comes into its own in the winter when you can hide away and cosy-up inside on heated beds before making a dash for the pool’s fizzing warm waters beneath crisp starry skies.

The Spa Garden was launched with a glittering VIP party giving a taste of how it can be used as an entertainment space all of its own. It can accommodate 20-30 people and be hired in its entirety for £400 in two-hour blocks. You must be staying at the hotel or using the Spa to hire the Spa Garden.  The new Spa Garden has an infinity edge hydrotherapy pool with massage features and a warm Jacuzzi, under-floor heated decking, lounging areas,

a traditional glass-fronted sauna cabin, a fire pit, a water feature, landscaped gardens with views across Rockliffe Hall’s grounds and heated relaxation loungers. The new Spa Garden is the latest development for the Spa, which is one of the most successful in the UK. It is the only spa in the North to have been shortlisted for a Good Spa Guide Award for Sheer Luxury two years running, competing against high profile spas including Dormy House, Chewton Glen and Pennyhill Park.

Blowing our own trumpet! Since 2012 we’ve been awarded: 5 AA red stars, the highest possible accolade 3 AA Rosettes 2015-16 for The Orangery 59Club’s Gold Flag award for 2014 and 2015, the industry benchmark recognising the best membership clubs and commercial venues 59Club gold award for greenkeeping team The Good Spa Guide 5 Bubble Luxury award A Sunday Times Top 100 Ultimate British Hotel Best Spa for Sheer Luxury, Good Spa Guide November 2014 VisitEngland Large Hotel of the Year Finalist 2014 December 2013 Rockliffe Hall’s flagship restaurant, The Orangery, was named an AA Notable Wine List for 2013-14, one of only several in the North of England. November 2013, Rockliffe Hall’s spa named as the Good Spa Guide’s best UK spa for customer service September 2013, Rockliffe Hall’s spa awarded 5 ‘Bubbles’ by the Good Spa Guide May 2013- VisitEngland silver award for Business Tourism January 2013- Gold award for Business Tourism in the NE Tourism Awards January 2013- Top 25 Top UK’s Luxury Hotel, Travellers’ Choice Awards by Tripadvisor May 2012- VisitEngland Large Hotel of the Year, Gold Award

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SPA // Sleep Well

sweet dreams are made of this THE FRENZY OF MODERN DAY LIFE AND NEAR-EPIDEMIC LEVELS OF STRESS MADE NICOLA ELLIOTT HOP OFF THE HAMSTER WHEEL AND CREATE CALM FOR THE REST OF US WITH HER NEOM ORGANICS BRAND. Story by Kathryn Armstrong

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SPA // Sleep Well

Stress, sleeplessness and ‘to-do’ overload are the perils of our times. We work hard and play hard to the extent that even our days off come with the pressure to appear as Facebook-worthy ‘quality time’. Phew, no wonder we face an epidemic of exhaustion. Nicola Elliott knew exactly how that felt. After spending seven hectic years working 60 hour weeks as an editor for magazines such as InStyle and Glamour, she took a deep breath, returned to her native North Yorkshire and launched Neom Organics. It was an SOS-moment not only for Nicola but a message to all those she knew whose wellbeing was being affected by the stress and demands of a busy career. That was ten years ago. Funnily enough, stress hasn’t gone away but we’re now all so much better at recognising and dealing with it - and saying ‘stuff ’ the Facebook images of life - let’s keep it real. Nicola’s Neom brand has gone from strength to strength and its devotees are a savvy, hard-working bunch of people including cool folk such as Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sienna Miller. Its appeal is that the products work - Nicola is a trained and passionate aromatherapist - and they offer a prescriptive approach. They’re a calming dose for the exhausted working mum, the ‘not enough hours in the day’ entrepreneur and the washed-out workaholic in need of a lift. The newly-launched range of treatments, available at Rockliffe Spa, have at least some of the answers - a bit like a best-friend in spa-form. Nicola is certainly well-placed to tap into the needs of the world and work weary. She has two young children, Charlie, seven, and Alexa, five, bases the business in Harrogate but regularly heads to London and farther afield on business missions. When she first launched Neom, Nicola believed that pure essential oils, twisted in the most complex and purposeful way could help to address the wellbeing needs of women who were being affected by the pressures of modern day living: poor sleep, high stress and low energy and mood. She began making powerful therapeutic tinctures for her friends and not long after, Neom’s signature Scent to Sleep fragrance, Tranquillity, was created. It blends 19 of the purest possible essential oils including lavender, basil and jasmine, all sourced for their most effective sleep inducing properties. Neom is now the fastest growing wellbeing fragrance brand in the UK. With a true passion for women’s health, Nicola, 37, is dedicated to inspiring women to lead naturally healthier lives by encouraging them to press pause and make time for prioritising their wellbeing. As head of the Neom Wellbeing Board, a panel of 11 holistic health experts in fields such as Psychology, mindfulness, Pilates and nutrition, Nicola and Neom aim to offer all-round holistic support to those looking for a natural solution to sleep, stress, energy and mood-related issues. Nicola, who in November 2012 was awarded the title of ‘Entrepreneur of the Future’ in the prestigious Woman of the Future Awards, steers the creative vision

of the brand and ensures that every product Neom creates serves a therapeutic need or purpose. In February 2015, Nicola commissioned the Neom Lifestyle Stress Audit, an independent survey of over 1,000 women to uncover the state of stress levels in the UK today. The many findings from the audit show how 9 out of 10 women are stressed and a huge 96% experience at least one or more adverse effects of high stress levels, tiredness, low mood and poor sleep. She says: “A top tip is to acknowledge that ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist. The first rule of balance in my book is to accept that it swings like a pendulum. It’s also important to prioritise time for yourself. I don’t treat

pleasures I reserve for myself – the food I eat, a little meditation, uninterrupted family activities and the odd glass of wine.” Her pioneering Neom Wellbeing Spa Treatments have been created to provide long-lasting wellbeing benefits and the four long-awaited treatments have been developed to help with four key areas; sleep, stress, energy levels and mood. Launched in March 2015, they are available for either 60 or 90 minutes and have been masterminded by the Neom team of wellbeing experts, drawing together the most effective of six therapies – meditation, shiatsu, cranio, Thai massage, trigger point and reflexology.

If your energy is good, collected, positive, it transfers to your loved ones and friends – unless we’re in good shape ourselves, it can prove near impossible to look after others

those moments for me as a luxury, but a necessity. With the World Health Organization stating that by 2020 the top four global diseases will be stress-related, switching off is as pivotal to your health as a consistent workout regime.   “Personally, my favourite way to reflect and unwind is to run a bath filled with the therapeutic Neom Scent to Instantly De-Stress Real Luxury Bath & Shower Oil. The warm water centres my mind and washes away the demands of the day, so that an hour later I can put my head on my pillow and have a truly restful sleep.   “To keep stress at bay, it’s essential to maintain a 360 degree approach to life. I refuse to skimp on the

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Each treatment begins with a specific guided meditation, preparing the client’s body and mind. Then sink back with the true therapeutic benefits of the 100% natural Neom essential oil blends – which use the highest possible percentage of the purest essential oils – used in all treatments. Neom believes that achieving better balance in life is possible, and with the right Neom products and lifestyle, you can feel good every day. Therefore whichever Neom Wellbeing Spa Treatment clients experience, they’ll leave fully equipped with the expertise to continue the benefits of their treatment at >>


SPA // Sleep Well

<< home, with personalised home care recommendations and Neom Essential Wellbeing Kits. Says Nicola: “After months of trials and experimentation we are so pleased to offer such purposeful treatments. The real point of difference is the fact that clients are not simply experiencing a ‘one-off ’ luxurious treatment, they return home with knowledge on how to continue taking care of their wellbeing needs at home.”

