DOZENS of the region’s best eateries have been honoured with an award for their quality and good service.

A record-breaking 60 premises in County Durham including restaurants, hotels, farm shops, cafés and bars have received the Taste- Durham quality mark in the third annual awards ceremony held at Ramside Hall Hotel, in Durham City, on Monday of last week.

Assessors from national tourist board Visit Britain inspected all the candidates for cleanliness, quality of menu, use of local produce and quality of service.

Melanie Sensicle, chief executive of Visit County Durham, said: “This is a record breaking year for Taste- Durham.

“We have never had so many eateries successfully pass assessment and earn this prestigeous award and it just shows the quality of food and drink being served across the county.”

The TasteDurham mark and awards were set up in 2008 to raise the profile of food and drink in the county.

Among the 15 premises achieving the top award of Highest Quality Assured and Local Produce Champion was Low Urpeth Farm, a bed and breakfast and self-catering cottages establishment, at Ouston.

Owner Hilary Johnson said: “A TasteDurham award demonstrates to our guests that food is our passion and underlines our total commitment to and support for high quality local produce and the small businesses which produce it.

“Our guests expect good quality, local, award-winning food and a TasteDurham grading reassures the visitor that this is exactly what they are paying for.”