A £2.5million refurbishment and a chef that’s worked in five-star hotels around the world. Derwent Manor Hotel is pulling out the ‘big guns’ to wow guests.
Step inside the newly refurbished Derwent Manor Hotel and you’ll be dazzled. It’s now a jewel in the crown of the Northumberland hotel scene after a multi-millionpound refurbishment.
“We’ve got a new bar, restaurant – the kitchen is new and there’s a fabulous woodfired pizza oven – its all open plan,” says Leanne Elliott-Ramsey, manager at the venue.
Swanky suites, with giant bathtubs and beds to unwind in, overlook rolling fields out across the Derwent Valley, and in the new-look bar, stoneflagged walls and quirky lighting create a stylish place where you can kick back and relax with a cocktail, G&T or tuck into afternoon tea.
But it’s new restaurant Prego – a steakhouse, seafood and wood-fired pizza place – that really pulls out all the stops.
The menu is overseen by executive chef Ronald Ramos, who’s plating up his wealth of experience working in five-star hotels across the world and his knowledge of flavours from growing up in the Philippines.
“I followed in my dad’s footsteps. He was a fantastic chef,” says Ronald, who’s known as chef RJ amongst his brigade. “I’ve been privileged enough to work in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Thailand and I love learning about food. Whichever country I’m in, I always start at the markets, discovering new flavours and spices.
“We may be offering pasta, pizza and hanging kebabs but everything is fresh and from scratch. Our bread, our sauces, the harissa paste and piri piri for the kebabs, which are a take on an Italian spiedini and feature chunks of salt and pepper beef; Mediterranean chicken, teriyaki salmon and marinated lamb with harissa, mint and yogurt,” says the chef, who studied culinary arts in the Philippines.
Also on the menu are dishes such as slow-braised meatballs and chef’s favourite, “belly pork,” which he does in a prune terrine with port and red wine chutney.
Q&A WITH RONALD RAMOS
Name one chef you’d like to sit down with… My dad. He’s my council. He’s retired now but his knowledge of food and flavours is exceptional.
Starter or dessert? Dessert. I grew up in Malolos City, known as the Land of the Sweet. I definitely have a sweet tooth.
If we gave you £10 to spend, what would you buy? I love a piece of belly pork. I’m a simple guy so I’d probably barbecue it.
Derwent Manor, Allensford, DH8 9BB Call: 01207 592 000 bw-derwentmanorhotel.co.uk