A lovely evening was spent at the VIP opening of the newly refurbished Walworth castle restaurant and bar named 1189. After a £50,000 refurb I was expecting great things and I wasn’t disappointed. The whole place has been transformed but still retains the period style a castle is admired for. The name has been chosen as it was the year the castle was built by Sir Gilbert Hansard. The stunning menu has been designed by head chef Steven Myers and offers everything from snacks to chateaubriand and all ingredients are locally sourced. I thoroughly enjoyed the gin sampling by Darlington’s very own Little Quaker distillery which I purchased a bottle of before the evening was up. Canapes were served throughout the night and included starters of sea salt and black pepper calamari and leek and cheese tart. The main menu offered mini versions of beer battered cod and chips and chicken parmo (when in the North and all that!) and my favourite course the desserts did not disappoint with sticky toffee pudding being a personal favourite. Chris and Rachel swain have owned the property since 2000 and its clear how much they have invested to make the castle move with the times while still keeping its beauty and historic appeal. Congratulations to all of the team and look forward to dining in style again soon.