nicola’s lessons in life I believe being kind to oneself is an essential wellbeing need, not a luxury If your energy is good, collected, positive, it transfers to your loved ones and friends – unless we’re in good shape ourselves, it can prove near impossible to look after others. It has, however, taken me time to realise and act on this – but now I factor recuperative and essential wellbeing time into my everyday life. Me time is not indulgent, it’s essential It’s so easy to feel guilty about taking some time – particularly if you’ve promised to send an urgent email or wash the kids’ gym kit. But gaining perspective is always important. Things rarely need to be done immediately. Better to get yourself in a good, strong headspace first, and then you can approach all that needs to be done calmly and efficiently. I fit all of my exercise around my work and family life I swim on my lunch hour, or practice yoga in my living room (when my children are in bed). I always use Neom’s Scent to Boost Your Energy before my weekday workouts, to give me a natural lift and

maximise my performance. I also love pre-supper runs (great for clearing my head), and long fresh-air walks with the family at the weekends. Life is super hectic at times, but I’m still in control I am the one who drops our two little ones at school, so I am there every morning and I only travel now if really necessary. Weekends are for family time. Make time for food that fuels your body and

feeds your mood Breakfast is a blueberry and banana smoothie from my Deliciously Ella app (banana, blueberries, chia and flax seeds, oats, dates and almond butter) or if I have more time, I will do poached egg and avocado on toasted rye bread (Abel & Cole is a bit of a saviour when it comes to delivering my staples). I have only one mantra – be kind to everyone, yourself included.

the treatments Neom Sleep Treatment Nothing affects how you look or feel as much as sleep or lack of it. Enter a room, deeply scented with Neom Scent to Sleep Tranquillity fragrance.You are about to experience the Neom Sleep Treatment. Prepare to be lost in a blissful state, ready for a deep night’s sleep. Neom De-stress Treatment By 2020 the top 4 diseases will be stress related. Neom’s complex Scent to Instantly De-stressTM blend of 24 purest possible essential oils, including lavender, jasmine & Brazilian rosewood, creates a de-stressing environment the moment you enter the room. This treatment allows tension to drift away and for a calm new-you to be uncovered. Neom Energise Treatment Energy is the single most powerful fuel to accomplish anything in life. This wellbeing treatment is designed to allow you to stop, unplug and then reboot.Your senses will be awakened and your body and mind will be given a boost of natural energy. Neom Happiness Treatment Over 160 studies tell us that happy people are healthier. This purposeful combination of thoughtful touches will lift your spirits and leave you feeling like the best version of you.

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// Close Xxxxxx TAKE XXXXX A TRIP // to Home

On the doorstep THE NORTH EAST COAST BOASTS STRIKING VIEWS, REMOTE WOODLAND, SMUGGLERS’ COVES AND JURASSIC CLIFFS. IN BETWEEN FIND PLENTY OF STOP-OFFS FOR THE MEMORABLE MOMENTS DURING YOUR STAY.

castles & cascades Deep in the wooded foothills of the eastern Pennines are some beautiful rivers and spectacular waterfalls, picturesque villages and shimmering reservoirs in two great dales explored by this drive. Start at historic Barnard Castle, with its 12th Century Castle, medieval bridge and fascinating Bowes Museum of Art. From Barnard Castle, take the A688 to Staindrop and Raby Castle. The Castle stands in a 270-acre deer park and is well worth a day out in itself. From there turn off the A688 onto a minor road for Cockfield, then follow signs for Butterknowle, Copley and finally Hamsterley.

Drive through Hamsterley Forest – looking out for walkers and mountain bikers – before turning left for Wolsingham and descend into Weardale. From here, take the A689 up the dale through Frosterley, Stanhope, Eastgate and Westgate to St John’s Chapel. From St John’s Chapel take a minor road, signposted Middleton-in-Teesdale to climb the 2,000ft high moor of Langdale Common. This is a fantastic stretch, particularly on a fine day when the views are spectacular, but keep an eye out for wandering sheep. Drop down into Teesdale and turn left for the Langdon Beck Hotel. From here you can make a

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short diversion to the picnic area at Cow Green and take a walk to Cauldron Snout – technically a tiered cascade rather than a waterfall (and not a lot of people know that), but impressive all the same. Continue down the B6277 to High Force – also worth a quick walk – and then to Middleton-inTeesdale. Continue along the B6277 through lovely Romaldkirk and the renowned Rose & Crown inn and back to Barnard Castle. The whole drive is 58 miles and takes in the best of County Durham’s countryside in two magnificent dales, spectacular high moorland, historic market towns and charming villages. What’s not to like?


// Close Xxxxxx TAKE XXXXX A TRIP // to Home

The majestic High Force waterfall near Middleton-in-Teesdale

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TAKE A TRIP // Close to Home

coastal COASTAL Head for the A174 and the seaside at Saltburn-byHead for the A174 and the seaside at Saltburn-bythe-Sea, a thriving Victorian coastal town with the-Sea, a thrivingshops Victorian coastal townofwith independent and the charms a bygone independent and thecliff charms of a to bygone era. Takeshops the famous lift tram a walkera. along Take the famous tram tothe a walk alongHuntcliff. the pier pier andcliff looklifttowards dramatic and lookThe towards dramatic cliffs the form part of Huntcliff. the Cleveland Way, so a The cliffs form of the Cleveland so adrive dramatic walkpart is within easy reach.Way, By car, dramatic walk within easyhistoric reach. By car, drive along along theiscoast to the fishing port of Staithes the coast to the historic fishing port of Staithes with which which remains unspoilt and undeveloped a remains undeveloped a real sense realunspoilt sense ofand time and history.with Lobster pots andofthe time and history. Lobster andhere, the seasonal is seasonal catch is stillpots landed making catch for a tasty still landed here, stop. making for a tasty pub lunch stop. pub lunch AlongAlong the A174 you come next to Runswick Bay, a the A174 you come next to Runswick small Bay, village huddled on huddled the northern end of a end a small village on the northern sweeping Tiny pedestrian lanes weave their way of a bay. sweeping bay. Tiny pedestrian lanes weave

their way around the village, with its ancient around the village, with cottage, its ancient thatched coastguard’s thatched coastguard’s single pub and cottage, single tiny café that sells delicious tiny café thatpub sellsand delicious homemade cakes homemade cakes and pastries. Orand darepastries. to dip Or yourdare toestoindip your toes in the water… The road willwill then take youyou to to Lythe Bank andand one The road then take Lythe Bank of one our favourite views of all.You turn a bend come of our favourite views of all. You turn aand bend face to come face with bay with of Sandsend a sweeping and face the to face the bay with of Sandsend with beach view that is at view turnsthat bright blueone andday golden or a sweeping beach might be bright stormy wave-crashingly dramatic. And in the blue and golden and another wave-crashingly distance there’s theingothic splendour of the dramatic dramatic. And the distance there’s gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey on theruins horizon. splendour of the dramatic of Whitby Abbey Thethe road will take you along the clifftops to Whitby on horizon. itself The which is full character and the charm – andtothe road willoftake you along clifftops famous Magpie andischip shop, so beloved of Rick– Whitby itself fish which full of character and charm

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and the famous Magpie fish and chip shop, so Stein and beloved ofCo! Rick Stein and Co! Take the the A171 A171 and and drive just a abit Take bitfurther furthertotofinish finishoff at Robin Hood’s Bay. This Yorkshire’s coastline at its off at Robin Hood’s Bay.isThis is Yorkshire’s coastline most raw and Here,Here, brooding cliffs tower at its most rawelemental. and elemental. brooding over tower a huddle roofed fishing cottages that cliffs overofared huddle of former red-roofed former spill right down to the of the sea, fishing cottages that spilledge right down to creating the edgea ‘lost in time’ for anyone who loves unusual of the getaway sea, creating a ‘lost in time’ getaway for a architecture and breathtaking scenery. and nyone who loves unusual architecture Cobbled alleyways breathtaking scenery. seem to tumble into each other, right up to alleyways the very edge coast into where 18th Cobbled seemoftothe tumble each century smugglers used to edge hide their The other, right up to the very of theillicit watertrade. where huge,century unspoiltsmugglers beach is one UK’s best spots for 18th usedoftothe hide their illicit fossil hunting. trade. The huge, unspoilt beach is one of the UK’s best spots for fossil hunting.


