The finest autumn fare

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This autumn, some of Northumberland’s finest country house hotels will be the host venues for the inaugural Northumberland Music Festival.

Not only will Doxford, Eshott and Guyzance Halls be hosting some world class performers, their award-winning chefs will be giving music-lovers the chance to enjoy some world-class dining too.

Here they share the secrets of some of the menus they will be serving this season.

Both Doxford Hall, near Alnwick, and Eshott Hall, near Morpeth, have a stringent local-sourcing policy.

Menus change by the season and reflect the diverse range of produce found in the rolling hills and wild coastline of Northumberland.

Under the guidance of Head Chef Paul Blakey and his team, the magnificent wood-paneled George Runciman Restaurant at Doxford Hall is the holder of a prestigious AA Rosette for its fine dining.

The kitchen team sources locally, with meat and poultry coming from Greens the Butchers and seafood coming from North Shields.

They also grow as much produce as they can and are particularly proud of their autumn fruit trees, which are keeping the larder stocked with apples, pears, peaches and plums.

Paul’s innovative dishes mix the contemporary with the traditional and are all cooked to order.

The recipes for Pan Seared Fillet of Chicken and Anna Potatoes, followed by Iced Lemon Parfait, are typical examples of the hotel’s autumn menu.

Doxford is equally proud of its afternoon tea, served in the Georgian Room overlooking the original estate, which features a mouthwatering selection of sandwiches, cream scones and cakes.

A little further down the A1 at Eshott Hall, Head Chef Chris Wood is able to take many of his ingredients and inspiration from the hotel’s own kitchen garden.

Brimming with produce, tomatoes, red and white onions, shallots, peppers, chilis, herbs and soft fruits all find their way onto the A La Carte menu.

What can’t be grown or foraged from the hedgerows surrounding Eshott is sourced locally, including venison from Northumberland Estates, langoustines from the North Sea and poultry from Wallington Hall.

Chris, whose team recently won their first AA Rosette within a year of opening, also takes great pleasure in mixing sophisticated modern techniques with traditional ingredients.

The food is simple and classic with a twist and the delicious Venison Loin and Assiette of Autumn Fruits can be recreated to produce your own seasonal menu at home.

For more information on the Northumberland Music Festival, please visit www.nmfestival.com