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They may be closed right now but the pandemic certainly hasn’t stopped the creativity and ambition of some of the Tees Valley’s amazing hospitality businesses. Many have devised innovative ways to continue to provide their services throughout lockdown with take-outs, deliveries and virtual experiences, whilst new ventures are pushing ahead with plans for grand openings – when it is possible to do so.

Here’s our round-up of just a few of the Tees Valley businesses that have caught our eye and we think you need to visit (when you can).

1. Pinchinthorpe Hall, Guisborough

The grand opening of the glorious Pinchinthorpe Hall was unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic last year. The long anticipated re-opening comes after several years of the hall being closed so this is one that will certainly be worth the wait.

Owner Simon Fletcher of Middlesbrough’s Baker Street Kitchen, along with friends and family, has been lovingly restoring the beautiful Grade Two listed, 12th century country house back to its original splendour whilst adding a few modern twists.

Once open, the hall will offer six en-suite bedrooms combining modern luxuries with historic grandeur, the main hall will provide the perfect setting for Afternoon Tea whilst the Stables restaurant, will see classic British and European cuisine served alongside fine dining elements. All from the spectacular spot at the foot of Roseberry Topping.

Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram for all the renovation updates and latest details on plans for opening.

2. Tomahawk at Acklam Hall, Middlesbrough

If like us, your dreams of enjoying a delicious steak in the grand surroundings of Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough were dashed by the lockdown 2.0 and then 3.0 or perhaps you were lucky enough to sneak in late summer – either way since its opening in September 2020 Tomahawk at Acklam Hall hasn’t had the love and attention that it deserves and we can’t wait to try it when it re-opens.

If binge-watching Bridgerton has taught us anything, it’s that we want all of our meals served in magnificent surroundings and Acklam Hall is the perfect place!

3. Rio Brazilian Steakhouse, Middlesbrough

A sibling of the Tomahawk group sneaked into Middlesbrough during the lockdown to bring a slice of Brazil to the Boro in the form of Rio Brazilian Steakhouse.

Based opposite Middlesbrough Town Hall on Albert Road, once the doors open again diners will be treated to a culinary journey into the Tijuca Urban Forest that surrounds Rio de Janeiro, with planted walls and flowered ceilings towering high above a traditional Brazilian Churrasco dining experience.

You can get your hands on a tasty take-out from Rio Brazilian Steakhouse now but getting our hands on a ticket to the opening night is what we are really looking forward to.

4. Sortie, Darlington

The gorgeous candle-lit wine and charcuterie bar which popped up in Darlington in January 2020 was designed to provide an escape, hence its name, and all we have done since it opened is wish we could escape there!

Sortie has been keeping locals fed with amazing charcuterie boards to go filled with local produce throughout the lockdown but when the time is right, a visit to this little piece of escapism in the centre of Darlington is a must.

5. Deja Food Truck, Yarm

The Deja Food Truck was established in June 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic after owner and chef James Tulley found himself out of work. With a passion for world food and new flavours, the idea of a gourmet food delivery service was born.

Currently serving the Teesside area and offering ‘Heat and Eat’ meals for collection and delivery, as well as a brand new ‘Hot for Collection’ service based out of Strickland and Holt in the picturesque High Street of Yarm, you don’t have to wait to sample the delights of the Deja Food Truck. This is definitely one to watch out for in the coming year!

6. The New Inn, Yarm

Yarm’s first micropub, The New Inn opened its doors in February 2020 only to close them again in March for the first lockdown. The small but perfectly formed pub seats just 30 people in an intimate setting and serves an ever changing menu of local cask ales, fine wines & spirits, real ciders, Belgian Beer as well as traditional pub snacks, pork pies, all of which can be enjoyed whilst playing vintage pub games.

In its short existence, the pub, in its own words, has been through “three lockdowns, rules of six, households only, face masks, summer and winter takeaways… and only managed 28 days of normal New Inn pub life.”

Make sure you and your bubble are ready for beers here when they can open again.

7. Café Italissimo, Middleton St George

The hair salon turned Italian-inspired café, Café Italissimo in the Darlington village of Middleton St George has gone a cut above to provide fresh Italian coffee and cakes inspired by Sicily and Milan, plus a delicious deli to offer a taste of Milan in Middleton St George.

Although Leila Ghanadi-Proctor promises to bring back the hair and beauty side of the business when she can, we’d be happy to stick with the lockdown haircuts for coffee and cake this good.

Photo courtesy of the Northern Echo.

8. Lyla Belles, Tees Bay Retail Park, Hartlepool

The gorgeous family-run café Lyla Belles was due to open its doors on Teesbay Retail Park in March 2020 before the lockdown hit. With only a few months of being able to open in summer 2020, this cute café serving a wide range of breakfasts, lunches, sweet treats and hot drinks needs to be on your list of places to visit when it is possible again.

There are lots of things happening in Hartlepool at the moment so keep your eyes open for some exciting new additions coming to Church Street soon too…


9. Number Eight Bakehouse, Darlington

Number Eight Bakehouse is a bakery based in Darlington, serving some seriously tasty baked goods.

This friendly neighbourhood bakery opened in the midst of the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from supplying freshly baked goods to the people of Darlington. Serving everything from perfect pastries, tasty sourdough, and donuts to die for, Number Eight Bakery is definitely one to watch out for in 2021.

10. Bech Boro

Established in February 2021, Bech are certainly the exciting new business on the block in Boro.

Bech Boro are dishing up the comfort food of dreams, meaning you can chow down on tasty chicken wings, loaded fries and some moreish mac and cheese. If you’re truly treating yourself, they offer a selection of blondies and brownies too.

You can find this quirky, brand-new business borrowing Bedford St Coffee’s building whilst they are closed, serving some tasty take-out food.

There’s nothing like satisfying soul food to make lockdown feel a lot better, but we can’t wait until we can visit properly!

11. Burger Ding, Hartlepool

Burger Ding launched with a bang, with thousands of people scrambling to book a take-out slot in the space of one minute!

This Hartlepool-based business has grown from humble beginnings, when three mates begun Burger Ding from their back gardens during the pandemic. Now, their mouth-watering ‘mince in a bun’ burgers are a sell-out dish, being served from the Pot House Pub on Hartlepool Headland.

These banging burgers are made from locally sourced ingredients, making us even more excited to get our hands on one!

12. The Cutback CIC, Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Saltburn will soon welcome its first zero-waste shop, café and community space, which is due to open next month!

After losing her job amid the pandemic, Tracy decided to transform a former health care centre into The Cutback CIC, an amazing waste-free zone which will also act as a community hub creating space for events and workshops.

The Cutback CIC shop will sell everything from eco-friendly household products, refill items and zero-waste personal care and cleaning products, with a hope of selling tasty vegan cheese and other products that are hard to come by.

Tracey is also planning on opening a Cutback café alongside the shop and community space, we can’t wait to see her plans come in to place once the pandemic is over!

13. Café Nossa, Yarm

Opening their doors just last week, Café Nossa is the latest independent business to join Yarm’s award-winning High Street. 

If you’re looking for food and drink with some Mediterranean flare, Café Nossa is a Portuguese Deli providing you with all of the products you need, so you can fill up on everything from fine wines and cheese, to tasty pastries and meat from the Portugal and Iberian area.

Future plans for the deli include live cooking demonstrations and a dining area for customers, we are excited to try out this unique independent, once restrictions ease.

Let us know any Tees Valley businesses that have caught your eye on social media using #EnjoyTeesValley


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