TAKE A TRIP // Close to Home

Dramatic cliffs and a tumble of cottages at Robin Hoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay

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TAKE A TRIP // Close to Home

countryside Sutton Bank, on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, provides spectacular views over the Vale of Mowbray. From here you can spot gliders soaring above, watch the weather roll in from the west, gaze at the starry night sky or enjoy a bike ride through beautiful woodland. Head to Sutton Bank via the pretty village of Osmotherley and an inspiring route over dramatic high-up heathery moorland From Rockliffe Hall head to the A19 and turn off where you see the sign for Osmotherley. Stop for a wander, a scone or a sandwich and then take the road towards Helmsley and the moorland of

Bilsade - where you’ll find dramatic scenery at any time of the year. Turn off towards Sutton Bank where there are car parks and a visitor centre. Blow away the cobwebs with two short walks from the National Park Centre at Sutton Bank. The first short walk takes you from the Sutton Bank National Park Centre on a path around Roulston Scar to the White Horse of Kilburn; a figure of a horse cut into the hillside. This wellknown landmark is visible from miles around and provides a great talking point and photo opportunity along the route. You can also head north from the Sutton Bank

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National Park Centre along a path to a viewpoint on the escarpment edge of Sutton Bank. Here you can enjoy spectacular scenery, described by author James Herriot as “England’s finest view”. Herriot, who practiced as a vet in the area, wrote many books based on his experiences. These were adapted for the TV series All Creatures Great and Small. From here you can look out over Garbutt Wood and Gormire Lake. Garbutt Wood is a haven for wildlife and a great place to introduce young adventurers to nature. Gormire Lake was formed during the last ice age, when a gigantic ice sheet scoured out a deep hollow.


TAKE XXXXX A TRIP // // Close Xxxxxx to Home

Vet and writer James Herriot called the view of Yorkshire from Sutton Bank ‘England’s finest’

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WEDDINGS // Our Dream Day

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WEDDINGS // Our Dream Day

perfect match FOOTBALL KITS SWAPPED FOR MORNING SUIT AND LOUBOUTINS FOR A LOVE MATCH AT ROCKLIFFE HALL.

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WEDDINGS // Our Dream Day

Michael and Lucy’s usual attire was more muddy boots and tracksuits than sharp suits and high heels. Both of them live and breathe football - Michael Oliver as Premiership and international referee and Lucy May as a player, ambassador and referee for the women’s game. Their wedding day at Rockliffe Hall was certainly not going to be in front of crowds of thousands; they wanted a stylish and intimate affair with close friends and family. The bridal party gathered in the Old Hall to get ready and the teams from ND Hair prepared their glossy looks. Lucy’s wedding gown was designed by Mori Lee from Kathryn Trueman. On her feet would be the antithesis of a pair of football boots - some stunning Christian Louboutin heels. Flowers by Nattrass created beautiful bouquets of pink roses for Lucy and her attendants and then headed over to deliver the buttonholes to the guys getting ready in Woodland Mews, one of the houses on the Rockliffe estate where the groom and his ‘gang’ stayed the night before the wedding. Michael and the groom’s party were dressed in Ted Baker morning suits and the guys looked fabulous as they wandered over to The Orangery to get ready for the service. >>

Bride and groom live and breathe football – Michael as a Premiership referee and Lucy as a player and referee for the women’s game. Their wedding day was the perfect fixure; an intimate affair with close friends and family.

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WEDDINGS // Our Dream Day

<< For once it was definitely a case of pre-match nerves (which Michael admitted was a new phenomena for him: he’s normally a very calm and collected chap). The marriage ceremony was an emotional roller coaster with plenty of tears, lots of giggles from Lucy and just before walking down the aisle, a joyful, celebratory wave of the bouquet! Following the ceremony the sun had just

what makes us tick HANNAH WARD EVENT COORDINATOR

appeared after rather a damp morning so the guests could enjoy the drinks reception on the terraces at Rockliffe. A really relaxed hour or so followed where everyone had chance to chat to the new Mr & Mrs Oliver,  just as Michael and Lucy wanted it to be. The Rockliffe Suite was the venue for the wedding breakfast and the party continued into the evening with the cutting of the impressive six-tier

wedding cake, made by The Little Elephant Cake Company. After the first dance, guests joined Michael and Lucy with music from wedding band Chameleon. The couple’s honeymoon fixture was a trip to Mauritius. www.stanseatonphotography.co.uk www.flowersbynattrass.com

What do you do? I’m part of a relatively small team; we have a wedding coordinator, an assistant and I’m one of two event coordinators. I’m in charge of managing incoming enquiries regarding all kinds of events, from conferences to special occasions, which can come through via email, or over the phone. It’s a lot of organisational work; I create and issue proposals, put together contracts and work one-to-one with clients right up to the day of their event. By then, everything should be in place for our operational team to take over on the day. How long have you worked at the hotel? I’ve been here for two years. I worked in conference and banqueting, before moving on to an assistant role in the events office, for around 10 months. It provided me with a lot of front-of-house experience - I got to see how events are actually run on the day - which definitely helps me in my role now. What makes you tick? I really like working in a high-pressure environment. Things are very unpredictable; you never know how many enquiries you’re going to get each day. However many, they have to be worked around your appointments, as well as existing and incoming bookings. Some people say they’d find it too stressful, but I get a buzz from the busyness. Luckily, I’m a naturally organised person - I’m always the one organising everyone else’s stuff! Memorable moment? Last year, a colleague and I got dressed up every Friday and Saturday night in December, as part of one of the Christmas party nights that Rockliffe offers. It was ���A Christmas Carol’ theme and I dressed up as the Ghost of Christmas Past, or something ridiculous like that.Very funny. Tell me something about yourself that no-one else knows… I love music. I play the piano and clarinet.

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ROOM TIME // Retail Therapy

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Bling things 1. Alessandro M and Anna G corkscrew by Alessandro Mendini in collaboration with Alessi, £26&£29.95 www.alessi.com 2. Noville jacket, £119 www. elandesignerwear.co.uk 3. Battersea Chronograph Gold Tone Dial Bracelet Watch, £150, www.radley.co.uk 4. Radiant Cut Diamond Ring, £13,000, www. davidsonsthejewellers.co.uk 5. Fendi sunglasses, £305, www.sunglasses-shop.co.uk 6. Castor Leather Gloves, £59.95, www.barbour.com 7. Vivienne Westwood Black Bucket Bag, £499, House of Fraser 8. Ratio Wax Jacket, £349, www.barbour.com 9. BeoPlay H2 Headphones, £169, Bang & Olufsen

