My tree is finally up, most of the gifts have been bought and wrapped and I have even survived my work Christmas party (just)! So a visit to Jesmond Dene House for festive afternoon tea last weekend was a welcome treat.
James and I had been invited along to review the meal that this luxury boutique hotel is probably most famous for. I have been told by so many foodie friends that Jesmond Dene House serves the best afternoon tea in Newcastle and I couldn’t wait to find out if it was true. I was also excited to see how the beautiful 19th century manor house had been decorated for Christmas… I was not disappointed!
Two giant wooden toy soldiers greeted us at the entrance and then the unmistakeable smell of a real Christmas tree welcomed us as at reception, it was like stepping in to the set of a classic Christmas movie!
I had hoped we might be seated by the real crackling fire in the cosy bar area but it was quite busy so we were shown to the formal dining room instead. (Read about our previous dining experiences in this environement HERE and HERE).
The hugely anticipated afternoon tea was every bit as good as we’d been promised. It was perfectly presented on a traditional three tier porcelain stand. Dainty finger sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing and cranberry & cheese savoury adorned the bottom layer, along with sage and onion sausage rolls and delicious little goat’s cheese and butternut squash quiches. It was lovely to have pastry items to choose from alongside the traditional sandwiches, my only disappointment was that they weren’t served warm.
We devoured the savoury items first and washed them down with a chilled glass of Palmer & Co champagne followed by free flowing hot drinks. Now, I know it’s called afternoon ‘tea’ but as a coffee addict I couldn’t resist ordering a cafetière which was served with a jug of hot and frothy milk. James went for the healthy option of loose leaf peppermint tea, but his good intentions were soon cancelled out by the sweet treats on the other two layers of our cake stand.
There were not two, not four, but SIX scrumptious scones; plain, cheese and fruit, served with lashing of clotted cream and raspberry jam. At this point I evaluated my hunger and decided not to over indulge too much as I knew the leftovers could be taken home and I was much more eager to move swiftly on to the crowning glory of the afternoon tea, the cakes!
This is where I think the rather high price tag of the afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House is justified. There’s no denying the skill that goes in to creating each of the exquisite little desserts. From the lightly spiced pumpkin macarons to the rich and intense sweet mince pies, each mouthful resulted in a plethora of yummy noises and satisfying nods.
The mini sherry trifles were another highlight, if they weren’t already festive enough, the talented chefs had topped them with green meringue Christmas trees and edible baubles, they were almost too cute to eat.
My favourite part of the meal though was undoubtedly the chocolate dessert which was a bit like an oversized Ferrero Rocher but only better!
By now you are probably drooling and I don’t blame you, afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House really is a treat for the tastebuds. So here’s a little treat for you, my lovely readers…. I’m giving you the chance to enjoy a luxurious champagne afternoon tea for yourself!
Enter below before midnight on Christmas Eve and you could be heading to Jesmond Dene House in January, good luck! If you can’t wait till then you can always head over to www.jesmonddenehouse.co.uk to check availability.
T&C’s: Competition closes midnight on 24th December 2017. Prize consists of Afternoon Tea and a glass of champagne for two people. No purchase necessary. Open to UK residents only. One winner will be drawn at random from all the correct entries and Jesmond Dene House will be notified of the winners details. No other entrant’s details will be passed on or used for marketing purposes. Jesmond Dene House will contact the winner directly by email to make a reservation which must be during January 2018.