Tuesday 10 September 2019

Lunch and a Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House

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Jesmond Dene House really doesn't need any kind of introduction, the beautiful luxury hotel on the outskirts of Newcastle has been featured on my blog probably more times than anywhere else. We've been obsessed ever since our first visit, when we popped in for a quick cup of coffee and were so impressed by the incredible service and lovely surroundings that we haven't stopped shouting about what a wonderful place it is ever since.

Lunch and a Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House
We have celebrated so many occasions at Jesmond Dene House and the hotel has definitely been a very important part of our lives since I first moved up to Newcastle. From romantic overnight stays to Christmas parties with friends and afternoon teas with the Mother In Law - Jesmond Dene House has been there for it all and it is somewhere very special to us.

So when we found out that the hotel had enjoyed a refurbishment to celebrate their fourteen years since opening I was very excited although perhaps also a little nervous. When you love somewhere so much, change can be a bit of a scary thing. What if we didn't like what had happened to our favourite place?

Lunch and Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House
The changes at Jesmond Dene House have been happening steadily over the last few months with a lot of the public areas of the hotel including the Cocktail Bar and Grand Hall having a makeover as well as the guest bedrooms and suites. The Restaurant and Garden Room were the final part of the project and having only recently been completed we thought it was the perfect time to drop by to take a look.

It had been a while since our last visit to Jesmond Dene House, and with the arrival of head chef Danny Parker last year, we were more than ready to not only see the refurbishment but also enjoy a try of the new menus. Table booked for lunch we headed off to the Dene to rediscover an old favourite.

Lunch Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House
Shown into the new look restaurant for the first time, Simon and I really couldn't believe the transformation.  I honestly had never really found fault in the way that the restaurant looked before but thinking back to it now it was so dark, tired and dated and was in desperate need of a makeover. Just looking back through the photographs in my afternoon tea review from 4 years ago the changes are huge.

The new look restaurant at Jesmond Dene House is beautiful! So much lighter and brighter than before,  the room has a new carpet, beautiful new tables and chairs and is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch, afternoon tea or an evening meal.

Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House

If you want my personal recommendation, the very best table in the house has to be the one that we dined at, table number 7 by the window which not only means you can appreciate those beautiful big windows but also offers great contrasting views of both the garden and the next door Garden Room. It's also a pretty romantic spot if you fancy a date with your other half.

Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House - Restaurant
Just off the Restaurant you'll find The Garden Room, a beautiful conservatory overlooking the garden, it has always been one of my favourite places in Jesmond Dene House and is the room we ask to have afternoon tea in the Summer months. I never thought it would be possible to love The Garden Room more than I already did, but with its makeover it is even more beautiful than before. It truly brings the outdoors inside with the beautiful large windows overlooking the garden becoming a real feature of the room, perfectly complemented by the very swish new chairs and light fittings.

Refurbishment at Jesmond Dene House - Garden Room
Once I'd stopped walking around with my mouth wide open it was time to settle ourselves down for lunch.  As always at Jesmond Dene House I was given my very own "nut free" menu that offered me plenty of dishes to choose from along with the wonderful feeling of knowing that I wasn't going to have to have any awkward allergy conversations and that I was in safe hands.

Of course, I began our lunch by attacking the bread which was served beautifully on a wooden board along with some salted butter (delicious but a little too hard for spreading) and the real treat the parsley butter which was incredible. I will admit I was a little dubious when I spread a thick layer of green coloured butter on my bread but wow it was good and I'm now a firm believer that all butter should be served this way.

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House - Bread

For my starter I opted for the Garden Pea and Mint Soup, Goats Cheese & Lemon with Toasted Focaccia (£6.50) - I'm sure you'll agree it's the perfect dish to compliment beautiful garden views. The soup was incredible, really thick and indulgent and even Simon who forever turns his nose up at the idea of anyone ordering soup for a starter, had to admit it was really delicious. Let's not judge that I also got to enjoy some delicious Focaccia after already munching my way through the bread board!

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House - Pea and Mint Soup
Simon opted for the Salmon & Cod Fish Cake & Roasted Garlic with Lime Mayonnaise (£7.50) - he very graciously offered me a little try and although incredible I still thought that I had won on the starters - he thought it was pretty even so we'll have to agree to disagree.

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House - Fishcake

Next up was the mains and I decided to go for the Roasted North Sea Cod, Tomato & Chorizo Cassoulet with Borlotti Beans, Chickpeas & Butterbeans (£15.50) Absolutely delicious, it was a proper hearty dish.  Never one to resist a good meaty dish, Simon ordered the Braised Shoulder of Beef served with Tender stem Broccoli & Triple Cooked Chips (£22.50). He described it as "deliciously sticky" when I managed to get him to offer his review in the short amount of time I had when his mouth wasn't full. He polished off the entire dish in record time and declared that we should really go out for lovely lunches more often.

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House - Menu

Ordering dessert was the biggest decision as the menu was incredible, I could have quite happily ordered one of everything and even when I narrowed it down I still had five favourites to choose from. I'm quite surprised I'm not still sitting there now trying to decide.

After a lot of mind changing I decided on the Strawberry Mousse, Mascarpone Ice cream, Macerated Strawberries and Ruby Chocolate (£8.50). The perfect Summer time treat, I couldn't believe how pretty the dish looked with all of the vibrant pinks and reds - a real treat for the eyes as well as my belly.  Often I really overindulge when it comes to dessert and pick something that's really stodgy so I really enjoyed the lighter option of the mousse, it was really filling without being heavy and such a great way to finish my meal.

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House - Strawberry Mousse
I, very sneakily, managed to convince Simon to order another dessert that I was desperate to try - the Dark Chocolate, Vanilla & Coffee Opera Cake with Woodruff Ice Cream (£9.00) - not that he offered me much of it, I only managed to pinch a tiny spoonful but wow was it good. I love coffee flavours in dessert and this one really hit the spot.

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House - Opera Cake
We absolutely loved our return visit to Jesmond Dene House and couldn't believe how much the refurbishment made us fall for the place all over again. We can't wait to spend many, many more years celebrating in our favourite spot in Newcastle.

Lunch at Jesmond Dene House

Find Jesmond Dene House at:

Jesmond Dene Road

0191 212 3000


We were treated to a complimentary lunch for two in exchange for this review.


  1. JDH is really special to us as well. We did our first valentines meal as their 6 course menu together which was incredible - still to this day the best beef I've ever eaten and we had a fantastic pinot noir. We've been back so many times over the years but this reminds me, it's been a while. I think the last time I went was with you actually that Christmas. The new decor is gorgeous, those windows are dreamy! think its time for a return date soon!

    1. I think we hadn't been since that Christmas either - it's well worth a revisit, you need to see the refurbishment, it's such a transformation!

  2. Oh the new menu and decor looks wonderful! Fab photos too :-)

    1. Thank you! Got my eye on their Christmas afternoon tea next!

  3. The d├ęcor looks lovely and the food looks even better! Yum!


  4. Oh, this looks lovely! It looks like you're sitting in the forest with the glass and decor colours. :)
    And the food looks yummy!


    1. It's beautiful isnt it? I just love the Garden Room refurb!


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