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BEAUTY // Guide to Gorgeous

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BEAUTY //Guide to Gorgeous

seasons in the sun (and the snow, showers and shade) BE GUIDED THROUGH A BEAUTY YEAR. By Victoria Lees, Rockliffe Spa Manager

spring has sprung! While most see January as the ideal time to reboot their fitness and beauty regimes, I feel a more appealing time (and more realistic) is Spring, with the weather brightening up and Summer goals on the horizon. Spring clean your make-up bag How is your make-up bag looking? Is everything gleaming clean and easy to find or could it do with an audit? Spring is a great time for a good sort out. Lay out an old towel and cover with a double layer of kitchen paper to then dump out your entire bag. From there sort into what is past its best, what needs a clean and what you haven’t worn since 1987. Powder make-up has the longest shelf life as it is inert and harder for bacteria to grow so eyeshadows and face powders are generally OK for up to two years. Cream-based make up deteriorates more quickly so six months is a general guide for how long something is good for (with the exception of mascara which should be discarded after just two months!) Incidentally, in my humble opinion you will never find a mascara as wonderful as Eye Supreme Mascara by Comfort Zone (£20). It never clumps and is beautifully glossy to the last stroke. Make up brushes work most effectively when they are clean and well maintained. The easiest method for a hygienic clean is to use an anti-bacterial washing up liquid. The surfactants in the liquid cut through any grease on the brushes, remove any trace of make-up and prolong the life of the brush. Just squirt a dollop of washing up liquid into your palm, wet the brush and swirl the bristles gently into the liquid, rinsing and repeating until the water runs clear. Then using kitchen paper squeeze out any water and reshape the brush before lying flat on a surface with the bristles hanging over the edge to air dry, (do not dry brushes upright as any residual moisture will run into the metal ferrule and rot the bristles.

Quality make-up brushes that are well looked after can last a lifetime. I’ve had the same set of Daniel Sandler make-up brushes since 2007 and they have performed brilliantly for thousands of uses (from £10). To clean make-up itself you can use a tissue to remove, or skim, the top layer then spritz with spray hand sanitizer. After all that hard work why don’t you treat yourself to a lovely new make-up bag to put it all into? How is your skin care routine? Spring is a great time to review your skincare routine. What better way to find out if you are maximising the results of your skincare than to ask the experts? Either by having your skin diagnosed during a professional facial at the Spa, a chat with one of our trained Boutique team or at one of our skincare workshops. Our team is experienced and well-trained to advise on any skincare concerns, whether it be ageing, acne, rosacea or sensitivity.

summer Whether you’re jetting off to exotic lands or soaking up the rays in the back garden, the feel of the warmth from the sun on your skin is one of the most pleasurable sensations you can have. Think benefits from the increased vitamin D levels and that general feel-good factor that a little sunshine can bring. In this age of information we are also all too aware that too much sun is a bad thing which can cause sunburn, accelerated skin ageing and most seriously, melanomas, but with a little planning and preparation all you have need to worry about is tan lines! Before you go A full body exfoliation is key for preventing prickly heat and to get your skin looking great. Either have a scrub done professionally at the Spa or for a home treatment look for a product which contains AHA’s (skin sloughing fruit acids) as well as grains for a deeper exfoliation. >>

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BEAUTY //Guide to Gorgeous

<< I love Body Strategist Scrub (£36) by Comfort Zone as it smells divine and is so quick and easy to use. Sun Soul Tan Maximiser (£22) is a worthwhile investment if a golden, long lasting tan is your aim. Ideally use twice daily for up to two weeks before you go for a more accelerated, intense and prolonged tan. In the sun Apply your protection early and often, I’m a factor 30 girl myself but each to their own. Just make sure that your sun cream is broad-spectrum which ensures you are protected from both the ageing and the burning effects of the sun. Aftersun creams and lotions are not just wonderfully cooling but also essential for keeping the skin hydrated and nourished which will prolong your tan and prevent unsightly peeling. On the subject of hydration, don’t forget to drink plenty of water - Piña Colada doesn’t count! Home sweet home Don’t just sling your aftersun in the cupboard for next year, keep using it for the next two weeks. It will be specially designed to keep sun-parched skin looking and feeling its best. Gradual tanning lotions come into their own post-holiday to gently keep your tan looking great. Just apply as you would a body lotion, every other day is usually enough and from my own experiences I can wholeheartedly recommend wearing gloves for application. Have a happy, safe and fun summer.

autumn Autumn is my favourite season. A time for a change of weather and wardrobe and a time to shake up the beauty regime with a few beauty swaps. Goodbye tan hello radiant skin A golden glow looks amazing in summer but can start to look grubby as the tone of sunlight changes to a cooler hue. This is a great time to buff the skin and change your foundation to more of an ivory or porcelain shade for that flattering ‘lit from within look.’ Hibernate the razor As legs are less likely to be on show, this is a great time to get into a waxing routine. A four-week ‘hair growth’ is ideal for best results from a waxing treatment, that way when summer swings around again you are good to go. Give me a break I like to take a break from colour polishes and gels and instead opt for a nail treatment. There are so many available for any nail care concern such as weak, brittle or flaking nails. Nailtrition by ORLY (£7) not only strengthens and speeds up growth of nails but also has a pearly pink hue which just perfects the look of naked nails. One summer habit you should never stop is using a good SPF every day. Although it’s hardly bikini weather the ageing effects of the sun are still strong. If your moisturiser or foundation doesn’t contain an

SPF, I would definitely seek out a lightweight lotion to boost protection.

winter When beauty is the last thing on your mind… Periods of ill health are an inevitable and unavoidable part of life whether it’s the latest bug going around or something more serious. How we look and how our skin feels is directly linked to how we feel. When we are unduly stressed or unwell the skin’s natural functions are affected and you may experience some surprising and unwelcome side effects such as drier skin, more sensitivity than usual, and your skin may feel itchy or even sore. Some medications and treatments can make things even worse, so what can we do to minimise discomfort when you are suffering a bout of ill health? Be gentle Select a skincare range designed for sensitive skin, these ranges normally have little or no fragrance and calm and soothe irritated skin. Be safe As your immune system is working overtime you may be more susceptible to bugs so ensure you are careful to wash any flannels or makeup brushes used daily. Be hydrated Ensure you drink plenty of water and eat lots of water-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables. This will not only aid your recovery but also keep your skin cells hydrated, easing that tight, dry feeling. Be comfortable If you are finding your lips, nose, elbows and feet are so dry they are almost cracking, smother them in a rich balm before bed. Be pampered A Spa day can be just the boost needed for anyone suffering with or recovering from the effects of illness. It comes as a surprise to many that some treatments and facilities can cause complications when it comes to the healing process and not only that, but at such a sensitive time the last thing you want to do is discuss your health over a consultation form. However, this can be handled before you even arrive by arranging a pre-arrival consultation call to ensure you get the best treatment with the therapist most suited to your needs. A great website which recommends Spas who cater for Recovery Retreats is www.spabreaks.com. Wishing you a happy and healthy year!

