About Us

Meet owners, Jack Bowles & Chef Director, Ellie Richmond

Ellie learnt “on the job” in kitchens from country house hotels and pubs in North Yorkshire to heading up kitchens of country restaurants and hotels in Essex and coast of Suffolk, to city restaurants in London. Ellie first started in the kitchen of Judges, Kirklevington before getting the opportunity of working for Frances Atkins and then moved to The Yorke Arms with her. In London she helped head up kitchens at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, and Smith of Smithfield where she met Jack.

Jack, grew up in Hampshire and attended the catering course at Guilford Tech College before gaining experience in bars and restaurants throughout Hampshire. He then moved up to the London scene working and heading up bars including Fire Fly, Smith of Smithfield, Gin Joint, Searcys and Somerset House for Tom Aitkin.

Jack and Ellie met whilst working at Smiths of Smithfield under John Torode in 2009. In 2010, they took two years out to travel South East Asia, India, Nepal, Australia and New Zealand. They both loved the climates and had wonderful food journeys across all the countries and learnt a lot on flavours and cooking styles particularly with Indian and Asian food. They managed to visit many vineyards in most of Australia’s wine regions, and visited many in Marlborough, New Zealand, they even worked for 8 months in Melbourne.

After arriving back in London in 2012, Ellie kept hold of the Aussie vibe and worked in a fast paced Australian city café and Jack went to head up the Gin Bar in The Barbican until their son, Ralph was born in September 2013. The opportunity arose to start a business and the doors of The Fox Hole, Piercebridge, were opened in September 2014. 

Fast forward to 2021, the year they took over the Houndgate Townhouse Hotel & Saltfish Seafood Restaurant. This place is perfectly positioned in the centre of Darlington, just off the main market square and next to the new Treasury offices. Between the bar and restaurant, there are 70 covers, and there’s the option of a “snack section” if you’re eating in the bar. All seafood is cooked on the Ox Grill. There is a daily specials board and the freshly shucked oysters are proving a great hit!

Saltfish seafood restaurant & wine bar, where exceptional food, service and surroundings go hand in hand.

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Townhouse hotel in Darlington. Ideally located in the heart of Darlington town centre.

Saltfish Seafood restaurant in Darlington & wine bar is located within Houndgate Townhouse.

For hotel bookings, feel free to book online and for restaurant bookings, you can also book online. Alternatively, please call us on 01325 486011.

EJA Houndgate Townhouse Limited. ©2022. Company no: 13250537 | Registered in England & Wales at Spitfire House, 19 Falcon Court, Preston Farm Industrial Estate, Stockton on Tees, TS18 3TU

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