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Tiny English village fights haute cuisine


Northeast England's only two-star Michelin restaurant is in a fight for its life with outraged villagers who claim the restaurant's customers and deliveries are blocking their roads, taking up all the parking, and making them "prisoners" in their homes.

The restaurant, Raby Hunt, in rural Summerhouse, County Durham, has been getting rave reviews since it opened in 2009, with an elegant menu of foods hitherto unknown in the village of 140 residents. It's also been getting full house for its tables and guest bedrooms. 

Now, it wants to expand into a cottage next door, with more guestrooms, a temperature-controlled wine cellar and more, and villagers have banded together to ask the local council to disapprove the plans. In their letters, they complain about "arrogant diners" and delivery trucks blocking their bus stop and forcing locals to either park far away or stay home.

Barbara Braithwaite, chair of the Summerhouse village hall committee, accuses the owners and staff of treating the village “with contempt...Unfortunately, the business does not bring anything positive to the village. The owners and staff show no interest in the village and have no interaction with residents. The notoriety and success of the restaurant means that there are a great many staff, trainees and interns as well as customers all needing to park their cars, which obviously puts a strain on our small village.”

Perhaps this makes Summerhouse one of the smallest places to speak out against 'overtourism!'

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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