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skin, science, soul Skin is the mirror of our mental wellbeing, physical state and of all the choices we make every day. [ comfort zone ] mission is to promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, with conscious and advanced science-based solutions to visibly improve skin, body and mind. Rockliffe Hall and [ comfort zone ] have enjoyed a committed and successful partnership delivering 5 star, luxury, results-orientated treatments and expertise for many years. We pride ourselves in working closely with Rockliffe Hall to ensure the highest level of treatments for all guests all of the time through extensive and bespoke education incorporating lifestyle and wellness coaching within all our training. It is our passion to share our knowledge and expertise with all therapists in all aspects of wellness, so that they in turn can share their knowledge with guests in the hope that we can all lead a happier, healthier and less stressful life. To celebrate the opening of Rockliffe Hall’s extra special Spa Garden, featuring a blend of indoor and outdoor experiences for that extra touch of tranquillity, we are proud to also celebrate the launch of Rockliffe Hall’s very own Sublime Skin Signature Treatment. Embracing the impact of ageing on the skin, this beautifully relaxing yet unbelievably powerful treatment harnesses the [ comfort zone ] new Archi-lift technology delivering an instant re-plumping effect, stimulating the skin’s ability to regenerate and resulting in a smoother, radiant and more youthful skin. The results are astounding. For more information about [ comfort zone ] exclusive Products and Treatments go to www.the-comfort-zone.co.uk


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BEAUTY // Face Fabulous

the man with the glam DANIEL SANDLER IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST-KNOWN MAKEUP ARTISTS AND REGULAR VISITOR TO ROCKLIFFE HALL WHERE HE HOSTS BEAUTY DEMONSTRATIONS AND WORKSHOPS. He’s the expert on glamming up for party-time and looking your best for weddings, parties and very special occasions - which is of course what Rockliffe Hall is all about. So, appropriately, here are his insider tips on keeping the glow going... 1. A quick trick to freshen up foundation is to use blotting papers to absorb any shine followed by a light dusting of an invisible powder, the Daniel Sandler Invisible Blotting powder is fantastic as it doesn’t cake, dry out the skin or alter the shade of your foundation. 2. Enhance collarbones and lengthen legs with strategic placement of shimmery highlights. Concentrate on areas that would reflect the light naturally. A great product for this is our Billion Dollar Body Shimmer and many perfume ranges have a shimmery body lotion so you can smell divine too. 3. For perfect lips, nothing gives a more precise, professional finish to a pout than applying some lip pencil. Whether you’re creating a dramatic statement or a natural day time look, it’s always best to create a little definition so that lips look full and finished. Lip pencils can also help prevent lip colour from feathering into the fine lines around the mouth. Lips tips: Here are my best lip tips: • Before applying lipstick or pencil, prep lips with my Retexturising Face Primer to help create a smoother looking lip surface and help lock lip colour into place.

• Line around the edge of your mouth with my Magic Wand invisible lip pencil. This will fill in any fine lines and create an even better result once you’ve applied pencil and lipstick. • It’s always personal choice as to whether lips should be lined subtly or not but my rule of thumb is to apply pencil after lipstick application so that you get a softer, more flattering finish. 4. Get the eyes right with mascara applied to every single eyelash on your upper and lower lashes regardless of formula or the finish you wish to achieve. I always think it’s much nicer for eyelashes to look more glamorous at night time because it will make you look extra special and make your make-up look different to how it does during the day. I’m a big fan of black mascara as this always contrasts well against the whites of the eye and helps eyes to look brighter, younger and less pink. My top tip for the perfect mascara application is to first make sure your eyelashes are absolutely clean, product free, grease free and dry. Curl them or ideally have your eyelashes permed regularly then apply a single coat along the lower lashes from the inner to outer corner, then apply a single coat to the upper lashes starting at the inner corner wiggling the brush from the lash root to the tip. As you work the brush along from the inner to the outer corner make sure you apply a little extra mascara

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to the outer edge of lashes as these will give the eye an instant lift and extend the eye outwards. 5. Brides will be camera-ready with these tips: Avoid too much moisturiser under your Base or it will cause make-up to slide. • Go easy on shimmer. It’s OK to sparkle elegantly on eyes and cheeks but keep it to a minimum or it may look too ‘disco’ if you’re being filmed in HD. • Keep skin “glowing” by not applying powder all over your face. Dust in on the T zone and jaw line only. 6. If you want make-up to last, I swear by makeup primer, this is the key to creating a flawless, naturallooking fresh face is getting the basics right. Zone it onto clean, bare eye lids so eye shadows last longer then apply to lips before lipstick, pencil or gloss to lock in lip colour and give lips a smoother, younger finish. It’s colourless, weightless, light-reflecting oil-free serum gel with SPF 20. More mature skins may want to disguise a sagging chin - sweep matte bronzer onto the neck and along your jawline. Try my Mineral Finishing Powder in Spice Twice for contouring and as your perfect natural toned blusher. All products available from the Spa Boutique at Rockliffe Hall Special occasion make-up application, £30.


BEAUTY // Face Fabulous

what makes us tick MATTY HYNES FITNESS SPECIALIST What do you do? I’m based at Rockliffe’s state-of-the-art gym, working with our members to help them become fitter and make the most of our fantastic equipment and facilities. How long have you worked at Rockliffe? I’ve been here for nearly three years. What makes you tick? I love the fact that I work at one of the most respected hotels (and spas) in the North East. Getting to work with a variety of different people on a daily basis is also really fun.  Memorable moment? The opening of our new Spa Garden. It’s been fantastic to see all of our hard work and dedication pay off - it’s a really outstanding space. Tell me something about yourself that no-one else knows... I am a Great British and international athlete. I’ve won many national medals over different distances. I hope to be in Rio next year for the Olympics, competing in the marathon distance. Hopefully I will win medals on the international stage over the next six to eight years!

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LAY YOUR HEAD // Rockliffeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guest-List

celeb stays THEY CAME, THEY STAYED, THEY LOVED.

Alan Carr Michael McIntyre Jeff Stelling Charlie Nichol Jeffrey Archer Ian Botham Chris Kamara Team GB England football team 2012 NZ All Blacks Rugby World Cup team 2015 George & Larry Lamb Bryan Adams Ray Quinn Joe McElderry The Calendar Girls Joanne Harris Pam Royle Michael Palin

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SPECIAL GUESTS // Dog Days

mooch with a pooch FIVE-STAR POOCHES ARE MORE THAN WELCOME AT ROCKLIFFE HALL – WE RECENTLY WELCOMED OUR FIRST CANINE VISITORS.

Due to popular demand, Rockliffe Hall has become dog-friendly with a number of rooms now available for guests wishing to bring their happy hounds. During their stay, dogs can live like the pampered pooches they deserve to be with special ‘doggy gifts’ and owners invited to walk their pets on a new, dedicated dog-walk route through the 365 acre estate. Since opening in 2009, our 5* resort has continued to enjoy increasing visitor numbers, especially those coming to the area to walk or shoot in the surrounding countryside of the North York Moors and Durham Dales.

Chief executive, Eamonn Elliott, explains: “We’ve been getting more and more requests from dog owners who want to bring their pets away with them. After all, we are at the heart of some glorious countryside, ideal for walkers and shooting parties. We’ve now taken the decision, like many hotels in similarly glorious locations, to make a number of our rooms dog-friendly so that people can bring their pets and we have created designated areas throughout the resort for dogs so as not to compromise the high standards that people have come to expect from Rockliffe Hall.”

TAKE THE LEAD... Here’s the perfect walk to Hurworth village.You’ll end up near the Bay Horse pub with its hound-friendly beer garden for a water and beer stop!

Riverside to Hurworth: From hotel reception walk up the drive, taking the public right of way to the right of the crossing. You will cross a stile in front of a row of houses and the path continues across the edge of the field to Blind Lane. When you cross the stile into the lane, turn right all the way down to the river, enjoying beautiful views over the golf course. Once you have passed two barns on the left, continue until you come to a sharp left turning off the lane following the river bank. Continue through the fields and over a stile where the path narrows at the river bank (welly-alert: this area can get very muddy and slippy during wet periods). After the next stile follow the path on the right side of the field into a further stile in the corner which will take you to the lane into the village. Head for the Bay Horse on the main street or, at the top of the lane, turn left and left again after the houses which will take you back down Blind Lane. Look out for the stile you came over before, now on your right, which takes you back to the hotel.

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XXXXX // Xxxxxx

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MOTORS // Arrive in Style

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MOTORS // Arrive in Style

BENTLEY HAS JOINED THE SUV GANG BUT ITS NEW BENTAYGA IS OUT TO BE THE LEADER OF THE PACK, SAYS JOSH SIMS.

