Wednesday 10 December 2014

Christmas at Jesmond Dene House

I'm not sure Jesmond Dene House really needs much introduction on my blog. It's been a favourite place of ours for a long time now, especially for afternoon tea. In fact no matter how many afternoon teas we've enjoyed over the years, none ever come close to the treats you get on your cakestand at Jesmond Dene House.   You can read all about our last visit for afternoon tea here.

Simon in particular is a huge fan. His face literally lights up when he describes to family and friends how special JDH is to us.  

Despite being old hands at afternoon tea, enjoying glasses of Pimms on the terrace in the Summer and having even stayed a night at the hotel to celebrate our first anniversary, we had never been for an evening meal.  So when we were invited to try out the Christmas Menu this week, to say we were excited would be an understatement.

Jesmond Dene House is a boutique hotel situated just outside of Newcastle.  Surrounded by the picturesque woodlands and water of Jesmond Dene, it is the perfect place to escape the city.  When telling friends about Jesmond Dene House I always describe it as being luxurious, comfortable and welcoming.

This was our first visit at Christmas and walking up the path into the warm entrance, we fell in love all over again.  We were welcomed in from the freezing temperatures by twinkling fairy lights, a Christmas tree adorned with decorations and of course the friendly smiles of the Jesmond Dene House staff.

We couldn't resist having a sneaky peak round the hotel before eating, knowing Jesmond Dene House pretty well I had a feeling they'd really know how to do Christmas in style.

Starting off in the Lounge I felt like I'd stepped inside a Christmas card.   The fire was lit, giving off a warm glow and I was quite tempted to take one of the comfy seats by it to wait for Santa to come and fill the empty stockings.   The Lounge is one of our favourite rooms and is such a great space for relaxing with a cup of coffee.  I'd recommend a visit one afternoon after doing your Christmas shopping.  Snuggling by the fire with a cup of something hot would be a great festive treat.

Our most exciting discovery during our visit was finding out that some of the decorations at Jesmond Dene House are edible!   The pastry team at JDH have been busy getting creative and have made three large gingerbread houses which are displayed in the house. I couldn't believe how clever they are. I would have been tempted to stick my finger in the delicious looking cream or break myself off some gingerbread but they looked far too beautiful to destroy.

If I wasn't feeling Christmassy enough then the huge Christmas tree by the staircase was enough for me to wrap myself in tinsel and declare it officially Christmas.

Decorated with golds and reds it was a truly breath taking site. 

Finding ourselves completely in the mood for Christmas it was time for some food.   Our evening meal was served in the Dining Room which was decorated very stylishly with festive foliage on the tables and over the fireplace. 

As always at Jesmond Dene House we were very well looked after from the moment we sat down.  I was particularly impressed with the way they accommodated my nut allergy with great care and understanding.  
This was our first Christmas celebration of the year so we needed to celebrate in style with a glass of wine each. The wine list at JDH runs to a very impressive 17 pages and is categorised by country and region.   This may seem a little daunting if you're not much of a wine expert but on previous visits we've  had a chat through our choices with resident sommelier, Danny, who is always so helpful. On this occasion however we were feeling decisive. Simon opted for a glass of Pinot Noir and I had a glass of Pinot Gris.

The Christmas Evening Menu at JDH costs £35.00 per person for three courses with a lovely selection of food to choose from. 

There was no fear of going hungry whilst waiting for our food with some delicious fresh bread (with a choice of salted, unsalted and seaweed butter) and a haddock amuse bouche to enjoy. 

I decided on the Prawn Cocktail to start and was rather surprised at how spectacular it looked when it appeared. A generous helping of prawns served on a bed of lettuce with a slice of buttered bread on the side and garnished with a large prawn.

Simon had Citrus Cured Salmon and enjoyed his first ever try of caviar. 

There was only one choice for me when it came to the main course - my first Christmas Dinner of the year. Turkey served with Yokon Gold Fondant Potato, Carrot, Chipolata and Sprouts covered in Bread Sauce, Cranberry Compote and thick Gravy.

I must confess I've never been a fan of sprouts, my Mum has spent years trying to convince me to eat them. I thought there was a pretty good chance that if I was going to find a Chloe friendly sprout it would be at Jesmond Dene House. Amazingly I ate and enjoyed every single one, I'm not sure what magic was used to prepare them but they were gorgeous.

It was so perfect that I fear I have peaked too soon, I will be very surprised if I find a traditional Christmas meal as good as this one in the run up to Christmas.

Simon chose the Beef Bourguignon with Root Vegetables and Heritage Potatoes.  It looked and smelt amazing. Apparently it tasted very good too.

Despite getting full we had to pick out a dessert and both opted for the  Dark Chocolate and  Mandarin Dome. The hard chocolate shell hid a orange and chocolate mousse that tasted divine.

Our evening at Jesmond Dene House was just what we needed to get into the holiday spirit.  If you are looking for somewhere special to spend time with family and friends over the festive season I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to you.  

Christmas can be celebrated in so many different ways at the hotel.   Festive Afternoon Tea is served in the Grand Hall with live seasonal music,  there are Christmas Party nights complete with food and a live band and the Hotel will be putting on a wonderful spread for Christmas Day lunch.  

We are already looking forward to celebrating all of our special occasions at Jesmond Dene House in 2015.

Jesmond Dene House gave us a complimentary meal for review purposes but we paid for our drinks.  This review is honest - we are huge fans of Jesmond Dene House and it was an honour to be invited to spend time in our favourite hotel. 


  1. JDH is looking gorgeous. I definitely need to pop in for a drink by the fire! Need to make it a priority x

    1. It made me realise it's been too long since my last visit. Luckily my boss has given me a voucher for JDH afternoon tea for Christmas (he knows me so well!) so I wont be leaving it so long next time!

  2. JDH is one of my favourite places in the NE. Have you been to Finbarrs in Durham? If you like JDH I think you'll like it there too. Katie x

    1. Ooooooooh I haven't! Thanks for the recommendation, I'll definitely look into it x

  3. That food looks delicious! And such a nice building! X
    that adventurer

    1. So beautiful - its the most perfect place .. it feels special yet really comfortable and homely at the same time :)

  4. I'm glad that your favourite place didn't let you down. I love the look of Simon's salmon!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  5. The food looks sooo yummy! I would love to visit this place!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

    1. It's so lovely, if you are ever in the North East you know where to head!

  6. This is a lovely Christmas post the pictures are lovely. I especially love the little dogs by the tree and fireplace. How on earth did you resist pinching one of these. The meal looks wonderful beef Bourguignon looks yummy. You look lovely by the Christmas tree Lucy x

    1. I know, they're gorgeous! They're made by a very talented man! x

  7. Beautiful pictures :)

    Camille xo

  8. Oh this looks lovely! I love the big Christmas tree. :) It looks so festive. I think some places really come to life at this time of year, especially old dwellings such as this. :)
    The food looks amazing, how nice to have been invited.


    1. I need the clever people at JDH to come and decorate my flat!


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