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Richard Allen's Autumn Blog

Executive Chef Richard Allen gives an update in his autumn blog about what has been happening at Rockliffe Hall and upcoming wine events.

As the trees start to weaken to the bronze shades of winter and the skies are ever more moody, this time of year for me is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite. It’s always heralded by the faintest smell of wood smoke and creeping ever nearer is the promise of Christmas which for a big kid like me is pretty exciting stuff!

Walking into the kitchens of the Orangery will never be a chore for me with the unbelievable produce that graces our work benches; from stunning game to guinea fowl and corn-fed duck, Jerusalem artichokes and the sweetest parsnips, not to forget the wonderful oysters, cod, plaice and hake from the deep, cold, clear waters of the North East.

My team here have really settled in nicely, the majority of whom followed me from Jersey which I was very humbled by. I would be nothing without the fantastic people around me and I am very lucky to be a part of it. Our stunning new hotel magazine is now out and looks the bomb! It’s full of great information and really captures what we are all about here at Rockliffe Hall. If you’re lucky enough you may even see me in there with a recipe or two to try on these cold winter nights.

We are currently planning a very special event here at Rockliffe where each of the head chefs from our Restaurants will each cook a course. The fantastic head chef from Middlesbrough Football Club John Phillips will be joining our very own Aaron Craig, Paul O’Hara and myself. We will each cook a course in our own style for you to enjoy and the night will all be brought together with some superb entertainment and late night shenanigans.

Our Perrier Jouët (don’t forget to pronounce the ‘T’) dinner went very well last week and was full of our wonderful locals who all seemed to have a ball. We have an amazing calendar of wine evenings in the Orangery Restaurant scheduled for next year and it’s a great way to see what we do, learn a little about different styles of wine and meet great people. Shaun Corrigan our Sommelier here at the Orangery has vast experience in the industry and always comes up trumps to make these events successful ones. If you haven’t already get in touch with the team on 01325 729999 and get yourselves booked in for the next one.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone so far for your huge support, myself and my wife Leanne have been blown away with the hospitality the North East has offered us, it’s made a big move very easy and I look forward to cooking for you all over the next few months.

Best wishes and happy cooking, until next time,


To find out more about food at Rockliffe Hall, please call 01325 729999 or email