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The car market has long associated luxury with long and low, sleek and stately. It’s the ingrained selfperception of the industry’s top marques that, informed by that association, consequently has steered them away from SUVs. The erstwhile Chelsea Tractor may be practical, but then what has luxury to do with practicality? Never mind the need to move, say, a small army of children and attendant paraphernalia from one appointment to the next - just enjoy the lines and the leather and cram all that stuff into the second car. Leave my Bentley alone thanks very much. But attitudes are changing. Over the last few years there’s been an appreciation both that even those wealthy enough to buy a car at the top of the automotive tree have lives that don’t necessarily marry with the advertising image presented by the brands one long carefree, sunlit drive down an open road; and that those same people don’t particularly only want to drive their special car on those special occasions when they’re free of the pulls of other responsibilities, or, since the wealthy are getting younger, when they’re not going surfing. Or whatever young people do. They want a car as good-looking but as functional as, say, their smartphone. Hence the advent of the luxe SUV, the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, the recently launched Porsche Macan, Maserati’s Levante - slated for launch in 2017 - and, due 2018, even an SUV from Lamborghini of all brands. Actually Lamborghini was a pioneer here: back in 1986 it launched its short-lived LM002, a four-wheel drive SUV dubbed the ‘Rambo Lambo’. Now its new Urus - unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show - will be the kind of car to do the school run in double-quick time: it will have a crazy top speed in excess of 200mph. Jaguar now has an SUV prototype too - dubbed the C-X17, Rolls Royce has hinted that an SUV would fit into its line-up, with Aston Martin also rumoured to be considering its options. Small wonder that premium SUV sales are expected to surge 32% to 4.93m vehicles in 2020, according to the IHS Automotive Forecast, and this in the face of governmental squeezes on emissions standards (VW-style evasiveness notwithstanding). Intriguingly this growth is expected to be led by China and India, not simply because of the ready money in these emerging economies, but because many wealthy Chinese have chauffeurs, and so aren’t comfortable driving high-performance sports cars, and because India lacks the road infrastructure suitable for low-slung cars. Now comes Bentley, pipping most to the post with its Bentayga, what the company is calling its “most significant launch in a decade... [set to] redefine what an SUV can be in the eyes of an ever-growing New Luxury audience.” It’s a market, indeed, that Bentley says, “we intend to dominate”. Well, it isn’t taking chances: this is the most expensive SUV to hit the roads so far. And while the Crewe-based carmaker has created a model that is recognisably a Bentley - one of the challenges that has put many an auto company off attempting an SUV - just about everything else is new: >>


MOTORS // Arrive in Style

Over the last few years there’s been an appreciation that even those wealthy enough to buy a car at the top of the automotive tree have lives that don’t necessarily marry with the advertising image of a sunlit drive down an open road. They want a car as goodlooking but as functional as, say, their smartphone

<< the body is made from a new lightweight but rigid aluminium/steel mix; and the engine is a new 12-cylinder engine which, Bentley claims, offers the best power, torque and economy combination of any SUV. And there is a lot of tech too: night vision, LED headlights, head-up display, driver assistance and anti-roll systems. The company is expecting a lot of Range Rover drivers to trade up. It’s all very well, of course, but where does one put one’s surfboard, or bevy of pushchairs? While the SUV style of vehicle may have a certain fashionability that makes it appealing to those too young to have kids or too old to be riding those white horses, all the same ultimately it is about delivering practical solutions to the demands of everyday driving, albeit now dressed up in an especially tempting package. Perhaps this is why, for all the bespoke paintwork and choice of hides for the upholstery, Bentley is also driving home such unsexy details as the fact that the Bentayga has a single-piece tailgate that makes it easier to get things out of the boot, and a boot with a seating platform that can be used as a boot divider at that. It also has what it is calling “the most

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integrated infotainment system on the market”, with a communications network six times faster than any Bentley to date and an increased graphics capability for multiple high-definition video streams, with audio coming out of 20 - count’ em - speakers. That one thousandth viewing of the complete works of Peppa Pig will never look or sound so good - but at least it’s better than the wailing. Bentley takes this burgeoning market one step on in another way too. Refreshingly, unlike many of the other manufacturers of premium SUVs, and probably the luxury ones to come, Bentley isn’t even pretending that anyone is going to take the Bentayga over too much rough terrain, not matter how utilitarian a vehicle it may be. Indeed, some of the thinking behind this potent new model tacitly acknowledges that, no matter how swanky your car is, you’ll still be stuck in the same city jam as the guy in the battered Skoda. This is why perhaps the most welcome of the Bentayga’s innovations is its traffic assist system. This means that, up to speeds of 3 km/h, the car can progress completely autonomously, leaving you with the chance to wipe yogurt from the dashboard or scrabble to find the dropped soft toy yet again.


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STYLE STAKES // Shopping

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GOLF // Groundwork

how green was my valley PETE NEWTON IS ROCKLIFFE’S COURSE MANAGER AND EVERY BLADE OF GRASS ON HIS CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE IS A PRECIOUS ONE.

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GOLF // Groundwork

Managing one of Europe’s longest golf courses is no mean feat but Pete Newton, Rockliffe’s Course Manager, relishes the challenge every day. Pete has been a member of the greenkeeping team since the word go. He joined the team in February 2008 as Head Greenkeeper, supervising the construction and grow-in of the course and has played a major role in its development into one of the country’s most exceptional golf courses. So how did it all start? Did Pete always aspire to be a master greenkeeper? “My dad worked in agriculture but he always advised me not to follow in his footsteps because there wasn’t enough money in it! I’d always loved sport, and studied Sports Science at college,” said Pete. “If I wasn’t going to go into agriculture, I still wanted to spend as much time as I could outside!” So after college, Pete started as a trainee greenkeeper at Rochdale Golf Club in 1997, while studying a HND in Turf Science and Golf Course Management at Myerscough College in Preston. He then spent time at the Marriott suites at Forest of

I also love the variety of wildlife on the course. People don’t realise, but there are so many different species living here. Swans, geese, ducks and moorhens all breed here

typical day Up at 5.40am Write jobs up for lads. The team start at 6am. We have a morning meeting where we discuss any special requirements from the golfers that day and go through everything that needs doing. I like to get out too so I can be doing anything from mowing to spraying, changing bunkers, raking, you name it!

Arden and Worsley Park, working on the English Open and the British Masters, before becoming Deputy Head Greenkeeper on the Brabazon Course at The Belfry before joining Rockliffe. “The best thing about my job is being able to create the most amazing playing surfaces with a natural product. Technology has moved on so much and we’re now developing grass to be playable at 2mm, rather than long like it used to be.” “We use a special blend of creeping bent grass which is an American blended grass on our greens which provides a better putting surface. We also have a turf >>

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GOLF // Groundwork

what makes us tick MARTIN STUBBINGS HEAD OF INSTRUCTION AT ROCKLIFFE HALL GOLF CLUB

<< nursery on site which is grown and treated in exactly the same way as the greens so we can quickly and easily replace damaged patches.” Pete, who tries to squeeze in the occasional game of golf (he plays off 20) says no two days are the same as a greenkeeper: “The challenges keep throwing themselves at us on a daily basis. If you haven’t got birds pecking at the grass, you’ve got a hydraulic leak on a piece of machinery or a grass disease to diagnose and treat.” “I also love the variety of wildlife on the course. People don’t realise, but there are so many different species living here. Swans, geese, ducks and moorhens all breed here – a bird watcher told me recently he’d seen water rail here too, which until then hadn’t been seen in this area since the 1960s” In October 2013 Rockliffe hosted the English Senior

