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Down on the Farm, Runa Farm… Unlike Any Other

Unlike any other Farm, and only recently opened Runa Farm is on the outskirts of the picturesque market town of Barnard Castle. An individual unique rustic and luxurious inspired hotel, as well as having its own country pub and a perfect wedding venue, combining natural rural beauty with cool Balearic vibes. Read more about my recent stay.

Runa Farm Hotel (RU-NA) – a combination of Rural and Nature ” The Bridging of two worlds “ certainly does transport you between two worlds, the hotel with its Mediterranean White isle style feel and its natural laid-back farmhouse luxury where exceptional quality and comfort are key perfectly encapsulate what Runa is all about.

‘Boho , honest and earthy’ Runa Farm offers a great place for people to staycation in the beautiful Durham countryside with lots of great days out close by including the Bowes Museum, High Force Waterfall and the historic Raby Castle and Deer Park to name a few, and really is a whole new experience for the area.

There are 30 rooms at Runa Farm all with relaxed Spanish influences yet natural and luxurious at the same time. We stayed in the Raby Room and one of the first things that struck me in addition to the unique decor and luxury as I entered the room was the feeling of space, with its own outdoor area with extensive unspoiled views across to Barnard Castle and hot tub, was the perfect retreat for relaxation. There are dog friendly rooms and family rooms available too with bunk beds as well as a stunning large farmhouse which sleeps up to 12 people for wedding parties or larger groups, which overlooks the farm’s resident animals.

But first we were off for lunch so headed to the Smithy and the courtyard for drinks. Of course as you might expect on a farm, life is about the outdoors and there are many outdoor areas to enjoy; courtyards, fields and meadows teeming with colours, scent and wildlife to enjoy and explore and the courtyard is a perfect place to enjoy coffee and cake or a drink or two.

We enjoyed a Mango Collins and a Bubblegum Pop mocktail from the extensive drinks menu in the courtyard before our Sunday lunch.

Sunday lunch was in The Smithy, their on site cosy pub where the emphasis is on field-to-fork dining using local produce whenever possible, and is a space inviting people to gather, feast, stay, and enjoy, and I saw lots of couples and families socialising, and it had a lovely relaxed vibe. The bar/restaurant areas have exposed stonework, and a unique bar made from terracotta tiles, a nod to its heritage of a  small working north east family farm.

The Smithy is open to the public for lunches and evening meals, as well as Sunday lunches. Walk ins are welcome though it was busy and it maybe best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. It is Dog friendly.

On arrival at The Smithy we were greeted with a friendly smile and a warm welcome and quickly settled into our comfortable booth table for the afternoon. The menu offered a good range of starters and included wild mushroom soup with a hint of truffle, cured meat sharing platters a delicious sounding oven baked Camembert, but I decided on the Ham Hock Terrine accompanied by a punchy piccalilli and sourdough toast whilst Mr CC had a classic prawn cocktail with a hint of boozy Marie sauce, both went down a treat.

There were lots of main dishes on the menu to choose from like Dressed Crab, Fish & Chips, Steak Burgers, Hearty pies along with Vegan/Vegetarian options but as you may know a Sunday roast is my must have meal of the week! So it will be no surprise that I opted for the Roast Beef , and Mr CC ready for his lunch chose the triple roast of Beef, Pork and Chicken (though he doesn’t eat chicken so it was swapped for extra beef).

Both mains arrived on good sized warmed plates with very thick generous slices  of meat and gravy which was rich tasty and a good consistency, and served with homemade Yorkshire Puddings, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, red cabbage and sides of perfectly cooked cauliflower, broccoli, and savoy cabbage. The food was good quality, generous portions and as already mentioned locally produced where possible.

Somehow (maybe because I had looked at desserts first and spotted a seasonal Rhubarb Crumble on the menu) we managed to save room for pudding! As Mr CC often orders sticky toffee pudding he decided on this occasion to change course and went for Eton Mess whilst I ordered the Rhubarb Crumble though sadly it had run out due to its popularity, but I’m a trooper as you know and was not deterred by such a trivial matter and came back immediately with my second choice of sticky toffee pudding, a classic but always a winner and this one was too, delicious toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream and it went down very well, every last bit of it.

Childrens Runa Surprise

A lovely relaxed lunch served by friendly, attentive and engaging staff, who all made a huge fuss of the 'twins' our dogs Lola & Louie who were indulged with lots of dog biscuits and there were plenty of dog water bowls dotted about too (note if you are taking your dogs we were seated in one of the booth areas which  gave the dogs more space to relax).

There wasn’t far to wander back to our room after a lovely relaxing lunch and after a very busy week I was looking forward to enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon in our spacious and luxurious room with its super comfy bed with crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets.

Our room also had a Nespresso machine and some coffee pods, a kettle for your tea/instant coffee (or hot chocolate) water (Northumberland Marlish sparkling water) and biscuits as well as some hand crafted Runa chocolates. Coffee and chocolate always a winner for me!

The end to the perfect day was watching the late summer sunset from the hot tub with views across the open countryside enjoyed with Chef's cheeseboard showcasing some of the locally produced cheeses.

After a rain storm in the night (apparently, as I slept like a baby) we woke to blue skies and beautiful views across the hills whilst enjoying a coffee on our private terrace before heading for breakfast.

Breakfast was in The Smithy and is served from 8am until 10am. Greeted with smiles and shown to our table, our waiter explained the Continental table to us  and then took our hot drinks and cooked breakfast orders.

Continental breakfast cured meat platter

The cooked breakfast menu included a good range of options such as a full farmhouse breakfast, porridge, American pancakes, and of course my favourite Eggs Benedict which could also be served with Salmon or Spinach, but I chose Eggs Benedict using eggs from a local farm.

Mr CC chose a full farmhouse breakfast it was a generous portion, and a special mention for the sausage which was particularly meaty and tasty I managed a little taste from a reluctant Mr CC not really wanting to give it away, always a good sign! The menu also included options for special dietary requirements too. Like lunch the ambience in the restaurant was very relaxed and laid-back and it really was a perfect start to the day.

Check out was 11am so we had plenty of time to enjoy a walk to see the farm animals

Then just time for another coffee in the courtyard before a wander round the stunning wedding venue. I hinted to Mr CC this would be a great venue for our forthcoming milestone wedding anniversary celebration and even renew our wedding vows! Before heading off into the North Pennine’s for the day to explore.

If you’re looking for a laid-back luxurious elegant and unique stay in a County Durham country retreat combining natural rural beauty with Mediterranean vibes then check out Runa Farm it really is a great place to stay, dine or celebrate a special occasion

Our overnight stay and lunch was complimentary. All thoughts and images are my own.

If you book please mention my recommendation

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