1189 Bar & Kitchen Launch


A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to the VIP launch of the new 1189 Bar & Kitchen at the beautiful Walworth Castle Hotel, just outside of Darlington.

The restaurant has opened it’s doors following a £50,000 refurbishment and I was so excited to head along with Adam and see what the menu had to offer!

We were met with a glass of fizz on arrival then made our way through to the restaurant, which is aptly named after the year the castle was built by Sir Gilbert Hansard. The room has a real cosy feel to it with subdued lighting and a gorgeous log fire, which I can see being a popular feature during the winter months!

The menu, which has been designed by head chef Steven Myers, offers everything from bar snacks to Chateaubriand and all ingredients are locally sourced from reputable suppliers. The restaurant are also happy and ready to cater for any food allergies you may have, as they want you to enjoy your meal without having to worry!


Hosted by BBC Tees’ Gary Phillipson, the launch included a range of canapés (which I’ll talk more about in a moment) and a gin tasting masterclass from Darlington’s Little Quaker Distillery. I am absolutely gutted that I was driving as I’m a huge gin fan and would have loved to have had a taste!

Now, onto the canapés…

Throughout the evening we were served various dishes from the menu in canapé form which was super exciting! First out were the starters including the likes of Sea Salt & Black Pepper Calamari with Tomato and Parmesan Relish, Yorkshire Game Terrine and, my favourite of the starter canapés, Leek and Cheddar Cheese Tart.


From the main menu we were treat to canapé versions of Roast Pork Belly with King Prawns, the Beer Battered Cod with Chips and the Chicken Parmo which were all divine, and finally from the dessert menu we were able to try mini versions of the likes of Sticky Toffee Pudding and Rich Chocolate Brownie.

The canapés that we tried were absolutely divine and the staff throughout the evening were incredibly friendly and helpful…especially when I kept annoying them by asking to take photos!

The restaurant serves food all day between 12pm and 9pm, 7 days a week and you best believe I’ll be heading back sometime soon for a proper meal! You can also head to Walworth Castle for Afternoon Tea which sounds fab, and you can find more details about that, and the hotel in general on their website.


Whilst we were there we were also given the chance to have a cheeky gander around the hotel itself, including a trip down the dungeon and a glance around two of the rooms available which were stunning. Adam and I also had a little wander around the grounds, as the sun was setting and it was honestly just breathtaking. You can definitely see why the Castle is such a popular wedding venue!

Chris and Rachel Swain have owned the property since 2000 and after briefly hearing Chris chat at the launch, and looking at the hotel/restaurant in general, it’s clear how passionate they are about giving visitors and guests the best experience they can.


Congratulations to the whole team on the launch of 1189 Bar & Kitchen – I can’t wait to go back soon!

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