Open for the first time. “To have a huge event like that here, so soon after opening, was a huge achievement and a credit to the whole team. We had five weeks to prepare, which, although it put the pressure on, we took in our stride because the course was competition ready anyway. We had around 10,000 spectators during the competition – there was a fantastic atmosphere and it gave us all a huge buzz!” “A lot of the team hadn’t done a tournament before. Of course, they were well-trained and totally prepared, but it was a fantastic experience for everyone! And to have the players telling us the greens at Rockliffe are the best they’d played on all season (considering they’d also played all over the world), was huge praise for us!” Rockliffe hosted the event again in August 2014. “We had a whole year to prepare for it that time!” adds Pete.

facts THE TEAM 9 greenkeepers, 1 mechanic, 1 head gardener and 2 assistants. 4 seasonal staff on greens in summer. Between 70 and 120 players a day £700,000 worth of equipment including tractors, trailers, top dressers, 9 ride-on mowers, strimmers. 17 buggies

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What do you do? I’m a golf professional, so I spend my time coaching people of all different levels, from visitors and hotel residents, to our club members. I also work in our golf shop and work in golf operations, dealing with the needs and requests of people who come in to play golf. How long have you worked at the hotel? It’ll be three years in December. What makes you tick? Technically, I’m front of house, so I get to meet all kinds of people on a daily basis. I also get to know our members really well, which is great. They’re very special to us and a huge part of what we do at the golf club. Being able to work outside - certainly in the summer - is also a bonus. Our grounds are stunning and our facilities are top-notch, which, as a professional, makes my job even more of a pleasure. I also love being able to help people become better golfers, whether they’re in it for the long-haul, or just for the weekend! Memorable moment? Probably the first senior open that we hosted. It was the first time that I was involved in such a high-profile event and seeing a lot of famous faces playing on our courses was fantastic. I also love the fact that we’re able to offer such a high standard of service to our members and guests. It makes me feel proud when I hear them raving about their experiences at the resort. Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows… I have a bit of an issue with cars to be honest… I’ve had quite a few, let’s put it that way! I’ve had quite a few BMWs and Mercedes. Growing up as a golfer, I’ve had the opportunity to drive some pretty stupid cars and I’ve wasted a lot of money on them. But, they’ve always been a big hobby of mine. I love motor racing. I drive a Vauxhall Astra now - I’m too old and past it!


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12/10/2015 09:29


PROFILE // Graeme Storm

stormin’ to success ROCKLIFFE HALL’S GOLF PROFESSIONAL AND EUROPEAN TOUR PLAYER, GRAEME STORM, IS RIDING HIGH AFTER A FABULOUS SEASON.

2015 has been a good year for Graeme Storm, riding high after qualifying for a Tour card for the 2016 season. He turned professional in 2000. In 2007 he won his first European Tour event, with a single shot victory at the Open de France ALSTOM and he has also won twice on the Challenge Tour. When did you pick up a club? My grandfather introduced me to the game when I was 11 so it’s always been a big part of my life. What was your first set of clubs? My first set of clubs was a half set of John Letters junior with persimmon woods and a very cheap and nasty putter but I was deadly with it. A good piece of advice? There’s one thing I am told time and again, so I do consider it to be the best piece of advice - keep my head down whilst putting and listen for the ball going into the cup. What was the last book you read? I’m not a massive reader of books but when I do read I love autobiographies and true stories. The last book I finished was Seabiscuit. What was your first trophy? I think it was a junior club competition- the Club Cup. Tell us a memorable movie Wolf of Wall Street- great movie! Was there ever another job you considered? I get asked that a lot and, in all of these years, I’ve never really known how to answer. There was never an option for me other than golf. Who is your golfing hero? There’s a few- Seve of course, Berhard Langer and Nick Faldo. Who would be in your ideal fourball Seve, Jack Nicklaus and John Daly. Who would you invite for dinner? Shane Lowry, Oli Fisher, Richard Finch and Mark Foster- when we all get together for dinner when we’re on tour, we have great fun and there’s so much to talk about. What is your most memorable shot? The most memorable shot I have ever hit has to now be the hole-in-one in Switzerland this year as it won me an awesome BMWi8 sports car. I have hit

many great shots but this one certainly will live with me forever. Your favourite course in the North-East? It has to be Rockliffe Hall’s course as there isn’t anything like it in the North of England and it is most probably the most challenging, as well as always being in great condition all year round. But it’s great for golfers of all standards- from beginner to pro as you can play off a choice of 5 tees. What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on a golf course? I’ve seen quite a few funny things happen on the golf course but none funnier than when Richard Finch fell into the river before going on to win the Irish Open at Adare Manor. Hilarious! Your favourite pub/restaurant for a night out? I haven’t really got a favourite restaurant as I like to try lots of different places. But I do always enjoy going to The Orangery at Rockliffe Hall. Great cocktails, amazing food and a lovely atmosphere. What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you? That I would never make it as a golfer - but I have had the last laugh there, I think. Who would play you in a movie? I think Jude Law would be the right man with the same hair line or no hair. Your favourite song? ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is my favourite song as I am a huge Liverpool fan and it’s wonderful when the song is played before every game at Anfield. What is your proudest moment in your golfing life so far? I would have to say that I have been lucky enough to have had many great moments in golf, from winning the British Amateur Championship to playing in a winning Walker Cup side holing the winning putt and, of course, winning the French Open in 2007. They were all proud moments. What is the biggest issue in golf? Slow play is the biggest issue in golf and one that is spoiling the game. I would tackle it by penalising people shots rather than fining them as a shot added to their score would hurt more and may also cost them the chance of winning. This would stop it all. Finally, who is golf’s greatest player? For me it has to be Jack Nicklaus.

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COURSEWORK // Whole View

Some of Marc Westenborg’s favourite holes on the Rockliffe Course

big hitters ROCKLIFFE’S GOLF ARCHITECT MARC WESTENBORG CASTS AN EXPERT EYE OVER HIS FAVOURITE HOLES AT HURWORTH. When I first came to visit the site for Rockliffe Hall’s new golf course I was struck by how flat the site was. Some architects might not like this, but for me it was a blank canvas, the opportunity to allow my “creative juices” to flow, something that would be needed to create a spectacular golf course out of a relatively bland piece of land My brief was to design a world class course in beautiful surroundings and I believe we’ve really created something special. Every hole is distinctive and memorable. From the back tees, the golf course is a mammoth 7879 yards, but these are only for low handicappers. There are four further tee platforms ensuring the length of the golf course is fair and enjoyable for players of all abilities. One of the main challenges for us was that because the course is set right next to the River Tees, it’s on a flood plain and does occasionally burst its banks. The Environment Agency’s stipulations were that if we were to raise the ground level of the course, and in so doing, reduce the storage capacity of the flood plain, we would have to include, in the design, a way of compensating

for that. So, we had to dig several large attenuation basins around the course, serving as storage for the water to flood in to when necessary. These basins have created a positive ecological effect too. We planted flood-tolerant vegetation and just allowed nature to take its course, which it has with fantastic effect. The result is interesting and strategically strong golf holes meandering through new water features, wetlands and the floodplain storage basins, as well as species-rich grasslands and tree plantations. It’s an ecological haven! You’d think, with all the time I spend on golf courses, that I’d be a brilliant player, but I’m not. Just average! I play off 12. But I think that helps as I can understand how hard a course is for a higher handicapped golfer and it helps me design courses that are challenging for players of every level. I like to return to the courses I’ve designed, to see how they’re developing and growing. Not least Rockliffe. I love staying in the hotel and we’ve had many family events there over the years, including our wedding anniversaries and most

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recently we celebrated my father’s 80th birthday. Every hole on the course is special but if I had to choose my four favourites it would be these. I love the Par 3s on the golf course; the 2nd with a green angled such that, depending on where the pin is placed, it could be anything from a 5 iron to an 8 iron; the 5th hole, every golfers dream (and nightmare), an island green; the 12th hole with its undulating green and sharp drop off along the left and finally the 15th partially over a beautiful reed-lined lake to a green on its edge. My favourite Par 5 is the 17th, especially the approach that has a deep valley in front of the green. The effect of the valley, which is hidden from view by a bunker 60-yards short, is that it creates an area of what we architects describe as “dead ground”, given the appearance that the green is much closer than it really is. The most striking Par 4 would be the 18th. It’s a short Par 4 but the combination of the hotel in the background, the clubhouse, a wetland and mature trees makes it a spectacular and challenging finish.


