The Rat Inn, Hexham
+ Slow cooked belly pork
+ Red mullet with fennel
+ Homemade scotch eggs with kimchi
+ Wide range of ales
+ Climbed two places
+ One of the north's top venues
Phil and Karen previously owned a restaurant in Hexham called the Green Room, a derelict former railway luggage office which they refurbished and turned into an award-winning eatery, making the Michelin guide in six months of opening.
Up until two years ago, Phil headed up the kitchen at the Rat with a little help from Karen. However, they decided to invest in the business and expand their kitchen team with the addition of head chef Kevin Maclean.
Maclean joined the Rat Inn as head chef after making his name at the Michelin-starred Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Sky with Great British Menu winner Michael Smith.
Working closely with chef owner Phil, the duo creates dishes with the zeal and skill of high-end restaurant chefs but without any of the fuss.
Having a daily changing menu gives them a level of flexibility many chefs would kill for, working with whatever comes in that day, whether it’s succulent game or freshly caught seafood.