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COUNTDOWN// Figure it Out

29 312 2000

S

M

IL

FF

70

35°

STRESSED SHOULDERS SOOTHED

I N G S TA

THE BALMY HYDROTHERAPY POOL

Champagne corks popped website visitors

8100 GOLF BALLS DRIVEN, PITCHED & PUTTED

33,000

trees blowing in the wind

4

pools to dip into

the numbers game ROCKLIFFE’S DAY REVEALED IN SURPRISING STYLE.

happy couple

‘Aaah’

1 90 566 244

PILLOWS FLUFFED 46 LIMES SLICED FOR COCKTAILS

100

scones warm from the oven

71 social media check-ins

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TOWELS FOLDED

grateful guests

1400

pieces of cutlery polished


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BIG DAYS // Diary Dates

social, stylish, sporty & seasonal HERE’S OUR PICK OF THE YEAR’S MOST EXCITING DIARY DATES.

hats off RIPON LADIES’ DAY JUNE 16, 2016 Ripon’s Ladies’ Day sees afternoon racing and high-fashion combine, complete with live entertainment throughout the day. Past events have included the likes of Yorkshire-based milliner, Jenny Roberts with advice on how to get ahead in the hat stakes. Listen to live music and watch the ‘Best Dressed’ ladies competition - with luxury prizes to win, from cash gifts, vouchers and champagne to spa weekends and jewellery. A day to don your most fabulous frocks and fascinators for. www.ripon-races.co.uk

EBOR FESTIVAL YORK RACECOURSE AUGUST

THIRSK RACECOURSE, NORTH YORKSHIRE SEPTEMBER

Head to the award-winning grandstands and manicured lawns of York Racecourse for four days of sporting excellence. When the fun of Ladies’ Day is over, be sure to stick around until the final day for the festival’s most famous feature race and the richest flat handicap in Europe, the Betfred Ebor. This is one of the last major race meetings of the flat season, and attracts racegoers from all over the UK and overseas. The buzz about the racecourse on Ebor day is infectious, making it an absolute must-visit within the summer calendar. www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

Held on the beautifully-kept lawns of Thirsk Racecourse, Thirsk Ladies’ Day is the place to be for women who love their fashion, food and racing. Do it in style with a Lawn Marquee Premier Package, which includes a glass of bubbly on arrival, exclusive access to the Lawn Marquee, a light buffet lunch and traditional English afternoon tea. www.thirskracecourse.net

94 // Rockliffe Hall Magazine


BIG DAYS // Diary Dates

cultured moments DURHAM BOOK FESTIVAL OCTOBER This is a must on the literary festivals calendar. The Book Festival brings big names to the city, such as Pat Barker, Stuart Maconie, Lauren Laverne, Philip Pullman and Bill Bryson for talks, workshops and Q&As. www.durhambookfestival.com

MALTON FOOD LOVERS’ FOOD FESTIVAL MALTON, NORTH YORKSHIRE MAY 28 & 29 2016 This is a big pull for the gourmet in one of the country’s most ‘foodie’ towns. Known as Yorkshire’s ‘food capital’, Malton hosts the Food Lovers’ Festival bringing together a feast of mouth-watering events in celebration of the very best of Yorkshire produce and cooking. A packed programme of practical cookery lessons, tutored tasting sessions, inspiring talks and celebrity chef demonstrations - and, of course, the temptation of the festival’s street food stalls. www.maltonyorkshire.co.uk/food-lovers-festival/

Gardening in style. Stripes come as standard.

FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS DURHAM CATHEDRAL DECEMBER A truly atmospheric festive event. Durham Cathedral’s traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is an incredibly moving service which always begins in darkness with a solo chorister singing the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City. Be inspired as lessons are read and the Cathedral Choir sings beautiful carols to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. A true highlight of the festive season, to guarantee the ‘warm and fuzzy’ festive moment. www.durhamcathedral.co.uk

STAITHES ART FESTIVAL NORTH YORKSHIRE SEPTEMBER Staithes’ annual Art Festival has become a must-visit in the regional arts calendar. The charming coastal village has a long history as a centre for artists, most notably the Victorian ‘Staithes Group’. The festival sees more than 100 of the village’s cottages transformed into art galleries for a selling exhibition of work created by both residents and visiting artists.Visitors are also able to take part in a programme of guided walks, workshops, talks and film shows and enjoy live music, ranging from street buskers to sea shanty concerts. www.staithesfestival.com

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95 // Rockliffe Hall Magazine

Contact our experts. Lawn & Garden: Paul Thompson

07971 491 063

Golf and Groundcare: Alistair Whitby 07971 491 052


BIG DAYS // Diary Dates

showtime GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOW GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOWGROUND, HARROGATE, NORTH YORKSHIRE JULY 12-14, 2016 The Great Yorkshire Show features the best of British farming and is England’s premier agricultural show. Organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, it provides visitors with first-hand experience of agriculture and rural life through demonstrations, exhibitions and competitions, as well as exciting ring displays and around 1,200 stands offering everything from designer clothing to combine harvesters! Like every year, the competitive classes, featuring everything from bulls to bunnies, will be at the heart of 2016’s event, which will be the 158th show. Expect fashion shows, cookery demonstrations and perhaps a few Royals in the crowds, too. www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk

TASTE OF TEESDALE FOOD FESTIVAL RABY CASTLE, COUNTY DURHAM JULY Organised by Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market and held in the magnificent grounds of Raby Castle, the Taste of Teesdale Food Festival brings together an abundance of artisan food and drink from across the region. From bangers and bread to pickles and pies, visitors can meet and buy from local producers, while local chefs prepare a range of inventive and inspiring dishes on-site, suitable for all ages and tastes. www.tasteofteesdale.co.uk

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DURHAM REGATTA RIVER WEAR, DURHAM SECOND WEEKEND OF JUNE Dating back to 1834, Durham Regatta is the second oldest in the country and has long held a special place in the hearts of the North East’s rowing fans and racers. Today, the premier rowing event takes place over a 750-metre ‘short course’ on the scenic River Wear and regularly attracts in excess of 2,000 competitors and 10,000 spectators from across the UK. Racing takes place throughout the weekend and the Classic Car Rally is one of the Regatta’s most popular bank-side activities. www.durham-regatta.org.uk


BIG DAYS // Diary Dates

good sport TEST MATCH CRICKET DURHAM CCC, CHESTER-LE-STREET Durham Cricket Cub’s Riverside Ground at Chester-le-Street is home to key summer fixtures and in May 2016 brings the England v Sri Lanka Test. This will be the first Test Match at the ground since England dramatically won the Ashes in Durham in 2013 www.durhamccc.co.uk

CROFT CIRCUIT If you’ve a need for speed then Croft Circuit, virtually on the doorstep of the hotel, is the place to test your motor to the max. Try track days for driving experiences in everything from Lamborghinis to Porches whilst thrills-and-spills rally cross and touring car race days are the ultimate way to get revved up. www.croftcircuit.co.uk

98 // Rockliffe Hall Magazine


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